Unification of video surveillance, access control and intercom offers a significant opportunity for security departments to become more efficient
The trend towards greater unification is facilitated by an all-encompassing shift to IP technologies

As more organizations are looking for ways to maximize resources and increase operational efficiencies, unification of multiple security and business systems is gaining popularity. From the central command center, there is significant time lost when operators have to jump from video surveillance to access control systems to analyze an incident and take appropriate measures. Even more time is wasted when operators need to either physically displace themselves or dispatch a guard or floor attendant to respond to an access denied event at the door.

Unification of video surveillance, access control and intercom offers a significant opportunity for security departments to become more efficient and thus, provide more value to the company as a whole. How?

  • by using real-time video feeds to view a situation and to respond to and manage incoming calls, including emergency calls,
  • by using video cameras and access control to validate the identity of a caller prior to allowing access,
  • by enhancing investigations through the replay of recorded call sessions and associated video when reviewing historical events.

This trend towards greater unification is facilitated by an all-encompassing shift to IP technologies. Businesses already have a network infrastructure in place, and are able to leverage those investments to connect multiple systems using existing cabling and reduce total cost of ownership. Now, through an industry-standard or open protocol like Session Initiated Protocol (SIP), companies can choose their own SIP-enabled devices that best suit their applications and budgets to literally open communication for security purposes. The added level of interoperability also helps organizations protect their investments as devices can be easily upgraded as new SIP-enabled technologies come to market.  

3 Industry Applications That Will Benefit from SIP Intercom Unification

Adding SIP-enable intercom solutions to a unified security platform that supports its communication is an investment with big pay-offs

Essentially, adding SIP-enable intercom solutions to a unified security platform that supports its communication is an investment with big pay-offs. A built-in module enables easy tie-ins with leading intercom manufacturers. Then, security departments can effectively become more responsive in a variety of applications, including:

Education – Any distress call coming from emergency call stations on a campus can quickly be handled by operators. Automatic alarms can prompt video and initiative two-way conversation between the individual and the security operator. This helps the individual feel connected and safe, while allowing the operator to get all pivotal information to take action.

Stadiums and Venues – When an access denied alarm goes off, video and intercom can be made available so the operator can speak directly with the individual who might be trying to access personnel-only zones. They can also use intercom to screen every person accessing VIP areas, so as not to let unwelcomed persons enter more critical security areas.

Seaports – Intercom communication can be used at docks to respond to dock-worker requests or emergencies. A unified security and communications system can also be used to monitor incoming and outgoing vehicles either through access control readers or license plate recognition cameras.  Security personnel can visually vet incoming vehicles, verbally address drivers and then manually open gates from a single unified security application.

Possibilities Expand with Communication Simplicity

While there are many other applications stemming from a fully unified security platform that includes intercom, security departments themselves can also benefit. An advanced SIP-enabled solution can also allow for user-to-user communication, helping minimize steps involved in reaching out to other operators or managers that need to get involved. This is only the beginning of the possibilities enabled by intercom functionalities, and demand will surge as more end users expand their scope of unification in efforts to become more efficient. 

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Jimmy Palatsoukas Senior Manager of Product Marketing, Genetec, Inc.

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