Hotels, leisure & entertainment security applications
A comprehensive video surveillance solution consisting of 96 cameras from Dahua Technology UK is being installed at the striking Fort Dunlop commercial and retail site, overlooking the M6 motorway in Birmingham. Dahua-Champion Security’s Video Solution Built for Dunlop Rubber, Fort Dunlop became the tyre-maker’s flagship production facility and at one time was the world’s largest factory, employing 3,200 workers. After production stopped in the 1980s, the building lay derelic...
The large crowds that regularly flock to downtown Houston, Texas, known as GreenStreet, call for heightened security measures. However, the 570,000-square-foot mixed-use center needed to balance a high level of security while maintaining an open and inviting environment that accommodates numerous businesses, delivery drivers, service providers and others who need open access to the property. With an eye towards improving both security and efficiency, the property’s owners decided it...
With a history dating back to the 1850s, the Sioux City Public Museum has evolved from its original focus on natural science to a broader emphasis on preserving the area’s heritage, offering a variety of educational programmes, events, and historical exhibitions valued at more than $2 million. Having outgrown its former location in a prominent Victorian-era mansion, the museum moved to a new downtown site in April 2011—a modern, open-concept building that has become known as one of t...
The Monterey Bay Aquarium has a rich history of innovation. Since its founding in 1984, the facility has become one of the world’s leading public aquariums and ocean conservation organizations. Monterey Bay Aquarium has produced significant insights into the life history of sharks, sea otters, and bluefin tuna. The aquarium also was the first to exhibit a living kelp forest, and in 2004 it was the first to successfully exhibit and return to the wild a young great white...
Avigilon Corporation, provider of security solutions, announced it was selected to enhance security at Vodafone Park stadium, in Istanbul, Turkey, of Beşiktaş JK. Enhancing Spectator And Player Safety Vodafone Park opened in April 2016 and is the venue for national Süper Lig and UEFA Champions League games. It features over 43,000 stadium seats, 144 executive suites, and more than 4,000 sq. meters (43,055 sq. ft.) of restaurants, shops and parking. To enhance spectator and player safety...
World-class service, sublime surroundings, and luxury within reach are all things you will find at Davenport Hotels in downtown Spokane, Washington. The four-hotel collection runs the gamut from classic to contemporary, full-size to boutique, and historic to modern. Guests can enjoy luxurious spa, wedding, and business facilities, as well as some of the best dining in the city. Davenport History Opened in June 2015, the new 716 room Davenport Grand Hotel offers a unique alternative for travell...
From satellite imagery to street views to indoor mapping, technology has disrupted our past world. This has left us dependent upon new ways to visualise large spaces. This new world has brought many benefits and risks. But what does that mean for the security professional or facility manager today and what technologies can be used to secure buildings and improve facility operations? A Brief History Of 3D Technology Starting May 5, 2007 (inception 2001), Google rolled out Google Street View to augment Google Maps and Google Earth; documenting some of the most remote places on earth using a mix of sensors (Lidar/GSP/Radar/Imagery). The mission to map the world moved indoors May 2011 with Google Business Photos mapping indoor spaces with low cost 360° cameras under the Trusted Photographer program. In the earlier days, 3D scanning required a high level of specialization, expensive hardware and unavailable computing power With the growth of 3D laser scanning from 2007 onwards, the professional world embraced scanning as effective method to create digitised building information modeling (BIM), growing fast since 2007. BIM from scanning brought tremendous control, time and cost savings through the design and construction process, where As-Built documentation offered an incredible way to manage large existing facilities while reducing costly site visits. In the earlier days, 3D scanning required a high level of specialization, expensive hardware, unavailable computing power and knowledge of architectural software. Innovation during the past 8 year, have driven ease of use and lower pricing to encourage market adoption. Major investments in UAVs in 2014 and the commercial emergence of 360° photography began a new wave of adoption. While 3D scanners still range from $20K – $100K USD, UAVs can be purchased for under $1K USD and 360° cameras for as low as $100. UAVs and 360° cameras also offer a way to document large spaces in a fraction of the time of terrestrial laser scanners with very little technical knowledge. Access to building plans, satellite imagery, Google Street View, indoor virtual tours and aerial drone reconnaissance prove effective tools to bad actors The result over the past 10+ years of technology advancement has been a faster, lower cost, more accessible way to create virtual spaces. However, the technology advances carry a major risk of misuse by bad actors at the same time. What was once reserved to military personal is now available publicly. Access to building plans, satellite imagery, Google Street View, indoor virtual tours and aerial drone reconnaissance prove effective tools to bad actors. Al Qaeda terror threats using Google Maps, 2007 UK troops hit by terrorists in Basra, 2008 Mumbai India attacks, 2016 Pakistan Pathankot airbase attacks, ISIS attacks in Syria using UAVs, well-planned US school shootings and high casualty attacks show evidence that bad actors frequently leverage these mapping technologies to plan their attacks. The weaponization of UAVs is of particular concern to the Department of Homeland Security: "We continue to face one of the most challenging threat environments since 9/11, as foreign terrorist organizations exploit the internet to inspire, enable or direct individuals already here in the homeland to commit terrorist acts." Example comparison of reality capture on the left of BIM on the right. A $250 USD 360° camera was used for the capture in VisualPlan.net software What Does This Mean For The Security Or Facility Manager Today? An often overlooked, but critical vulnerability to security and facility managers is relying on inaccurate drawing. Most facilities managers today work with outdated 2D plan diagrams or old blueprints which are difficult to update and share.Critical vulnerability to security and facility managers is relying on inaccurate drawing Renovations, design changes and office layout changes leave facility managers with the wrong information, and even worse is that the wrong information is shared with outside consultants who plan major projects around outdated or wrong plans. This leads to costly mistakes and increased timelines on facility projects. Example Benefits Of BIM There could be evidence of a suspect water value leak which using BIM could be located and then identified in the model without physical inspection; listing a part number, model, size and manufacture. Identification of vulnerabilities can dramatically help during a building emergency. First Responders rely on facilities managers to keep them updated on building plans and they must have immediate access to important building information in the event of a critical incident. Exits and entrances, suppression equipment, access control, ventilation systems, gas and explosives, hazmat, water systems, survival equipment and many other details must be at their fingertips. In an emergency situation this can be a matter of life or death. Example Benefit Of Reality Capture First Responders rely on facilities managers to keep them updated on building plans A simple 360° walk-through can help first responders with incident preparedness if shared by the facility manager. Police, fire and EMS can visually walk the building, locating all critical features they will need knowledge of in an emergency without ever visiting the building. You don’t require construction accuracy for this type of visual sharing. This is a solution and service we offer as a company today. Reality capture is rapidly becoming the benchmark for facility documentation and the basis from which a security plan can be built. Given the appropriate software, plans can be easily updated and shared. They can be used for design and implementation of equipment, training of personnel and virtual audits of systems or security assessments by outside professionals. Our brains process visual information thousands of times faster than text. Not only that, we are much more likely to remember it once we do see it. Reality capture can help reduce the need for physical inspections, walk-throughs and vendor site-visits but more importantly, it provides a way to visually communicate far more effectively and accurately than before. But be careful with this information. You must prevent critical information falling into the hands of bad actors. You must watch out for bad actors attempting to use reality capture as a threat, especially photo/video/drones or digital information and plans that are posted publicly. Have a security protocol to prevent and confront individuals taking photos or video on property or flying suspect drones near your facility and report to the authorities. Require authorization before capturing building information and understand what the information will be used for and by who.There are a number of technologies to combat nefarious use of UAVs today Nefarious Use Of UAVs There are a number of technologies to combat nefarious use of UAVs today, such as radio frequency blockers and jammers, drone guns to down UAVs, detection or monitoring systems. Other biometrics technologies like facial recognition are being employed to counter the risk from UAVs by targeting the potential operators. UAVs are being used to spy and monitor for corporate espionage and stealing intellectual property. They are also used for monitoring security patrols for the purpose of burglary. UAVs have been used for transport and delivery of dangerous goods, delivering weapons and contraband and have the ability to be weaponised to carry a payload.Investigating reality capture to help with accurate planning and visualization of facilities is well worth the time The Federal Aviation Administration has prevented UAV flights over large event stadiums, prisons and coast guard bases based on the risks they could potentially pose, but waivers do exist. Be aware that it is illegal today to use most of these technologies and downing a UAV, if you are not Department of Justice or Homeland Security, could carry hefty penalties. Facility managers must have a way to survey and monitor their buildings for threats and report suspicious UAV behaviours immediately to authorities. At the same time, it’s critical to identify various potential risks to your wider team to ensure awareness and reporting is handled effectively. Having a procedure on how identify and report is important. Investigating reality capture to help with accurate planning and visualization of facilities is well worth the time. It can help better secure your facilities while increasing efficiencies of building operations. Reality capture can also help collaboration with first responders and outside professionals without ever having to step a foot in the door. But secure your data and have a plan for bad actors who will try to use the same technologies for nefarious goals.
They say that every choice has a cost. It's a basic principle that, economically speaking, nothing is free. If it doesn't cost actual money, it may be expensive in terms of time, attention and/or effort. These are interesting observations to keep in mind as one peruses the various "free" video management system (VMS) offerings available on the market. Some are provided by camera companies to unify their products into a "system", even if it's a small one. Other free VMS offerings are entry-level versions offered by software companies with the intent of the customer upgrading later to a paid version. For more insights, we asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the value of “free” video management systems (VMSs) and how can a customer decide whether “free” is the right price for them?
Market dynamics are changing the U.S. residential security market, creating new business models that better appeal to the approximately 70% of households without a security system. Smart home adjacencies have helped revitalize the traditional security industry, and alternative approaches to systems and monitoring for the security industry are emerging, including a new batch of DIY systems. Growth in the residential security market and its position as the channel for smart home solutions have attracted numerous new entrants. Telecoms, cable operators, and CE (consumer electronics) manufacturers are joining traditional security players as they compete to fulfill consumer demand for safety and security. Connected products also provide a layer of competition as consumers must decide whether having category devices such as doorbell video cameras, networked cameras, and other products suffice for their security. Increasingly Competitive Landscape Smart home services can provide additional revenue streams for the security industry For instance, IP cameras are a highly popular smart home device rooted in security, and Parks Associates estimates 7.7 million standalone and all-in-one networked/IP cameras will be sold in the U.S. in 2018, with $889M in revenues. Product owners may feel their security needs are fulfilled with this single purchase, as such dealers and service providers are under increasing pressure to communicate their value proposition to consumers. Categorically, each type of player is facing competition uniquely—national, regional, and local dealers all have a different strategy for overcoming the increasingly competitive landscape. Smart home services can provide additional revenue streams for the security industry. In Parks Associates’ 2017 survey of U.S. security dealers, 58% report that smart home service capabilities enable extra monthly revenue. Almost half of dealers also note they have to offer smart home devices and services in order to keep up with their competition. While white-label devices are acceptable in some instances, dealers need to integrate with hero products whenever possible when those exist for a category. For dealers who have added smart home devices and services are all potential benefits and good for business Improved Customer Engagement That 2017 survey also revealed 36% of security dealers that offer interactive services report security system sales with a networked camera and 16% report sales with a smart thermostat. For dealers who have added smart home devices and services, enhanced system utility, increased daily value, and improved customer engagement with the system are all potential benefits and good for business. Security has served as the most productive channel for smart home solutions, mainly because the products create natural extensions of a security system’s functions and benefits, but as smart home devices, subsystems, and controllers expand their functionality, availability, and DIY capabilities, many standalone devices constitute competition to classical security. Particularly viable substitute devices include IP cameras, smart door locks, smart garage doors, or a combination of these devices. Products that are self-installed offer both convenience and cost savings, and these drivers are significant among DIY consumers—among the 6% of broadband households that installed a security system themselves, 39% did it to save money. Enhance Traditional Security Self-installable smart home devices may resonate with a segment of the market who want security While many security dealers believe substitute offerings are a threat, some dealers do not find such devices an existential threat but instead view them as another path to consumer awareness. They argue that the difference between smart product substitutes and traditional security is that of a solution that provides knowledge versus a system that gives one the ability to act on that knowledge. A common theme among professional monitoring providers is that a homeowner who is aware of events happening in the home does not necessarily have a secure and protected household. For example, a Nest camera, a DIY product, notifies a consumer via smartphone about events in the home when it detects motion, but only when the notification is opened and identified will a consumer be able to act on the related event. Self-installable smart home devices may resonate with a segment of the market who want security but are unwilling to adopt professional monitoring; however, providers can leverage these devices to enhance traditional security features and communicate the value of professional monitoring. Smart home devices and features, while posing a threat to some security companies, are a potential way forward to increased market growth Increased Market Growth A key counterstrategy for security dealers and companies is to leverage their current, powerful role as the prime channel for smart home devices. Many security dealers now include smart home devices with their security systems to complement their offerings and increase system engagement. For example, as of Q4 2017, nearly 70% of U.S. broadband households that were very likely to purchase a security system in the next 12 months reported that they want a camera to be included as part of their security system purchase. In response, many security system providers now offer IP cameras as optional enhancements for their systems. Smart home devices and features, while posing a threat to some security companies, are a potential way forward to increased market growth. Security dealers have an opportunity to become more than a security provider but a smart home solutions provider rooted in safety. Provide Status Updates Comcast has entered both the professionally monitored security market and the market for smart home services The alternative is to position as a provider of basic security with low price as the key differentiator. Comcast has entered both the professionally monitored security market and the market for smart home services independent of security. It has discovered that monetizing smart home value propositions through recurring revenue becomes increasingly challenging as the value extends further away from life safety. Since the security industry remains the main channel for smart home services, security dealers are in a unique position to leverage that strength. Value propositions must shift from the traditional arming and disarming of a system to peace-of-mind experiences that builds off the benefits of smart devices in the home to provide status updates (e.g., if the kids arrived home safely) and monitoring at will (e.g., checking home status at any time to see a pet or monitor a package delivery). These types of clear value propositions and compelling use cases, which resonate with consumer and motivate them to expand beyond standalone products, will help expand the home security market.
Last week, the Schedule 84 Suppliers Research Panel participated in reviewing the 2018 contracting year with the GSA Schedule 84 leadership team. Our panel group consists of experienced contractors and consultants meeting for a monthly conference call. Schedule 84 is the GSA Schedules Contract for Total Solutions for Law Enforcement, Security, Facilities Management, Fire and Rescue. Our opinions are part of a research program to provide valuable feedback to the GSA Schedule 84 program and on to the GSA central office. The director of GSA Region 7 Schedules Program, the Schedule 84 Branch Chief and the Category Manager Subject Matter Expert who manages our suppliers' panel gave us their full attention as we discussed the successes of the program, hot topics, problems and the future. We determined 2018 under the Schedule 84 team to be a year of innovative thoughts, cooperative effort and renewed enthusiasm Innovative Review Team We determined 2018 under the Schedule 84 team to be a year of innovative thoughts, cooperative effort, renewed enthusiasm and productive changes building upon the successes of 2017. There was high praise for the accessibility to the Schedule 84 staff. Their consistent quick response to questions and concerns, thinking outside the box and supporting the program by partnering with their contractors was much appreciated. There has been a renewed spirit of partnering to cooperatively bring the best to agency customers. It seems to be working as per the Center Director sales are growing for GSA Schedule 84. Advocating For The Security Industry In my experience, business development starts with the Administrator from Region 7 in Ft. Worth, TX. As the annual Schedule 84 Industry Day at the SSAC begins he is shaking every hand and passing out his cards looking folks right in the eye asking, “how can I help you?” They have the best practices and most organized paperwork. The SSAC director has chosen well in her staff and is hands-on in every endeavor to direct things along when challenges occur or to improve the program. The new 84 Branch Chief is knowledgeable, innovative, tireless and has been heavily involved in advocating for the security industry It continues with the center’s CASE Manager encouraging the contractors at events, visiting agency customers and promoting the GSA Schedules Program by helping coordinate the partnering. The new 84 Branch Chief is knowledgeable, innovative, tireless and has been heavily involved in advocating for the security industry for adding new technology, meeting with industry associations, understanding the complexity and challenges of Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD12) and advocating for the purchasing Physical Access Control Systems (PACS) utilizing the appropriate standards and the GSA Program among other innovations. As far as the supplier panel, we gave our GSA Schedule 84 team and leaders high praise for 2018. GSA also added new categories or SINs for clearly identifying Physical Access Control Products that appear on GSA’s Approved Product List Changes In The GSA Program Some changes this year in certain GSA programmes included the creation of a new category of products/services Special Item Number (SIN) for Order Level Materials (OLM) developed to assist with solution procurements. This new SIN was added to Schedules 03FAC, 56, 70, 71, 00Corp, 738X and 84. Under Schedule 84 it is SIN 84-500. GSA Schedule 84 consolidated many Special Items Numbers (SINs) to make finding products and services less complex Essentially this SIN allows agencies procuring under the aforementioned GSA Schedules’ programmes to purchase and the contractor to add items and services not known prior to the task as a Contract Line Item Number (CLIN) not to exceed 33% of the order. For more information and FAQs on OLMs go to www.gsa.gov/olm. This is not to take the place of “Open Market” items for adding products only that are not listed on a company’s GSA Contract. Physical Access Control Products Previously, GSA Schedule 84 consolidated many Special Items Numbers (SINs) to make finding products and services less complex for the agencies. GSA also added new categories or SINs for clearly identifying Physical Access Control Products that appear on GSA’s Approved Product List according to the standards created under FIPS201. These products appear under SIN 246 35-7 after being tested and approved by GSA. To be qualified to install these products under the GSA Program at least one individual from the GSA Contractor company must complete the class and be CSEIP certified before applying for labor SIN 246 60-5. Additionally, the company must demonstrate certain qualifications and have past performance for this type of work. The Security Technology Alliance offers the training class and certification. Certified individuals and approved products are listed at www.idmanagement.gov. Companies listed with SIN 246-35 7 and SIN 246-60 5 may be found by searching at www.gsaelibrary.gsa.gov. Updates To Guidance For Procurement Updates to guidance for procurement of PACS will continue to be posted to the GSA PACS Ordering Guide Updates to guidance for procurement of PACS will continue to be posted to the GSA PACS Ordering Guide. The ordering guide posted at www.gsa.gov/firesecurity is a valuable support tool created to assist agencies with understanding the requirements of FIPS201 and procuring a PACS. The guide includes relevant regulations, FAQs, sample systems designs, sample statements of work, a list of key points of contract for additional help and questions. In partnership with GSA and guided by the GSA Ombudsman group, the Security Industry Association and the Security Technology Alliance members and their contractor companies participated in a GSA Reverse Industry PACS Training Day on September 17, 2018. We presented from an industry perspective important fact on PACS system requirements, procurement planning, providing information on resources and further educating with panel discussions, individual presentations and amusing skits to over 300 Government agency staff and acquisition specialists. You can find some of the unedited recording of the PACS Reverse Industry Day Training on YouTube. Some changes included the creation of a new category of products/services Special Item Number (SIN) for Order Level Materials (OLM) GSA Schedules Program A hot topic about the GSA program for 2018 was also an issue for the prior year. The GSA Schedules Program is a streamlined contracting vehicle incorporating specific Federal Acquisition Regulations for more efficiently purchasing commercial items. Companies may apply per a continuous open season for a 5-year contract with three 5-year options to renew. Contractors are vetted for past performance, corporate experience and financial capability. Products and services are considered for offering to Federal, State and Local customers (for Schedule 84) with pricing that is determined to be fair and reasonable through negotiations with GSA. To make the determination for fair and reasonable pricing GSA carefully reviews the commercial practices of the contractor To make the determination for fair and reasonable pricing GSA carefully reviews the commercial practices of the contractor as well as the competition of identical or similar item pricing. The most vocal complaint of concern from the contractors was regarding the consideration of competitor contractors offering identical items with out-of-date pricing or holding a Letter of Supply not authorized by the manufacturer. GSA Pricing Tool Since the GSA utilizes a pricing tool to determine if the pricing offered is competitive, a rogue competitor can cause a pricing action to possibly be rejected due to out of date information even as the manufacturer offers an update of the product. This is an issue on all GSA Contracts that the supplier panel hopes will be reconsidered by GSA policymakers at the central office. Most of us believe the Letters of Supply should only be issued by the manufacturer or with documented specific permission of the manufacturer to a reseller. Manufacturers may want to have a better understanding of the Letter of Supply, how it is considered by GSA and more carefully choose their Government partners for experience and compliance. Another challenge for the security community is regarding the lack of accessibility of participating dealers to GSA eBuy Overcoming Challenges For The Security Community Contractors may only see RFQs which are posted under the Special items Number(s) that were awarded to their GSA Contract Another challenge for the security community is regarding the lack of accessibility of participating dealers to GSA eBuy. GSA eBuy is an online Request for Quotation (RFQ) program that is for GSA Contract holders only. Agencies will post their requirements by Special Item Number for at a minimum 48 hours. Contractors may only see RFQs which are posted under the Special items Number(s) that were awarded to their GSA Contract. GSA Participating Dealers may take orders on behalf of a manufacturer if they are authorized under the manufacturer’s GSA Contract. They may also have an online PO Portal to receive orders. But they have no access to GSA eBuy to response to RFQs. Usually, under these arrangements, the manufacturers do not respond directly, so there is a problem using GSA eBuy for opportunities as their GSA Participating Dealers have no access to respond. GSA Schedule 84 Leadership In some instances, a contracting officer may allow an emailed quotation. However, with the use of the electronic ordering system, this has become a common problem we hope to bring to the attention of policymakers. Some changes to the programmes may make the presentation of documentation more effective going forward The GSA Schedule 84 leadership has been helpful to explain the challenges to the agencies to try and resolve such issues. So, what’s up for 2019? GSA modernization is coming. There will be improvements to their tools and more consolidations of SINs and more. There have been discussions of a revival of the GSA Expo. The Expo offered training for contracting staff both Government and private industry. Valuable Tools For Vendor Training Equally important is the networking, meetings and the exhibits of the contractors. Expos have been discontinued since 2012 but smaller events have been growing as well as online webinar training. Webinars are valuable tools for GSA and vendor training, but they do not take the place of being able to meet your customers face-to-face. GSA online eOffer and eMod program have made processing actions more efficient. Some changes to the programmes may make the presentation of documentation more effective going forward. The GSA online website for viewing the items on the GSA Contract and for purchasing items, GSA Advantage could definitely use an update as it has been basically the same for 20 years. Keep an eye on GSA Interact for the latest happenings with GSA.
One of the biggest recent security divestitures in the news was the sale of Mercury Security to HID Global, which occurred around a year ago. The seller in that transaction was ACRE (Access Control Related Enterprises), also the parent company of Vanderbilt and ComNet. We recently spoke to founder and CEO Joe Grillo, a 30-year industry veteran, about the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market, ACRE’s future, and new opportunities opened up by the Mercury sale. Q: What’s new with ACRE? Grillo: We have an opportunity to have organic growth and to have some scale on a global basis to be a decent size player" ACRE is a company I founded in 2012, and since then we have had six acquisitions and one divestiture. We’ll never focus on ACRE as a brand, but we currently have more visibility of ACRE as a parent company with our two strong brands, ComNet and Vanderbilt. Last year was a very busy year [with the sale of Mercury Security to HID Global] because it takes as long to sell a brand as to buy one, maybe more so. Q: What’s next? Grillo: What you are seeing from us this year is that we are again in a buying mode. No announcement yet, but we expect one by the end of the year. We are well-funded, have great partners, and see an opportunity to continue to grow acquisitively as our highly fragmented space of access control continues to consolidate. From the standpoint of ACRE, with the ComNet and Vanderbilt brands, we are also doing more integration on the backside – not what the customer sees. We will continue to grow toward a $200 million business. We were there when we owned Mercury, and we will get there again. We have an opportunity to have organic growth and to have some scale on a global basis to be a decent size player. Because ACRE are owned by a private equity company, we are brought into every opportunity: ComNet is a good example" Q: Do you see the M&A market being more competitive – more companies looking to acquire? Grillo: There’s a lot of money chasing not-so-many deals, so evaluations can get expanded. But as interest rates creep up, it is definitely a challenge to find the right valuation, the right financing and the right strategic fit. It is a very strategic market. Q: There have been some big acquisitions lately. Were you guys involved at all in evaluating those opportunities? Grillo: Because we are owned by a private equity company, we are brought into every opportunity. An example of that was ComNet. I would not have been aware that the founder passed away two years ago and that there was this opportunity to own the business. So we look at everything; anything that’s out there we look at. The biggest recent announcement in our world was S2 (being sold to UTC/Lenel), and, yeah, we looked at that. It didn’t fit our profile – it was too expensive. Great business, and it’ll be interesting to see how it fits into the UTC environment. There was also Isonas [which was recently sold to Allegion], but the size didn’t add enough scale, but I like the technology. ComNet sells communication networking solutions and products, which is more attractive than video systems for ACRE Q: So what are you looking for in an acquisition? Grillo: It’s hard for us to find something that moves the needle, and you have to find that right balance. Is it something we can digest and have the financing for, and also is there room on the back end? We are private equity-owned, so we know there will be an exit for our investors, too. So we have to find the right balance, good valuations, the right size and digestible. If you look at our acquisitions, we have done two “carve outs.” The Vanderbilt name didn’t exist until we bought the business from Ingersoll Rand, and then we bought the [intruder] business from Siemens. That’s how Vanderbilt came about. You get a lot of value when you carve out a business, but there’s a lot of work. In the case of Mercury or Access Control Technology (ACT) that we acquired; they were growing and profitable but they stretch your finances a lot more. So you have to find the right mix in there. Q: Does video interest ACRE at all? Grillo: We have to find the right balance, good valuations, the right size and digestible"ComNet is our video play. ComNet sells communication networking solutions and products, and 70 to 80 percent of that is used for video systems. But unlike cameras, which don’t interest us, it’s actually good margins, highly specialized repeat business and with good channel partners. So where are we going to play? Cameras – no (because of commoditization). We have some recorder technology (from the Siemens acquisition) and we have the communication networking technology (with ComNet). On the software side, we have looked at a lot of the VMS companies, and a lot of them have been on the market. But the valuation expectations can be high because they are software companies. And we really believe in partnering as a good thing, too. If we integrate to Milestone or Salient or some of these companies, we will never lose an access control client because they chose a particular VMS. Q: ACRE is also looking to grow organically, isn’t it? Grillo: From a technology perspective, we are a product company and we are continuing to bring new products to the market with the ComNet communication networking business and the access control business. And in Europe, we have a third leg of the stool, which is the very successful intrusion and burgular alarm business we acquired from Siemens (SPC products now sold under the Vanderbilt brand). That business continues to do well and is now one of the highest performing segments in our portfolio.The intrusion and burgular alarm continues to do well and is now one of the highest performing segments in our portfolio" Q: But you don’t have to own a company to make it part of your solution. Grillo: An important word is integration. We have to integrate to all the wireless locks. We have to integrate to the VMS systems. But we don’t have to own them. Q: How has the Mercury Security divestiture impacted the rest of your business? Grillo: It has opened up the opportunity for us to look at Mercury partners as possible acquisition targets without worrying about conflicts with the very good business of Mercury. We have more flexibility now compared to the Mercury era. Q: How will the economic cycle impact the security market? Grillo: Interest rates are a much bigger issue than the overall economic cycle. We talk a lot about it with our owners – clearly interest rates are tightening up. If you go out to do acquisitions or to borrow money to do something with your business, it will be tougher than it was two years ago, and it may get worse in the next two years. Security is less impacted by the economic cycle than some industries.
In the simplest terms, video systems capture and record video. But supporting these basic operations are a growing number of other functions that expand usefulness and the ability to interact with related elements in a larger system. As video system functionality expands, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the most important function of a video surveillance system and why?
Somerset Mall in South Africa’s Western Cape Province has become the first shopping mall to make the transition to IP CCTV surveillance. Working with local systems-integrator, SSC Infrasek, Somerset Mall has installed 130 Hikvision network cameras to protect the safety of visitors and stores alike throughout the complex, the third-largest shopping center in the province. The scenic splendor of South Africa’s Western Cape Province has long attracted visitors. Millions of tourists flock to visit Table Mountain, the Cape of Good Hope, Robben Island – where the late Nelson Mandela was incarcerated – and enjoy the Cape Winelands and the beautiful coastline. But, as the fourth largest of South Africa’s nine provinces with a population of almost 6 million, visitors with business in mind are also plentiful in the capital, Cape Town. The town of Somerset West on the outskirts of Cape Town is ideally situated for commuters and visitors. Lying in the Helderberg basin with a view across the bay to Simon’s Town and Cape Point, and overlooked by the Hottentots-Holland mountain range, approximately 55,000 people call it home and welcome tourists to the beachfront and numerous golf courses. Both can also take advantage of Western Cape’s third largest shopping center – Somerset Mall. Bigger Challenges First opened in 1993, Somerset Mall is on the N2 Freeway that connects Cape Town to Port Elizabeth and Durban. It’s an ideal position to attract visitors and since its first opening the mall has seen numbers continue to climb. Two separate expansion phases have taken place and Somerset Mall now houses 204 stores extending over more than 1.3 km, all with single level access. Parking is also similarly extensive, with a total of 4,500 parking bays of which approximately 700 are undercover. Alongside the stores, the most recent expansion of Somerset Mall has also seen it expand to encompass an Adventure Arena. This is dominated by a spectacular double climbing wall with views of the Helderberg mountains, but the Adventure Arena also includes a 10-pin bowling alley, a games arcade and an 8-screen movie complex. As a result, the successful complex now attracts an average of 200,000 visitors per week. However, the CCTV security system had not kept pace with the growing numbers of visitors and shoppers and the Mall’s management realized that enhancing the level of security was vital. They turned to systems-integrator SSC Infrasek for a solution. New IP System The wide range of cameras and options available to us meant that we could select the right camera for the job without compromising the design objective" According to Mario Groenewald, technical manager at SSC Infrasek, “When we looked at the entirety of the security challenges facing the Mall, we quickly realised that simply supplementing the existing analog system was not going to work. The expansion of the shopping precinct to 1.3 km of storefronts together with the new Arena and extensive car parks had stretched the old system almost to its limits. Increasing levels of surveillance in the pedestrian areas and in the extensive car parks was a priority and we were also conscious that the mall is very innovative and successful in attracting visitors to its unique blend of attractions. Therefore, further expansion of the site is quite likely and any proposed CCTV system would have to be capable of coping with this expansion. “Having been tasked with implementing a comprehensive CCTV system to maintain security throughout the whole complex, we decided that the only realistic solution was to replace the whole of the existing analog system with a fully IP CCTV system, based upon 130 Hikvision network cameras supplied through their local distributor, Sensor Limited.” According to Mario, the choice of Hikvision technology was based on a number of factors. “The wide range of cameras and options available to us meant that we could select the right camera for the job without compromising the design objectives. We had also used Hikvision products in other projects and found them to be robust and reliable, delivering very high-quality images while remaining cost-effective. Finally, Hikvision has successfully delivered many similar projects around the world and offered us great support all the way from system design through to implementation.” Maximum Protection Inside For the inside of the mall, SSC Infrasek chose DS-2CD7153-E the network mini dome camera, which offers many features that make it ideal for the surveillance of an area like Somerset Mall where image quality and a robust build quality are key priorities. Inside the vandal proof IP66 rated housing, the camera is based around a large 1/3” progressive scan CMOS image sensor, offering 2 megapixel HD resolution (1600 x 1200 pixels), dual real-time video streams of up to 720p, and offers a choice of H.264, MPEG4 and MJPEG video compression. The DS-2CD7153-E model is fitted with a bright 4 mm F1.8 lens, although 2.8, 6 and 8 mm versions are also available, and offers a wide 68 degree viewing angle. The unit also offers three axis adjustments at installation and Hikvision’s ePTZ capability for increased viewing control and versatility. The result is a camera that delivers outstanding images while withstanding the rigors of a very public placement. Image quality was paramount, but protecting the camera from any environmental factors was considered closely A total of 100 DS-2CD7153-E models were installed throughout the interior of the mall.Versatility is also offered in placement of the camera courtesy of the PoE feature. Meanwhile, the inclusion of day/night automatic switching and multiple alarm triggers, including motion detection, tampering alarm, network disconnect, and IP address conflict, give installers and users maximum flexibility. SSC Infrasek opted to install 30 Hikvision DS-2DF1-518 PTZ network high speed dome cameras to protect the outside of the mall and the 3,800 outside parking spaces. Again, image quality was paramount but protecting the camera from any environmental factors was considered closely. At the heart of the DS-2DF1-518 is a powerful 36x F1.8 zoom lens that take just 5.4 seconds to go from wide open to fully zoomed. Augmented with 16x digital zoom, this bright 3.4 - 122.4 mm lens is backed up by with a 1/4’’ Sony Super HAD CCD image sensor inside a tough, weatherproof IP66 housing. This combination of 36x zoom, 3D intelligent positioning and the powerful built-in PTZ control means that operators can maintain surveillance over very large panoramas while retaining the ability to focus effortlessly on any area of interest. The camera also integrates an IR cut filter, for seamless day and night operation down to a minimum 0.2 lux in color and a very low 0.02 lux in black & white. Building Success Into The Future “The successful implementation of South Africa’s first IP surveillance solution in a shopping center environment is an impressive demonstration of SSC Infrasek’s design and implementation expertise that is set to bring in more IP projects in the coming months,” according to Mario Groenewald. “It is also an expression of Hikvision’s commitment to producing the most technologically advanced cameras and making them available to every market in the world,” he concludes.
Arecont Vision megapixel technology is proven around the world to reduce the number of cameras required while increasing video quality, coverage, and forensic recording. Hotels, casinos, theme and amusement parks, museums, restaurants, and entertainment venues of all types are customer-proven environment for Arecont Vision cameras. At the same time, customers are usually able to dramatically slash the number of cameras required for a less-prevalent and more welcoming surveillance environment while delivering superior situational awareness with Arecont Vision SurroundVideo multi-sensor panoramic and omnidirectional camera models. Video Surveillance Applications Video surveillance is growing in use not only for the traditional protection of guests, facilities, staff, and visitors, but also for people counting, access control/identify management, traffic and parking management, forensic recording, and real time monitoring. Typical Deployments Criminal behavior and vandalism deterrence Facial recognition and identification Traffic monitoring and vehicle identification Parking monitoring and license plate recognition Crowd and traffic flow monitoring Monitoring of restaurants, bars, retail areas, lobbies, reception areas, lounges, gaming areas, event spaces, parking lots, corridors, elevator lobbies, gyms/health clubs, pools, offices, stock rooms, and storage areas Litigation protection indoors and outside Vehicle monitoring for pre-existing damage for parking areas and valet Overall situational awareness What Arecont Vision's Customers Say “These cameras help reduce our on-floor manpower and increase our effectiveness because there can be one person on the floor and another person who is watching the camera, who can cover 10 times more area than one person can on foot. "We certainly didn’t want to give people the feeling that they are being watches throughout the hotel. We really like how the low profile of the cameras and the multi-sensor capabilities enabled us to use just one camera opposed to four separate ones," comments Kevin Miller, Corporate Director of Security for the Davenport Collection of Properties “We demonstrated the superior performance of Arecont Vision’s megapixel cameras to provide wide area coverage in almost any lighting. Mr. Linh’s staff at the Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers were so impressed that we designed and built a new video surveillance solution around Arecont Vision’s imaging technology," states Thomas Tran, Citek Corporation.
One of Italy’s grandest hotels has upgraded to a state-of-the-art March Networks video surveillance system. Château Monfort, a five-star hotel located in the center of Milan, is part of Italy’s luxury Planetaria Hotels chain. Planetaria Group operates four and five-star hotels in some of the country’s most popular destinations. Video Surveillance For Events Improving the performance and efficiency of video surveillance at Château Monfort was the primary reason the Planetaria Group turned to March Networks. “Our video surveillance solution had to provide maximum safety for our guests, and deter any illegal activity,” said Hotel Manager Stefano Risolé. “We were particularly concerned about security for some of the large events we host, where visitor numbers increase and the risk of theft is much higher. “The reception desk is always open and our staff are always present and available, but we wanted the added assurance of a real-time monitoring and security system,” noted Risolé. 24/7 Monitoring Of Premises Château Monfort wanted to upgrade its older video surveillance system with a solution that enabled comprehensive monitoring of its premises 24/7. It was also important to have access to technical support in order to promptly resolve any performance issues. The Planetaria Group knew it could count on March Networks, having already deployed the company’s video technology at the Hotel Pulitzer, its five-star property in Rome. March Networks was able to demonstrate how its intelligent video solution could meet the hotel’s strategic challenges A world leader in the business-to-business (B2B) security sector, with many years of experience in banking, retail and hospitality, March Networks was able to demonstrate how its intelligent video solution could meet the hotel’s strategic challenges. After evaluating various options, Château Monfort selected the March Networks Command Enterprise video management solution with server-based recording. “It is essential for a prestigious hotel like ours to have the highest-quality video security system that is proven to be both reliable and easy to use,” said Risolé. “Our choice was influenced by the need to protect the hotel’s reputation. We needed a system that would be fool-proof. Human error can lead to mistakes, and we want to guard against this at all costs.” System Scalability The March Networks system allows Château Monfort to investigate reported incidents of missing or damaged property while making sure that privacy is always respected. Authorized staff have access to live and recorded video as required, and can monitor the hotel remotely from any networked location. Equally important, the system is scalable, ensuring that Château Monfort will be able to take advantage of technology advances in the future. “March Networks has expertise in the design and supply of products and solutions to meet the most demanding security requirements,” said Paolo Romanò, March Networks Regional Sales Manager for Southern Europe. “Our focus on innovation and the development of cutting-edge products supported by great service has proven to be a winning formula and has been fundamental to our growth and customer satisfaction.” Video Surveillance Solution Features Installed by March Networks certified partner Hitech Madness in July 2015, Château Monfort’s video surveillance solution includes 40 March Networks IP cameras, with models such as the MegaPX WDR MiniDome Z, and three Edge 4e Encoders to digitise video captured from existing analog cameras. It also includes a Dell server pre-configured with Command Recording Server software and internal RAID5 storage to ensure redundant data protection, even in the event of hard disk failure. The solution is set to automatically overwrite recorded video after two days to comply with Italian privacy legislation. Three years after the hotel opening, and with various upgrades since, the technical support provided by March Networks remains flawless Security staff and the hotel’s director can access live and recorded video captured by surveillance cameras installed on every floor of the hotel via March Networks Command client software. Château Monfort uses the Command client to display the various interface screens for configuration and video review. The software is very intuitive, with menus organized in a logical way to help less technical users configure the system in a few steps. User privileges and more complex camera and alarm configurations are also easy to set up using rules and conditions. System users are able to quickly search for recorded video by scanning thumbnail images and export video evidence together with explanatory notes for follow-up by law enforcement. Constant Monitoring For Crime Prevention “Château Monfort has used March Networks products from the beginning, following specifications drawn up by the main contractor,” said Gioele Colombi of Hitech Madness. “I have been very satisfied with the quality of the solutions and the excellent price performance ratio.” “Three years after the hotel opening, and with various upgrades since, the technical support provided by March Networks remains flawless. Technical and marketing support are always available and very professional. In the security sector, issues can occur, but with the approach taken by March Networks, resolutions are easy to find.” Hotel manager Stefano Risolé said the video evidence captured by the system has proven extremely useful on more than one occasion. “Using our March Networks video, we were recently able to identify the cause of damage to a valuable, ornamental statue located in one of our public areas. More than that, the police have used the recorded video to investigate a theft that occurred in front of the hotel entrance.” Thanks to March Networks and Hitech Madness, Hotel Château Monfort is able to rely on a stable, scalable and high-quality video solution that provides comprehensive surveillance throughout the property. The image quality and ability to access the system remotely allow staff to constantly monitor the premises and guard against critical situations.
Customer Located in the Meadowlands and part of the MetLife Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey, MetLife Stadium is home to the New York Football Giants and the New York Jets. The $1.6 billion stadium was financed and built by a joint venture between the two teams, who operate it through the New Meadowlands Stadium Company. The stadium opened in April 2010 and boasts a seating capacity of 82,500, making it one of the NFL's largest stadiums. On February 2, 2014, MetLife Stadium played host to Super Bowl® XLVIII. Challenge MetLife Stadium wanted to replace 26 IP cameras located at the perimeter gates of the stadium and also to deploy 180° panoramic-view cameras in place of the 27 pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras that covered the exterior perimeter. Given the large crowds they attract, each football game, concert or other event has its share of unique challenges, including monitoring fan conduct, crowd management situations and dealing with medical emergencies. MetLife Stadium's main goal in upgrading its surveillance system was to ensure a safe, secure environment that would contribute to a memorable guest experience. Incident prevention and monitoring were additional key goals of the project. MetLife Stadium staff members are challenged with trying to determine what happened after an incident occurred. There are often various versions and accounts from those involved and from independent witnesses. Clear recorded video is needed to reveal what actually happened. Prior to the new camera system being installed, MetLife Stadium used four PTZ cameras to monitor the seating bowl area and these cameras were only used reactively when an incident came to the attention of the stadium's Command Center. With the new camera system, every seat in the seating bowl is monitored at all times. Being able to have their Command Center personnel go back in time and review everyone’s actions is an extremely valuable investigative tool for stadium security personnel and for public safety agencies. Among the stadium security management team's other goals are to identify and examine objects left behind, monitor security screening procedures, investigate slip-and-fall incidents, observe staff performance and provide surveillance for counter terrorism efforts. Solution Because MetLife Stadium was designed to be a network-controlled building, IP cameras were part of the original design. When it came time to install cameras to cover the seating bowl, IP was the only platform considered, according to Daniel DeLorenzi, Director of Security for MetLife Stadium. "To run an analog system would have been cost-prohibitive due to cabling, and the cables would be single-purpose. If upgrades were necessary, the project would have to be completed all over again," DeLorenzi said. The excellent image quality provided by the Arecont Vision megapixel cameras makes it possible for stadium security to identify individuals DeLorenzi and the rest of MetLife Stadium's security management team turned to Robert McCabe, owner of Corporate Security Services, Inc., located in Edison, N.J., to assist in selecting IP surveillance components and to design and implement the video surveillance solution. After a careful evaluation process, an optimal surveillance solution was built around megapixel imaging technology from Arecont Vision to ensure wide area coverage with extreme detail and to enable forensic zooming on live and recorded video. Corporate Security Services deployed more than 130 Arecont Vision megapixel cameras throughout MetLife Stadium, including MegaVideo® Compact 10-megapixel (MP) cameras located around the bowl of the stadium to provide a view of every seat in every section; SurroundVideo® panoramic 8MP cameras provide 180° coverage of entrances and common areas; and MegaDome® 2 3MP cameras with remote focus and wide dynamic range (WDR) are located in the stadium’s security entrance areas. Arecont Vision WDR cameras provide detailed video where bright and dark images exist in the same scene. The Arecont Vision megapixel cameras are controlled using Genetec Security Center, a unified video management system (VMS) which is monitored by a centralized security command center within the stadium. Arecont Vision worked with Corporate Security Services' designers to provide a layout of the camera locations required to cover the area, which McCabe says helped with the installation. In the end, all the cameras were installed in easily accessible and serviceable locations. Megapixel Benefit Because of the high level of detail it provides, one Arecont Vision SurroundVideo panoramic camera covers the same area as multiple IP VGA resolution cameras. By using Arecont Vision cameras to reduce overall camera counts, MetLife Stadium’s security team was able to achieve its goal of implementing an unobtrusive high-performance video surveillance system. With a reduction in the total number of cameras implemented, the system can be more efficiently managed. MetLife Stadium's policy is to initiate real-time recording 24-hours prior to game day, at which time every camera within the stadium is recorded at its full frame rate. Incidents are recorded prior to, during and for several hours after a game or other event. This allows the security staff to easily search and play back detailed video of any reported incidents from any of the cameras to determine what happened. Because of the high level of detail it provides, one Arecont Vision SurroundVideo panoramic camera covers the same area as multiple IP VGA resolution cameras The excellent image quality provided by the Arecont Vision megapixel cameras makes it possible for stadium security to identify individuals, and the high frame rates allow them to see actions that occur. Additional benefits of the Arecont Vision cameras include Day/Night video capabilities where mechanical infrared (IR) cut filters are used for clear images in low light, H.264 compression to reduce network and storage costs and Power over Ethernet (PoE) to reduce cabling costs. Arecont Vision MegaVideo Compact series box cameras are available in 1.3MP to 10MP resolutions with features that include dual H.264/MJPEG encoding, fast frame rates, privacy masking, pixel binning to increase light sensitivity in 3MP, 5MP and 10MP models, extended motion detection grid, flexible cropping and PoE. They are available in color and Day/Night configurations. SurroundVideo series megapixel cameras from Arecont Vision are all-in-one 180° and 360° panoramic solutions that are available in 8MP, 12MP WDR, 20MP and 40MP resolutions. Housed in environmental rated IP66 domes, the units feature dual H.264/MJPEG encoding, true Day/Night functionality, IR corrected megapixel lenses, privacy masking, extended motion detection, bit rate control, binning mode to increase light sensitivity in 12MP, 20MP and 40MP models, fast image rates and WDR in 12MP models. Arecont Vision MegaDome 2 all-in-one cameras with remote focus and remote zoom are available in 1080p, 3MP, 5MP and 10MP resolutions. Features include an IP66-rated / IK-10 impact-resistant dome chassis with a 3-axis camera gimbal for easy adjustment, dual H.264/MJPEG encoding, integrated megapixel vari-focal lens, optional WDR in 1080p and 3MP models, pixel binning in 3MP, 5MP and 10MP models, total PoE and optional IR illumination, audio functionality and heater kit.
The Need For Improved Access Control Since the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act (CVSSA) of 2010, also known as the Kerry bill, was signed, on-board safety and security has been improved on cruise ships headed to or from American ports. Under the numerous specifications of the act were significant improvement requirements to crew member access and control procedures. The new requirements meant cruise lines needed to move fast to make upgrades, especially the lines with high demand and around-the-clock travel schedules. This would require a reliable system, along with a smooth implementation process in order to keep goals on track and ships on schedule. For one of the world's leading luxury liners, the act meant that they would have to establish a new key control system for its four ships. With thousands of weekly passengers and destinations in Europe, Panama, the Caribbean, Alaska, and other transatlantic locations, an updated key management system was an instant priority. The cruise line's previous key system not only lacked individual and time-based access control, but it also required long periods of key collection and distribution. Automated Key Control With Access Restrictions "With the new requirements of the CVSSA of 2010, we needed the tools to meet the new key control guidelines. This meant that controlling access to different keys by person and time-frame was necessary, as well as a system to go along with it." Traka fulfilled this goal by providing intelligent, software-driven key cabinets with automated key issuing to ensure the cruise line exceeded the CVSSA requirements, along with a complimentary system that could be maintained by the existing security staff. For a smooth implementation process, the cruise line required a solution that could be integrated with their existing manual systems. Traka's key cabinets were a clear solution for the four vessels, as they could be quickly integrated with existing systems and exceed the access requirements of the Kerry Bill with their products. The Roll Out The implementation of Traka technology made this the first cruise line in the world to adopt the latest in key management in accordance with the CVSSA of 2010. With no complete key management systems in place and only manual processes, critical Traka electronic key cabinets were installed. Meeting the CVSAA requirements calls for a thorough planning process to go alongside the installation and training, but Traka went above and beyond what was expected with unique, specific processes designed for each ship. In a one to two week period, Traka carefully planned out how keys would be managed for the cruise line, who would have access to them, along with pinpointing when, why and how auditing the system would occur. An existing Traka security officer with the cruise line is able to manage the Traka systems with little impact on current workload, following a quick turnaround, implementation with the current specs, as well as training. With Traka, the increase inaccountability and productivityallowed for average monthlysavings close to $2500, completelycovering the return on investmentin just six months along with aquick, continuous profit Accountability And Increased Productivity "The main benefits of using Traka have been the key accountability and increased productivity, which eliminated approximately 120 personal hours per month that had previously been spent collecting and distributing keys." Though the Kerry Bill required access changes, the cruise line got much more in return by using the best in key management technology. With Traka, the increase in accountability and productivity allowed for average monthly savings close to $2500, completely covering the return on investment in just six months along with a quick, continuous profit. Once the new Traka systems were implemented, crew members saw major productivity increases. Now that keys don't have to be issued at the beginning and end of shifts, crew members appreciate the time saved. As a whole, the cruise line immediately recognized an extended list of benefits from implementing Traka, including: Key accountability Increased productivity Lower collection & distribution time Reduced costs Quick, effective implementation process Access control by person & time Return on investment in under six months After being the first cruise line to adopt key management, they plan on continuing to stay ahead of the pack with compliance and security for their passengers. Moving forward, they plan to purchase 10 more Traka key management systems and standardize based on Traka's complete fleet of key and asset management systems, including expansion with storage lockers to help protect electronic equipment and ignition control systems for vehicles. They also look forward to continued cost saving with Traka systems, along with training the shore side crew, so that they are up-to-speed with the on-board crew members and their grasp of the full range of key management solutions.
Customer Nirvana Spa is located about an hour outside of London in the Berkshire countryside. The award-winning facilities feature a variety of amenities including treatment rooms for hands-on healing, a gym, cafes, and 14 natural mineral water pools designed for pleasure, relaxation, or therapy. Nirvana Spa has a well-deserved reputation for luxury and first class service that has attracted a diverse range of clientele seeking to relax and unwind in secure and pampered comfort. Challenge Video surveillance cameras are as much a part of daily life in the UK (United Kingdom) as are the local pubs, and the grounds and facilities of Nirvana Spa are no exception. Video cameras on pan/tilt units have been installed outdoors on poles, on rooftops, and on the sides of buildings to cover the parking lot, perimeter areas, entrances, tennis courts, outdoor gardens, and maintenance buildings. Fixed and pan/tilt cameras have been installed in exercise rooms and pool areas for safety reasons and for general security in common areas. In keeping with the premium standards set at Nirvana Spa, the original analog video surveillance system was high quality when originally installed. Image quality was considered acceptable but required additional lighting to ensure useable recordings on a 24/7 basis. The need to increase the number of cameras for additional coverage was a major concern since it would become more difficult for the surveillance system to remain discrete. The most important issue related to the existing pan/tilt cameras, which were not adequately capturing incidents on video because they were usually facing the wrong direction when an event occurred. All of these issues were of concern and needed to be addressed by the new solution. Megapixel Solution Nirvana Spa management received a demonstration of Arecont Vision® SurroundVideo® panoramic megapixel cameras arranged through its system integrator, Lantec Security. The image quality of the Arecont Vision® SurroundVideo® panoramic cameras was considered to be far superior to other cameras that were demonstrated and evaluated. Camera features include true wide dynamic range (WDR), motion detection, day/night functionality, remote focus/remote zoom, and vandal-resistant housings. Arecont Vision® SurroundVideo® 180° and 360° panoramic megapixel cameras were the choice for the new installation. Megapixel Benefit Arecont Vision® SurroundVideo® IP AV-8185DN panoramic megapixel cameras were deployed for surveillance of the car park and surrounding perimeter areas. Each camera provides a 180°continuous view of the scene which means that fewer cameras are needed to cover the entire area. There are no lapses in coverage, unlike the previous pan/tilt-based solution. The day/night capability of the SurroundVideo® cameras also ensures that high quality video is captured 24 hours a day. In the event of an incident, operators can zoom in live or on recorded video for a closer look or for evidentiary purposes. The surveillance system provides full coverage of external parking areas and increases safety of customers & staff Arecont Vision® SurroundVideo® IP AV-8365DN panoramic megapixel dome cameras are used inside the facilities. Each camera provides a continuous 360° view. Areas which previously required several analog pan/tilt cameras are now monitored by a single 360° megapixel panoramic camera. Nirvana Spa clients and staff alike appreciate the added coverage without the feeling of being watched. Issues are now quickly resolved because of the exceptional video quality and the ability to capture the moments leading up to and after any incident. “The image quality of the Arecont Vision® megapixel cameras is excellent,” said Graham Walker, Head of Procurement & Security, Nirvana Spa. “They have helped us to improve the level of safety and security without intruding on anyone’s sense of privacy.” Significant cost benefits were delivered by requiring fewer cameras and less supporting infrastructure. The SurroundVideo® panoramic megapixel camera solution is also less taxing on the IP network due to H.264 compression and bit rate control capabilities. Digital Sentry Video Management Software Digital Sentry® video management software from Pelco by Schneider Electric was selected as part of the project. Digital Sentry® is Arecont Vision® MegaLab™ integration certified. These collective advantages further reduce the overall Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of the new surveillance system while increasing Return on Investment (ROI) for Nirvana Spa. “From a cost standpoint, we have saved time and money,” said Mr. Walker. “Fewer cameras are needed and any problems or incidents are resolved much faster and with less expense.” Megapixel Video-Based Solution The megapixel video-based solution delivers highly detailed images that are displayed on a video wall and monitored 24/7. Operators are able to control which views from each of the Arecont Vision® cameras are displayed, and they can zoom in on any selected areas to get a closer look if needed. The high quality of the video and the combined camera and VMS functionality allows Nirvana Spa to monitor key areas such as the gym and to respond to incidents or issues in real time as they occur. The new surveillance system also provides full coverage and recordings of external parking areas, minimizing potential losses, and increasing the safety of both customers and staff in a discreet manner.