Today’s economic times may lead many executive decision makers in the security industry to play it safe or ride out the recession without taking up any risky business ventures. Lower attendance at industry tradeshows, company employee cutbacks and lower forecasts by major market firms on particular aspects of the security industry are just a few of the changes that we have seen for 2009 and predicted forecasts going into 2010.
Despite mixed expectations on whether the security industry will continue to see the affects of the recession or experience positive changes going into 2010, security in the education sector is definitely seeing some improvements with the help of federal stimulus money coming in. According to a New York Times report released in April, the $787 billion economic stimulus law includes about $100 billion the Department of Education started sending to states earlier this year for spending over two years for public schools, universities and child care centers. More than half comes in a $54 billion fiscal stabilization fund for states.
“Many public schools from both the K-12 and higher education sector are benefiting from stimulus and Department of Homeland Security funding.” said Ron Douglas, sales representative for the Northeast Region, Verint Systems Inc., Melville, N.Y., a provider of analytics software-based solutions for workforce-enterprise optimization and security. “Verint works with customers to identify needs and then provides both software and hardware products which have been certified by the Department of Homeland Security to fill these. Although the majority of these funds are being used for infrastructure – roads, bridges and tunnels – much of the dollars that I see are going towards school systems.”
In the case of the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, it was clear that the current analog video surveillance system they had in place did not provide such a full portfolio solution. For Paul Perrone, senior information technologist at the university, the choice to upgrade their analog system to an IP-based infrastructure was one that would bring much reward in the long run.
“Some of the challenges that we had were a failed analog system that no one had any responsibility to manage and administer,” said Perrone. “I’m new to the university so coming on board I readily saw some of the apparent challenges we’ve had on the CCTV side which prompted me to move in the IP direction. And in moving in that direction, I realized that this system was going to be the most robust, scaleable and high-performing solution for us.”
Bridge to IP
To replace the former DVR platform the university had in place, system integrator Galaxy Integrated Technologies Inc., an independently owned and operated company, Brighton, Mass., installed Verint System’s Nextiva IP Video Management software, along with Nextiva S1708e 8-channel encoders. The initial phase of the analog to IP video migration deployed in June at the University of Rhode Island’s main campus in Kingston featured a full realm of security operations, including monitoring and recording activity at parking lots, buildings and walkways, as well as controlling restricted areas.
According to Douglas, the Nextiva S1708E 8 channel digital video encoders were installed to capture, compress and stream the existing video into the network. Verint’s S1970E-R decoders were used to pull video out of the network and display it on analog monitors so it converts that IP video back to analog video, allowing the university to have the use of analog monitors and joysticks in the command center to treat a virtual matrix. “This reduced the footprint of existing hardware so that they had lower requirements for racking and storage in the control room, saving space overall,” said Douglas. In addition, the existing analog cameras were retained, helping cut additional costs for the university. Nextiva’s software includes the capability to enhance and increase the contrast and improve the saturation of the colors, helping to extend the life of these existing cameras by improving the video quality generated.