It’s not easy to impress Robert Bryce, head of security for Europe’s largest independent car dealership. He demands and expects the highest-quality technology for his team, as they work to keep cars and customers safe across Arnold Clark’s 200 UK showrooms.It’s not easy to impress Robert Bryce, head of security for Europe’s largest independent car dealership. He demands and expects the highest-quality technology for his team, as they work to keep cars and customers safe across Arnold Clark’s 200 UK showrooms.
A team that seeks out the best
Based in Glasgow, Bryce and his team monitor Arnold Clark’s showrooms day and night utilizing Pelco by Schneider Electric’s DS ControlPoint VMS. As the company grows, it’s their responsibility to design, install and manage the security system for each new or refurbished site, with the help of trusted security integrator Assure Alarms. Poorly-performing, temperamental or hard-to-maintain equipment is not an option for this team, they expect to be able to rely on the equipment they use.
Keeping pace with advances in technology, the company decided to move to IP-based security systems for all new and refurbished sites. Bryce identified 360-degree technology as having enormous potential, but he was yet to be impressed by any products - until Assure Alarms introduced him to Oncam’s 360-degree technology. After a demonstration that did impress, Bryce knew he wanted to put the Oncam 360-degree cameras through their paces. He decided to trial them in key locations across a number of Arnold Clark showrooms, workshops and compounds.
Taken for a test drive
After a simple installation and smooth integration with the rest of the security system, the 360-degree cameras quickly proved their worth. Discreet in design, they didn’t spoil the look and feel of newly refurbished showrooms, even as they provided Bryce’s team with total situational awareness at both interior and exterior sites. In many places, just one Oncam 360-degree camera provide the same coverage as three or four fixed cameras, reducing running costs and simplifying the overall infrastructure that they Assure Alarms team has to maintain.
User-friendly, discreet and easy to maintain
“Maintenance is also a lot easier because the Oncam cameras have no moving parts,” says Gareth Hay from Assure Alarms. “There just less to break than on a conventional camera.” Oncam’s commitment to service also impressed Arnold Clark and Assure Alarms. “We had a few teething troubles with the outside cameras,” Hay recalls, “but Oncam managed the situation proactively, designing us a bespoke housing to keep the cameras safe from the Scottish climate.”
Performance that impresses
Whilst improved coverage is expected from a 360-degree camera, Bryce and his team are also impressed by the virtual pan-tilt-zoom software, which allows them to track individuals without losing overall awareness of the site, and the camera’s smooth integration with their Pelco Digital Sentry NVR.
“With these cameras we can paint a much better picture of events than with conventional cameras,” says Bryce. “We can eliminate blind spots, easily track movement, and get very good quality footage.”
In showrooms this allows the team to identify and track suspicious behavior far more effectively, or spot and apprehend aggressive individuals before they can harm staff or other customers. In workshops, the team can watch out for dangerous situations in real time and keep staff safe.
At rental sites, the high-quality footage from the cameras can assist with police enquiries if a rental car isn’t returned.
The road ahead
With the six-month trial complete, Bryce is keen to continue using the leading 360-degree technology. “We like the system,” he says. “It’s more user-friendly, discreet, and easier to maintain than any other camera we’ve seen. Oncam has a good product and good service, and we’re very happy with the combination.” The team already has a roadmap in place to incorporate future Oncam technology, which is now sourced from Pelco in form of the Oncam Evolution 360 camera range.
“We know that there is a 12 megapixel version of the Evolution 360-degree camera being brought out soon, which will let us zoom in even more than we can now without losing image quality. And there will be a smaller version of the camera, the EVO Mini, which we can use to monitor smaller areas such as key rooms. Since most vehicles are stolen during the day, keeping better track of the removal and return of car keys will be a significant advantage in identifying a suspect if a car is stolen.”