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Surveillance trends and the impact on storage

Surveillance trends and the impact on storage

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by Western Digital | Updated: 5/28/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

The surveillance industry is transitioning from analog to digital at a rapid pace. These changes are having a direct effect on how video storage is chosen and managed.

Increasing detail, resolution and quality
In order to better understand and identify activities, events and people, recording quality has increased. 4K offers four times the resolution of 1080p HDTV. This added resolution can drastically improve the technology's ability to identify crucial details in the camera's field of view such as a person or a vehicle's license plate. Implementing 4K video in a security camera system requires more storage capacity which is of better quality.

Increasing Frame Rates
Capturing and tracking details in real time is crucial in a surveillance solution. From a frame every few seconds, to 5fps or 10fps, is now 24fps, 30fps and more. Although codec efficiency helps alleviate the impact of increases, each step up requires additional storage capacity.

Always on surveillance
Security never rests, so surveillance needs to be ready to record the instant something happens. Constant recording in sensitive areas and motion detection needs fast and reliable storage.

Audio recording and fidelity
Audio is an increasingly important element for video surveillance. Cameras are now even closer to the action – in locations such as major retailers or warehouses it's useful to make out conversations or sounds surrounding events, to identify people, vehicles and the environment. All of these things can be analysed even when out of camera shot. The storage system needs to accurately capture sounds and in sync with video.

The increase of interactivity
The increasing demands of recording video feeds needs to be balanced against the need to access and process historical data. Facial recognition, number plate recognition or object detection over time enable companies to recreate a journey or trace access or proximity to facilities. Multi-feed access, fast replay, slow-motion playback and seamless zoom and enhancement are required for analysis. A storage system that stutters can lead to long and unnecessary delays.

When every second counts in surveillance, reliability, dependency and the cost of operations require the best storage products for the solution. WD Purple and WD Purple NV are surveillance class hard drives designed for high temperatures, always-on, surveillance security systems to ensure reliability and quality video play back when people need it most. Available in up to 6TB capacities and with exclusive IntelliSeek technology, WD Purple drives calculate the optimum seek speeds which lowers power consumption, noise and vibration that can damage and cause desktop drives to wear out more quickly. These surveillance-class hard drives are also equipped with AllFrame technology which works with ATA streaming to reduce frame loss, improve playback and increase the number of drive bays which it supports. AllFrame reduces video interruptions that commonly occur when desktop hard drives are incorrectly used as storage in security systems. Missing frames and lost footage is a serious problem when an event occurs and surveillance footage needs to be retrieved. WD Purple with AllFrame provides the confidence companies should expect when it's time to play back and review critical surveillance footage.

Security 'all sewn up' for Royal College of Surgeons

Security 'all sewn up' for Royal College of Surgeons

Editor / Provider: Axis Communications | Updated: 5/28/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (College) is one of the oldest surgical corporations in the world.

Over 500 years old, it is an historic professional member’s organisation that pursues excellence and advancement in surgical and dental practices. The College is spread over a number of buildings around Hill Square and is home to the Surgeons’ Hall Museum s and Scotland’s oldest medical museum. In addition, the College boasts offices for a 150 staff, a modern surgical skills training facility and auditorium and even a four-star hotel providing accommodation for visitors and tourists.

With building refurbishment due to take place over a long period of time, a security system needed to be installed that was flexible and which included discreet cameras with excellent picture quality, whilst being aesthetically pleasing so as not to detract from the traditional make-up of the historic and Grade A listed buildings.

A state-of-the-art solution was developed, combining Axis network cameras with Milestone XProtect Professional software, as recommended by Arthur McKay. In order to effectively cover the numerous locations where refurbishment work was taking place, whilst providing secure coverage to hotel staff and guests, the initial surveillance set-up included 17 cameras, with the provision for a further 150 once the work is completed.

Atul Rajput, regional director, northern Europe at Axis Communications said: "This was a really exciting project and one that gave us the opportunity to work with such a prestigious institution and its beautiful, historic buildings. The solution featured covert Axis network cameras to ensure all buildings and corresponding outside spaces were covered, even in complete darkness"

The project included a series of AXIS M30007-PV Network Cameras. These five-megapixel fixed mini dome cameras were discreetly mounted on either walls or ceilings and provided four feeds of detailed, high-quality panoramic views. Chosen because of their flexibility, they could be re-positioned to move along as the refurbishment progressed with few time or fitting constraints.

The AXIS P3364-LVE was fitted to monitor the hotel and its exterior. This fixed dome network camera produced high-quality, low-noise video even in a completely dark environment. It integrated Axis’ unique Lightfinder technology which makes the camera extremely sensitive to light while maintaining colours. Lightfinder-enabled cameras were strategically positioned in the hotel’s reception area, main entrance and car park where ambient lighting was poor.

AXIS P1204 Network Cameras were also installed as they were discreet and covert and could be easily integrated into very limited spaces.

Atul added: "The Axis network cameras can be easily re-positioned to correspond with the movement of the works from building to building, producing evidential-quality footage, whilst maintaining the safety of staff and visitors. Advanced system integration is already on the horizon as the magnitude of the refurbishment grows across the campus"

The College has always been at the ‘cutting edge’ of surgical education, training and in setting standards both nationally and internationally. As adoption of any technology can provide challenges, it was imperative that system capabilities were discuss at length and understood.

Kenny Ryan, IT manager at Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburg, commented: "We have been very impressed with the flexibility of Axis cameras and how unobtrusive they are. They have been a great benefit during a time of great change for the campus"

Development works continue at the College and it is estimated that over 170 Axis cameras will eventually contribute to the safe and successful refurbishment of its iconic buildings.

Pelco by Schneider Electric releases Optera Panoramic Cameras featuring unique panomersive experience

Pelco by Schneider Electric releases Optera Panoramic Cameras featuring unique panomersive experience

Editor / Provider: Pelco by Schneider Electric | Updated: 5/27/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

Pelco by Schneider Electric announced the release of the new Optera panoramic cameras with SureVision 2.0 WDR imaging technology. Officials stated that the new Panomersive experience provides seamless situational awareness with blended panoramic views, creating a unique and effective panoramic immersive surveillance experience.

“While other multi-imager solutions can be disjointed with separate video streams that are sometimes out of order,” said Kevin Saldanha, Senior Product Manager, Pelco by Schneider Electric. “Optera cameras transparently integrate video across all sensors in the camera, presenting a seamless high-quality user experience. These cameras also allow users to zoom in to the scene for excellent image detail in multiple intuitive immersive views from a VMS. Optera cameras capture 12 megapixel video, at up to 12.5 frames per second at full resolution.”

Optera offers outstanding, industry-leading image quality with SureVision 2.0 technology delivering excellent low light performance and true Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) at the same time — all the time.

With superior WDR, anti-bloom technologies, 3D Noise filtering and advanced tone mapping, SureVision 2.0 enables the cameras to deliver outstanding image quality in very challenging lighting conditions. Pelco is releasing the Optera 180⁰ cameras now and plans to release the 270⁰ and 360⁰ models later this fall. All models include a camera and a mount (in-ceiling mount, surface mount, or pendant enclosure) that is ready to install. All models feature a robust, metal, tamper-resistant design, and carry an IK10 impact rating for vandal-resistance.

Additional Features:
Open and Integrated
Optera panoramic cameras are designed to seamlessly connect to the new Pelco VideoXpert VMS and Pelco Digital Sentry systems, as well as integrate with major partner Video Management Systems through the open Pelco API, the Panomersive SDK and through the ONVIF standard. Optera cameras enable customers to record everything in the scene at the VMS, and obtain panoramic and multiple immersive views, both live and retrospectively using client-side dewarping.

Built-In Video Analytics
Optera cameras include a full suite of eight Pelco Video Analytics, applied across a wide field of view. Pelco behaviors include Abandoned Object, Adaptive Motion Detection, Camera Sabotage, Directional Motion, Loitering Detection, Object Counting, Object Removal, and Stopped Vehicle.

Window Blanking
Optera cameras support up to 32 window blanks, appearing on screen as a solid gray window.

Convenient Power
Designed with Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+) to simplify planning, wiring, and installation, Optera cameras offer fast and easy installation.

VIVOTEK upgrades its central management software VAST to version 1.10

VIVOTEK upgrades its central management software VAST to version 1.10

Editor / Provider: VIVOTEK | Updated: 5/25/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Fulfilling its commitment to enhance the performance of VAST, VIVOTEK is pleased to announce the release of VAST Version 1.10. In this version, VIVOTEK introduces new advanced features to VAST users, specifically, Logical Tree and Standard VCA Event Integration.

VAST is VIVOTEK's self-developed professional video/central management software for managing IP surveillance products.

Designed with intuitive functions and features, VAST provides unlimited supports to cameras, servers and clients in a hierarchical system structure, efficiently and effectively monitoring, recording, playback, and event trigger management.

The new Logical Tree and Standard VCA Event Integration features in VAST Version 1.10 facilitate installers and system integrators to build robust surveillance systems with ease.

 Logical Tree: Previously, camera lists were only presented as non-hierarchical devices names. In Version 1.10, users can categorize camera lists based on personal requirements and preferences, enabling them to create hierarchical lists that increase the ease of accessing cameras at all sites.

 VIVOTEK On-camera VCA Event Integration: VIVOTEK has launched the self-developed video content analysis (VCA) application package, which includes three key functions: Field Detection, Line Crossing Detection, and Loitering Detection. In Version 1.10, the VCA package is fully integrated into the VAST platform. In addition to receiving standard VCA events, VAST can now directly show event rules in live view mode.

LILIN surveillance for high-risk banking environments

LILIN surveillance for high-risk banking environments

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by LILIN | Updated: 5/25/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Financial institutions and/or banks need dependable backup system. LILIN new NVR series (NVR1400/2400) with RAID storage solutions provide redundant recording and access to IP video data. RAID redundant storage function ensures video data is never lost in the event of a hard drive failure. LILIN 16-channel NVR supports up to 16 IP based cameras and megapixel recording resolution, along with 48Mbps recording capability. With full calendar search, you can search your video by selecting weeks/days so that you can search your video fast.

Teller windows, processing rooms, ATM's, parking lots, lobbies and common areas are all monitored by high quality video cameras for the safety of customers, employees, and staff. LILIN IP video surveillance systems with advanced video analytics such as Facial Recognition is helping to fight the problem of check fraud at banks by recording transaction data and capturing images of offenders.

Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) robberies, fraud, attacks, and vandalism are on the rise. Security for banks and ATMs can be a real challenge when faced with a multitude of threats including physical attacks and fraud. LILIN Covert series IP camera IPC0122 provides miniature IP video surveillance to enhance ATM operations and security.

LILIN S series IP cameras featuring 60fps high speed frame rate; they are great for the most demanding banking surveillance requirements. 60fps high frame rate ensure quick movements can be captured in more details.

Grundig's versatile EX-SDI hybrid DVR works with EX-SDI, HD-SDI, 960H and 760H camera technologies

Grundig's versatile EX-SDI hybrid DVR works with EX-SDI, HD-SDI, 960H and 760H camera technologies

Editor / Provider: Grundig Security | Updated: 5/25/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

Grundig has launched its new 16 channel EX-SDI (Extended Serial Digital Interface) hybrid DVR, the GRX-K4416A. The DVR records EX-SDI on all channels, but has the flexibility to record HD-SDI, 960H analogue and 760H analogue video streams simultaneously. CCTV systems using the DVR can include a combination of all coaxial-based video technologies, so existing and previously installed cameras can be re-used. The DVR will automatically configure each channel to suit individual camera video stream technologies.

EX-SDI technology, like HD-SDI, enables the transmission of HD digital video, in real time, over coaxial cable. Whereas HD-SDI has a 100m transmission limitation using RG59 coaxial cable, EX-SDI will transmit 330m.

This extends to 670m if the higher quality RG11 cable is used. Image quality is better than IP in live and similar to that of IP record mode. The DVR uses the simple, point-to-point installation method of analogue.

The new Grundig DVR provides comprehensive functionality for CCTV applications of all sizes and complexities. Its can be controlled using Grundig Control Center software, allowing cost-effective, EX-SDI, HD-SDI or analogue camera systems.

Grundig's Control Center software allows remote access to the DVRs for set up and configuration. It uses an Internet Explorer web browser for live viewing, playback, search, backup and remote configuration. Grundig's GD Viewer app also allows convenient viewing by iPhone or Android smartphones.

EX-SDI enables installers to offer customers a cost-effective, digital upgrade to analogue systems, saving money by re-using the same coaxial cable infrastructure.

Music festival safety is coordinated with Milestone video

Music festival safety is coordinated with Milestone video

Editor / Provider: Milestone Systems | Updated: 5/25/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Milestone Systems open platform IP video management software (VMS) is a core technology in the mobile event incident command unit developed by Unified Command as a temporary security operation center (SOC) that moves from one event location to another.

“Milestone VMS technology helps us unify all the facets of complex events into one centralized command. That coordination enables us to respond more effectively to emergencies. We're able to quickly dispatch the right people to the right places, which makes events safer for everyone,” says Chris Gandy, Chief Technology Officer, Unified Command.

The company hires local law enforcement, dispatch and emergency service personnel for 40–50 big events across the U.S. each year, such as the music festivals Hard Summer and Outside Lands, Coachella and Stagecoach. In 2013, Chris Gandy joined as chief technology officer. With nearly two decades of experience as a police technical detective in a major metropolitan police force, he has worked with video surveillance for years.

Freedom of Choice in the Components
Gandy's list of must-haves for a VMS solution was extensive, from overall video stability to ease-of-use, to robust mapping capabilities – all based on a truly open platform. Milestone XProtect®, his ultimate choice, met all requirements and exceeded most.

“A lot of manufacturers force you to buy their hardware, but with Milestone I use a Dell server, my own networking equipment and whatever kinds of cameras I want. I don't like being locked into a certain make and model of camera or a specific brand of hardware: I make my own choices.”

Fast Deployment and Response
Gandy reports that the ease and speed for Milestone to be deployed makes it an attractive solution, especially in an industry where speed matters. “We go into a field in the middle of nowhere, put up cameras and the next thing you know we've got eyes on more than 100 acres. For the people operating the system, it's very user friendly and easy to learn.”

The primary benefit is better overall response to incidents that happen at events: overflowing trash cans, lost items, clogged entry and exit points, unruly and potentially dangerous crowds and serious medical emergencies.

“By putting everyone in the same virtual room through access to a top quality video solution, everyone involved in the event's success is able to read off the same page. Without this way to coordinate, you would have all different facets operating separately,” Gandy says. “The Milestone VMS helps put the right people into the right places. Since we can all communicate with each other directly, we respond more quickly.”

For example, when a call comes in that someone has passed out, the dispatcher in the command center uses the call's point of origin to identify the closest camera and directs that camera to scan the crowd to the person needing attention. The dispatcher gives the exact location to the medics - which is critical when it's dark out, strobe lights are running and there are no cross streets for reference points. As a result, the medics quickly get assistance to those in need, not wasting precious time searching a crowd of thousands.

The incident command team proactively scans video for potential problems. When people appear to have consumed too much alcohol or other substances, or crowds gather near perimeters perhaps preparing for “fence crashing”, Unified Command operators use the camera coordinates to direct security staff to the exact location, fast.

Efficient Ease of Use, Interactive Maps Give Pinpoint Precision
The complexities of managing incident response for changing event venues leave little – if any – time for training. Gandy reports that the Milestone VMS is very easy to use. “We can bring up multiple customized views for display on computers, mobile devices and the XProtect Smart Walls. It's a big issue with a lot of security systems to know where the cameras are to get the live view quickly, but the interactive map in Milestone takes care of that: operators just click on an icon and a separate window pops up with the camera feed of that view.”

Gandy begins each event by putting a location diagram into the software and placing an icon for each camera on the computer-generated map. This eliminates the need for staff to look up confusing camera identifiers like North Parking Lot Facing South, which means nothing to dispatchers who don't work in the area every day.

Mobile and Wireless for Situational Awareness
Unified Command takes advantage of mobile and wireless capabilities to coordinate among the locations within an event. Using the Video Push feature in the Milestone Mobile client, cell phone cameras can record video at points not covered by the network cameras and stream (‘push') those images back to the command center via wi-fi. Milestone Mobile also streams video to iPads that Unified Command assigns to event managers, enabling ‘views of the entire festival they can carry in their back pocket'.

Gandy says the Milestone wireless support makes it possible to set up the command center physically removed from the heart of the event. This ensures that staff can focus on coordinating services rather than protecting themselves during an emergency. “Anyone we have connected to the event's security network can easily and quickly see exactly what's going on anywhere without having to get to the command center,” he says. “That frees all of us up to focus on resolving whatever the situation may be.”

FLIR presents affordable TCX Security Camera

FLIR presents affordable TCX Security Camera

Editor / Provider: FLIR | Updated: 5/22/2015 | Article type: Security 50

FLIR Systems will presents its new TCX Thermal Mini Bullet camera at this year's IFSEC exhibition in London. The FLIR TCX security camera combines 24/7 high-contrast thermal video and high-performance built-in video motion detection with a level of affordability that the industry has never seen. FLIR TCX is powered by the company's revolutionary Lepton camera core.

New TCX Thermal Mini Bullet
FLIR TCX outperforms visible-light security cameras by providing the advantage of seeing clearly in complete darkness without any illumination, in bright sunlight, through smoke, dust or even light fog – enhancing accuracy and dramatically reducing false alarms. Flexible for integration in any environment, indoors and out – even in temperatures as cold as -40°C – FLIR TCX is ideal for ensuring safety of public buildings, industrial facilities, large and small businesses, or residential areas. Featuring both intrusion detection and accurate video alarm verification in one device, FLIR TCX supports lighting control, people counting, retail traffic flow, and queue management, and enables a whole range of other applications including:
* Intrusion/presence detection: vehicles, people, animals
* Video alarm verification
* Night vision – 24/7 CCTV
* Residential security
* Short-range perimeter security
* Safety and fire assessment

“Whether you're a small business looking for intrusion detection and video alarm verification, a retail company looking for a solution to monitor customer traffic flow, or a small business trying to prevent break-ins, the TCX Mini Bullet is an extremely accurate solution,” said John Distelzweig, Vice President and General Manager of FLIR Security. “As a leader in thermal security, FLIR is advancing the technology in such a way that makes thermal cameras accessible for anyone.”

Full line of security products
At IFSEC 2015, FLIR will also present a number of innovations, which the company has recently added to its full line of security cameras, recorders, and software. One of these innovations is the FLIR FX, a compact, versatile Wi-Fi-enabled HD camera that integrates unique cloud-based analytics and flexible application-specific mounts. FLIR FX optional accessory mounts facilitate use in an array of applications including in-home monitoring, outdoor security, sports activity and vehicle dash-camera recording. Users can stream live video to a smartphone or tablet, record video to a Micro-SD card, review events that are recorded utilizing motion detection algorithms, communicate with two-way audio, and quickly review hours of video with FLIR's Cloud-based RapidRecap™ capability.

Defining a well-integrated access control management system

Defining a well-integrated access control management system

Editor / Provider: William Pao, a&s International | Updated: 5/21/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

A major trend in access control is its migration to IP. In fact, IP-based access control is now seen in most new buildings and projects around the world. According to IHS, IP-based access control accounted for nearly 60 percent of the market in 2014 due to a ramp-up of new constructions, in the process contributing to a 7.6 percent growth of the industry. As for this year, IHS's initial estimates put growth at 8.8 percent. In terms of regions, growth in North America may drop a bit, while APAC and Latin America are expected to pick up steam, according to a previous interview with Tyco Security Products.

Central to IP-based access control is the access control management system, which, when integrated with other subsystems, can do much more than merely granting or denying access to users as they walk to a building.

What Defines Well-Integrated
So what makes an access control management system well-integrated? There are several criteria, for example the types of subsystems that can be integrated, the ability to have them interoperate smoothly, and the flexibility the system provides when it comes to supporting the types of hardware and credential. Finally, open standards are key to ensure interoperability, future scalability, and cost reduction.

Systems that Can Be Integrated
One factor to determine whether an access control management system is well-integrated is its ability to integrate with different types of subsystems. “There are several subsystems that can be integrated into the access control management software, which goes beyond granting or denying access to users. Elevator, parking, meal vending, CCTV, and student ID cards are all examples of the subsystems that can be integrated,” said Tom Su, Sales Manager at Hundure Technology.

Besides the aforementioned, today's access control management systems can also integrate with HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) as well as telecommunications systems to save energy and provide more convenience for users.

“If the CEO presents his credential to the outside of the building, they will understand what areas of the building that CEO will get through to get to his office. There is no need to illuminate the entire building,” said Brad Aikin, Business Leader of Electronic Locks at Allegion. “The same thing extends over to telecommunications. When someone comes in, the system will transfer their out-of-office e-mail to in-office. It can not only adjust their e-mail status but also switch the forwarding to their desktop versus their mobile phone.”

 

Smooth Interoperability

A well-integrated access control management system can also allow the different subsystems to operate seamlessly at the same time, even to the point where “the customer cannot distinguish
the boundary between the systems,”
- said Daniel McVeagh, Senior PM at Gallagher.


“The best integrations which achieve this tend to exhibit the following traits: a comprehensive set of application programming interfaces (APIs), good integration documentation that allows the integrator to achieve a seamless and bug-free integration, a comprehensive testing process ensuring bugs and weaknesses in the integration are found before they reach the customer, and a track record of successful previous integrations.”

 

Compatibility With Different Hardware
A good access control management system should also be able to support different types of hardware and credentials.

“I think it is important for integrative systems that they can handle and integrate different types of hardware within the same system to be called well-integrated. For example, it should be able to handle different types of door controllers, as well as different readers and credential technologies to be truly integrative and offer the benefits of such an open system to the end-user/system owner,” said Ola Jönsson, Business Development Manager at Axis Communications.

“Depending on what region of the world or what vertical market, there are certain credentials that are prominent,” said Aikin. “I think it's very critical that the access control system be flexible to accommodate the credentials that the user has today, and also flexible enough to provide a migration path to what credentials will be in the future, whether that is near-field communication, or Bluetooth low energy.”

Mobile authentication by way of NFC or Bluetooth low energy can be supported by today's access control management systems as well. “The most basic approach is to replicate existing card-based access control principles: the phone communicates identity information to a reader, which passes it to the existing access control system,” said Eric Chiu, Segment Director of Physical Access for APAC at HID Global.

 

Openness Is Key
To enable this kind of integration, open standards are critical, ensuring that interoperability between disparate systems is achievable.

“Open protocols and agreed standards such as ONVIF have made it possible to integrate previously disparate systems and open up the possibilities of what a truly integrated security system can offer,” said Sarah Phillips, Product and Marketing Manager at TDSi. “Modern integrated access control systems offer a broad ability to work directly with other buildings control systems on this level rather than purely via hardware panels. For example the integration of intruder and fire detection systems directly into a centralized software platform gives greater situational control and automated responses to any issues.”

Openness, meanwhile, also ensures scalability, allowing users to add or integrate more systems into the access control management software, regardless of the brand. “Users also can simplify future infrastructure enhancements and modifications since they can invest in hardware platforms that are not tied to proprietary protocols and software,” said Chiu. “Basing solutions on an open architecture with standards-based APIs will enable customers to meet evolving requirements and future expansion needs while protecting the value of their overall investments.”

 

Access Control and Video Integration
Access control management systems integrated with videos is perhaps the most popular integration among users. Due to the increased situational awareness that they provide, such integrated solutions are seeing rising demands and applications, especially in areas that are more critical and sensitive in nature.

Rising Demand
Integration between access control and video is set to see rising demands. “I do think where there is video today, there is a desire to integrate it more closely with access,” said Aikin. “Today from what we have found, globally, the typical number of access points in a commercial building that have video and access management is 10 percent of less. With the devices becoming easier to deploy and lower in cost to acquire and manage, the market is able to deploy a credential reader or access control mechanism to the other 90 percent of openings.”

When access control and videos are integrated, no matter which one serves as the anchor platform, the two complement and add intelligence to each other. “When video is used as part of an integrated security management platform, it enriches the information provided by access control and intrusion detection, and vice versa,” said Arjan Bouter, Head of Sales at Nedap Security Management. “You get maximum control and protection of your premises and benefit from the unlimited scalability and extreme controllability.”

“While video management and access control have been integrated for some time, access control is now able to be deployed to more access points in the building, allowing a richer set of data to be used in video management,” said Aikin. “If you have access control tied to video, you are able to see what credential was utilized at what time of day and at what location, and that adds a lot of value in your video management. In the past, you were able to put an IP camera or Wi-Fi camera in, but you weren't able to afford to put a reader or access control device at that opening, so you had to scroll through footage and try to distinguish what was occurring simply based on the visual video. Now, because you are able to deploy access control at that portal as well, you're able to really connect it and sort it based on an audited event in a credential.”

Due to the increased situational awareness such integration brings, it is commonly used in higher security applications. “These include parts of a healthcare environment like pharmaceuticals or the maternity wards, where they are worried about infant abduction, and areas where there are sensitive assets or sensitive chemicals,” Aikin said.

 

Single User Interface
When videos and access control are integrated, they should be integrated on one single user interface to allow easy monitoring and control by the administrator.

“It is pointless to integrate video and access control if they need to be treated separately by the user,” said David Weinbach, PM at AMAG Technology. “While it may be logical to try to source all components from one supplier, that limits choice and may not allow an optimal solution. A better solution is one that allows different brands and multiple systems to be integrated in a way that makes the details of each transparent, and provides a consistent, common interface.”

Mobile Applications
Increasingly, video-access control integration will move towards mobile applications. “Mobile applications will become more widespread. That's the trend of the future,” said Su. “With video surveillance, monitoring of doors through one's mobile phone is now very common. If you integrate access control into it, you can control access from your mobile phone as well.”

College of Saint Rose secures open campus environment with Vanderbilt SMS Access Control System

College of Saint Rose secures open campus environment with Vanderbilt SMS Access Control System

Editor / Provider: Vanderbilt Industries | Updated: 5/20/2015 | Article type: Education

Customer
Located in the heart of Albany, New York’s capital city, The College of Saint Rose offers 4,500 students a rigorous educational experience that extends their learning beyond the campus to the vibrant urban environment in which they live. Fostering community involvement, The College of Saint Rose opens its doors to the public throughout the day, but in so doing, must be diligent in ensuring the safety and welfare of its campus members. With this in mind, The College of Saint Rose has deployed a comprehensive safety and security program that includes Vanderbilt Security Management System to manage access to key buildings across the 48-acre campus.

The Challenge
No campus is immune from threats of crime, violence and other disruptive behaviors. To ensure that every possible precaution is taken to protect the campus community, The College employs a highly visible uniform patrol and has installed the most advanced security technologies available, including a 400-camera surveillance network and an access control system. However, the existing access control solution did not pass The College’s new requirements for campus lockdown and had several software glitches that caused other performance issues. “As more buildings were added, we began experiencing more performance issues with the software,” explained Tara Steelman, One Card System Administrator at The College of Saint Rose. For example, buildings would not open or close when scheduled to and cards would open doors that they were not programmed to. According to Steelman, however, the biggest problem occurred during campus lockdowns when some buildings wouldn’t lock at all and some cards could still be used to gain access to unauthorized buildings. “The old system was antiquated, unstable and not very user-friendly.”

The College of Saint Rose began looking for a more reliable solution to improve their response in an emergency situation. From a technology standpoint, the new solution had to work seamlessly with The College’s existing campus administration systems, since the ID cards are used to manage meal plans, printing, library usage, account information and bus passes, in addition to building access. “The new access control platform needed to pull together all the data from our disconnected systems to help us secure the campus as effectively as possible,” stated Steelman. On the recommendation of Tutela, a provider of integrated security solutions and services, The College of Saint Rose selected the Vanderbilt SMS solution. “We selected Vanderbilt SMS because it easily integrated with our existing infrastructure, is easy to use, and delivers the reliability and performance we need in all security situations.”

Tutela, which won The College of Saint Rose business against three other partners because of their exceptional integrated system design capabilities and strong references, installed the Vanderbilt SMS on time and without any change orders. “Tutela has been selling and servicing Vanderbilt SMS systems for more than ten years so we knew they would do an excellent job designing, installing, and supporting our system,” noted Steelman.

The Solution
The College of Saint Rose has 141 HID proximity readers installed across the main campus and in several buildings off campus to provide authorized access to 11,000 cardholders. Two users have full rights to the solution with 11 others having limited access based on job responsibilities. Steelman manages the entire operation from one of 13 workstations. Vanderbilt SMS currently integrates with The College’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and housing management and ID badging systems.

The Results
Vanderbilt strategic partner SwiftData Technology, a customized data management solution provider, customized The College’s solution to ensure that relevant information could be passed from the ERP, housing, and ID badging systems to the Vanderbilt SMS access control database. The new platform was installed during the fall semester under an extremely tight timeline. The team also had to overcome installation issues left over from the previous system. “We had very few disruptions during installation, mostly it was smooth, swift and painless,” commented Steelman. “Not only did we save time during installation, we can now also update our software solution faster than before.”

Steelman and her team have found Vanderbilt SMS very easy to use. Security officers make the most of the solution’s rich feature-set, which includes unlimited reporting, detailed report scheduling, manual and automatic overrides, and a programmable flash for downloads and firmware updates. “Vanderbilt SMS software is very stable, extremely user friendly and offers several new features that our old software did not provide,” noted Steelman. “Because Vanderbilt SMS is so intuitive, we have seen a reduction in the amount of time needed to program access identities and policies at the beginning of each semester.”

One of The College’s main goals with the new solution was to improve data management across its campus-wide systems to improve efficiencies. Providing better access to more information in near real-time, the Vanderbilt platform has allowed The College to do just that. “I can easily get to the data I need when I need it, update the system on the fly and track historical data,” stated Steelman. “With deeper access to campus information, we can react faster to ensure the best protection possible.”

According to Steelman, Vanderbilt SMS has had a noticeable impact on security levels at The College. “I believe we will be able to increase the security of campus buildings by 100 percent when the system is fully functional,” asserted Steelman, who also expects a reduction in misuse and other disruptive behaviour associated with the access cards. “Vanderbilt SMS is much more reliable compared to our prior investment so I am confident that we will see a marked reduction in unacceptable behavior.” Steelman is also certain that they can react much faster — and more successfully — to lock down the campus in an emergency situation.

The College of Saint Rose has also gained several valuable business benefits since deployment. “The Vanderbilt solution was less expensive than the two other technologies we considered and will scale more cost-effectively as we grow,” confirmed Steelman. “We expect to achieve a long-term return-on-investment based on the reliability and stability of the Vanderbilt products.”

The College has also been able to reduce the man-hours needed to manage data across all platforms. “Vanderbilt SMS is far more efficient than our previous solution, saving my team a lot of time in administration and maintenance,” said Steelman. “As a single-source solution that integrates so easily with our other systems, Vanderbilt SMS will certainly help us cut down on support time and costs.”

Impressed with Vanderbilt SMS and the company’s support team, The College of Saint Rose plans to add new features as it expands across campus, including the Vanderbilt Guest Pass System, ID Badging and complete integration with its video surveillance platform. “Our strength as a college can be measured in part by our ability to respond in an emergency situation, so we remain fully committed to providing the safest learning environment possible,” concluded Steelman. “With Vanderbilt SMS, we are confident that we can respond quickly and effectively in any situation to ensure the safety of our students, staff and visitors.”

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