A flagship public university selected Inteconnex to upgrade their outdated security system, creating a safer environment for students and staff. The state university features two campuses with 4,500 faculty and staff who serve nearly 30,000 students.
The Systems Administrator for University Police is responsible for overseeing video surveillance for the two campuses that house more than 260 buildings and structures. When he started with the university, they had analog Vicon cameras and were seeking to update to an open source system that would better integrate with other university and city systems for easier management and tighter security. The university put out an RFP for an updated camera system. Inteconnex responded to the RFP, proposing an Avigilon system and was ultimately selected for the project.
Safety of students, faculty and staff is paramount for the school. Additionally, the University Police have the responsibility of protecting its valuable properties and assets. As technological advances become available, the university strives to take advantage of new capabilities to provide for a more integrated approach to physical security and campus safety.
“We had an out-of-date camera system. We wanted better quality recording capabilities and integration to make a safer environment for students, faculty and staff and to maintain the security of our buildings on campus,” said the Systems Administrator. Further, “We have a football stadium that attracts a lot of visitors and a heightened concern over student safety in the fall with new students arriving—we have a responsibility to provide a safe experience for people coming to our campus.”
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“Specifically, our goal was to be more up-to-date on software for the university campus security system—we wanted open source so that we could integrate into other systems. Inteconnex wrote custom software for us that we could import into our GIS system—we plotted the cameras on maps so now we can check on a location to bring a specific camera view up,” he explained.
“The open source software code also allows us to connect with other software like fire alarms, panic alarms and card access—to have a one-stop shop for all of this security information. For example, this capability has allowed dispatchers to pull video of where a panic alarm went off and relay what they see to responding officers. The officers can then pull up video in their cruisers before they arrive on scene so they know what they are dealing with.”
Video quality was another emphasis for the upgraded system. “Our other goal was higher video quality. Because of cost, we can’t do all cameras at once, but we have started with cameras at high traffic areas such as the football stadium and we will continue to convert to digital as budget allows.”
Inteconnex was awarded the bid to provide the university with video surveillance, video recording and storage using Avigilon systems. The price of Inteconnex’s bid and the capabilities of the Avigilon camera system were the deciding factors in the selection. The university campus security system has included 2,100 cameras and 77 servers, installed over five years, that the Systems Administrator and his team manage and Inteconnex supports. Additionally, Inteconnex developed custom software code to integrate the cameras into other systems used by the university to allow for a more comprehensive approach to security and more information at security personnel’s fingertips.
The project with Inteconnex included the Avigilon cameras, servers, custom software code for integration with other systems and on-site service technicians to help support the robust system. In the process of evaluating vendors, the university visited the City Water Department, where Inteconnex had installed a similar Avigilon camera, server and custom software system. The Systems Administrator liked what he saw there.
“Everyone liked the openness of the software and its compatibility. If we need to, we could connect to the City Water Department and numerous systems throughout the City. For instance, we can work with City cameras so that the Police Department can set up an operations center and see cameras all over the city, including campus, for things like the City Marathon, to provide better security.”
With the new Avigilon system installed by Inteconnex, the university now has a robust video system with integration into other software programs for recording, easy retrieval of video and better information to prevent and resolve incidents that occur on campus.
Inteconnex designed the system to utilize newer technology and reduce investment in recording hardware and expand capabilities. “With the new servers and networked system, there is reduced cost of recording devices, plus we got new cameras with digital technology which has helped solve some cases like bike theft and hit & runs and also helped with property damage to determine who was at fault,” said the Systems Administrator.
Inteconnex works with the Systems Administrator as a technical partner, providing expertise and hands-on guidance in optimizing the school’s security system. “Inteconnex helps me brainstorm on where to place cameras to get maximum coverage. Their technical expertise was critical to developing the software to integrate the Avigilon cameras into our GIS system which helps our department interface with other departments and have the best information possible at our fingertips.”
Inteconnex was initially selected by the university based on the price of its bid, the capabilities of the Avigilon system and for its previous experience with the school. The upgrade to the university’s video surveillance system, which the Systems Administrator believes to be the state’s largest camera system, also demonstrates the technical expertise of the Inteconnex team.
“Inteconnex is good at using technology to reduce infrastructure costs. They helped us select and install Avigilon multi-head cameras to reduce cabling and number of cameras needed. Additionally, with all of the video, network traffic was large. Inteconnex helped us re-engineer the software to talk better and group the data to be more manageable,” said the Administrator. “I have worked with Inteconnex from planning to install to service and now planning for the future. They are responsive on everything we’ve asked for and very easy to work with.”
Additionally, Inteconnex’s ability to custom develop the software code to integrate into the college’s GIS system, truly set Inteconnex apart from other security integrators. The Systems Administrator shared, “The security of our campus is critical and the cost of the property we’re trying to protect is substantial. Inteconnex rose to the challenge of helping us provide premier campus security.”
Inteconnex is the Midwest’s leading physical security integrator. The company designs and installs comprehensive security solutions with customized and fully-networked capability. The highly trained staff at Inteconnex has roots in information technology, providing customers with unrivaled technical expertise, service and the highest performing systems for today’s increasingly complex and networked world of advanced physical security.