This is a story about a systems integrator who knows how to specialize and deliver superior solutions to the customer-in this case Pro-Vigil Inc. and its end-user, the Vineyard subdivision in San Antonio. But it's much more than a happy ending with a satisfied customer, albeit that is the desired end result as always. It's really all about a company taking advantage of new and emerging systems technologies to build the business and of course that means being a pioneer in IP video, the Web, software as a service and networks and servers.
"Pro-Vigil was founded on the belief that live video surveillance (not event-based monitoring) still has a place in the industry, a very important one," said Ben Molloy, vice president, Business Growth and Development. "Since we began in business three years ago the company has been engineering video systems solutions with this philosophy in mind," he said.
"The key to Pro-Vigil's service is the ability to remotely communicate with a present threat real-time via various outputs and to prevent an incident from occurring whenever possible," Molloy added. "No analytics can beat the power of the human mind."
From its pledge to use live video has blossomed a company that's engineering its own software and also hosting remote server solutions to meet the ever-growing needs of the video surveillance market. Their solution was just what the end-user wanted; Vineyard property management chose Pro-Vigil based on the ability to monitor the installed cameras live--namely the pool and recreational center areas, Molloy said.
End-user wants live video feeds
The Vineyard subdivision is managed by Spectrum Association Management LP. Spectrum oversees some over 160 communities in San Antonio, Houston, Laredo, Dallas and Austin. Jeffrey Kahl, Ph.D. and board president for the Vineyard Subdivision and Catherine S. Heimer, Community Manager for Spectrum Association Management LP wanted a system specification that would address some of the security issues at the property's complex. They wanted to keep live eyes on multiple swimming pools and provide surveillance and video at entry points to document and prevent damage to physical properties in both areas.
"For the entry/exit gates, we chose a high-definition day/night camera as it met requirements for being able to capture a license plate during a footage review," explained Molloy. "We used one camera for entry and one camera for exit at each of six, two-lane gates. For the two swimming pools, we used the same high-definition camera coupled with Pro-Vigil's I-Vigil software for monitoring," he said. During off-hours, Pro-Vigil monitors, via I-Vigil, the swimming pools for activity and when triggered warns intruders with a manually activated sound over a public announcement system that the pool is closed and they must leave the area.
"A major concern of Spectrum was getting Internet access to each of the entry/exit gates," Molloy continued. "Some were as far as a quarter-mile from Pro-Vigil's Internet source.We decided to go with a point-to-point Internet solution so that we would have the needed bandwidth and lower the installed cost. Another concern was keeping the installation as unobtrusive as possible while maintaining a high-level of security."
According to Molloy, another challenge for the installation was server hardware. Pro-Vigil needed to provide enough storage space to hold two weeks of continuous recording at an extremely high resolution (1920 x 1080 or over two megapixels) and the ability to stream smaller live images of the pool over the Internet. "We went with a custom PC-based digital video recorder (DVR) with a hybrid of Axis's camera station software for archiving and I-Vigil for monitoring the site live at night and off hours."
Pro-Vigil continues to build on its systems engineering and IT experience. In October the company launched its own offsite-based IP surveillance hosting service called MyCamServer (www.mycamserver.com). The virtual Web service for IP cameras eliminates the need for and restrictions of a site-located DVR. MyCamServer IP cameras get power over the cable and come pre-programmed to connect automatically to servers, without network configuration or port forwarding. Pro-Vigil also builds and markets a portable and mobile video solution called Virtual Guard Stations as part of its portfolio. Virtual Guard Stations deliver mobile, temporary surveillance wherever a customer needs it.