Our Man in the Field: The Process of the IP Solution, Part II

Solving IP integration challenges while designing and implementing a CCTV solution

2. To visually monitor and record images of all vehicles and their license plates as they enter and exit the facility at any point. These images will be used in conjunction with the card access system to compare to an existing data base to verify identification, authority, and times on and off the facility property. This system is to be fully automated with visual alarm notification to the on-site control center whenever identification of a vehicle and/or driver cannot be verified by the CCTV or card access system.

3. To provide full monitoring and control capabilities to key personnel at the corporate office in Texas for the purpose of spot checks and off-site emergency response.

It's still simple in concept, but is a bit more detailed to our results-oriented design. We now are watching activity and product, interacting with a database, and responding (with control) both on and off site. The design is started. This is the exact same process that would be recommended for any analog system over the past 20 years. However, it is becoming more and more important that detail is added to the design purpose. This is because of all the new avenues that are being offered by the IP concepts. The more detail that you can add to your initial design statement, the more likely you will end up with an affordable, viable, working visual solution.

OK, so you're in the middle of writing out your statement and you suddenly get a cold chill. What if I can't afford this? How much is all of this going to cost? Can the technology really give me the ability to monitor and authorized activity, based upon license plates and interaction with card access?

Now is not the time to worry. Now is the time to define, to the best of your imagination and detail, what you want your system to do. And this incidentally is a key phrase, "Let your imagination be your guide."

Obviously, given the full gambit of my imagination, I could design a system well over your budget in just a few nanoseconds, but I still recommend that you build every option that you can think of and then cut back as you go. The net result is most often that you end up with what you need at the start and then have a plan and design in place for the next two to five years. The advantage of spreading out a design is three-fold:

1) You design a system that can be grown as opposed to added to.

2) You spread your budget out further and don't have to absorb one big hit.

3) Technology continues to develop and you're already in place when it arrives.

To wrap it up for this column, the design process is started and, as promised, we have not strayed from old patterns or processes too far. In the next article we will look at what it takes to start assigning individual camera locations. We will also start discussing some of the technical processes involved in finding the proper IP equipment for your application.

See you in a couple weeks, with the next update of this column.