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PAK Supermarkets, Europe's largest Asian supermarket chain, and a favorite for ethnic cuisine lovers across the Midlands, is benefiting from the latest NetVu Connected CCTV technology developed by Dedicated Micros - part of AD Group - and installed by DM Fusion installer Security Direct. Since opening in April, PAK Supermarkets' new £7 million store, based in Washwood Heath, Birmingham, has been attracting a plethora of shoppers from as far afield as Leicester and Banbury. With a vast 80,000 sq ft of ground to cover across the store - as well as thousands of pounds being exchanged each day - it was imperative to have the very best security system in operation. Combining security and service CCTV expert Dedicated Micros has devised a pioneering Advanced Point Of Sale (APOS) interface system, which not only offers the Washwood Heath store state-of-the-art surveillance, but also acts as a pivotal cog in the store's management decisions. The Dedicated Micros CCTV system at PAK Supermarkets, when integrated with the APOS technology, allows security staff to keep an eye on any suspicious activity while also providing valuable management transaction data by integrating checkout activity with the CCTV images. Purchase information from each till is transmitted to a central control room via a hard wired TCP/IP network, which is combined with video footage from cameras at each checkout to capture the customer in action and ensure stock levels, security and spending habits are carefully monitored. Management has access to the CCTV system via the Dedicated Micros NetVu ObserVer software around the store With the new system, every product that goes through the till can be monitored and analyzed. It gives store management the chance to see exactly what is being bought with both the till transaction and video footage being combined, not just overlaid on the video footage, but being read, and managed as part of our highly sophisticated metadata handling process. Bringing these together gives users the perfect opportunity to keep track of who is buying what and enables stores to better control and plan their own store layouts and help in developing marketing strategies. In addition to integrating point of sale data, the technology also provides a wide spectrum of security benefits beyond the scope of a more traditional installation. With a network of cameras covering inside and outside the store, the system - combined with store detectives - has rapidly become part of the daily routine at the supermarket. The Dedicated Micros system allows users to design a set-up to meet the individual needs of their business. It can be applied; for example, to trigger an alarm if a large number of £50 notes have been exchanged in the store in a short space of time at different tills. Anything from investigating fraud to clearing up customer complaints if they think they have been short-changed can be dealt with at the touch of a button, which provides an extra chance for the supermarket to deliver excellent customer service. A super-sized project West Midlands-based company, Security Direct, a DM Fusion installer, was commissioned to install the system. Surj Dhami, Managing Director of Security Direct, said: "The biggest hurdle to overcome was the sheer amount of equipment required. It is a large supermarket with a correspondingly large and complex installation so it made sense to select Dedicated Micros systems which could be readily integrated together." The network of CCTV cameras capture images and transmit them back to a 24/7 manned control room In total 20 2040 Dennard indoor dome cameras, a 2060 Dennard precision outdoor dome and six Dedicated Micros Digital Sprite 2(DS2) Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) provide the basis of the installation, including a total of 9Tb of hard disk storage capacity, as part of a sophisticated network system. In addition, 12 APOS interfaces were installed with 30 LCD monitors as part of the four-month project. At the design stage of the project, Security Direct chose to specify Dedicated Micros NetVu Connected products, which allow images to be viewed via a TCP/IP network on any authorized PC, across the installation. 2060 Dennard domes were chosen to cover the exterior of the supermarket partly because of their resistance to vandalism, but also the ability of the cameras to operate in low light conditions. The more compact 2040 domes cover the inside of the store at tills and along the aisles. The network of CCTV cameras capture images and transmit them back to a 24/7 manned control room. Images are viewed on dedicated monitors, with traditional joystick control of the system. At locations around the store, management has access to the CCTV system via Dedicated Micros NetVu ObserVer software, which is installed on PCs and offers very familiar Windows-based drag and drop functionality to get the end users up to speed as quickly as possible with the new technology. In section on the shop floor Khalid Hussain, Managing Director of PAK Supermarkets, said: "This is a fantastic system that has given us exactly what we required. We wanted a solution, which not only delivers a high-spec surveillance operation, but can also be incorporated into the ongoing commercial development of our stores. It really delivers everything the retail environment needs - the perfect tool for security and customer service. We also have more control over each transaction, which we are obviously very happy with." The network of CCTV cameras capture images and transmit them back to a 24/7 manned control room. Images are viewed on dedicated monitors, with traditional joystick control of the system The APOS system has already proved a hit at several other retail chains including Selfridges, Marks and Spencer and KFC. Khalid believes the market-leading system will become a hit with many other retailers: "It is all a matter of budget for security, but I am sure given our positive experience that more and more of the bigger retailers would be very much attracted to this system." The Dedicated Micros technology has proven so successful in helping to manage and plan stock requirements that the supermarket is now considering the introduction of loyalty cards which link directly in with the APOS interface. PAK Supermarkets has commissioned Security Direct to redevelop its surveillance - using the Dedicated Micros system - across its seven stores nationwide and a further four currently under development. Khalid said: "The idea is to ultimately have all of our supermarket CCTV systems linked up to the control room here. It will help to keep our operation centralized and much easier to maintain. "This whole set-up has made life much easier for us to keep a track of everything happening in the store and this will eventually be rolled out to our entire operation, which will no doubt ensure our security and customer service is up there with the best in the business."
The Port of Grimsby & Immingham, the UK's largest port by tonnage, is now taking advantage of the latest digital networked CCTV technology from Dedicated Micros, recommended by installer DJ Byers CCTV, to maximize both security and the port's operational and logistical processes. Back in August 2007, owner and operator Associated British Ports (ABP) turned to DJ Byers CCTV to advise on how best to bring its existing under-utilised and cumbersome analog CCTV system into the digital era. The initial installation, undertaken by DJ Byers CCTV, across the two sites that comprise the port included three types of digital video recorder (DVR) from Dedicated Micros' range of advanced NetVu Connected products. Corresponding DV-IP Encoders providing IP functionality for the existing analog CCTV cameras were specified at the same time. As the three-month project progressed, the equipment requirements grew and three Dennard dome cameras were soon added to ABP's shopping list. A key factor in the success of the scheme was the fact that the whole project was underpinned by NetVu Connected product architecture - a common technology base across Dedicated Micros and parent company AD Group's CCTV systems. This supports seamless integration and interoperability and makes the installation and expansion of a network-based CCTV solution a straightforward process. The challenge David Byers, Managing Director of DJ Byers CCTV, explains: "The original brief from ABP was very simple - to upgrade the analog CCTV system to digital. "However, with 41 legacy cameras across the two ports and a requirement from ABP that the new installation make use of these cameras and allow for further expansion, the project required careful planning." It became very clear that the complexity and scale of the project demanded much more than simply unpacking a DVR, connecting cables and plugging in a joystick to bring the system up to date. Gareth Cutts, IT Manager for ABP, continues: "We already had quite a substantial CCTV network covering the two sites, but it was very disparate, and difficult to manage. We certainly weren't making the most out of the system." The key stumbling blocks were the size of the port's two sites and the lack of flexibility of the existing system. All the cameras were hard wired and as such only relatively small areas were being monitored by localised groups of cameras managed by local control centers. This made the cameras very task-oriented and unfortunately opportunities were being missed for security cameras to be used for other applications such as monitoring port vehicles. Dedicated Micros' viewing software, NetVu ObserVer, allows multiple users to access cameras from across the network Coupled with these issues, the solution needed to ensure operability across both wireless and hard wired networks. However, the wireless network already carried radio and other network traffic, placing a limit on the bandwidth available for CCTV. To include all the existing cameras it was vital to reuse cabling. In itself this is not normally a problem, but the fact that a number of control centers were spread out across the port meant either laying additional cabling to link the centers together or using the wireless network. Gareth describes the problem: "Unfortunately, when the Victorians built Grimsby and the Edwardians built Immingham, they neglected to include any cable ducting so new cabling was really not an option! Equally we had to limit the bandwidth used by the CCTV system over the wireless network, so we needed a third alternative." Combined Wi-Fi/hard wired solution "Ultimately the diversity of the Dedicated Micros product range suggested by DJ Byers provided the solution and following David's recommendations we were able to take a decision to site DVRs to suit our needs." "For example, one of our gatehouses monitors and controls a number of cameras local to its physical position. Unfortunately the gatehouse has limited hard-wired network capacity so it was impossible to link it back to our central control center. To overcome this, an Eco 9 DVR was installed to record images locally." "The simplicity of the Eco DVR coupled with ease of installation made this the perfect product for the situation. Plus the Eco is very easy to use which made the switchover from our old system to the Dedicated Micros set-up very straightforward." "The flexibility of having a local DVR means our gatehouse staff has instant local access to the images but our central security teams, of which we have one per site in central control rooms, can also retrieve images when required via the wireless network using the NetVu ObserVer software." Dedicated Micros powerful viewing software, NetVu ObserVer, has proved invaluable because of the scale of the sites at Grimsby and Immingham. Multiple users can now access cameras from across the network, breathing new life into the old equipment. DVRs from Dedicated Micros' Eco range were installed to cope with local monitoring requirements The software uses a familiar drag and drop system, cutting the time taken to train staff and therefore maximize productivity from the new system. By carefully selecting Dedicated Micros DVRs based on storage capacity and scalability, the two sites are now monitored together using this Wi-Fi/hard wired network solution and delivered to all the relevant departments via NetVu ObserVer. A total of three of the latest SD Range DVRs and three DVRs from the Eco range were installed to cope with local monitoring requirements. In total, 41 legacy cameras are connected to the system in this way. To integrate the existing analog cameras and the new digital recording equipment, three Dedicated Micros DV-IP Encoders were also installed, presenting the users of the system with all the benefits of a fully upgradeable and seamless IP CCTV network based on the legacy equipment. To complement the upgrade, a Digital Sprite 2 (DS2) DVR was positioned at the central network hub for each port to allow the introduction of new IP cameras where and when required. Three Dennard 2060 Dome cameras have since been added and the ability to do so is made all the more simple by the NetVu Connected system architecture underpinning the CCTV solution. This allows products to easily communicate with one another, eliminating compatibility issues and reducing the time and effort taken in the installation and commissioning process. As Gareth explains: "To bring in a new camera, virtually all we need to do now is plug it in and it's connected to the network." CCTV multi-tasking Prior to the installation, cameras tended to be used for just one purpose. The new system, however, has allowed for the development of multiple applications. At an operational level, the ability to track the movement of vehicles across the port has already proven to be effective. Gareth recalls one of the first examples of the system being put to the test. "Just a few days after the system was up and running, a driver collided with a fence and caused a fair amount of damage." "Fortunately the damaged section of fence was monitored and with the Dedicated Micros system we were able to use the analytics feature to track activity specific to the area. A number of alarms were generated and when we looked back through the footage, one alarm showed a vehicle being driven into the fence, the driver getting out, having a quick look round before getting back in the vehicle and driving off." "The features of the new system meant we were able to quickly identify the driver and take action." "Video evidence of what has occurred can also prove decisive in the resolution of disputes. Every ship coming into the port has the potential to run into the side of the lock and we've a number of cases where arguments ensue over who was responsible. In the majority of cases, CCTV footage will settle the debate and the Dedicated Micros solution will now serve to make this much easier." Six members of the port staff have access to the whole of the CCTV camera network via Dedicated Micros NetVu ObserVer In total, six members of the port staff have access to the whole of the CCTV camera network via Dedicated Micros NetVu ObserVer. The system has broadened the scope of cameras across the port, with security cameras now being used just as much for operational and logistical applications as for security reasons. As Gareth concludes: "Thanks to David we have a great understanding of how to implement and get the most from the Dedicated Micros technology. I can honestly say that I'm now getting the best out of my old kit and I can readily expand the new." Says Pauline Norstrom, Director of Worldwide Marketing at Dedicated Micros: "There is little doubt that the large scale nature of port sites and the volume of cargo they have to deal with present real security challenges for management. It is therefore gratifying to see our NetVu Connected systems playing such a pivotal role in delivering a flexible and scalable networked digital CCTV solution to keep a watchful eye on ABP's operations at Grimsby and Immingham."
DM Fusion security installer Crimewatch Systems has rolled-out an advanced, remotely monitored, detector-activated CCTV solution - built around Dedicated Micros NetVu Connected CCTV systems and NetVu ObserVer management software - to provide out-of-hours protection against vandalism and criminal attack for 15 widely dispersed sites in Cheshire, England, operated by HW Martin Waste Ltd. The sites secured by Crimewatch Systems - and its associated SSAIB accredited RVRC (Remote Video Response Centre) 'CCTV-M' - are being covered as the result of a contract awarded to HW Martin Waste Ltd, to manage household waste recycling sites, on behalf of Cheshire County Council. Installation matters Upon commencement of the contract, at the beginning of February 2008, Crimewatch Systems fast tracked a large scale installation programme at the 15 waste sites and HW Martin Waste's regional base in Sandbach, Cheshire, where its skips, vehicles and equipment to service the other sites are stored. This saw the experienced DM Fusion security installer using a team of 10 to fit, in less than two months, a total of 13 Digital Sprite 2 (DS2) DVRs (Digital Video Recorders) with NetVu ObserVer viewing software, 26 vandal-proof Dennard 2060 outdoor domes and 13 KBS3 digital remote keyboards - all from Dedicated Micros. As part of the remotely monitored solution Optex Redwall outdoor PIR sensors were also selected to provide early detection of intruders around the perimeter of each site. Commenting on the installation process Mike Readman, Sales Consultant, at Crimewatch Systems highlights the challenge presented by the number of geographically dispersed locations: "This was an ambitious project for us in terms of the sites covered and the timescale, with a wide variation in size, location and lighting conditions. "On one site, for example, we had to put in additional IR illumination because of its proximity to housing and the fact that we did not want to draw attention to it at night so that the remotely monitored CCTV could work effectively. Crucially, we were able to overcome all the hurdles and deliver an effective solution to time and budget." NetVu ObserVer for remote monitoring In operation the Dedicated Micros DVRs at each location are also linked back by broadband connection to Crimewatch Systems' advanced CCTV-M control center for night-time monitoring. Here operators are able to use a special RVRC (Remote Video Response Centre) version of Dedicated Micros NetVu ObserVer viewing software to deal with any detector activations and associated CCTV images. In this environment NetVu ObserVer ensures effective management of operations, session support, the creation of reports and incident characterisation. In addition, authorized staff at HW Martin Waste Ltd's Sandbach regional center are now able to view the connected sites during working hours, using their own version of NetVu ObserVer, via PC, not only in terms of security issues but also as a management tool. A good example of this is the ability to use the CCTV solution to help them to tell, remotely, if a skip on a site is full and needs to be emptied rather than checking manually, saving valuable time and resources. Focus on security Staff at HW Martin Waste Ltd using the NetVu ObserVer According to Mark Faulconbridge a Director at HW Martin Waste Ltd: "For Cheshire County Council effective site security was high on their wish list, with part of the 10 year contract stipulating that monitored CCTV had to be provided at each recycling location, so it was imperative that we could demonstrate that we would be able to meet these demands. Our experience working with Crimewatch Systems in other areas of the UK, including Leeds, Derbyshire and Warwickshire was an important factor in us ultimately winning the Cheshire tender." Faulconbridge believes that, when it comes to waste sites, there are a number of major challenges presented by unwanted intruders that the solution adopted by HW Martin Waste Ltd had to address: "There are the opportunists who - if left unchecked - will simply climb over the perimeter fence at night to rifle through our skips and take whatever they want; those who are intent on causing vandalism for the sake of it; and dangerous criminal gangs who are targeting metal-based materials and items of high value. When people come in uninvited out of hours there is, not only, the potential for damage to our infrastructure - with knock-on effects on the smooth running of a site - but also the fact that such individuals can be a real danger to themselves in terms of accidents and injury. "The upshot of this is that we need to be in a position 24/7 to keep people out, who should not be here, by having effective oversight and control of each area. The Crimewatch Systems and Dedicated Micros solution we have adopted for Cheshire - and many of our other sites UK-wide - supplies cost effective and capable remotely monitored, detector activated, CCTV which allows operators to take effective, proactive, action when something happens rather than simply having to rely on footage viewed post event. The use of loudspeakers on each site also means that operators can announce that specific individuals are being monitored. If that is not incentive enough for them to stop their activities then the police can be alerted to a visually confirmed incident." Practical benefits The need for the remotely monitored CCTV solution was brought home to Faulconbridge during the installation process. At this stage manned guards were being used temporarily to secure the sites until the new systems went "The Crimewatch Systems and Dedicated Micros solution we have adopted for Cheshire - and many of our other sites UK-wide - supplies cost effective and capable remotely monitored, detector activated, CCTV" 'live': "On one of the sites a security guard was seriously assaulted by an intruder which meant that we had to temporarily increase the number of guards to ensure personal safety of the manned guards and the security of that location. Thankfully since the guards have been replaced with the new CCTV serious attacks have been stopped completely by the remotely monitored CCTV and no one's life is being put in jeopardy." Another example cited by Faulconbridge shows how safety issues can be addressed: "On a different site prior to the remotely monitored CCTV a vagrant would regularly come on at night to sift through the waste stored there - having someone wandering around unsupervised raised real concerns for their safety, especially given the split level nature of the site. The last thing we wanted was to find an individual seriously injured or worse because they had an accident. Now verbal warnings can be issued by the RVRC operators to discourage them from coming on in the first place and if someone does attempt it, and is injured, such a situation will not go unnoticed." Proven performance Mike Readman, Sales Consultant, at Crimewatch Systems stresses the installer's confidence in Dedicated Micros CCTV solutions, which form the bulk of the security infrastructure on the Cheshire site, especially as a founder member of the DM Fusion programme: "The decision to adopt Dedicated Micros CCTV systems for this HW Martin Waste Ltd project, including NetVu ObserVer viewing software, reflects the fact that of the CCTV systems we have used historically Dedicated Micros products have proved to be the most reliable. Crucially, in my opinion the company offers the best support package in the market. This is undoubtedly a key consideration when being tasked with overseeing a plethora of sites. "The last thing we want is a frustrated customer and gaps in surveillance caused by an unexpected system failure and no one available to support any subsequent troubleshooting." Moving ahead Crimewatch Systems is looking to expand the monitoring service it provides not only for its own clients but also for installers who do not have this capability. A 2060 outdoor dome camera keeps a watchful eye over household waste sites Increased capability Comments Readman: "Currently the remotely monitored detector activated CCTV service we provide is available from 4.00 pm to 8.00 am the next morning - and over the weekend and shutdown periods - and this has worked extremely well as in the case of Cheshire. For the future with the opening of a new RVRC, as part of an ambitious investment programme, we will have the flexibility to offer an ongoing 24 hour NetVu ObserVer-based monitoring capability for clients who need it. As a result we anticipate a large-scale expansion in the number of sites we look after both for our own customers and also those we protect on behalf of third parties." Says Pauline Norstrom, Director of Worldwide Marketing at Dedicated Micros: "We are extremely pleased to see a DM Fusion installer involved in such a wide ranging and successful project. Undoubtedly, security and safety at waste sites is a key concern and Crimewatch Systems has established itself - through the use of Dedicated Micros NetVu Connected systems and working closely with HW Martin Waste Ltd - as a major player in this sector. "Under the DM Fusion installer programme we will continue to provide Crimewatch Systems with the critical back-up and support they require to deliver effective, reliable and user friendly security solutions. This will allow them to readily build on their already impressive track record of success."
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