Emprise Bank is a name well known in Kansas for leadership, integrity and service to their customers and to the community. Headquartered in Wichita, the privately owned bank has more than 40 locations in 20 communities across the state. Their culture of commitment and customer service is strongly instilled in nearly 500 dynamic and diverse individuals on the Emprise staff.
In early 2007, led by the vision of Corporate Security Officer Jeremy Couch, Emprise Bank began a thorough evaluation of embedded DVR solutions, high-end analog cameras and IP megapixel solutions. Having seen the differences in image quality and other convenient features, Couch was leaning towards the selection of Arecont Vision megapixel cameras and a network video recorder solution. With the construction of two new bank branches, the decision was solidified.
"The new construction gave us alternate options on where to place cameras," Couch said. "Those decisions have yielded dividends with the collection of valuable video evidence and tremendous still images."
Eventually, all of the Emprise Bank facilities will have Arecont Vision megapixel cameras. The current installations include AV1300 and AV3100 models, with a recent addition of the H.264 AV3105 unit, each with a wide angle lens for blanket coverage of the banks. Like all Arecont Vision's fixed megapixel cameras, these two models offer HD quality resolution that is significantly better than even the highest performing analog surveillance cameras. All systems are monitored centrally by Emprise's security department, with client access available at the site level if needed.
Emprise took on the challenge of designing their video surveillance system in-house. "The decision on camera placement was something I as the security officer wanted to take to a different level,” Couch said. “Also, designing our own video storage system allowed us to get twice the storage for half the money."
Ultimately, it was the vision of Couch and the Emprise Bank IT team that led to the decision to implement a fully IP-based solution. "We see a whole new world of integration coming down the line for businesses who are taking the leap into IP," he said. "Stringing along analog products only delays the inevitable. If your IT department is on board with its security program your institution will ease into an IP environment much easier than if they were not. We have been fortunate in that the IT department at Emprise Bank embraced the idea and got on board early with the evaluation and implementation."
"For the installation, we looked to American Digital Security for their expertise in systems integration,” Couch said. "ADS is a leader in the integration of network-based surveillance systems, and they were early supporters of megapixel camera technology for its outstanding imaging performance and ability to capitalize on the new IP system model.”
Placing Arecont Vision's megapixel cameras in the parking lots has reaped benefits for Emprise Banks, according to Couch. The ability to give specific information to the police regarding, for example, the color, make, model and license plate of the vehicle a suspect drove away in greatly enables finding and apprehending suspects.
Inside the banks, the Arecont Vision megapixel technology has made it much easier to catch fraud. Couch said that if an individual came in to one of the banks to cash a one hundred dollar check, it would be possible to determine from the video if that money was given to them in US$20, $50 or $100 bills. The video data can also be taken and made into electronic files for later reference.
While the Emprise team did evaluate other manufacturers, and appreciated the many features available on the market, in the end it was Arecont Vision's camera image quality and ease of use that determined their selection. "The Arecont Vision cameras have amazing picture quality," said Couch. "Having been a law enforcement officer, I know how hard it can be to identify suspects from analog cameras of the past.”
The megapixel cameras solve image quality problems. “Now, we can see tattoos and other identifiers on suspects that weren't possible with analog images,” Couch said. “In fact, the details in the best analog cameras never came close to touching Arecont Vision megapixel cameras. With the right camera and lens you can read the county identifier sticker on a license plate from several feet away. That's pretty good detail!”
Images from Arecont Vision's fixed cameras can be cropped to a 16 by 9 aspect ratio and scaled to 1080p or 720p for a true high definition format. The cameras can steam up to four regions of interest. The resolution is fully controllable; it is possible to stream full resolution or scale less in order to conserve bandwidth. With support for compliant Power over Ethernet (PoE) and auto-iris control functionality, these cameras deliver full motion progressive scan resolution and are priced comparably to standard resolution IP video cameras.
For Jeremy Couch and the Emprise Bank team, Arecont Vision has proved to be the right choice. “It's nice to be able to talk directly to the staff at Arecont Vision,” he said. “The one issue I had with a camera was resolved immediately and the camera swapped out in five minutes. With Arecont Vision's cameras installed, I can say that the first camera installed over a year ago has the same image quality as one installed today.”