Milestone Systems, an open platform provider for IP VMS, is the technology of choice for Pan Pacific Hotels Group when it comes to ensuring the safety of their customers.
"Being a people-centric business, comfort and life safety issues are foremost for us. We have always had a high focus on security in terms of insuring a very robust life protection infrastructure – not just since the events of recent times: it is part of our brand. Whether it's short- or long-stay business, we ensure our environment gives customers the confidence that security is factored into their stay," said Mark Fancourt, VP Information Technology at Pan Pacific Hotels Group.
Hotels have a broad scope to keep track of and monitor, being multiple access locations with significant public traffic at all times of day or night. Large function and event spaces add to this requirement. Fancourt described the hotel environment as "an open yet controlled environment" from the management point of view, with security challenges similar to busy shopping centers.
Migration from Analog to IP
In October 2007, the IMF Conference was held in the SUNTEC Convention Center adjacent to Pan Pacific Singapore, where many of the delegates were housed. This gave the impetus to upgrade the hotel's analog video surveillance system to the very latest security tools. Milestone open platform IP VMS was chosen as the core of their solution. The VMS will be rolled out at other hotel locations, such as the Pan Pacific Seattle, Pan Pacific Hotels Group corporate offices and Pan Pacific Serviced Suites, Bangkok.
The technology upgrade at Pan Pacific Singapore with 250 cameras was scheduled for a two-month period to complete the project. However, with the leaner setup infrastructure required for the IP system, implementing was faster and more efficient.
"One of the advantages with open IP technology is that you don't need such a large physical space for your security operations as you do with purpose-built, proprietary analog installations. It's a lot more modular today, thanks to the independent network software approach," Fancourt said.
There are many opportunities with the software and integration, both through the cameras that are coming with more innovations like analytics at the edge, and with other systems like access control, parking systems or guest registration software.
"Milestone provides an IT approach that allows my users to easily interface with the system – PCs are their daily working tools. Controlling Milestone from the comfort of the PC was a dream come true, and the user friendliness of Milestone makes the whole process much simpler," said Mr. Vinod, Director of Security at Pan Pacific Singapore.
Fancourt said: "Milestone is simple to use. With no training, I was able to use it immediately – very intuitive. When there is an incident, the security team can access the video footage quickly with a nonstop flow of evidence from camera to camera. Sharing information with law enforcement is also a simple process. In fact we are able to support third-party, real-time access to the surveillance, as we needed to for IMF in Singapore. The speed of availability is vastly different from analog systems, and quickly provides the necessary information for faster response. There are also alerts that trigger proactive actions to prevent situations from escalating. The software is well thought-out and designed, easy to configure, maintain and use. It really is a great piece of technology."
Fancourt said the hotel has the Milestone Product Maintenance Agreement and gets the most out of that investment by keeping current with the latest technology as new versions of the software become available. Future opportunities from the Milestone open platform are clearly in sight for Pan Pacific Hotels Group.
"We can take advantage of the software as it becomes smarter," Fancourt said. "Integrations with new advancements that come along will allow us to become even more effective, freeing up human resources that don't have to sit glued to a screen, getting alerts when needed. I foresee having a city-wide surveillance approach instead of in the separate businesses: a single point of central control with local and mobile access points. Emerging technologies in future are available to us with this solution. My aim is to recommend to our owners this long-term vision, through the software-based, hardware independent Milestone solution – it is the right one for us."