With multisite surveillance, offering clients Web access and the ability to authorize access privileges gives them greater control over their own security system. Involving clients in using and understanding the technology will help multisite surveillance prosper.
Where additional devices and systems are installed, it should be possible to add them to the site account, by using Web access to the central management server. Client Web access to control room management systems is opening up the possibilities for self-administration as well as providing easier and instant access to information, said Brian Kelly, MD of Bold Communications.
There are some cost and complexities involved in setting up secure Web servers. However, once set up, the benefits extend to both commercial monitoring centers and corporate facilities, Kelly said. For corporate control rooms, the benefit of providing field security personnel instant access to data via the Web, rather than waiting for it to be provided by the control room, will enhance management.
Getting hold of accurate and up-to-date information is a common complaint. Reports can be created and automatically scheduled to be sent by fax, e-mail or remote printer. However, clients may prefer instant snapshots of what is going on, as opposed to a scheduled report, Kelly said. In the situation where a client wants to make changes or update/access details (especially to a new remote site), Web access to the multisite surveillance information is an essential requirement.
Finally, Web access may serve hundreds or thousands of customers, which makes it a source of revenue, rather than simply a cost.
Authorizing Access Privileges
With multisite environments, controlled access to data across organizational boundaries is key, as it provides companies with the ability to decide which data to share and which to protect. This is especially important with global organizations, where privacy and sharing of information across borders have strict legislations, and companies have detailed guidelines in their HR policies, said Neville Miles, VP of Systems and Products, Security Solutions, Siemens Building Technologies.
Sometimes jurisdiction plays a role in operator privileges and access to video footage. Federal organizations, for example, could have more access to recorded data than local law enforcement agencies, said Udi Segall, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Nice Systems. Other times, multisite solutions can serve other agencies, such as local police departments. In the U.K., the British Transport Police is responsible for managing criminal events, detracting power from local authorities. This essentially means that the police might have more access to a central command room's data as opposed, to say, the transit authority, Segall said. Police or other agencies can also be granted special privileges to look at the cameras at specific times.
With preapproved access, programming via video management software will allow operators to send personalized views to any video wall, small display or PC. These views can also be shared privately with other operators or supervisors for collaboration or approval, before being "pushed" onto more public group display walls, both locally or at remote locations, said Robert Wu, Senior Director of Market Strategy at Barco.
Therefore, the system's administrator can specify and allocate different privileges and levels of access per site, depending on the client's needs. These are the fundamentals of multisite surveillance, said Barak Israel, Product Manager of Nice Systems.