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Milestone appoints Erik Friis Mondorf as Country Manager in Japan

Milestone appoints Erik Friis Mondorf as Country Manager in Japan

Editor / Provider: Milestone Systems | Updated: 2/18/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Milestone Systems, the open platform company in IP video management software (VMS), announces the appointment of Erik Friis Mondorf as the company's Country Manager for Japan.

Erik Friis Mondorf is a permanent resident of Japan after living there for 17 years and is a certified Japanese speaker. He has supported Milestone Systems since before the Danish company's CEO Lars Thinggaard visited Japan to inaugurate the burgeoning partnership with JVC, who launched a Network Video Recorder (NVR) pre-installed with Milestone video management software.

“With 127 million people, Japan is also one of the world's largest markets for video surveillance equipment, in the company of China, the US, UK, Canada, Russia and Germany, according to market results for 2013. The IP video surveillance market growth in Japan is expected to be more than 20% per year over the next 3 years and we know that Erik Friis Mondorf is our man in Japan to help Milestone's role in that journey,” states Eric Fullerton, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer for Milestone Systems. “Longer term, the 2020 Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo may drive some big projects, too, similar to what the security industry has experienced in the UK and Brazil with high-profile events of the same stature.”

“Besides working closely with Milestone distributors and system resellers, I also have an important task supporting existing Manufacturer Alliance Partners (MAPs) such as Canon, JVC Kenwood, OPTEX, Panasonic, Sony and Toshiba Teli. There is exciting potential to develop new MAP relationships, as well. Japan has many high-quality hardware manufacturers!” remarks Erik Friis Mondorf. “The Milestone open platform ensures that customers have the freedom to choose which hardware brands and models they want to manage with our video surveillance software, so we have very tight collaborations with the device manufacturers.”

Mondorf continues: “Milestone has a very comprehensive and versatile product range but Japanese customers often require customization. Much can be achieved using the Milestone configuration and rules functionalities in Xprotect Corporate and the free Milestone Integration Platform Software Development Kit, which enables integrations for XProtect Express and up. In order to accommodate the very specific needs of our Japanese customers, tailoring will be a greater focus area from now on and offered either through collaboration with local partners or provided by Milestone Custom Development.”

To support Milestone's strong commitment to the Japanese partners and customers, the company has moved into a new office located conveniently at the Pacific Century Place in Marunouchi, Tokyo.

Mondorf's business experience the last dozen years was honed with the Trade Council of Denmark/Royal Danish Embassy in Tokyo as Minister Counsellor - Technology Attache (ICT Sector Expert). He performed business opportunity identification, development and support of relations between leading Danish and Japanese ICT companies. On behalf of such Danish clients as Milestone Systems and others, Mondorf was responsible for software and hardware sales developments in the Japanese marketplace. He helped establish subsidiaries, expanding businesses while working on inter-governmental collaboration within the science and technology sectors.

Prior to that, Mondorf was a consultant for Accenture involved in the sales, design, development and test of software systems on large telecommunication projects in Denmark, Sweden, Belgium and Israel. He was also a Sales Engineer and Communication Manager in Tokyo for The East Asiatic Company and Yamato Protec Corporation. He got his career started working in production for IBM Denmark.

Erik Friis Mondorf has a Master of Economics in Business Strategy from Shinshu University, Japan, and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Production Management from the Technical University of Denmark. He also completed the International Marketing Program at INSEAD in France.

Security in higher education faces unique challenges

Security in higher education faces unique challenges

Editor / Provider: Eifeh Strom | Updated: 2/17/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Unlike K-12 campuses that are closed to the public, college and university campuses are open and spread out, often integrated into the local community. Because of this, perimeter detection is not plausible. “Colleges and universities present unique security challenges. You feel like you're protecting a small city, large corporation, research center, and creative think tank all at the same time,” said Harm Radstaak, MD of EMEA at HID Global. “In this environment, security means controlling physical access to buildings and events, plus logical access to computer networks and sensitive academic information. At the same time, operational costs must be kept under control while serving the diverse needs of a campus community.”

As an US consulting firm specializing in campus safety, security, and regulatory compliance for the education sector, Dan Pascale, CPP, Senior Director of Security & Emergency Services at Margolis Healy & Associates also pointed out the differing needs of colleges and universities based on location, particularly the difference between urban and rural campuses, in addition to the unique security challenges posed by colleges and universities. With tighter access control, tighter controls over visitor management, and more cooperation with local first responders, urban campuses need to address the more inherent dangers of urban surroundings. On the other hand, rural campuses feel safer and more secluded. As a result, rural campuses often do not feel the need to fortify with extra security measures. Additionally, unlike urban campuses, emergency response and security officials are more likely to all come from the university itself due to their more independent campus environment.

Clearer Surveillance, Higher Security
The “2012 Living on Campus: Special Report on College Housing,” by CP&M published in June 2012 found that that 82 % of college residence halls in the U.S. already have external video surveillance cameras in place, while 72 % also have internal surveillance. Now, with features like WDR becoming basic requirements for areas such as building entrances and parking garages, other features like megapixel cameras, panoramic cameras, and video analytics are gaining popularity as prices become more affordable. With advanced network infrastructures, university campuses lend themselves to network surveillance systems. As such, IP-based systems have been implemented in universities worldwide.

Megapixel cameras provide clearer images, providing better security. Finding an appropriate video management system/software (VMS) and using video analytics to accompany recordings can further improve campus security by providing live monitoring, incident review, etc. “Universities in particular can benefit from user-friendly video management interfaces, as various departments may require access to certain video data,” said Kim Loy, VP of Global Marketing and Chief Product Officer at DVTEL. Being able to provide real-time views of remote locations as well as forensic evidence in case of an incident are other reasons a VMS is valuable to a university campus, according to Mike Scirica, VP of Marketing and Sales at WavestoreUSA.

The need for better video quality to capture facial recognition was what drove George Mason University in Virginia, U.S. to go for an IP-based surveillance system. The school opted to deploy dome and panoramic megapixel cameras from Arecont Vision, ranging from 1.8 megapixels to 8 megapixels, in athletic facilities, academic buildings, and parking garages, with plans to extend installation to residence halls. The camera images are fed to a local network video recorder from ExacqVision. School officials note the better forensic capabilities and flexibility to recover data as some of the major benefits of using megapixel cameras. Furthermore, lower bandwidth and storage requirements, along with the need for fewer cameras to cover larger spaces, helped the school reduce costs.

Scirica also noted an increased demand for hemispheric, fish-eye, and 360-degree cameras. “With these devices, one camera can replace up to four traditional surveillance cameras and when used with dewarping software, users gain a new level of situational awareness than previously possible.” Dewarping software comes built-in to some of WavestoreUSA's VMSs, allowing users to record the original images while simultaneously displaying the dewarped images. The software also allows users to manage digital PTZ controls without the need of third-party SDK integration. “The dewarping feature…helps schools get more functionality out of the system and, consequently, achieve enhanced awareness of their security environment,” added Scirica.

Work Most Often Undertaken when College Renovate Buildings*

(% based on 616 projects)

HVAC

40.2%

Electric Overhaul

32.3%

Plumbing

27.6%

Lighting

27.3%

Flooring/Carpeting

25.7%

Fire Alarms

20.1%

ADA Compliance

19.0%

Fiber Optics/Cable

15.6%

Storage

14.5%

Security Equipment

12.9%

LANs

12.0%

Tile

12.0%

Lavatories

11.9%

WANs

11.9%

Controls

11.2%

Roofing

10.1%

*Retrofit undertaken in at least 10 percent of projects

Source: College Planning & Management

Milestone gathers international  companies to discuss video technology

Milestone gathers international companies to discuss video technology

Editor / Provider: Milestone Systems | Updated: 2/14/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Milestone Systems, the open platform company in IP video management software (VMS), has just held its 9th annual MIPS partner conference in the Americas, on its 16th birthday. The Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, was the location for this year's confluence of 350 video surveillance professionals. Security equipment manufacturers, distributors, channel partners and integrated solution partners gathered to learn, share and brainstorm about the latest in video technology.

Milestone Systems CEO Lars Thinggaard opened the event, stating: “Video enabling is happening now and becoming mission critical for value-added purposes in all vertical sectors, as a tool for daily business. It is being used for more than just security as integrations with analytics, biometrics, RFID and all kinds of business metadata are being incorporated into operations to realize innovative new efficiencies and more strategic approaches. This is something Milestone defined years ago in our mission and vision. With our international ecosystem of partners, we are well positioned to take advantage of this major business opportunity.”

Eric Fullerton, Milestone Systems Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, spoke on the topic Why Compromise? “Open platform IP video fosters deeper integrations that bring more value than any one company could do alone, and our ecosystem proves this concept. The scalability and flexibility appreciate over time - compared to proprietary systems that depreciate and require ‘forklift' upgrades to replace entire systems rather than building on a future-proof foundation. With Milestone there is no need to compromise.”

Top camera manufacturers revealed their perspectives. The first speaker was Samsung Techwin CEO Cheol Kyo Kim, who related a vision for ‘CHANGE'. His name, which means ‘Golden Bridge', describes the spirit of his leadership to help drive change in his organization, including a realignment and connection with new partners such as Milestone Systems. He also talked about bridging the market needs of those moving from analog to IP video technology, highlighting the increasing importance of video analytics, HD efficiencies, mobile access and encryption. He stated that open platform architecture enables integrations that create new markets.

Also presenting were Executive VP Bernhard Schuster from Bosch and Axis Communications Business Development Manager for Access Control, Johan Lembre. A camera panel discussion with these companies on the topic of future trends like the cloud and edge recording included Arecont Vision, Samsung Techwin and Sony, as well.

The MIPS Technology Showcase highlighted 48 examples of interoperability with the Milestone open platform from Manufacturer Alliance Partners and Solution Partners in every facet of security implementations available today: video analytics and synopsis, access control, storage, laser scanners, geospatial positioning, network management, command center display walls, and more.

Access control integration with VMS came into particular focus: video enabling physical security solutions is more cost efficient than operating separate systems. 8 Milestone Solution Partners were showing integrated access control solutions in the Technology Showcase. These solutions are based on the Milestone Integration Platform Software Development Kit (MIP SDK) that enables developers to easily create interoperable applications using the full power of Milestone's open platform – and in multiple ways. A 2 day training course in the newest version of the Milestone SDK for interested partners took place after the conference.

Video enabling access control was also the theme of another panel discussion, with participants from Axis, Isonas, Keyscan and Open Options. They looked at the advantages of easy IP-based access control integrations with VMS and optimal functions from both the end user and technical perspectives, defining multiple benefits for both customers and installing channel partners.

An extremely lively storage debate weighed the best options for handling the growing needs of video and big data – and it was clear that these can have very different requirements when it comes to the hardware for storing the evidence, sometimes needed long after an occurrence. RAID and direct-attached setups did not seem to win the battle for video data, but big or small installations do have different needs. As Dick Cecchini of Seneca Data pointed out: “Do you need a Ferrari just to go get milk and bread?” Other panelist companies waging the alternatives in this area of expertise included EMC Isilon, Hewlett Packard, IBM, and Veracity.

Exacq Technologies safeguards Ridley College campus

Exacq Technologies safeguards Ridley College campus

Editor / Provider: Exacq Technologies | Updated: 2/13/2014 | Article type: Education

Ridley College is Ontario's largest co-educational, boarding school. Since 1889, Ridley College has prepared students for university. The school currently has an enrollment of more than 600 students from 35 countries.

Ridley College physical plant personnel approached Bulldog Security to find a video surveillance solution for their boarding school. They wanted an open architecture system that would allow them to utilize their existing analog cameras and also integrate with their existing Keyscan access system. In addition to a high functioning, cost-effective system, Ridley College staff members desired a system that would create a balance between a high level of security and a positive living and educational environment.

After evaluating the needs and current system, Bulldog Fire and Security recommended they deploy exacqVision hybrid servers, the exacqVision Enterprise video management system (VMS) software and add new Arecont Vision and Axis IP cameras to cover high traffic, critical areas on campus.

Installing 11 exacqVision A-Series hybrid servers gave Ridley College the opportunity to grow and migrate their surveillance system. The exacqVision A-Series hybrid server enabled the college to utilize their present infrastructure and analog cameras while also adding new IP cameras to the system. The hard drive scalability was another benefit. With the exacqVision hybrid server, Bulldog staff members can easily change a hard drive if necessary.

Ridley College has 10 security staff members who use the exacqVision Enterprise VMS software. Each day when their shift begins, the security staff pulls up the exacqVision software to check if all cameras are online and the surveillance system is operating properly. With exacqVision Enterprise, they can quickly glance through the list of cameras from all of their system simultaneously and see which ones are offline. Since Ridley College has more than 140 cameras on their system, they needed an easy way to monitor cameras.

The mapping functionality available in the exacqVision Enterprise software allows security staff to quickly view video from any camera on the system that has motion or a current alarm. The camera icon turns blue for motion and red for alarm on the map. By clicking the camera icon, security staff can instantly see the actions causing motion or the alarm on the video.

Another compelling benefit about implementing the exacqVision system was the integration with Ridley College's current keyscan access control system. Staff monitors every door that has Keyscan access to ensure only the appropriate people are entering the proper buildings. The exacqVision integration with the Keyscan access control system has the ability to show video of the person and access control information within the video.

Additionally, the Technical Administrator and Physical Plant department personnel have access to use the exacqVision client on their computers. Since the exacqVision client operates on Mac as well as Windows, everyone at the college is able to have access to the system at any time. The users all have various technical levels and each user was able to comfortably implement the use of the exacqVision system into their day-to-day operations. “With the wide range of users we have, I was impressed with how easily everyone picked up the system and could capture video clips with ease,” said Julia Bertollo, Director of the Physical Plant at Ridley College.

The house masters rely on the client software as a tool to improve their students' behavior and offer the best education possible. In the event there is an issue of theft, concern or bullying reported on campus, the housemaster is able to access exacqVision video as a tool to further investigate the situation. House masters review the video and utilize the information to provide students with the opportunity to make better choices or in some instances to discipline their students. 
 

 

In one situation, the house masters used the exacqVision client to review damage to a field and zoom in to determine who was involved. “Since we've installed the exacqVision system, we've been able to recoup minimally the loss of the damage we've incurred,” said Julia Bertollo. “Over many years of broken windows and property damage, the return on investment has been thousands of dollars.” The Ridley Security Vehicle is equipped with an iPad for mobile use of the exacqVision video management system via the free Exacq Mobile app. This provides an easy way for security staff members to monitor the campus while making their rounds.

“The exacqVision system provides a sense of confidence, a sense of security and a sense of protection. We can view the entire campus from anywhere in our security vehicles, which is spectacular. Since we've installed the exacqVision system, we've been able to recoup minimally the loss of the damage we've incurred.” Julia Bertollo Director of the Physical Plant Ridley College

Exacq Introduces New S-Series Enterprise NVR

Exacq Introduces New S-Series Enterprise NVR

Editor / Provider: Exacq Technologies | Updated: 2/6/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Networked Video Storage for exacqVision Recorders
The new S-Series Enterprise line of networked video storage servers from Exacq Technologies allows extended storage and archived storage to any exacqVision server running the exacqVision Professional or Enterprise Video Management System (VMS). In addition, S-Series Enterprise servers can be used to archive video from exacqVision Edge IP cameras. ExacqVision Edge is a full-featured VMS that runs directly on compatible IP cameras.

Systems running exacqVision Professional and Enterprise can take full advantage of the S-Series for both extended storage and archiving. Users of the exacqVision Enterprise VMS will be able to utilize a simplified setup process ideal for multi-server installations.
* Archive video and audio to the S-Series with instant search capability
* Extend exacqVision storage without the need for additional video recorders
* Unified VMS solution allows you to setup and access video servers and storage servers from a single client
* Expandable storage and added reliability with up to 80TB of enterprise-class hard drives utilizing RAID 5/6 and redundant power supplies

Tavcom selects IDIS for training courses in Dubai

Tavcom selects IDIS for training courses in Dubai

Editor / Provider: IDIS | Updated: 2/6/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Tavcom, an international supplier of security systems training courses, is using IDIS DirectIP full-HD video surveillance solutions to help train thousands of security professionals at the International Centre for Security and Safety (ICSS) at Dubai Police Academy, in Dubai.

In partnership with the ICSS and the Department of Protective Systems of Dubai Police (DPS), Tavcom tutors are currently using DirectIP solutions to conduct Foundation and Advanced CCTV courses that enhance the skills of local engineers. These courses enable the DPS to issue licences to those wishing to install and maintain electronic security systems in accordance with international codes and good practices.

Along with equipment from other leading manufacturers, Tavcom are utilising DirectIP solutions comprising 32 one-megapixel and two-megapixel IP dome and box cameras, eight 16-channel network video recorders (NVRs) and IDIS Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) switches, all operated and managed through the intuitive IDIS Centre? bundled video management software (VMS).

“We are pleased to extend our partnership with IDIS into Dubai to cover this important training imitative, and help Tavcom raise standards with respect to CCTV in the United Arab Emirates. The DirectIP solution will help our students understand how to implement, operate and maintain fit-for-purpose surveillance systems,” said Mike Tennent, Managing Director of Tavcom.

Dr Albert Ryu, Vice President at IDIS, commented, “By providing the DirectIP? range to Tavcom in Middle East, we ensure our integration partners and end user customers have a local training partner and, in addition, start to build an infrastructure that supports the launch of DirectIP at Intersec as well as part of our growth strategy for the region.”

Milestone systems elavates Bosch Security systems to Elite Partner Status

Milestone systems elavates Bosch Security systems to Elite Partner Status

Editor / Provider: Milestone Systems | Updated: 2/5/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Milestone Systems, the open platform company in IP video management software (VMS), has elevated Bosch Security Systems to the status of Elite Partner in the Milestone Alliance Partner program (MAP). This is a significant tightening of an already close and long-standing relationship, since Bosch Security Systems is one of few partners in the world to achieve this status.

Christian Bohn, Milestone Systems VP Corporate Marketing & Alliances, says: “Our Elite program is the highest partnership level we offer in the MAP program. It represents a partner's total commitment to achieving maximum return on investment for its customers through superior camera technology and a focus on long-term customer satisfaction with camera solutions integrated to Milestone products. Milestone Channel Partners and customers now gain the advantage of the deepest relationship between Bosch Security Systems and Milestone.”

The relationship between Bosch Security Systems and Milestone Systems has been ongoing for several years. Both companies have put in a dedicated and targeted effort to elevate the mutual technical and commercial engagement to a new level, resulting in the Elite MAP partner status for Bosch Security Systems.

Going forward, Milestone Systems will provide even deeper integration for Bosch Security Systems' cameras with support from the award-winning XProtect family of open platform VMS.

The synergies between Milestone's open platform software and Bosch Security Systems' cameras enable partners and customers to explore the intelligence and efficiency of Bosch Security Systems' camera solutions and Milestone XProtect market-leading VMS. This gives Milestone and Bosch Security Systems a further boost in shaping and driving the industry on a tactical level by better supporting the channel partners, who create innovative, easy-to-use and business-enabling video solutions to customers worldwide.

Rudolf Spielberger, Head of the Bosch Integration Partner Program, says: “Our video technology focus is to deliver superior intelligence and analytics, highest quality of video images, most efficient data rates, with lowest storage requirements. And now, through this strengthened partnership with Milestone, we will bring even more unique and relevant cutting-edge features to customers - offering them new integration possibilities.”

IDIS safeguards luxury hotel resort in Phuket

IDIS safeguards luxury hotel resort in Phuket

Editor / Provider: IDIS | Updated: 2/5/2014 | Article type: Security 50

A luxury hotel and resort group has completed the first installation of IDIS DirectIP full-HD surveillance at its new flagship resort in Phuket, Thailand, as part of a wider DirectIP rollout program. Commissioned ahead of the resort's inauguration in December, the project is the first of 12 DirectIP solutions to be installed across the group's new properties in Asia and North America.

Ahead of opening the Phuket resort, the group's security team needed to implement a modern and high performance HD video surveillance solution that would be unobtrusive and match the resorts luxury brand and image. The solution needed to ensure the safety and security of the resort's guests and staff, while the implementation needed to meet extremely tight deadlines ahead of the inauguration in late 2013.

In November 2013, the hotel group turned to their trusted systems integrator, Rutledge Integrated Systems (RIS). RIS worked in partnership with CCTV specialist's iCenter HD to review a number of server-based surveillance solutions. After thorough evaluation, the team selected DirectIP, based on its innovative high performance combined with its capability for fast and simple implementation, affordable pricing and bundled IDIS Center video management, requiring no ongoing licence fees.

The complete end-to-end DirectIP solution, comprising 45 internal and external dome cameras and 2 32-channel network video recorders (NVRs), is managed through the simple and intuitive IDIS Center video management software (VMS). The IP-enabled and vandal proof range of 1 and 2 megapixel cameras, also feature pan-tilt-zoom, low light and audio functionality. 18 terabytes of storage provided by the DirectIP NVRs support the resort's requirement to store 31 days of footage all in full-HD.

The user-friendly solution operates just like a traditional analogue DVR-based system with all the necessary accessories supplied by IDIS to build a complete full-HD surveillance solution.

Andy Rutlege, Managing Director at RIS, said, “The luxury resort group are an existing prestigious and important customer for RIS, and we were determined to complete the project ahead of the inauguration. As an established systems integrator, having completed a large number of IP CCTV projects, DirectIP offered us a previously unseen level of seamless integration. To ensure we delivered the project on time and on budget, iCenter HD distributed the kit in record time to Thailand and remained incredibly responsive throughout the project.

“We are currently rolling out two similar DirectIP solutions in the Maldives and Miami with another nine scheduled over the next few months. We intend to use IDIS DirectIP combined with the services offered by iCenter HD for these and many projects in the future.”

Luxury hotel resort completes installation of IDIS HD Surveillance

Luxury hotel resort completes installation of IDIS HD Surveillance

Editor / Provider: IDIS | Updated: 1/27/2014 | Article type: Security 50

A luxury hotel and resort group has completed the first installation of IDIS DirectIP full-HD surveillance at its new flagship resort in Phuket, Thailand, as part of a wider DirectIP rollout programme. Commissioned ahead of the resort's inauguration in December, the project is the first of twelve DirectIP solutions to be installed across the group's new properties in Asia and North America.

Ahead of opening the Phuket resort, the group's security team needed to implement a modern and high performance HD video surveillance solution that would be unobtrusive and match the resorts luxury brand and image. The solution needed to ensure the safety and security of the resort's guests and staff, while the implementation needed to meet extremely tight deadlines ahead of the inauguration in late 2013.

In November 2013, the hotel group turned to their trusted systems integrator, Rutledge Integrated Systems (RIS). RIS worked in partnership with CCTV specialist's iCenter HD to review a number of server-based surveillance solutions. After thorough evaluation, the team selected DirectIP, based on its innovative high performance combined with its capability for fast and simple implementation, affordable pricing and bundled IDIS Center video management, requiring no ongoing licence fees.

The complete end-to-end DirectIP solution, comprising 45 internal and external dome cameras and two 32-channel network video recorders (NVRs), is managed through the simple and intuitive IDIS Center video management software (VMS). The IP-enabled and vandal proof range of one and two megapixel cameras, also feature pan-tilt-zoom, low light and audio functionality. Eighteen terabytes of storage provided by the DirectIP NVRs support the resort's requirement to store 31 days of footage all in full-HD.

The user-friendly solution operates just like a traditional analogue DVR-based system with all the necessary accessories supplied by IDIS to build a complete full-HD surveillance solution.

Andy Rutlege, Managing Director at RIS, said, “The luxury resort group are an existing prestigious and important customer for RIS, and we were determined to complete the project ahead of the inauguration. As an established systems integrator, having completed a large number of IP CCTV projects, DirectIP offered us a previously unseen level of seamless integration. To ensure we delivered the project on time and on budget, iCenter HD distributed the kit in record time to Thailand and remained incredibly responsive throughout the project.

“We are currently rolling out two similar DirectIP solutions in the Maldives and Miami with another nine scheduled over the next few months. We intend to use IDIS DirectIP combined with the services offered by iCenter HD for these and many projects in the future.”

Axis upgrades IP cams system for Alko in Finland

Axis upgrades IP cams system for Alko in Finland

Editor / Provider: Axis Communications | Updated: 1/27/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Alko is a Finnish state-owned company with a monopoly on selling alcoholic products stronger than 4.7%. It is managed and supervised by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and headquartered in Vanda. Alko was formed in 1932 and has 350 stores and 103sales agents in Finland.

A year ago, it was decided that Alko would switch from an analog surveillance system to an IP-based system in all its stores.

Solution
Axis partner Securitas was chosen as the total solution provider, responsible for cameras, alarm center, cable installation and security guard service. AXIS M3004-V Network Cameras with Axis' Corridor Format function is used in the stores. AXIS P1354 Network Camera with Lightfinder technology was installed in the entrances, and AXIS M3024-LVE, with integrated IR lighting, was installed in the storerooms.

All the cameras are adapted to Alko's need for secure, professional installation. Mirasys VMS Enterprise software is used for recording and display in the store, while ASAN Security Technologies supplies the software used at the Securitas alarm center in Helsinki.

Result
Alko's stores have 10-25 cameras, depending on the size of the store. 50 stores have already had a more modern new infrastructure and an IP-based surveillance system installed. The remaining stores are next. The work is part of Alko's new profile on the Finnish market. The objective is for all of Alko's stores to be safe and secure for both their staff and their customers. Axis cameras deliver extraordinarily good picture quality and the remote link to the Securitas alarm center means that action can be taken immediately in the event of an alarm.

Benefits of IP camera systems
The Finnish company Alko began to review its camera surveillance system a few years ago and decided to switch to IP cameras. Axis partner Securitas was tasked with supplying a total solution, including upgrading the infrastructure, camera installation, the access control system, alarm center service and security guard service.

Axis network cameras are now being installed in all of Alko's 350 stores and are linked to Securitas's alarm center in Helsinki. “An IP-based camera system offers so many benefits. The images are displayed live in Securitas's alarm center and the staff there can see what is happening in any store, wherever it is in the country. We get the right help at the right time,” says Kyosti Lehto, Shop design Manager at Alko.

Surveillance of long corridors
Alko's stores have long corridors lined with shelves. The challenge is to cover a long corridor and have a good picture all along it without needing to use a large number of cameras. Axis's innovative Corridor Format produces a vertically-oriented image that is perfect for monitoring narrow corridors. The images delivered are in 9:16 aspect ratio and HDTV quality. This can be achieved by rotating the unique 3-axis lens through 90 degrees when the camera is installed. The image is then rotated back through 90 degrees via the camera's configuration interface.

“Different stores have different needs. Sometimes we need a wide-angle camera image and sometimes corridor format has to be used. Axis' cameras are flexible and we do not need to use more than 3 different models to meet all of our needs,” says Rene Piiparinen, Project Manager at Securitas Alert Services Oy.

Light quality and identification
Light quality in a store environment often varies. The light quality at entrances and exits can cause problems for the cameras and this is also where it is important to be able to identify people. In storerooms, on the other hand, there is sometimes hardly any light at all.

AXIS M3024-LVE has a built-in IR lens that makes it possible to deliver quality images in complete darkness. These cameras are used for store surveillance at night and to save energy as they remove the need for additional lighting. AXIS P1354 Network Cameras are installed in the store entrances. Axis' unique Lightfinder technology is integrated in these cameras, which means that the cameras are able to deliver color images even in extremely poor light conditions. This is extremely important when it comes to identifying people.

Time is money
It takes roughly 2 days for 2 Securitas employees to install everything in an Alko store. It has to be done fast and the system has to be reliable. “It is important that the store does not have to be closed for a long time and that our installation engineers do not encounter problems,” says Rene Piiparinen. The cameras are delivered with preset focus, which makes them easy to install.

Adjustments can then be made remotely. The cameras used at Alko also have a pixel counter function, which makes it easy for the installation engineer to check that the camera installation meets the customer's requirements for image resolution, for example to identify the faces of people passing through a doorway. This facilitates quick installation and saves both the installation engineer and the customer money. “The cameras' integrated functions make it very easy for us to install them and their unique picture quality is another reason why we like working with Axis cameras,” says Rene Piiparinen.

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