Enterprise security - Go for the globe

Integrators savvy on converged solutions can piece it together


"Mesh networking for multiple sites ties everything together," Tolliver said. "It creates an environment of communication without trenching and cabling and is cost effective. The reliability has really improved. It's also emerging strong for colleges and campuses. They'd rather build that infrastructure so patrols and personnel can view cameras remotely," he added.

Some larger customers of Per Mar, such as chain retail accounts, are using remote video and storage-especially as they are required to keep video evidence for three years according to the statute of limitations for prosecution. "We developed software and we host the servers at our UL- and FM-certified central monitoring facility," Tolliver said. Video management software, he added, can streamline processes for customers, allowing them to manage, view and lock and unlock doors remotely, and control two-way voice and intercoms. "Customers are looking for ways to augment labor for a cost savings; eliminate time and labor and as such they are doing managed access."

Tolliver said Per Mar's customers most often have a large base of analog cameras, but selling them on IP isn't a problem. "We beta install IP and HD cameras and show the customer how it actually looks and works and at that point the technology sells itself."

Sentry Security, along with its integrated enterprise security division, ABC Security, is a Wheeling, Ill., provider of security solutions for a wide range of clientele, including large enterprises. The company specializes in the installation, service and monitoring of security and fire alarm systems, as well as access control and video surveillance.

Many of the enterprise customers of Sentry Security are using integrated access control and video solutions with door communications, all IP, according to Domenic LoBello, systems integration manager.

"Integration with the IT or logical side is really big right now," he said, adding customers are relying almost exclusively on IP solutions because they see the efficiencies and long-term value. "With IP, we do less wiring and more systems programming, and we rely on our vendors to help train us. We are doing some hybrid solutions using analog, but for the most part analog enterprise customers are making the switch to IP." LoBello said with existing access control systems Sentry Security has the ability to write software drivers to integrate with video when necessary.

With enterprise customers, the solution is often tied to policies and procedures as well as standards, risk management and compliance, according to Charles Baxter, PSP and a licensed-certified physical security consultant based in Dallas. Baxter chairs the North Texas Chapter of ASIS and is president of Baxter Consulting. "The challenge is the base of existing systems and getting card access, cameras and intrusion to all speak to the access control so there is one process," Baxter said. "Reports are important to the enterprise customer. They are constantly struggling to have everything talk to each other," he said.

Baxter said the enterprise customer is lagging in keeping up with rapidly changing technology. "You don't see it evolving as quickly in enterprise solutions. But change also creates an opportunity for the user to do some housekeeping, establish policies and procedures and protocols and also gain compliance," he said.

For enterprise and national customers, there's a compelling reason to move to integrated technologies, and that's long-term cost savings and efficiencies in workload and procedures. For the systems integrator who can piece it all together by using their expertise, that business and more is in the offing.

PAIN POINTS MEAN GAIN POINTS

Knowing the pain points and challenges of the end-user is the place to start with the enterprise market. What are they trying to accomplish and what technology can help them overcome cumbersome areas? Have they lost personnel and want to offset this with technology? Do a full site survey and look at all diagrams and plans that may exist for legacy equipment. Find the vendors who are good partners, ones to help train you and implement the system. Software as a service and hosted video and access control are perfect for the enterprise end-user. They provide Web access and control over vast landscapes.

VIRTUALIZATION ON THE ENTERPRISE