With over a decade of experience providing electronic and integrated security systems on the African continent, Technisec Security Specialists was recently commissioned by a major national client to upgrade their existing security equipment. "In selecting a product supplier, we needed a company that could provide an excellent support structure, which clearly made Elvey Security Technologies the best candidate for the job," says Dirk Erasmus, Technisec's manager.
Due to his extensive experience in the security industry and established relationship with the integrator, sales consultant Harry Mamba, from Elvey's East Rand branch was asked to oversee the project, thereby ensuring that the integrator and the client had the best support structure for the project.
"The major challenge was the fact that the client demanded full control over their business, and therefore needed a full upgrade of their existing security systems. Since the client has branches that are spread throughout the country, a key requirement was a cost effective system that would allow them to monitor each branch via IP (Internet Protocol)," explains Mamba.
The key issue was that the client needed a security control panel that allowed flexibility and expandability, was IP-based, and met the company's functional requirements. After conducting matrix eliminations, a joint selection by Technisec and Elvey ensured that the DSC security control panel was chosen as the application for the various sites.
Erasmus says: "The IP network systems consist of hardware and software components that collect and transmit surveillance camera information via wireless technologies and fibre-optic cables."
Furthermore, in these systems both power and data can be carried on the same line using power over Ethernet (PoE), while some cameras may have their own IP address with full access to the Internet. The surveillance images are then transferred to a PC or laptop in the control room, and can then be viewed by authorised observers from anywhere on the network; the video can also be stored remotely. It also means that all existing alarm systems can be monitored from any location.
IP-based surveillance uses the benefits of Internet technology to create a more reliable security system. It can automatically redirect video traffic to a backup storage system in the event of a power failure or network outage.
Modern IP systems use MPEG-4, which also makes more efficient use of the network than the older MJPEG. On those occasions when lower quality will be sufficient (and will therefore help control the amount of storage capacity used) IP provides the ability to customise the quality of the video output based on viewing needs and storage capacity.
The IP system also allows audio or alarms to be connected to the same encoders which transmit the video. As encoders already use Ethernet, wireless LAN radios can be used to transmit video, audio or alarms from remote locations.
The project proved to be a great success, with all the initial goals prescribed by the customer being attained, while the client received a cost-effective, trouble-free installation that will last well into the future.
"Due to the success of the project, the client will now upgrade three hundred of its existing branches, and as a long term project, each new branch that will be opened in the future will be fitted with a DSC security control panel as well," says Erasmus.
Mamba recommends that before upgrading or installing new security equipment, one should do plenty of research on the integrator and the supplier, and not be afraid to ask pointed questions about the chosen security system.
Erasmus points out that the success of any project depends for the most part on the communication between the main parties involved, and insists that service providers remember that the client is key. He also advises that extensive research should be done to find the right product for the right application.
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