Classic control room design and management

May 2009 CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring

Classic Systems was formed out of desperation for a software package that is locally developed with the South African security climate in mind, a product that caters for the unique needs of the operators and the clients in the armed reaction industry. The software was born in the late eighties in the unlikely small town of Randfontein on the west rand of Gauteng, the brainchild of Wolfgang Kirsch a successful businessman and keen programmer with a formal background in electronic engineering. At a later stage Monty Mearns a technical guru and Gavin Frankenberg an operational expert joined the team. The software then took off and after having supplied the software to a few other associates in the industry, the broader market was targeted.

Over the next 10 years the software has gone from strength to strength, changing and adapting as the market has and the company has established dealers in various locations across South Africa and has also successfully penetrated the market in Africa.

At present Classic Systems provides control room software to a few hundred security firms throughout South Africa and Africa. It trains the control room staff, sets up systems and procedures, and takes responsibility for the implementation of backup and UPS systems within the controlled environment.

The control centre is the essential heart of a security company and should be set up and managed as the single most important department and physical structure. This environment needs to have accurate and concise job descriptions and procedures in place for all employees. There must be a backup procedure in place to protect and secure sensitive data. The backup needs to happen on a daily, weekly and monthly basis at the very least; in addition, the cables and attachments at the rear of decoders, receivers and the workstations must be neatly ordered and marked to ensure technicians know exactly where each goes.

And, of course, with South Africa’s power situation as it is and with the rumours of it getting worse, there has to be a UPS on the system.

These are essential components of the control room environment, they are each as important as one another and all need to be carefully considered and put in place. These security organisations or departments are responsible not only for millions of rands of equipment, but for the well-being of countless people.

The industry has regulatory authorities and various organisations that have formed over the years to police and implement standards within the broader context, yet, to date there are no standards of training for control room operators and exact requirements control rooms other than flimsy guidelines that are never effectively implemented and regularly scrutinised and updated as technology updates and changes.

The implementation of a precise and effective policy and procedure manual in the control room is as essential as having an exact and detailed profit and loss statement for your business. There needs to be an exact structure in the control centre, the very heart of a security company, and each and every eventuality needs to be catered for.

As a business this is what we strive to do for our clients, we provide advice, training, and ongoing support so that the control centre can be the hub within the business that it should be.

The software product allows for a detailed file for each of the clients’ subscribers, keeping all the information that could be needed for that site on the system, automating as much of the process to ensure the operator or controller carry out the requirements of the client to the letter. Classic Systems sets policy and procedure manuals, provide job descriptions and professionalises the control room, creating confidence and ensuring a higher level of service to the client.

For more information contact Gavin Frankenberg, Classic Systems, +27 (0)83 678 7555/4,,


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