Local software has international appeal

July 2012 Surveillance

Local start-up software integration company, SmartProtect, recently launched its product offering at a Milestone Partner event in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The two components – Reports and Integration – received accolades at the event and interest has already been generated from 14 countries across the globe.

The SmartProtect system is a generic plug-in system for the Milestone video management platform that allows centralisation of data from multiple security systems into the video management interface.

Easy integration

Developed in South Africa, SmartProtect originated as an integration solution for universities where large security installations are commonplace. In these instances there was a need to integrate the access control system with the video management platform. The two main issues were prevention of fraudulent access card issues and forensic investigations. Later it was determined that it could also be used for alarm based events.

“All information is accessible on your video system so you do not need to look at one screen for fire control, another screen for access control, another screen for surveillance, and so forth,” according to SmartProtect.

For example, if a fire alarm is activated, the fire system will work as it normally does, however, SmartProtect can be preset to alert the control room operator to the event; display the alarm priority; show you on a map where the event is located; indicate the associated surveillance cameras; display standard operating procedures for the operator; and request confirmation and comment from the operator on procedures followed.

This provides a complete audit trail of an event by gathering data; providing quick analysis of the event; verifying the event; resolving the event with standard operating procedures, and once the event is resolved, reporting on the event. Tracking can then be undertaken by management.

Often all the required information is available but people do not know how to access it or use it properly. In addition, trying to find the information is time consuming if it is situated in different locations. SmartProtect saves time in critical situations by providing quick and easy access to the required data, in one place.

Currently SmartProtect is fully integrated with Impro access control systems. The choice of Impro was due to demand, and was compounded by Impro’s position as a leading supplier to tertiary and government institutions. SmartProtect will roll out with integration to various other access control systems, as well as fire and alarm systems as demand dictates. SmartProtect also has a project based integration team that addresses the customised requirements of end users.

Superior reporting

Because all information is centralised in one place, SmartProtect can provide a reporting package. A lot of capital is invested in security systems and often the end user is unable to ascertain that his investment is working optimally. This is a great resource for the technician at the workface to quickly receive reports on the health of the system.

SmartProtect is like having an expert technician on site, diagnosing where problems exist, thereby effectively eliminating the number of technicians and skills needed to support a security installation. This translates into a reduction in the number of hours spent on support and a means of countering the skills shortage issue, by optimally leveraging current human resources and helping organisations to easily adopt new systems.

The SmartProtect team looked at three core issues in the design and development of the Milestone VMS reporting module:

1) Performance of cameras and peripherals.

2) Recording server and storage system errors.

3) Statistics on operator and user activities.

Rapid diagnosis

SmartProtect has identified a gap in the developing IP video market for rapid diagnosis of issues. These issues were exacerbated by the lack of skills that occur and communication difficulties.

The ability to pinpoint the exact area where a problem occurs, means that companies can quickly and effectively mobilise the correct resources. This intuitive system contains an asset register for managing the site and monitoring the investment. The asset register contains information on all surveillance cameras, including a location description, serial numbers and IP addresses.

Standard reports and customised reports are designed for complete user friendliness. Each report has a detailed description of what is happening on site and recurring issues are highlighted on a bar graph. The report also suggests specific actions that can be performed in each scenario.

Users can save data in a variety of formats, such as HTML, Adobe, XML and so forth. Once saved, the data can be extrapolated into the chosen company reporting structure. A standard feature is the ability to conduct manual or automatic emailing of reports to key personnel to ensure that they are able to respond proactively to maintenance issues.

Although SmartProtect is complex at the back end, it is also very easy to use on the front end. It has been designed for ease of use by both entry-level personnel as well as for more sophisticated purposes by management. By utilising data mined from reports, businesses can experience enhanced return on investment in a short period. A complete roadmap has been written to allow the developers to introduce key new elements and additions over the coming months.

“Instead of relying on input from questionable system integrators, you can access/identify any problem areas yourself with SmartProtect. This software was developed by a team that has a vast knowledge of what systems integrators and their customers require, thus specifically targeting key issues.

For more information contact SmartProtect, [email protected], www.smartprotect.co.za

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