In 2003, Kyoto University opened its third campus. This new area, labeled the “Katsura Campus,” is notable for the distinctly forward-thinking mentality in which it approaches education. Nicknamed a “Techno-science Hill,” this campus architecturally blends both Kyoto's natural beauty with the university's modern technology to foster a unique learning environment for its graduate students.
For any school, let alone such a scientifically-intensive one such as Kyoto University, security is a major concern. Added to this is the fact that Katsura Campus is composed of five distinct areas – or “clusters” as they are referred to – and the total area provides a number of significant security challenges.
Originally, a comprehensive analog CCTV solution was implemented to secure the Katsura Campus. However, in 2011, with a desire to move from analog to an IP-based CCTV technology, Kyoto University made the decision to upgrade its existing Katsura Campus security infrastructure.
Unlike many CCTV upgrades, the new solution at Katsura Campus would be mitigated by a number of important decision-making factors.
From the very onset, the fact that the original analog CCTV system was still relatively new had important budgetary ramifications. In essence, university officials decided that any upgrades would need to be largely compatible with the already existing components. This would eliminate wasted financial expenditure and the needless replacement of still-operational security apparatus – both hallmarks of a larger Japanese mentality to fight waste.
Furthermore, on a more practical level, a surgical – rather than a wholesale – upgrade would help the university save funds through a notoriously difficult economic time period.
Additionally, any IP-based improvements were required to do more than simply improve the quality of security provided; upgrades must also streamline efficiency and provide stability – all requirements that echo a larger Japanese value system. Haoze Lu, a technical support advisor for Javatel (the authorized distributor and integrator for Genetec – the firm that partnered with Hikvision to administer the Katsura Campus Project) remarked, “This was an interesting case. We needed to provide quality, but within a framework that both simplified and improved upon the existing CCTV solution.”
Importantly, all of these improvements were achieved not by adding additional burden to security personnel at Kyoto University; but instead by simplifying their work-related efforts. “Now,” as Mr. Lu explained, “it was much easier and far more efficient to both store and retrieve data.” Furthermore, Mr. Lu related that security staff on the Katsura Campus “were both surprised and relived to find how easy the switch from analog-based video recording to IP digital-based actually was. This was in large part due to Hikvision's easy-to-use functionality.”