OnSSI and Axis Communications Surveillance Solutions Cover Salisbury University

OnSSI announced Salisbury University has installed approximately 200 Axis Communications network cameras in a new surveillance system on its 182-acre campus in Maryland, home to more than 8,000 students. OnSSI's VMS delivers instant access to real-time or archived video from any of the new IP-based cameras from Axis, with integration provided by Mark Filippelli of SimplexGrinnell's Salisbury, Maryland office. The university's expanding system will have a total of 300 network cameras by the summer of 2011.

“We were looking for a system comprised of technologies that work well together and that will take us beyond what's available today,” said Tony Stancil, Associate Director for Information Technology at Salisbury University. “Especially as we look toward growth, we need the expertise that each of these companies brings to the table. Axis and OnSSI are partners in this system, as well as SimplexGrinnell.”

“Behind the scenes, it's evident that OnSSI and Axis share input in combining video management and network camera technologies, but to us it appears as a single platform,” Stancil said.

“Even though we've had a great experience so far, we are in the infancy of this system,” said Brian Waller of the Salisbury University Police Department. “Our abilities with the system will increase exponentially over time.” Previously, the campus had several separate, non-networked video systems. When surveillance video helped to solve a US$30,000 burglary, it provided the impetus to upgrade to a campus-wide, networked system. Originally 78 cameras were installed in a pedestrian tunnel and parking garage, and more cameras have been added around the campus, all connected to the university's IP network. Currently there are close to 200 network cameras in all, a number that is increasing every day.

The IP-based system is running on four servers with an external RAID storage array providing 3 terabytes of storage for each server, which translates into about 20 days of storage. The system is monitored in the campus police dispatch center, with security officers also monitoring cameras in the parking garage.

The university currently uses IP-based VMS from OnSSI, but is looking to transition to OnSSI's system for large-enterprise environments as the system expands. Providing the ability to manage camera settings system-wide, the platform enables a user to “drop” a camera into a predefined group having common settings and the camera takes on those settings.

“We like what we see with the Axis cameras, which is why we have standardized on them. The products work for us and give us the best image clarity at the price point,” Stancil said. “We also like that they seem to be moving forward with the technology. Seeing the new cameras and the new technology has really impressed us.”

Waller appreciates the OnSSI system's ability to “push” video if there is movement in an image, which enables a dispatcher to look only at video he needs to see rather than having to watch multiple screens. The OnSSI system also makes it simple to find archived video. For example, the time slice feature divides stored footage into time increments. “There are multiple ways to do playback and to search for archived images,” Waller said. “There are a lot of tools in the toolbox. It has layers of bells and whistles, but it is also an intuitive system.”

Waller also likes how OnSSI manages access to video; cameras are only visible on the system to those who have access. There are infinite configurations of who can view what video and who can export data. “It gives us peace of mind to continue growing the system knowing we are not increasing our liability related to unauthorized access to video,” Waller said. The university end-users also appreciate the simplicity of OnSSI's licensing arrangement, which involves simply buying the software and a license for each camera.

“The University Police Department's priority is to provide a safe and secure learning environment for the campus community. When we consider any technology procurements, be they surveillance cameras, emergency alert systems, or emergency telephones, we want to be certain they serve that priority and enhance safety,” Waller said.

“The growing system at Salisbury University reflects the opportunity that networked video provides for the education environment,” said Gadi Piran, President and CTO, OnSSI. “It also demonstrates the value of open-system connectivity and the benefits of choosing products such as Axis cameras to provide image quality. We are proud of our status as an Axis Gold Application Development Partner (ADP) to make such installations successful, and look forward to continuing to collaborate to maximize benefits to customers.”

“Being named a gold partner in our ADP program is a testament to OnSSI's belief in network-based video surveillance and an open IP platform,” said Fredrik Nilsson, GM, Axis Communications. “The benefits of network video such as improved image quality, intelligent applications, ease-of-installation, and expedited archive search shine the brightest when many camera feeds covering wide distances must be streamlined into a single easily-managed system, just like the one at Salisbury University.”
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