Today, convergence and integration are common buzzwords used in the security industry, but they are far more than buzzwords. Gone are the days when security vendors sold a product based on their own proprietary technology without a care as to how or if the systems can fit into the client’s existing infrastructure. To be sure, many companies are still structured in a way that allows for silos of competence to be built with their own technical infrastructure and skills, but these are luxuries that fewer companies are allowing as the cost, business and security benefits of integration become more apparent.
Effective use of biometrics and other access technology requires more than just a reader, it requires software, hardware, infrastructure and services to make the whole solution function as required. And it’s only in considering the whole solution that customers are able to select the optimal vendor for its needs.
In this Integrated Solution Profile, we look at SmartProtect, which permits the integration between Suprema’s access control management software and Milestone. SmartProtect is a South African software developer that designed a Milestone plug-in that enables the linking of Suprema’s access control management platform and the Milestone platform to allow for adding VMS functionality to Suprema’s platform and pulling through access control and alarm events into Milestone.
neaMetrics worked with SmartProtect offering integration support in the sense of access to Suprema’s BioStar software and product support to enable this integration.
Suprema is a leading access control manufacturer and Milestone is a leading open platform IP video management software provider. An extensive need existed to enable integrated video management for Suprema access control deployments as well as to provide Milestone users with the option to incorporate access control into its current system.
SmartProtect links all access control events from BioStar (Suprema’s access control management system) to Milestone, linking specific camera feeds to Suprema access readers. The SmartProtect plug in stores the access events next to the video feed related to accessing the premises.
The interface also allows for monitoring specific users using the access control system as well as specific events triggering control room display when they occur, i.e. if a specific high security point is accessed, access denied or alarm events received, or if a flagged person accesses the system, that particular event will be displayed in the control room with the linked video stream. This enables effective control room management as operators’ attention is focused on particular access control activity.
The BioStar event and Milestone video data is stored in SmartProtect and data retention can be configured according to user needs. This data can be used for forensic investigation through searching for a particular user to trace him/her through the controlled environment and retrieve associated video for each event.
Suprema access control events are also fed through to the Milestone event engine. This allows for event management through the extensive Milestone interface notifying users of alarms or access activity received with interactive2D and 3D map interfaces and event recording.
Any current Milestone XProtect VMS site can now seamlessly incorporate Suprema access control. Any Suprema BioStar deployment can now incorporate Milestones open platform VMS. This integration is not limited to any specific industry and is currently implemented in mining, hospitality, industrial and corporate business sectors.
Manufacturer/ brand name: Suprema
Supplier: neaMetrics / SmartProtect
Technology: Suprema: Fingerprint, face, prox card. Milestone: Open platform IP video management software.
Companies’ description: Suprema is a leading global provider of biometrics and card based access control hardware and software solutions. Suprema has a range of fingerprint and facial biometric access control terminals incorporating a range of card options including EM, Mifare/Desfire, HID Prox and HID iClass cards. All hardware is TCP/IP enabled with Wiegand, RS-485 and built-in relays eliminating the need for controllers. Suprema also offers card only (or card and pin) terminals enabling hybrid implementations to match any business requirement and budget. All hardware can be controlled through its BioStar management platform or SDK to enable seamless integration into any system.
Milestone Systems is the global leader in open platform IP video management software. The XProtect platform delivers powerful surveillance that is easy to manage, reliable and proven in thousands of customer installations around the world. With support for the widest choice in network hardware and integration with other systems, XProtect provides best-in-class solutions to video enable organisations – managing risks, protecting people and assets, optimising processes and reducing costs. Milestone software is sold through authorised and certified partners.
* Access control.
* Time & attendance.
* Video management integration.
* Alarm management integration.
* Forensic video investigation for access control.
Integration support offered by supplier:
* Technical product training.
* Architectural system design and consulting.
* Remote, telephonic and onsite support.
* Software development integration support.
* Customised solution development.
* Milestone product knowledge.
* Architectural system design and consulting.
* Customised solution development.
Describe the solution installed and what were you hoping to gain from it?
The purpose of the solution was to link Suprema’s access control to the Milestone VMS to allow for efficient control room management and to link video data to the access control system for forensic investigation purposes.
Which department was the primary driver behind the solution?
Facility security and access control.
Did you integrate the solution with other access/identity management systems or other business processes (HR/finance/warehousing/etc.)?
Integration was performed with Milestone which is used across all departments, adding the same value to all of them.
Which company did you select to handle the consulting, installation and maintenance of the solution? Why did you choose this company/these companies?
Camsecure, a certified Milestone and Suprema reseller partner with extensive knowledge in surveillance and access solutions.
Has the solution delivered according to your expectations? Please expand on the benefits/value gained, or where it failed to deliver?
Yes, the solution delivered on all requirements. Users can now effectively be traced through the access controlled facilities, linking undisputed video data to all movement. Central monitoring and surveillance of the system is also now highly effective with control room operator’s attention focused on areas that need attention instead of having to focus on all video feeds at once. This in itself introduced operational sufficiency as fewer operators are required to monitor the system. All information is also easily available in Milestone.
What technology did you use in designing the solution?
Microsoft SQL and Visual studio using C#.
Why did you select the products you did?
Our knowledge in these products is extensive and it was a perfect fit for integration into both Suprema and Milestone.
What products did you integrate with? Please comment on any issues, good or bad, you had with the integration process.
On the Suprema side we integrated with the Suprema BioStar platform and on the Milestone side we developed a Milestone plug-in and the integration is embedded in the Milestone XProtect application environment. Since this runs as an integrated part of the XProtect software and its client applications, there is no need to re-train Milestone users.
Was the original manufacturer/vendor/local distributor involved in the installation? What part did they play? Were you satisfied with their delivery?
neaMetrics, Suprema’s distributor, was not involved with the installation as our product knowledge was already sufficient. They were however involved throughout the development lifecycle and provided all the knowledge that we required to develop the Milestone plug-in. Their flexibility in providing development resources, architectural design and consulting services had an extensive role in the development of the plug-in. Their role in certifying the integration with BioStar was also keen and their eagerness in promoting the software exceptional. They understood the value that this integration delivered and the benefit that it would bring to its international distribution network.
Provide specifics on the products used in the above project?
The integration was performed on BioStar. BioStar is Suprema’s access control management platform that manages access to any type of facility. BioStar manages 12 different types of access control and time & attendance devices catering for facial and fingerprint biometrics. Terminals also include card only or card and PIN devices with integrated facial capture, functionality, which enables hybrid implementations to suite any need or budget. It supports all mainstream card standards including proximity, Mifare, Desfire, HID Prox and HID iClass.
What facilities/applications are available to support integration with these products?
Suprema BioStar comes in SDK format to allow direct integration with any of its terminals. Furthermore, neaMetrics as distributor of Suprema assisted us with in-depth knowledge of the BioStar Management platform database and operations.
What skills do you have onboard to assist partners in integration exercises?
We have an extensive Suprema technical support team. Further to this we have two software development teams specialising in C#, .net, ASP, Ajax, VB, C, C++ and Delphi (Embarcadero) who have extensive knowledge on all Suprema device integration and who assist with various levels of integration and Suprema product development.
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