New RFP: 10 Years Out of Date

By: Carlton Purvis, Published on May 05, 2013

Bad RFPs are an unfortunate fact of life in video surveillance - hurting end users and frustrating quality integrators. A new RFP from Oklahoma is a great example - incredibly out of date and hard specified to a manufacturer in steep decline. In this note, we break down the RFP and explain the issues involved.

Taft Stadium holds some history. The stadium, originally a New Deal project, has gone through numerous renovations over the years, but now the Oklahoma City icon is undergoing a major facelift.

Everything but its stone wall is being gutted and replaced. This time around Taft Stadium is getting a security system too. We’ve obtained the specs of the new system, and although they may look like they came from a time machine, we can assure you they did not.

Storage

One of the first things we noticed in the 9-page RFP is that the district specifies 320GB for 30 days of recording. 320GB for 30 days of storage is very small. They may be able to capture 30 days of video with 320GB, but they are going to have to significantly increase the compression, which lowers the image quality even if they only use motion based recording. Specifying that the project use 320GBs is unnecessary especially when for a little more money they could get multiple TBs of storage. Indeed, the specification is contradictory, as one reference on page 4 says 1TB, but another on page 6 with the detailed line item specification says 320GB. Even 1TB is quite low compared to industry norms (see our poll).

Frame Rate and Compression

A 60 images per second record speed requirement limits recording to 3.75 frames per second per camera average, which is very low for surveillance standards today. The industry average is double what this system is specifying. The spec for MP4 compression is outdated. Most systems now use H.264 because it is more bit rate efficient for the same quality.

Dome Housings

The housing dimensions requested for this project (6 inches round x 3.6 inches deep) are bigger than modern mini domes. There are smaller, more aesthetically pleasing domes readily available. Most users would prefer smaller housings, and there are many affordable options available. Requiring a specific (large) size is counterproductive.

Cameras

The spec calls for CCD cameras, however, newer, better cameras are almost all CMOS. They will not get a better camera by requiring CCDs. Additionally, for the seven cameras being placed across the parking lot, there is no information about how these cameras are going to be powered or networked.

Manufacturer Issues

The RFP specifies only Dedicated Micros DVRs, formerly one of the leading surveillance recorder manufacturers, and now rarely heard from. Last month we reported on the company's financial freefall and a 2011 financial report that showed a 26% drop in annual revenue. 

Outcome?

As is, these specs will unfortunately leave the stadium with a far out of date system and not even save much money compared to a modern offering. Worse, given Dedicated Micro's troubles, they expose themselves to risk for future service and support. We have reached out to Oklahoma City Public schools for more information this RFP. We will update with their response.

UPDATE: 

I spoke to the project manager by phone this afternoon and he says they will consider changing the specifications, but it may be too late.

“The design was done by an architect we assigned to the project,” the manager said. “We gave him the standard that was adopted by the school board and that’s what he followed. That standard was created by a previous project manager so I don’t really know a lot of technical aspects of why we chose those [specifications]. We usually tell them that if there is something better and we can afford it to go ahead and do that instead, but it looks like he didn’t do that here.”

Only $13 million was allotted to renovate both Taft and another stadium so the project is working with a small budget. The project manager says he is open to hearing any suggestions, however it is tool late for him to revise or add an addendum to the RFP because the deadline for the project is today.

“If there is something better out there, we will be willing to go with it  ... We’ll try to do a change order to re-evaluate the work,” he said.  
Comments (12) : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Last Chance - Camera Course Winter 2020 on Jan 30, 2020
This is the only independent surveillance camera course, based on in-depth product and technology testing. Lots of manufacturer training exists...
2020 Camera Book Released on Jan 10, 2020
This is the best, most comprehensive security camera training in the world, based on our unprecedented testing. Now, all IPVM PRO Members can get...
Security Sales Course January 2020 - Last Chance on Jan 02, 2020
Notice: This is the last chance to register for the course. This sales course is customized for the current needs and challenges specific to...
2020 IP Networking Book Released on Jan 06, 2020
The new IP Networking Book 2020 is a 280 page in-depth guide that teaches you how IT and telecom technologies impact modern security systems,...
Casino Surveillance Pro Interview: James Lathrop on Feb 15, 2019
James Lathrop [link no longer available] has been working in casinos for almost 25 years. During that time, he says he has held "just about every...
City Physical Security Manager Interview on Mar 14, 2019
This physical security pro is the Physical Security Manager for the City of Calgary. He is a criminologist by training with an ASIS CPP credential....
Casino Security Consultant Carl Lindgren Interview on Mar 26, 2019
For more than 20 years, Carl Lindgren [link no longer available] worked as a casino surveillance pro, while being active (and sometimes outspoken)...
Manufacturer Favorability Guide 2019 on Jun 12, 2019
The 259 page PDF guide may be downloaded inside by all IPVM members. It includes our manufacturer favorability rankings and individual...
Video Surveillance 101 Course - Last Chance on Feb 20, 2020
This is the last chance to join IPVM's first Video Surveillance 101 course, designed to help those new to the industry to quickly understand the...
IPVM Opens 12,000 Sqft Testing Facility on Dec 16, 2019
IPVM is proud to announce the opening of the world's first video surveillance testing facility that will allow us to significantly expand our...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Milestone Launches Multiple Cloud Solutions on Feb 18, 2020
Milestone is going to the cloud, becoming one of the last prominent VMSes to do so. Milestone is clearly late but how competitive do these new...
Video Surveillance 101 Course - Last Chance Thursday on Feb 18, 2020
IPVM's first Video Surveillance 101 course starts this month, designed to help those new to the industry to quickly understand the most important...
Video Surveillance Architecture 101 on Feb 18, 2020
Video surveillance can be designed and deployed in a number of ways. This 101 examines the most common options and architectures used in...
UK Stands Behind Hikvision But Controversy Continues on Feb 18, 2020
Hikvision is exhibiting at a UK government conference for law enforcement, provoking controversy from the press, politicians, and activists due to...
IronYun AI Analytics Tested on Feb 17, 2020
Taiwan startup IronYun has raised tens of millions for its "mission to be the leading Artificial Intelligence, big data video software as a service...
Access Control ADA and Disability Laws Tutorial on Feb 17, 2020
Safe access control is paramount, especially for those with disabilities. Most countries have codes to mandate safe building access for those...
ISC West 2020 Removes China Pavilion, No Plans To Cancel Or Postpone on Feb 17, 2020
ISC West plans to go on next month, amidst concerns over coronavirus. However, the Asia / China Pavilion has been removed, show organizers...
Hanwha Wisenet X Plus PTRZ Tested on Feb 14, 2020
Hanwha has released their PTRZ camera, the Wisenet X Plus XNV-6081Z, claiming the "modular design allows for easy installation". We bought and...
PRC Warns Against China Video Surveillance Hacks, Hikvision Targeted on Feb 14, 2020
Hackers are targeting China video surveillance manufacturers and systems, according to the PRC's main cyber threat monitoring body. The hackers...
IPVM Conference 2020 on Feb 13, 2020
IPVM is excited to announce our 2020 conference. This is the first and only industry event that will be 100% sponsor-free. Like IPVM online, the...