The Serena Hotel Group focuses on acquiring and renovating existing iconic hotels, with a number of completed projects situated on Africa’s East Coast. Situated in the heart of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, the elegant and cosmopolitan Dar-es-Salaam Serena Hotel enjoys an exceptionally high-profile clientele and regularly plays host to both regional and international events.
The need for superior security levels is a driving factor. Regular visits by heads of state to conferences held at the hotel prompted the team to devise a cost-effective, yet highly efficient system.
Francois Malan, MD of projects-based security technology solutions company Camsecure, explains that the ever-present threat of terrorist acts and the risk of generalised robbery targeted at clientele, demanded an effective and efficient solution.
The advantage of specifying and supplying security solutions for a completely revamped hotel is that systems can be planned in an early stage of the project to achieve maximised results. Camsecure was a natural choice for the Dar-es-Salaam project based on the highly successful project they completed for Serena’s Polana Hotel in Mozambique.
An existing relationship with the general manager of that Mozambican facility continued when he was transferred to the Tanzanian facility. A site visit by Serena management to the Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg further reinforced Camsecure’s ability to design and implement effective security solutions that are both highly functional and aesthetically pleasing. Working closely together with Serena management, Camsecure was able to design and implement the first phase of the project.
One of the prerequisites of the surveillance and recording system was the ability to produce high-quality footage required to positively and accurately identify people. This is of specific significance both at the boomed entrance point and in the reception area, where the flow of pedestrian traffic is high and loitering is an issue. The ability to access high-definition footage plays an integral role in the successful management of the hotel.
Camsecure selected the Milestone open platform as the backbone for the Axis cameras, a combination that has experienced great success in a number of installations around the world. The IP cameras and flexible operating platform allow best practice surveillance and recording in a variety of demanding and diverse environments, with future-proofing of technology playing a large role.
With a constricted budget available for surveillance, Camsecure carefully assessed optimal positioning of each camera. Leveraging experience gained on similar installations, the team was able to provide a system that maximises its location while simultaneously being discreet enough not to intimidate guests.
The contract was awarded in March 2014 and the team of five technicians moved onto site in September for an intensive two-week installation, troubleshooting and commissioning period.
The Dar-es-Salaam Serena Hotel has a reputation to uphold in ensuring that its high-profile guests and patrons are received in an environment that is deemed to be safe and secure. The deployment of the Axis and Milestone solution has meant that the hotel has more finite control over the movement of people within its facilities, together with monitoring its employees conducting physical searches to ensure that they are undertaking their duties in the correct manner. As an added bonus it has also eliminated pilfering in the delivery zone.
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