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ADT CCTV Product Market Manager considers the challenges faced when designing IP CCTV systems in today's technological age 
Going back to the blueprint - assessing the challenges of designing an IP CCTV
The world of IP CCTV design is continuously progressing. Security system designers and installers have to frequently evaluate customers' needs when running an IP-surveillance system on a company's network. It is up to the CCTV sales manager to eradicate any concerns regarding IP-based CCTV systems and look at the requirements of each customer, subsequently offering bespoke networks to suit the individual needs of each one. In this article, Peter Stanton, ADT CCTV Product Market Manager considers the challenges faced when designing IP CCTV systems in today's technological age.

Issues to consider when using a company's IP network for CCTV surveillance

It should be an IT manager's key priority to keep system downtime to a bare minimum. It is essential to businesses that the security of their network is always maintained at an optimum level and that the performance of their network is not affected by any additional services working across it. There are many concerns over IT security - for example, the mandatory need to open firewall ports for the CCTV system to transmit images. Security installers have to be aware of such key issues and deal with concerns during the design process when presenting proposals for CCTV images to be transmitted over an organization's IP network.

Usually security and loss prevention hallmark the operational requirements for a CCTV system in a standard organization. The installer of the system needs to establish how it will be used by the company, what areas are to be covered by CCTV, and importantly what the security issues are on the premises and how the CCTV system will address them. Once these factors have been identified and it has been decided that an IP-based CCTV system is the best way forward, it would be advisable at this stage to involve the IT department in discussions concerning system design to ensure that the installation of the system is at its most efficient and cost-effective. With the constantly developing IT landscape, it is imperative that the Sales manager has a very high level of IP and network knowledge in order to converse efficiently with the network manager.

IT department's role in contributing to an effective CCTV system

It is essential to businesses that the security of their network is always maintained at an optimum level and that the performance of their network is not affected by any additional services working across it

To avoid conflicts revolving around how a business IT system operates and how a security system is required to function, it may also be necessary for IT managers to develop relevant communication skills. It is fundamental that a CCTV surveillance system should work effectively, 24/7, and it may well be, depending on its purpose, that a higher demand for security is needed during out of office hours. However, that is normally the precise time that the IT department would decide to undertake maintenance or upgrade work and thus take down parts of the organization's network. Another security threat may arise from IT managers being unaware of the creativity and determination of criminals who may attempt to tamper with or bypass the security system. It is also possible that within the organization itself, the changing of network or firewall settings, intentional or not, could result in the effectiveness of security being seriously impinged, or the loss of security altogether.

Benefits of adopting a well deployed IP CCTV solution

Having taken these issues into consideration, the benefits are still certainly impressive. They include the financial savings resulting from the removal of additional cabling and equipment around the premises, the ease of remote access to the surveillance system and the additional user benefits of the control of storage and distribution of CCTV images. Therefore, full integration is a highly preferential option.

 The significant advantages such as the use of PoE (Power over Ethernet) to remove the need for specific power supplies
With the IT department and CCTV installer working together this can produce a mutually beneficial solution 
IP based CCTV - from the installer's viewpoint

For an installer who is used to and comfortable with designing analog systems, the topology of an IP based CCTV system is an easy concept to understand, the simplicity with which power, audio and telemetry control can be provided in a ‘fix, plug and use' install process and the economic advantages gained from less cabling, are all available for a system on its own bespoke IP network.

By making use of some, or all, of the entire existing network infrastructure, it is possible to eradicate superfluous cost, and at this stage, conversations with the IT manager can begin in order to look at rationalising the initial design. Expertise on the company's network, and expertise in designing a system that meets the exact operational needs of that company, will be provided by the IT manager and the installing company respectively. With the IT department and CCTV installer working together, a more (consultative) approach should arise in terms of the system's design and completion, with any initial worries being removed on both sides.

IP CCTV solution can be mutually beneficial for installers and IT departments

A mutually beneficial solution can therefore develop and any concerns can be alleviated. With this approach, reliability and durability are integrated into system design as well as the set -up of controls, which dictate who is allowed into the system, thus preventing any unnecessary surprises surfacing, such as system outages or security being compromised once the IP CCTV system is installed.

 ADT Fire and Security

Peter Stanton
Product Market Manager
ADT Fire and Security

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