Those who are under the impression that the education market isn’t savvy to the latest security strategies definitely need to go back to school. The education vertical today is all about providing the best solution—one with the flexibility to grow to address future needs. Whether leveraged on an existing infrastructure or crafted with a new IT solution, educators know how important it is to provide their students with safety and security that works. And, more often than not, Internet protocol (IP) cameras are part of the plan.
Integration solution provider Idesco Corp., based in New York City, has been immersed in serving the needs of the education market for decades. They’ve seen the changes and even pioneered some of their own in identification badging, access control, biometrics and digital video surveillance and visitor management solutions. The 60-year-old company is third-generation family owned and operated.
While access control and visitor management remain at the company’s foundation, Idesco has also been providing the advantages of the latest IP camera solutions and software to its customers. Case in point is a recent installation at the Amityville Middle and High Schools in the Amityville Union Free School District. The end-user specifically wanted a software platform that would “permit integration with as yet unspecified systems to grow with them in the future,” said Andy Schonzeit, Idesco’s president and chief executive officer. “We were able to deliver a platform that would permit future integration by leveraging the existing infrastructure with a combination of the latest equipment and analytic software. And, we did it with precision under extreme time constraints.”
“The client—the school district administration–was in the process of upgrading their communications infrastructure and was very aware of the need to future proof their new camera system,” continued Schonzeit. “Their first requirement was met simply by using an IP-based system. While an IP camera is generally more expensive than a quality analog device, installation costs typically are significantly lower when integrated with a solid network infrastructure,” he said.
Time for IP
Idesco Operations Manager Greig Silver said upgrading the network presented the opportunity for the Amityville schools to make the move to IP. “It’s the right choice for the school and their future,” Silver said. “After we were awarded the bid, we went right to work and installed 50 cameras at the high school in three weeks before students came back for summer school. The school district was so impressed they added another 78 cameras for the middle school. The outside cameras were simple to coordinate but the interior cameras had to be installed during professional days and other periods when the students were not present,” he said.
Other members of the Idesco installation team included Dave Bowen, vice president of Sales & Marketing; Desmond Carter, sales engineer; Shlomi Vizgan, project manager; and a host of support persons inside the company as well as vendors (see Key Suppliers list). Penny Notarnicola, senior project manager from West Suffolk Board of Cooperative Educational Services helped the Amityville Union Free School District put their plan down on paper before the bid and provided Idesco with the information they needed to make it a straight-forward installation, Silver added.
The system is decentralized as opposed to being centrally located at a single site, which allows authorized users access from multiple PCs. “They specifically didn’t want a traditional centralized solution that required a command center where monitoring took place inside a security room or guard booth,” said Dave Bowen, vice president of Sales & Marketing.
The Amityville Union Free School District also wanted administrators and security personnel to be able to view the system from anywhere on their network, according to Desmond Carter, sales engineer. “The IP solu tion gave them the flexibility to log in with a password and see everything from any computer on the network,” Carter added.
The decentralized system strategy necessitated intensive training for the more than two dozen users. ID Sales & Associates, a manufacturer’s representative based in Plainview, N.Y., handled training for school administration and security personnel for the district. “We were extremely excited that Amityville took a proactive approach to learning how to use the system,” said Adam Messina, director of sales engineering. “They really were hands on with regards to installation and their training and wanted to learn about how to use it properly and to their advantage.”
The open platform software Idesco deployed allows the school to add cameras and other hardware as needed. Idesco is also in the process of installing a separate visitor management solution at both schools and will provide ongoing maintenance.
Most in the industry will agree that schools make the grade when it comes to security. “Making schools safer for students, staff and visitors is a primary concern and goal for parents and school administrators throughout the country,” said Paul Terschuren, vice president of Sales & Marketing for STOPware in San Jose, Calif. “Security industry professionals have joined the cause and are working to support their efforts with products and technology that can help make the school a safer environment for all. One specific proactive feature of the visitor management system they will deploy is that school administrators can connect in real time to national and/or local sex offender lists with photos to help take appropriate preventive security measures if required.”
IP also helps schools stay safer in real time and make decisions before scenarios turn bad.
“Security has always been a concern in the education market relative to the protection of people, property and assets, but occurrences of violence on campuses over the last few years, along with the associated liability faced by schools, have definitely heightened recognition of the need for improved security and notification systems,” said Mulli Diamant, vice president of Sales, OnSSI, Suffern, N.Y. “Fortunately, the technology that has evolved in recent times is ideally suited for this application and environment. Now, officials and local law enforcement can be alerted automatically and in real time in the event of any incidents, even in the case of video that is not being actively monitored by guards. This can dramatically reduce or eliminate vandalism, a key issue in schools. Automatic delivery of intelligent alerts also allows financially pressed school systems to fully monitor the system with fewer personnel, without sacrificing security or response time even in off hours or at remote areas of the campus or building. As these systems grow in popularity and usage, they will also work to deter mischief, vandalism and other criminal activity,” Diamant said.
Leading integrator Idesco Corp. has paved the way for the Amityville Middle and High Schools to move squarely and safely into the future with a forward-thinking solution that is user-friendly and ready for tomorrow.
Amityville Union Free School District (Middle School and High School)—End-user and owner–www.amityvilleschools.org
ID Sales & Associates—Manufacturers representative (OnSSI) and user training—www.idsalesreps.com
Idesco—Lead systems integrator and installer—www.idesco.com
Infusion Direct Marketing LLC—Marketing and public relations—www.infusiondirect.com
OnSSI—IP video management system—www.onssi.com
S2 Security Corp.—NetBox™ Enterprise security management system—www.s2sys.com
Sony—IP cameras (models SNCDF70N and SNCRZ50N)—www.sony.com/security
STOPware— PassagePoint EDU visitor management solution—www.stopware.com
Up Next for the ‘Men in Black’
Idesco is expanding its IP expertise to another well-known educational customer, Adelphi University in Garden City, N.Y. The campus is undergoing a massive expansion, including a new 500-seat auditorium in the expanded Performing Arts Center, an Early Learning Center and a new Sports Complex that includes a state-of-the-art soccer/lacrosse field toping a parking garage. While they had in place a solid CCTV system, the Director of Public Safety and Transportation, Gene Palma, recognized the need to make use of new technologies and to find a path forward from their aging DVR’s. Based on references from NYU, where Idesco has completed several dozen projects, Adelphi approached Idesco to explore options. Key to moving forward was demonstrating to the IT personnel that Idesco could provide a solution that would leverage the new IT infrastructure without a negative impact on their network, and without risking the security of the IP camera system or the network. The installation is expected to be completed this year. Visit www.idesco.com.