2010 Security Innovation Award Silver Medalist - Mission Accomplished

Panduit uses multiple technologies to connect the many security and safety devices at its new world headquarters facility


The new Panduit World Head-quarters building demonstrates the power of integrated, IP-based physical security solutions to accelerate event detection and response, enable collaboration between a private company and public safety agencies, and increase operational efficiency.

Founded in 1955, Panduit develops and provides physical infrastructure solutions that enable customers to connect, manage and automate their communications, computing, power, control and security systems. Panduit solutions apply Unified Physical Infrastructure (UPI) principles to manage the risk and complexity associated with system convergence and integration, while also reducing cost and improving sustainability. The company operates in 120 countries and makes its headquarters in Tinley Park, Ill. Areas of focus include data centers, connected buildings and industrial automation.

The Challenge

When planning its new world headquarters building - completed in early spring 2010 - Panduit wanted the facility to showcase its UPI vision. The building's IP network would be the platform for physical security, collaboration and energy efficiency. "You have the opportunity to build a new headquarters building only once in a career, and we wanted the building to continue meeting our business needs for 30 years," says Darrin Norbut, senior manager for workplace resources.

Main physical security objectives included:

- Building the foundation to centralize security operations for all 120 global offices;
- Creating a virtual fence around the 52-acre property instead of a physical fence, to automate intruder detection while lowering costs;
- Enabling collaboration with local fire and police departments;
- Increasing operational efficiency for the physical security organization by not having to maintain a separate employee database for the physical access control system;
- Maintaining physical access controls even in the event of a power outage; and
- Taking advantage of video analytics software in novel ways, such as preventing one person from "tailgating" an employee who has swiped an access card.

The Solution

Collaborating with N2N Secure (strategic physical security consulting), IPVision (systems integration) and Cisco, Panduit designed a state-of-the-art IP-based physical security system combining video surveillance, physical access controls and interoperable communications with employees and first responders, using any device. The IP-based system gives Panduit the flexibility to use open standards-based systems from any vendor.

The foundation of the connected building includes Panduit's own physical infrastructure solutions and Cisco wired and wireless networks, which provide coverage throughout the entire 280,000 square-foot facility. Other solution components include Cisco Video Surveillance, Cisco Physical Access Control and the Cisco IP Interoperability and Collaboration System (IPICS). IPVision, a Cisco Premier Certified Partner, integrated these systems with each other and with Panduit's existing databases to accelerate awareness of events and automate response.

N2N Secure recommended a Unified Operations Center instead of a separate security operations center, network operations center and emergency operations center (Editor's Note: For more on Panduit's UOC, please check out the May cover story of STE, which is available in our online magazine archives - securityinfowatch.com/magazine/ste/archives). The combined workspace eliminates the cost of redundant servers and networking systems, and also enables the teams to collaborate more closely for increased operational efficiency. For example, security operations personnel can more quickly find out if an alarm from a building system resulted from a power outage, reducing time spent investigating false alarms.

IP-Based Video Surveillance: A Virtual Fence

At Panduit headquarters, 120 Cisco IP Video Surveillance cameras monitor the building perimeter and restricted areas within the building. Authorized personnel can monitor live and archived video streams from any web browser on a PC or smartphone, through the supplier's Video Surveillance Manager.

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