A Solid Proposal For a City on a Budget

By: Carlton Purvis, Published on May 16, 2013

It is far too common to find RFPs and proposals with missing details, inadequate equipment, and out of date specs. Indeed, it is a top industry complaint. While we find a lot of examples of what not to do, recently we came across a good example of an uncommonly thorough proposal. For this note, we spoke with the integrator, Digital Surveillance Solutions (DSS) about a winning bid they put together for a small upstate NY city. 

The Proposal

The level of detail is what makes this proposal rare (take a look at the 51-page submission). You sometimes find this in proposals for airports or other multi-million dollar projects, but for smaller projects, both RFPs and proposals are usually lacking. This proposal outlines the integrator's research, includes a number of diagrams showing camera locations and fields of view, bandwidth estimates (see below) and photos of cameras housings to show Saratoga how the cameras would fit in with the aesthetics of downtown. 

Here is a diagram that shows an overall view of placement for each camera:

Here's a sample image of what each should look like:

Additionally, the proposal explains in detail how certain parts of the system work to meet the city's goals, provides locations and estimates of where and when most of the work will be done, sets a payment structure, provides procedures for staffing and work changes and identifies additional cost considerations -- for example, National Grid and Verizon fees and costs to power future cameras.

The proposal outlines an optional second phase where four more fixed cameras can be added as the budget allows, leaving providing a starting point for when the city decides to expand. “Hopefully, there will be a phase two and a phase three in subsequent budget cycles,” DSS said.

Background

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

Every summer, the Saratoga Race Course brings thousands of visitors, enough to give a boost to the city’s economy that lasts through the year. Using grant money, the city wanted to improve surveillance during tourist season and asked several companies, including DSS, to bid on the project. Saratoga had a firm budget ($55,000) and wanted to add 10 more cameras throughout the city.

The city agreed to pay DSS $5,000 to assess the project and product a detailed proposal. “We asked them to prioritize the 10 spots where they wanted the cameras. Then we sent our engineers to the field to do line of sight trajectories and some site engineering,” DSS said. 

The build will start within 30 days, the integrator said. Completion is estimated at six weeks, according to the contract -- just in time for horse racing season. 

IPVM Analysis

Beyond the proposal being detailed, at ~$10,000 per camera, it is actually a relatively low cost for a city wide wireless surveillance system while using mainstream components (Axis, Exacq, Ubiquiti). Compare to a recent Tyco city system at $17,000 per camera.

On the other end, compare to a project in Hazleton, PA, another small city working on a tight budget. Hazelton had a system built for around $10,000 total. Unfortunately, the integrators for that project took more of a “Yeah we can do it, no problem” approach, failing to account for the city’s architecture and leaving it with an unreliable system and plans for an $85,000 overhaul. In that case, the RFP was simply a bulleted list of items the city wanted. In return they got a proposal which was also pretty much a bulleted list of items and a total price. 

The Saratoga City proposal is an example of a detailed and practical statement of work. In contrast to other proposals that are very short with little detail, with questionable design decisions and major expenses, this is an example of a proposal that was good for the customers and a template for others. 

On the other hand, many cities prefer or require to have a separate consultant specify the project or simply do not have (or want) to spend funds on an up-front design. Plus, this depends on an integrator not taking advantage of the city, which is a risk if they choose a poor quality or unscrupulous integrator.

Comments (7) : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

IPVM Camera Calculator User Manual / Guide on Oct 16, 2019
Learn how to use the IPVM Camera Calculator (updated for Version 3.1). The guide below includes instructions, images, gifs, and videos...
Last Chance - Register Now - October 2019 IP Networking Course on Oct 10, 2019
Last Chance - Register Now - Fall 2019 IP Networking Course. The course starts next week. This is the only networking course designed...
'Bunker Busting' Wireless Access Startup: Sure-Fi Profile on Oct 03, 2019
An access startup is claiming its 'bunker busting' wireless Wiegand radios can punch through 'any obstruction'. We examine their offering,...
Access Control Mustering Guide on Sep 30, 2019
In emergencies, determining where employees are located can be critical for knowing whether they are in danger. Access systems can be used for...
Directory of 70 Video Surveillance Startups on Sep 18, 2019
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known. 2019...
JCI Sues Wyze on Aug 21, 2019
The mega manufacturer / integrator JCI has sued the fast-growing $20 camera Seattle startup Wyze. Inside this note: Share the court...
ProdataKey (PDK) Access Company Profile on Aug 09, 2019
Utah based ProdataKey touts low cost cloud access, wireless controllers, and no dealer required national distribution availability. But how does...
Mobile Access Control Shootout - Farpointe, HID, Openpath, Nortek, Proxy on Jul 29, 2019
One of the biggest rising trends in access control is using phones as credentials but which offering is best? IPVM has tested five of the...
Siklu $400 Compact 60GHz Radio on Jul 24, 2019
Siklu first entered the video surveillance market with a $6,000 per link solution, is now aiming down market with their newest 60GHz wireless...
Genetec Synergis Cloud Link - Complex, Costly and Confusing on Jun 18, 2019
Genetec's Synergis Cloud Link is complex, costly and confusing compared to competitor access control architectures. Inside this note, we examine...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Resideo Stock Plunges 40%, CFO Ousted on Oct 23, 2019
The horrible year for the ADI / Honeywell Home spinout, Resideo, just got worse, with their stock plunging another 40% today. Not even a year...
Access Control Door Controllers Guide on Oct 22, 2019
Door controllers are at the center of physical access control systems connecting software, readers, and locks. Despite being buried inside...
Alarm.com Acquires OpenEye on Oct 21, 2019
Alarm.com is targeting commercial expansion and now they have a commercial cloud VMS with the acquisition of OpenEye. In this note, based on...
Government-Owned Hikvision Wants To Keep Politics Out Of Security on Oct 21, 2019
'Politics' made Hikvision the goliath it is today. It was PRC China 'politics' that created Hikvision, funded it, and blocked its foreign...
Integrated IR Camera Usage Statistics 2019 on Oct 21, 2019
Virtually every IP camera now comes with integrated IR but how many actually make use of IR or choose 'super' low light cameras without IR? In...
Alarm Veteran "Demands A Criminal Investigation" Of UL on Oct 18, 2019
The Interceptor's Project pressure against UL continues to rise. Following Keith Jentoft's allegation that "UL Has Blood On Their Hands", Jentoft...
Camect "Worlds Smartest Camera Hub" Tested on Oct 18, 2019
Camect is a Silicon Valley startup that claims the "Smartest AI Object Detection On The Market", detecting not only people and vehicles, but...
Hikvision Global News Reports Directory on Oct 17, 2019
Hikvision has received the most global news reporting of any video surveillance company, ever, ranging from the WSJ, the Financial Times, Reuters,...
Camera Calculator V3.1 Release Improves User Experience on Oct 17, 2019
IPVM has released a new version of our Camera Calculator, V3.1, with significant user experience improvements, a new development plan, and an...