Vox Orion changes the guarding market

March 2012 Surveillance, Security Services & Risk Management

Guarding is a business fraught with difficulties. From the process of selecting who can be a guard, training them to assigning them to business clients, providing this service is a tough job. Then there are the problems associated with delivering the service and keeping clients happy. Guarding service providers need to ensure their clients’ premises are protected by the right number of guards, capable of doing their job and who are somehow immune to corruption and intimidation.

And all this in an industry where customers see a guard as a grudge purchase and opt for the lowest costs while expecting exceptional service.

Many companies have entered the remote monitoring field over the last few years to offer video surveillance as either a replacement or as a support to human guarding solutions. The problem with many of these remote surveillance solutions is that they make use of contended communications services, such as ADSL, 3G and other wireless ‘best effort’ offerings. This means the quality of video you receive is determined by how many other people are using the same bandwidth at the time.

In the November 2011 issue, Hi-Tech Security Solutions broke the news that telecoms company Vox Orion is launching a remote monitoring service, called Guardian Eye, specifically designed to keep tabs on its clients’ premises overnight. The company’s telecoms clients all have leased lines dedicated to their communications needs that are idle after hours. Vox now offers a service that monitors these customers’ premises after hours, making full use of their existing bandwidth.

Not only will Guardian Eye reduce the cost of manned guarding services, but the remote operators are located in a safe environment that isolated them from attempts at intimidation and bribery. The company’s control room in Centurion was designed using technology that ensures compatibility with various different makes of cameras, encoders and DVRs.

“By using dedicated lines, our customers are assured that their video monitoring is done over uncontested lines, which means our control room is able to receive a far better video image than others,” explains Vox MD Jacques du Toit. “Most importantly, the primary benefit is that the customer will using existing infrastructure that is currently idle at night. This removes the additional expense that would have been incurred if they had not embraced a converged communications solution and bought the service from another vendor.”

Jacques du Toit
Jacques du Toit

Vox makes use of experienced surveillance installers to assess a customer’s current CCTV installation or recommend and implement a solution for them. The monitoring service is provided for a monthly fee, ensuring a limited amount of cash expenditure on the client’s part, with the monthly bill coming off the capex budget.

Before Guardian Eye’s monitoring service goes live, a test incident is played out to ensure all the systems work as required. During this staged event, the client is able to see if its procedures are ready for an incident and how the remote operation works.

“While there are a number of offsite monitoring services in operation in South Africa, the video surveillance as a service (VSaaS) concept is a unique angle that few are prepared to take as it requires a significant upfront investment from the service provider,” adds Du Toit. “Through Guardian Eye, Vox Orion has made this investment and not only offers clients a cost-effective monitoring service, but adds value in ensuring its existing clients take full advantage of their communications infrastructure.”

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