Since early 2007 Dutch newspaper publisher PCM has occupied a light, spacious and transparent building made largely of glass. It shares the 33,000 square meters INIT building on Oostenburgereiland in Amsterdam with a variety of other companies. Divided by wide 'streets', the overall impression produced is of an indoor town, complete with its own parking garage as well as large outdoor car park. Additional security for PCM staff is provided by an IP-based surveillance system designed by local system integrator Alphatron using a Geutebruck platform and management software.
The 850 PCM workstations in the INIT building are occupied by editors, advertising sales people and subscription management staff who work on the national newspapers De Volkskrant, Trouw and the online activities of DAG. Security issues faced by the company have ranged from irate manufacturers objecting to the publication of unfavourable product research, to the bombing of the printing plant elsewhere in Amsterdam. Although, according to Cees Versendaal, the facility manager responsible for the PCM sites in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, security played a major role in the choice of location, the building itself did not provide sufficient security for the company's needs and further measures were required.
PCM established its own private reception, staffed 24 hours a day. As Versendaal explained, "The reception also provides first aid and in the evening sees employees to their taxis. The morning paper shifts finish late at night, sometimes people remain in the building until one in the morning. Especially female employees feel unsafe in the dark car park. The receptionservice ensures we have oversight over the taxi traffic, so that is always clear who has ordered a taxi."
The offices are accessed through turnstiles. The central management system controls access to all locations in Amsterdam and Rotterdam also prevents people having different access keys.
When PCM decided in 2007 that security at all sites should be overseen by an external agency it was also decided to install surveillance monitoring on all floors in the INIT offices. "Given that we are a 24-hour business, we have different interests from, for instance, the law firms and architects in the building where no-one works at weekends or public holidays." Versendaal goes on, "Of course it led to questions about operation: such as what should be in the picture, how long the images should be stored and who is responsible for reviewing the images. Care was taken to position the cameras so that only security relevant material is monitored. Nobody wants a camera looking over his shoulder all day. Security has to have support from within the organization. A protocol has been established and only very few people have authority to consult the images."
The CCTV system includes fifteen Axis network cameras connected to a GeViScope server. Images are continuously viewed in the reception and retained for seven days. The cameras, located both outside and inside the workplace, focus mainly on entrances and exits. The reception and turnstiles are monitored so everyone who enters the PCM office is recorded. Visitors have to report to reception, but even if staff allow visitors through the turnstiles unofficially, reception still has recorded images which can be quickly found using Geutebruck's video management software.
"The excellent light conditions and the presence of a high-quality IT network in the building made an IP-based system an easy choice," explains Remko Bischoff, account manager for system integrator Alphatron. "Not only would installing additional camera cables have been difficult, but with so much glass in the building INIT is ideal for camera surveillance. We didn't need to use megapixel cameras or cameras with extreme light sensitivity to achieve the required high resolution image quality."
For Bischoff the close co-operation necessary with Getronics Pink-Roccade who are responsible for PCM's network, was a positive opportunity to develop trust and understanding. "IT administrators are not always eager to use networks for applications other than data traffic - which is quite understandable in a newspaper company where the network is its life-blood - but we were quickly able to reassure them. Geutebruck's knowledge and experience of IP networks really shows in their products, so with their management software we soon set up a solution to deliver the performance and high reliability the user was looking for."