To the Clouds: Video Surveillance Gets City Nod

Internet connectivity and hosting adds value for Iowa City businesses


PhySecure was able to get the system up and running within just a couple weeks and the users were able to see immediate results. An added benefit of the system is that cameras can be moved from one area to another in the plaza or even placed elsewhere in city and can still be viewed through the same cloud platform, so the systems are expandable, movable and contractible. If a camera goes down for any reason, PhySecure receives an immediate alert and instantly addresses the problem.

Other benefits and pluses

In fact, PhySecure was able to point out to one of the company's that their cable provider had a faulty cable coming into their business. The company had complained that their ISP service would occasionally go down but the provider felt it was not their cable but something else. When PhySecure installed the camera, the lost connection alerts helped them (and the customer) justify new cabling to their facility, overall improving the company's connection for all their business needs. Before the camera was installed, the customer was unable to share with the ISP how many times the connection was dropping out. Often times, it was such a short period that they wouldn't know. But it is much more solid now.

Van Der Weide and Gordon of PhySecure both stressed that "the hosted system is what made the solution possible as it was both cost-effective and flexible, having a fixed affordable monthly fee and limited upfront costs. Without this type of technology, the association would never have been able to afford a system and they really needed to have safeguards and more protection." They also posted signs saying "the area is being monitored" which has helped deter crime as well. Since instituting the system the group has had requests from local, university, Iowa State and even out-of-state police looking for documentable evidence of crimes, right down to probation violations.

As expected, the system has brought up discussions about the pros and cons of public surveillance and privacy issues. But all involved in this project feel confident that the value out-weighs any privacy concerns.

Carol Enman is the managing director at Enman Strategic Business Initiatives-When Growth Matters, Portland, Maine.