Cell C has secured its new campus in Buccleuch with the help of ITEC Digital Solutions. With the goal of centralising its operations on one campus, the company had to ensure tight security, but also ease of access for the public.
Cell C launched a rejuvenation and centralisation project under its ex-CEO Allan Knott-Craig in which the Buccleuch campus was to become an innovative facility available to the public, but also integrate its corporate, warehousing and data facilities under one roof. The facility is to be a landmark site and a destination point for all Cell C clients and staff.
The challenge Cell C faced was to manage the increasing number of customers and potential customers arriving at the facility and the associated risk that accompanies open access. At the same time, the company’s warehousing facility and call centres require strict security as these are high value products that need protection, along with the campus-wide need for the protection of human capital.
Reinhardt Kleinhans, head of security at Cell C says to meet its security requirements, the company was looking at installing an IP surveillance system that was integrated with access control as well as smart analytics. To achieve this while watching costs meant that Kleinhans required a system that would only require human intervention when something happened. In other words, intelligent analytics would detect an event – such as breaking in or loitering – and then warn the security team, allowing them to take action.
After vetting around 20 potential suppliers, Kleinhans decided to work with ITEC Digital Solutions because ITEC provided him with the best input to assist in planning the security solution.
Over 700 IP cameras
Richard O’Connor, MD of ITEC Digital Solutions, along with Johan Crause, sales director, says the team recommended that CCTV, access control, licence plate recognition and analytics would be the best choice for the desired outcome. “Our point of departure was to assure the stability of the system and ensure it would serve Cell C over the next five to seven years.”
Vicon was determined to be the solution of choice as its scalability and integration potential gave Cell C the ability to integrate best-of-breed products into the solution. Yet, while integration was important to the project, ITEC was tasked with ensuring the system was easy to use and scalable to cater for future growth.
Kleinhans says Vicon met Cell C’s requirements as it is a US-based product that has a good reputation – is used by the US military among others worldwide – and it is cost effective compared to other brands. What really made it stand out is its three-year warranty, extended to five years, which shows the faith the company has in its product and the reliability thereof.
“We achieved our goals with Vicon’s management platform integrating into Agent VI (analytics), Saflec’s access control and licence plate recognition from Inex/Zamir. We also used multiple open platform IP cameras including devices from Axis and Vicon’s V Series,” adds O’Connor. “Integrating these systems with Cell C’s security division allowed us to develop a solution that effectively analysed the security situation in real time and enabled Cell C to manage security by event and not after the fact.”
The biggest obstacle faced in the implementation process was the size of the project. With a combined camera count of 709 high-end IP cameras, 152 biometric points and 88 access control points, the challenge was to coordinate and assure a timeous delivery of the solution. The first phase of the project was completed in five months and was timed to follow the completion of building projects as the security solution could only be installed once the buildings were completed.
The systems were installed by the company’s accredited technicians with the assistance, at times, of the manufacturers. The company has long-standing relationships with many manufacturers that are able to uphold its installation and service deliverables. The installation conformed to best practice throughout. To ensure the system is always operational, redundancy has been built into the plan and installation of a secondary control room is underway.
Kleinhans says he is impressed with ITEC Digital Solutions’ performance during the rollout as it was a large project and goalposts were moved a few times due to delays in finishing building projects etc. In the next phase, the Cell C call centre will be transferred to the new campus, which will be an enormous undertaking requiring additional security in the centre.
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