Erste Group Bank AG was founded in 1819 as "Erste österreichische Spar Casse" (first Austrian savings bank) and has its headquarters in Vienna.
Erste Group Bank AG was founded in 1819 as "Erste österreichische Spar Casse" (first Austrian savings bank) and has its headquarters in Vienna. In total, around 46,600 employees look after over 15.8 million customers in more than 2,700 branches in 7 countries. This makes Erste Group Bank AG one of the largest financial services providers in Central and Eastern Europe.
Erste Group Bank AG has built a new group headquarters on the site of the former Südbahnhof railway station in Vienna, with construction work taking place from 2012 to 2016. Employees who were previously distributed across 20 different locations throughout the city now all work in the same building complex.
The advantages of this new arrangement are clear: closer proximity and improved infrastructure strengthen cooperation and provide a modern, pleasant working environment for employees. The ground-breaking, award-winning design concept by Vienna architects “Henke Schreieck Architekten” plays a key role by creating a feeling of openness with its curved buildings and the integration of green spaces, producing an environment which encourages creativity. The highest construction standards were applied to the planning of the new building complex – which accommodates around 4,000 employees – in order to, for example, optimise cost-effectiveness by minimising energy and operating costs. The Erste Campus was awarded the DGNB (German Sustainable Building Council) platinum certificate for sustainable building.
Security was a major priority for the new headquarters: in 2014, the Erste Group put out a tender based on a detailed catalogue of requirements for an overall building security concept for the Erste Campus. Among other things, the requirements included video surveillance and intelligent video analysis. The video technology needed to support security personnel, detect security-critical events in real time around the clock and, when necessary, raise an alarm immediately. In order to ensure smooth communication and quick responses, seamless integration was required between the video analysis, video management system and all other components and systems.
Kapsch BusinessCom won the tender with an overall concept featuring video technology based on a Cayuga video management and CogVis GmbH video analysis system.
A key factor to the success of this solution was the close dovetailing of the two systems, made possible by the flexible architecture of Cayuga – which, for example, shares the image streams from the cameras. Alarm events from the CogVis video analysis are seamlessly transferred to Cayuga, where they are visualised and processed. Another major factor in the selection process was ensuring that the video system complies with the high IT standards in the banking sector – this was verified in advance by extensive testing. This means that Cayuga supports encrypted communication between server and client, as well as secure connections with the cameras. The protection of customers’ and employees’ privacy is also crucial – CogVis provides algorithms to disguise people’s identities in live images by using pixelisation.
After several months of implementation, installation and testing, the integrated overall system went into live operation at the end of 2015. Since then, the cameras distributed all over the campus have been protecting the buildings and grounds around the clock.
In order to minimise the load on the network and the risk of failures, the cameras in Cayuga were distributed across multiple recording servers which are connected to a central management server. Furthermore, the video streams are made available to the CogVis analytics directly. The CogVis C3 server is responsible for central management of the external and internal communication with the distributed C3 nodes on which the video analysis is carried out. Cameras and alarms are visualised and processed using the Qognify
software in the security control centre, which is manned 24/7. Camera images and views can also be displayed on a large-screen system using the Cayuga Display Agent in conjunction with a central control room solution.
The complete solution balances the high security requirements of a bank with the structural nature of the Erste Campus – the idea of openness is continued in the design of the interiors, which is why video technology is ideal as a relatively discreet security measure. The analysis algorithms of the C3 security portfolio from CogVis detect unauthorised access to indoor and outdoor areas, issue warnings regarding left objects, and provide additional security in the field of access control. The intelligent system uses state-of-the-art techniques from the field of machine learning in order to minimise false alarms efficiently as the operating time increases. Monitoring functions provide security personnel with realtime updates about the functional state of the CogVis video analysis so that they can respond immediately if there is a problem.
Ing. Peter Hollenthoner, the Erste Group Bank AG staff member responsible for the implementation of the video project on the Erste Campus, sums up the experience so far: “Our security concept had to meet all of the security requirements in full without conflicting with the open room structures which enable collaboration, flexibility and meetings with customers. The only way to achieve the objectives was with intelligent video surveillance and analytics which provide optimal support for the security process. We were keen to work with companies who understood our requirements and could provide us with the best possible, technically stable implementation.”
Like the Erste Campus buildings, which are designed to allow changes in work processes or new work area allocations to be implemented at any point in the future without major structural work, the video system also has a flexible design and is therefore well-equipped for the future. New video or analysis channels as well as new functions can be easily added to the existing system at any time.