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Bosch DINION IP imager 9000 HD cams enhanced safety for critical infrastructures

Bosch DINION IP imager 9000 HD cams enhanced safety for critical infrastructures

Editor / Provider: Bosch Security | Updated: 3/28/2014 | Article type: Security 50

The new DINION IP imager 9000 HD camera from Bosch Security Systems is especially designed for perimeter protection and the surveillance of critical infrastructures, such as power plants and water treatment facilities. These types of applications require robust and reliable IP video surveillance solutions that proactively guard the property's fences day and night, regardless of weather and lighting conditions. The DINION IP imager 9000 HD has an extremely rugged design and built-in active infrared lighting to withstand harsh weather condition and penetrate darkness. Its unique features ensure that relevant objects of interest are captured with the highest level of detail possible through the Bosch specific intelligent Auto Exposure feature. And this is irrespective of any disturbing backlight or front light, while maintaining the lowest possible network burden benefiting from the intelligent Dynamic Image Noise Reduction feature reducing significantly the data bit rates and storage requirements.

Perimeter protection often struggles with fluctuating back and front light during the day. These fluctuations, caused by sunlight or other illuminated objects in the scene disturb video surveillance images. The Bosch Intelligent Auto Exposure feature (iAE) overcomes this challenge by automatically adjusting the camera's settings to increase the dynamic range of the camera. As a result, iAE ensures that moving objects or those of interest are enhanced and can be easily identified. At night, the camera's built-in active infrared lighting offers additional assistance, allowing objects up to 120 meters away to be detected even in complete darkness (0 lux). Overall, the Bosch DINION IP imager 9000 HD ensures that all relevant details are captured in highest quality thanks to its Bosch unique built-in technologies and full HD 1080p resolution day and night.

The Bosch unique integrated Intelligent Video Analysis package proactively supports security guards around the clock in focusing their attention on relevant incidents when something or someone breaches pre-defined alarm rules which can be set by the user.

Furthermore the Bosch Intelligent Video Analysis package (IVA), is ideal to also help securing unmanned facilities, such as petrol depots or pipelines. The Bosch camera continuously analyses the scene and automatically triggers alarms should one or more predefined rules be breached. In order to minimize the risk of false alarms, up to eight different IVA alarm rules can be combined and are active at the same time to provide a robust video surveillance solution. Security guards are notified when certain situations need their attention regardless of where they are. Since they cannot be everywhere or watch everything at the same time, IVA alerts can also be sent to mobile devices. Another advantage of IVA is that it adds sense and structure to IP video material in the form of metadata already being defined in the camera, allowing users to find relevant evidence among hours of recorded video quickly and easily within minutes or even seconds.

An ever-increasing need for image detail and in turn higher resolution, leads to a continuously growing amount of video data. As a result, IT infrastructures are often stretched to their maximum and system costs driven by data transmission and storage cost increase substantially. Especially storage capacity accounts for a large percentage of these costs. Consequently, it becomes apparent that cameras' bitrates need to be managed and optimized to ensure a minimum of network burden and storage costs. As with all the other Bosch IP cameras, the DINION IP imager 9000 HD is equipped with intelligent Dynamic Image Noise Reduction (iDNR). This makes use of the fact that in video surveillance a lower bit rate is needed when there is little movement. iDNR continuously analyses the content of the scene, dynamically adjusting the bitrate depending on the amount of movement. In average scenes, this saves up to 30 percent on bitrate and thus storage requirements, while equally reducing the network strain by only using as much bandwidth as is needed. The camera has the capability to temporarily store data and decide through its embedded intelligence when data streams are being send through the network to the recording unit checking always for free network capacities.

The entire Bosch IP portfolio is designed to seamlessly integrate with software and recording solutions from Bosch and other vendors. Third-party integration is ensured by the ONVIF conformity of all Bosch IP cameras, as well as by the Integration Partner Program (IPP), which simplifies the interoperability of video surveillance products. The IPP portal provides access to a comprehensive library of software development tools, services, and information about compatible software and products. More information is available from: ipp.boschsecurity.com.

C-Store chain keeps losses in check with March Networks

C-Store chain keeps losses in check with March Networks

Editor / Provider: March Networks | Updated: 3/26/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Digital video was still in its infancy when Quik-E Foods of Lynchburg, Virginia, began equipping its convenience stores with March Networks 3108 video recorders 10 years ago.

“I'm a bit of an IT geek, so for a small C-store chain, we've always been very proactive with technology,” said Vice-President Todd Burgess. Times have changed. Today, Burgess can pull up video from any of the company's 12 stores and five car washes on his iPad using March Networks' Cloud service, but several of those original 3108s are still in service.

“We have replaced some of our original recorders with March Networks 4208 and 8516 recorders, but I still have four 3108s,” said Burgess. “They've been up and running 365 days a year all this time. The only reason some of them have had to be replaced is because their power supplies have gone bad, but I guess nothing lasts forever.”

Quik-E Foods experience is consistent with March Networks' reputation for rock solid reliability.

“The thing that most impresses me about March Networks technology is that it's a piece of equipment that I never have to fool with,” remarked Burgess. “I'm the IT guy who has to fix every printer, every keyboard, every point-of-sale system. If it's plugged into a wall, I have to fix it, but I can honestly say that I never have to fool with a March Networks video recorder. I've never even had a hard drive go bad.”

Burgess was especially impressed when all of his March Networks recorders came back to life following a derecho, a wall of storms with 60 mile-per hour winds that tore through Lynchburg and area last summer.

“We all lived on generators for an entire week, but when the power was restored, all of my recorders came back up. I had no issues at all.”

Backward Compatibility
Equally important, the C-store chain's collection of 3108, 4208 and 8516 recorders illustrates March Networks' commitment to backward compatibility. There was never a reason for Quik-E Foods to replace its perfectly functioning 10-year-old recorders to take advantage of software upgrades or other enhancements in video surveillance technology. When Burgess powers up his iPad and goes to the Cloud to review live or archived video from his 12 stores, for example, it makes no difference if it's a 3108 recorder or a brand new 8000 Series NVR. All three generations of March Networks recorders co-exist across the Quik-E Foods footprint.

The effectiveness of Quik-E Foods' video surveillance system is also attributable to March Networks' user-friendly interface.

“Our managers use the Live Viewer, Evidence Manager and Investigator soft?ware on a daily basis,” said Burgess. “They all know how to use them as well as I do and they're all self-taught. I haven't had to do any training, which speaks to how easy it is to use.”

Five or six years ago, March Networks worked with Quik-E Foods to integrate its video surveillance and point-of-sale systems, allowing Burgess and the company's store managers to review recorded video with text overlay.

“It's invaluable to be able to pull up a camera and see what's being rung up overlaid on top of the video,” said Burgess. “It's the greatest feature ever because a lot of theft occurs when a friend comes in with a two-liter drink, and a pack of cigarettes, and the employee just rings up the two-liter drink.”

Searchlight for Retail
Quik-E Foods is now in the process of upgrading to March Networks' Searchlight application, which offers several advantages over the current POS integration.

“Before, with text overlay, I could only search for voided or canceled transactions by logging in at each recorder locally,” explained Burgess. “With Searchlight, all the transaction data is stored at corporate on a server, so I can go in and ask to see all voided transactions at all locations in a specified time range.”

Better still, Searchlight will automatically deliver a daily emailed report identifying suspect transactions with links to the corresponding video.

The integration of video and transaction data is critical for combating POS fraud in a C-store environment.

“Just recently,” said Burgess, “we caught a cashier who was ringing up sales, putting them on hold, collecting the money and then canceling the transactions when the customer left the store. So far, our losses from this one employee add up to $6,000. These transactions show up as voids in my system, so with an emailed report from Searchlight, I'll get a list of all the voids by store and click on a link to watch the video. There won't be a need to search for hours and hours. It's instant.”

Quik-E Foods is slowly transitioning to IP cameras for higher-resolution video of activity at its laser car washes as well as its gas pumps and parking areas.

An IP camera would have come in handy last year when a truck pulling a trailer with an asphalt paving machine decided to run through one of the company's car washes, knocking a $50,000 piece of equipment off its track.

Burgess posted the video on the Quik-E Foods Facebook page and the local media picked it up. Luckily, the contractor responsible for the incident saw it on the news and called Quik-E Foods offering to pay for the damage.

“If I had had an IP camera at that location, I would have known right away who it was because I would have been able to read the logo on the side of the truck or pick up the license plate,” said Burgess.

Each Quik-E Foods store is equipped with a microphone at the check-out counter and a centrally located speaker. Audio is recorded along with the video, and if absolutely necessary, Burgess or anyone else at head office can push a button and communicate with store staff.

Searches Made Easy
The audio came in handy one day when a gang of cigarette thieves used sledge hammers in the middle of the night “to beat the brick out of the back” of one of company's stores and made off with $18,000 worth of cigarettes. There was no camera outside the back of the store to record them, but when Burgess checked the video the next day he found an image of a suspicious looking character peering through the window at the front of the store.

“It was 3 a.m. and you could hear the beating on the back of the building, so we just put two and two together,” said Burgess. “We also went through archived video thinking they may have cased out the store in advance and, sure enough, there was the same guy. We also had an image of the car in the parking lot.”

While the system is primarily used for loss prevention, Todd's father and Quik-E Foods founder Wilton Burgess also takes advantage of its live viewing capability to make sure the stores are neat and tidy. Physically inspecting all 12 stores and five car washes would take him two or three days. With the March Networks system, he can sit in front of his computer and accomplish the same thing in 20 minutes or less.

Over the years, Quik-E Foods' video surveillance system has paid for itself many times over. It's also a valuable source of evidence for Lynchburg Police Department officers investigating credit card theft, car accidents and other incidents in the community.

“The local police have the March Networks player on their PCs, so it's a piece of cake for them, and I'm in court a lot, even for matters that are unrelated to us,” said Burgess.

Looking to the future, Burgess is resigned to the fact that his remaining 3108 recorders will eventually need to be replaced, but looks forward to standardizing on the more powerful 8000 Series hybrid recorder with additional IP cameras, web-based Command software and the investigative smarts of Searchlight for Retail's fraud fighting tools.

GKB ONVIF NVR honored by Secutech Award 2014

GKB ONVIF NVR honored by Secutech Award 2014

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by: GKB | Updated: 3/25/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

GKB launches 8bay standalone ONVIF NVR DN4808, a new Linux system, which supports 48 channels of recording, playback and feed up to 200 remote users. This NVR is most suitable for the segments of SMB sector such as banks, 12-K schools, casinos and small and medium retails due to its high-compatibility of all ONVIF cameras, operation stability, user-friendly and open cloud platform for users to easily manipulate and play instant live view to multi-sites.

A True Plug and Play
GKB's DN4808 NVR is special designed as a “Two Way Communication” device, indicating any GKB IP Diplomat cameras can be automatically detected by our Linux NVR anytime and anywhere without extra setting time to fulfill a real Plug & Play, it's for not only LAN but also INTERNET application.

High-Compatibility of all ONVIF 2.0 Camera Brands
GKB is dedicated to uptake “ONVIF” as an open platform agreement of IP solution to comply with your IP solution. GKB's DN4808 is designed to integrate all ONIVIF 2.0 series and seamlessly conform to GKB IP portfolio as well.

Stable, User-Friendly, and Open GKB Cloud Platform
To achieve cloud-base management and remote viewing, GKB leverages its NVR brings all brands' ONVIF cameras to GKB Cloud Platform, allowing personnel to manage and view through Internet and mobile App. Reducing the complexity of video management and no more setting neither DDNS nor IP Address. It supports configurations ranging from a single standalone system to multi-brands cameras management. Learn more about GKB Cloud click here.

UMC Utrecht upgrades camera system to IP with Axis

UMC Utrecht upgrades camera system to IP with Axis

Editor / Provider: Axis Communications | Updated: 3/13/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Mission
UMC Utrecht wanted to upgrade its existing camera system to IP and at the same time adapt a new central camera platform, with the aim of integrating diverse systems to achieve a more efficient and effective security organization.

Solution
Axis partner VisiOn ISP installed a central, fully redundant video management system from Genetec at UMC Utrecht with both fixed and mobile Axis network cameras. The platform seamlessly integrates with the existing Company Registration and Information System (BREINS) and offers extended functionality in order to provide targeted and efficient protection of specific areas, situations and public streams. In addition to real time images, the platform also offers extended possibilities for rapid scanning of stored images.

Result
The central video platform offers UMC Utrecht a way of efficiently protecting an extensive organization with several locations. In addition to a complete overview from the alarm center, locations and public streams within the hospital are also adequately protected with the intelligent functionality of the Genetec platform and the Axis cameras. For this, central triggers can be set to send observers a signal if an anomaly occurs. By coupling signaling with procedures, security staff can assess situations better and improve response times. An extra benefit of the new environment is that information generated by the platform can be used to optimize security even further. Finally, the platform is sufficiently scalable to enable the seamless integration of new developments.

Optimized security with central camera platform
The University Medical Center of Utrecht (UMCU) is one of the largest hospitals in the Netherlands. Spread over several buildings, a staff of over 15,000 works around the clock to provide excellent care based on the building blocks of knowledge and people. For the safety of both employees and visitors, UMC Utrecht uses network cameras. This allows security staff to systematically monitor areas, situations and public streams. In the past, UMC Utrecht used various camera platforms and systems. To improve the efficiency of the security, central video management platform was chosen, based on Axis network cameras.

Retaining investment
The need to extend and replace the cameras in the AZU hospital and WKZ children's hospital led UMC to invite tenders for a central camera platform. Van Wandelen says, “We were looking for an integrated platform with a direct link to our Alarm Center Management System, Breins. To retain earlier investments, we also wanted to integrate some existing cameras into the new environment.” After an extensive selection process, system integrator and Axis partner VisiOn ISP appeared to meet all the requirements of UMC Utrecht. They offered a redundant platform based on a selection of Axis network cameras for interior and exterior use, including Axis video encoders for the analog cameras to be reused. The new Genetec video management platform is coupled to the Breins system. At the moment, UMC Utrecht has around 180 network cameras in use; this will be expanded to 250 in the future.

Extra eyes
According to van Wandelen, security cameras effectively give observers extra eyes. “Through the combination of an integrated environment and intelligent functionality, we can now make the cameras work better for us. With the functionality of the new cameras, we are better able to match the security level to the space concerned. By combining these options smartly, we can structure hospital security more efficiently.”

Fast search functions
Another advantage of the new video management platform is a shorter response time to incidents. Van Wandelen says, “Cameras are a very effective aid here. For example, on receiving an alarm from a panic button, officers can take a direct look from a distance to get a good assessment of the situation and decide on the required action accordingly.” To optimize the security process further, UMC Utrecht wants observers to have to look at screens as little as possible. “It might sound contradictory, but we have to observe and only act when anomalies occur. It's also easy to review images later; for example, by searching back on the basis of recorded movements. This can also be done from various locations. This is a practical benefit if we want to investigate an incident.”

Everspring(1-1): 30 Years of Everspring

Everspring(1-1): 30 Years of Everspring

Editor / Provider: Veronica Chen, a&s SMAhome | Updated: 3/11/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Unlike most entrepreneurs in Taiwan's risk phobic security industry, Nally Chang is a daring CEO. Her experience in the USA Trading Center as an interpreter fostered her business acumen, while her technology-savvy background allowed her to see opportunities in various industries. In 1980, Taiwan-based Everspring was founded as a intruder alarm manufacturer, but has never limited itself to just being a security maker. Fast forward 30 years—Chang is now leads the 1000-employee enterprise in a transition toward becoming a total solution provider for the smart home from 2011

“We started in 1980 by making sensors and alarm systems, later expanding to lighting and video surveillance. In 2001, Everspring started to integrate disparate product lines into a home automation system, which is the foundation of our current smart home solutions,” said Chang. “Our shift from device provider to integrated system provider to smart home solution provider will contribute to this transition.”Taking a 30-year-old company and turning it in a new direction takes a lot of courage. “In 2013, we began to gradually move away from OEM and ODM services, focusing instead on becoming a service provider,” Chang continued. “We had to do it because we saw Chinese manufacturers competing aggressively in price and improving rapidly in quality; we also saw abundant opportunities in a changing market. Everspring needed to transform itself in order to continue its growth.”

Integration is essential
A smart home needs three components to materialize: eyes and ears, a brain, and limbs. The eyes and ears are cameras and sensors that collect data; the brain is software that analyzes that data; the limbs are devices like door locks and lights that follow's the brain's orders to perform actions that are meaningful to end-users.

Chang has had a front-row seat in the evolution of security and home automation. She knows that integration is the key to taking home automation to the masses. While security and IT were traditionally two different industries, they have been bridged by smartphones and apps, which have significantly simplified integration for manufacturers, software developers and consumers. Chang has seen business trends beginning to favor integration. As the borderline between security, monitoring and automation blurs, the ubiquity of smartphones and the rise of the app economy has accelerated the development of smart home solutions.

Ten years ago, Everspring founded World Trend Security, a security service provider. According to Chang, this has allowed the company to gain a deep understanding of customer needs, while also improving its R&D department to develop products that focus on solving real-world problems for consumers. Last April, Everspring launched the second generation smart home solution--U-Home2. Based on SIP structure and fiber optic network, it integrates access control, door phone, security services, lighting and other smart home functions via just one power line and one Ethernet cable.

From the device maker to a smart home solution provider, one challenge of the transition is integrating individual products into an open solution. Everspring develops IP-based solutions to open up infinite applications and possibilities. “Taking advantage of this requires a significant change in mindset, but this is improving rapidly as younger generations enter the workforce,” noted Chang.

During 2012 and 2013, Everspring observed and experimented extensively in the smart home market. “The time is right for bigger moves. In 2013, our smart home business accounted for 25% of our total revenue. By 2014 that will grow to at least 35%; by 2015, we predict more than half of our revenue will come from smart home related businesses,“ Chang said.

Proximex and Barco integrate solutions to increase situational awareness

Proximex and Barco integrate solutions to increase situational awareness

Editor / Provider: Tyco | Updated: 3/7/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Proximex, part of the Security Products business unit of Tyco, announces the integration of its Surveillint Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) solution with the Control Room Management Suite (CMS) from Barco, a leader in enterprise visualization and collaboration.

Under this collaboration, security operators using Surveillint can easily select particular camera sources to be shown in pre-defined areas on Barco CMS-powered video walls and displays. The integration also extends Surveillint's capacity to fully leverage the “perspectives” concept within the CMS environment, by grouping cameras and other sources that enhance situational awareness in a visually correlated way.

“In mission-critical situations, it's incumbent upon security personnel to have the most complete information available and be able to show and share that information with others in the security operations center,” says Chatura Liyanage, Group Product Manager for Proximex. “By integrating with Barco's Control Room Management Suite, we're now able to give operators a higher level of awareness and visualization of everything that is happening, so they can react faster and collaborate more efficiently.”

Operators can easily share their Surveillint Operations or Video Console by choosing from a set of pre-programmed perspectives which can be loaded to the Barco CMS-powered video wall or display. Sharing perspectives from Surveillint can be performed manually by an operator or triggered automatically based on events as determined by the pre-set business rules and managed through administrator access.

For security operators, the Proximex Surveillint and Barco CMS integration will enhance the decision-making process by increasing situational awareness and shortening reaction times through the sharing of video and Surveillint consoles on a single Barco video wall display, or, across multiple similar displays located remotely. This visual collaboration and integrated display management also reduces training time for security staff and enables bringing in remote experts much faster.

“Barco has been supremely focused on developing technologies that empower customers to share the right visual information at the right time, and our latest collaborative visualization platform accomplishes this objective,” says Suchit Rout, Director - Global Strategic Alliances, Barco. “Through this Strategic Alliance with Proximex, we've further enhanced this capability, equipping control room personnel with best-in-class tools to view better, share faster and resolve quicker, in the most efficient way possible.”

Exacq bolsters security at The Ice Palace in Russia

Exacq bolsters security at The Ice Palace in Russia

Editor / Provider: Exacq Technologies | Updated: 3/5/2014 | Article type: Security 50

The Ice Palace closely monitors audiences at hockey games and other events with the exacqVision video management system (VMS) software from Exacq Technologies. The exacqVision solution enables them to quickly search and find evidence, integrate with multiple IP camera manufacturers and view live and recorded video at all times.

The Ice Palace is a multi-purpose sports and entertainment complex in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Built in 1999, the Ice Palace has served as the home arena for SKA St. Petersburg and been primarily used for ice hockey games. Beyond ice hockey, the arena hosts concerts, fairs, circus shows, exhibitions and acts as a skating rink. The five-story building can hold up to 12,300 people.

Just like most sport and leisure centers, the Ice Palace required increased attention to safety. A common standard in Russia is the continuous improvement of video monitoring measures. The Ice Palace has seen a 10 % increase in the number of events occurring each year since it opened. With the increasing demand and more than 10,000 square meters of space and several floors, the Ice Palace needed a surveillance system to overcome the complicated issue of properly monitoring the facility.

The iPera Company partnered with the Ice Palace to design a video surveillance solution. Having past experience installing a surveillance system for the Arena-Mettalurg at Magnitogorsk, made this a familiar, manageable task for iPera to design and install.

iPera suggested the Ice Place install the scalable exacqVision VMS with a two-stage installation throughout 2011 and 2012. They selected exacqVision for its multi-faceted integration with IP video camera manufacturers and various servers.

To protect spectators and improve the capabilities available to the security team, iPera deployed the exacqVisions solution. iPera integrated IP cameras from Arecont Vision and Axis into the Ice Palace system. The cameras and exacqVision VMS software cover all areas of the stands, VIP boxes, entrances and exits, main foyer, cafes, player tunnels, press center and locker rooms.

Ice Palace staff members monitor the facility through a video wall displaying the exacqVision client software in the main office. The exacqVision VMS software is easy to use and navigate, so staff members could quickly adapt to the software without extensive training.

They can easily view all event attendees entering and exiting the facility. By using the client, they have effectively minimized criminal activity including entering with counterfeit tickets or bringing in unnecessary weapons. When the hockey players have interviews with media personnel, security staff can easily view and examine the interaction. Also, the exacqVision VMS is useful when players have meet and greet sessions with fans. Ice Palace security workers now have the capability to zoom in and see greater detail. With the integrated cameras and exacqVision client, they can completely and accurately identify people.

The exacqVision VMS software provided Ice Palace staff with the functionality to pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) on individual spectators faces in the stands. If a crowd disturbance is reported in a section, staff members can quickly search and view the video to investigate the incident and remove inappropriate visitors before a serious incident occurs. Staff members can also download, save and send specific video clips if needed as evidence for a case. Therefore, they can better handle situations and improve their response time to provide the safest atmosphere.

The Ice Palace has greatly improved their surveillance with the scalable exacqVision system. They can now ensure an enjoyable spectator experience while protecting its staff members, players and fans.

Esrange Space Center improves safety with Axis cameras

Esrange Space Center improves safety with Axis cameras

Editor / Provider: Axis Communications | Updated: 2/25/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Esrange Space Centre is a rocket range and research centre located above the Arctic Circle in the north of Sweden, near the mining town of Kiruna. It is owned by SSC, a comprehensive space industry active in many fields of space technology and services, and the base launches sounding rockets and high altitude balloons for scientific research purposes.

Safety is paramount at the Esrange Space Center and it has therefore chosen to use Axis' IP cameras, installed by Axis partner Insupport Natverksvideo, to get a better operational overview of the base.

“We have used Axis cameras for different purposes in the past, and when we decided to integrate cameras into our safety system, all suppliers we contacted recommended Axis cameras. In other words, it wasn't a difficult decision for us”, says Martin Hedqvist, project manager at Esrange Space Center.

The principal reason for this investment is to improve safety at the Space Centre, however, a large proportion of the investment is to make day-to-day operations more transparent and accessible to the public. Now, thanks to the Axis cameras, anyone can follow daily operations from various different base locations via online live streams.

“With the new camera setup, our head of Operations can get a much better overview of our site operations and see exactly what's happening at the launch ramp right before every launch”, continues Martin Hedqvist.

One of the cameras that the space centre uses at the base is the AXIS Q6035-E, a camera that is perfectly designed for extreme climates so the cold, Artcic winds are not a problem.

“With AXIS Q6035-E cameras in place, you don't have to worry about weather conditions. The cameras can withstand temperatures as low as –40 Celsius, and we have even tested it at an altitude of 35,000 metres, where it gets far colder than that!” Concludes Fredrik Thor, sales manager at Axis Communications.

Milestone to provide tighter support for Pelco IP cameras

Milestone to provide tighter support for Pelco IP cameras

Editor / Provider: Milestone Systems | Updated: 2/19/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Milestone Systems, the open platform company in IP video management software is tightening relations with Pelco by Schneider Electric, a globl manufacturer of IP cameras and IP video accessories. This collaboration is evolving for Pelco as a long-time Milestone Manufacturer Alliance Partner (MAP), in response to market demand. Milestone Channel Partners and customers now gain the advantage of new and deeper integrations between Pelco IP Cameras and Milestone Systems IP video management software (VMS).

Going forward, Milestone Systems will provide deeper integration support for Pelco's IP-based cameras in the award-winning Xprotect -familiy of open platform VMS. The closer relationship between Milestone's open platform and Pelco's IP cameras enables partners and customers to explore the advanced capacities of Pelco cameras and Milestone XProtect video management software. This gives Milestone and Pelco active roles in shaping and driving the industry by better supporting the channel partners who create solutions to meet the diverse needs of customers worldwide.

The support of Pelco analytics with the latest version of Milestone device pack is already a good example of this cooperation. It gives our joint customers the possibility to use at the edge advance analytics and have events and information reported and managed by Milestone XProtect software.

Christian Bohn, Milestone Systems VP Corporate Marketing & Alliances, says: “We are not only excited to further intensify our cooperation with a leading IP-based camera manufacturer like Pelco, we are also seeing great advantages for the market by providing better support for Pelcos advanced technologies. This initiative further expands the possibilities for our channel partners, as they now get more options to integrate Pelco's advanced IP cameras into cutting-edge solutions utilizing Pelco and Milestone technologies to their fullest extent.”

Pelco Stephane Lantoine, Pelco by Schneider Electric Director of Integration Operations, says “We are very pleased. Our collaboration with Milestone demonstrates Pelco's commitment to be a true open systems provider, and we will continuously focus on the areas that will offer flexible, reliable and scalable feature-rich integrated security solutions to our mutual customers. We are excited about this cooperation as it opens the door to achieve win-win cases for both companies in the video surveillance market.”

Need for security mass notification in higher education

Need for security mass notification in higher education

Editor / Provider: Eifeh Strom | Updated: 2/19/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Deadly violence on university campuses is an unfortunate reality. Less than one month into 2014, 3 reported incidents of gun violence were reported in the U.S. — 2 of the incidents lead to 2 deaths. However, deadly attacks are not limited to gun violence — a stabbing attack in 2013 left 14 injured at Lone Star College–CyFair in Texas, U.S.

In the aftermath of the violent shooting at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007, which tragically resulted in the deaths of 33 people, campus safety was thrust into the spotlight. In 2012, Virginia Tech was fined $27,500 by the US Department of Education (DOE) for failure to issue a timely warning on campus the morning of the shooting in compliance with the Cleary Act. In January 2014, the DOE fined Virginia Tech an additional $5,000 for the incident. Immediately after the Virginia Tech tragedy, many universities invested in mass notification systems. However, Dan Pascale, CPP, Senior Director of Security & Emergency Services at Margolis Healy & Associates, notes that mass notification systems have not evolved much since then. Pascale explained that despite the initial rush to acquire mass notification systems, the ability to use them and integrate them with other forms of technology such as SMS, telephone, email, outdoor warning systems, internal public address systems, digital signage, etc. has not made any significant leaps. “I think we're going to see more integration and a need for it in the near immediate future as colleges and universities struggle with having the responsibility to make timely warnings and emergency notifications to their community,” said Pascale. The next step, however, is figuring out how to do it and how to accomplish it at an affordable price.

One of the most publicized and successful mass notification integration projects was done by Florida State University (FSU). FSU already had an emergency notification system in place — “FSU Alert” boasted 32 different methods of emergency communication delivery, which include but are not limited to outdoor warning sirens, indoor warning sirens, SMS text messaging, E-mails, strobe lights, digital signage, desktop alerts, and social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc); however, management of all these different systems was a challenge. Although the multitude of systems was meant to cover a wide variety of pre-approved scenarios, a delay in notification was occurring because there were too many systems to fuddle through.

In order to streamline the system, FSU sought a solution that would enhance and integrate with their existing system. In cooperation with Siemens, who configured the central activation system, FSU was able to consolidate the 19 primary and secondary delivery technologies of the FSU Alert System so that they could be activated from a single point. Located in the FSU police department's communications office, a box with a panel of pre-scripted scenario buttons allows personnel to send out the appropriate notification with the press of one button. Known as the “EZ” button, this one button mass notification system has cut down message delivery time to less than three minutes. The FSU “EZ” button has since become a prime example for both universities and the security industry.

Retrofitting for the Future
Based on a survey of 616 projects, CP&M reported that 12.9 percent of the $1.3 billion spent on renovations in 2012 was spent on security equipment. More specifically, a survey on what types of renovations and upgrades US residence halls were considering in the next 3 to 5 years showed that 43 % were considering adding and/or upgrading their camera/surveillance systems, 36 % were considering the same for their access control systems, and 27 % their sprinkler/fire alarm systems. However, it was also noted that the extent of new and upgraded systems has been stunted due to budgetary restrictions. In addition to monetary challenges, retrofitting buildings on college campuses can be a complicated task. Oftentimes colleges are forced to retrofit older and sometimes historic buildings that are hundreds of years old, according to Pascale. “In many cases, it can cost anywhere from two to five times the cost of initial construction. With limited budgets, due diligence is critical as it's important to get it right the first time.”

Another difficulty with retrofit projects is that they frequently involve older buildings that are less likely to have the advanced technological capabilities needed for newer technology. “In a way, new projects are easier to scope out and deploy since the ideal architecture is designed from scratch. Most cases, however, are retrofits which demand an assessment of current technology, the remaining lifespan of such and the true benefit they might still provide,” said Lawrence de Guzman, Director of Global Sales Operations, Verticals, OEM, and Key Accounts at Milestone Systems.

Open Systems and Integration
The importance of integration has been a hot topic in the security industry and the education sector is joining in on the conversation. “We see a need and attempt by many institutions to integrate disparate systems and leverage technology as a force multiplier while creating operational efficiencies,” Pascale pointed out. “In many cases, individual departments have installed their own systems and there is little centralization or standardization.” However, facilities of all kinds hit a speed bump when trying to find compatible systems. That is why open systems are playing a key role in integration.

“There is a distinct trend towards open platforms, which enables beneficial integrations with other systems, thereby empowering a total solution into more than just the sum of its parts,” said de Guzman. In particular to higher education, Mike Scirica, VP of Marketing and Sales at WavestoreUSA noted, “Campus security officials seek VMS platforms that easily integrate with other security and non-security systems, such as video analytics. An open architecture approach and a commitment to open standards help manufacturers deliver VMS platforms that will be able to work with other systems as organizational and security needs grow.”

Rising up to Challenges
Every vertical has its own set of unique challenges and requirements. In order to properly and successfully address these issues, it is important for manufacturers and systems integrators to work together. “We believe integrators and manufacturers should act as partners with a common goal of establishing trust with an end user,” said Kim Loy, VP of Global Marketing and Chief Product Officer at DVTEL. “At the same time, integrators should rely on their manufacturers to play a valuable support role to help them assess and respond to customer expectations. Customer satisfaction depends on the best efforts of everyone involved in a system sale.”

Related articles:
Higher education strengthens security
Security in higher education faces unique challenges

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