Corporate Video Surveillance Recommendations

By John Honovich, Published Nov 14, 2009, 07:00pm EST

What's the best video surveillance solution for a multi-site corporation? Almost all multi-site corporations extensively use security systems such as video surveillance often requiring complex integration and planning.

In this report, we examine the needs of an actual corporation and examine what solution would fit best. [Note: this is a real corporation. To protect their privacy, we are not disclosing their name.]

Background of the Corporation

The corporation has a few dozen facilities around the world. They run a 24/7 security operations center where they review and monitor intrusion, fire, access and video systems. They have access control in use in almost all facilities and video surveillance in more than half.

Current Systems

The corporation uses GE's Picture Perfect [link no longer available] access control and Pelco DVRs [link no longer available]. Based on cost and logistics, it is probably infeasible to replace GE's Picture Perfect (as is common with legacy access control systems). The DVRs and access control system are not integrated.

Their facilities have modest numbers of cameras with 32 cameras being the most in any facility but the majority of facilities having less than 16.

Security / Losses

The corporation has low historical losses and moderate security risks. Across the entire corporation's facilities, only a few material security losses occur each month.

The most common problems include outsiders entering their parking lots and theft from their branch offices.

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Objectives

The corporation is planning future improvements to their security technology. A few key objectives include:

  • Integrating access control and video systems. Like most security organizations, budgets for staff is unlikely to rise. They would like their systems to make it easier to verify and track movement throughout their facilities.
  • Use video analytics to detect potential intruders in their parking lots/external property.
  • Expand coverage of branch offices to record any theft. Some branch offices do not have systems. These offices are fairly large and have high ceilings.

In doing so, the corporation wants a phased approach that makes the best use out of their existing cameras and recorders.

Potential Options

Here are a few potential options given the corporation's key issues

  • Full GE System: The corporation could choose more GE products (recorders, cameras, central management, etc.). These products would likely work well together. The downside is being limited to GE, a company who lags in many areas of physical security technology and is in the process of being sold.
  • Third-Party PSIM System: The corporation could deploy a PSIM system that could integrate both with the GE access control system, Pelco DVRs and any future video surveillance system. Most PSIM systems may be too expensive and complex. The Proximex C100 may offer low cost but it is new and not yet shipping.
  • Hybrid DVR Appliance: Given the relatively small camera counts in the facilities and existing analog cameras, hybrid DVRs are likely the best approach. This would eliminate the need for separate encoder appliances. Additionally, because 1 or 2 hybrid DVR appliances at a total cost of $4,000 to $7,000 each would work well.
  • Megapixel Cameras: With hybrid DVRs in place, the corporation can strategically add a few megapixel cameras. For instance, the parking lots and larger branch offices should benefit from this.
  • Video Analytics: For the parking lots/external areas, video analytics could provide alerts to the monitoring center on activity and or loitering. Setting alerts for loitering (rather than perimeter violation) is recommended as the longer detection period for loitering should reduce false alarms.

What Do You Recommend?

Given the constraints on access control integration what specific product offerings do you think would work best in this scenario?

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