A Wise Investment

The move from analog to digital nets positive results

Monticello Bank, a 12-branch community bank in Kentucky, had an outdated analog surveillance system in place that limited capabilities and required the bank to hire a thirdparty vendor for analog video installation and maintenance services. In addition to the high cost of outsourcing, Monticello Banking Corp. needed to replace its current inflexible, dedicated DVR, restrictive data storage abilities—limited to DVR hard-drive capacity—and to increase video quality.

Monticello’s goals for the project included bringing video monitoring operations in-house for cost and logistics purposes, as well as centralized user management.

Bank officials also wanted to improve system management and quality with a system that leveraged the flexibility of IP network technology and the clarity of megapixel cameras while providing flexible and easy-to-expand video storage capacity.

Goals also included the desire to leverage existing servers, bandwidth and IP infrastructure; avoid costly hardware installation; and invest in a cost-effective system that bank officials could easily implement, manage and maintain.

Monticello turned to DIGIOP for a video management system and replaced its analog cameras with megapixel IP cameras. Security officers selected Elements software and a 2-megapixel outdoor dome camera for installation.

Elements software provided a single integrated dashboard, which offers visibility to all video; a Web-based portal for centralized management of camera configurations, user rights and permissions; a video recording platform providing live view, record and search capabilities; and seamless integration of data from external sources. The IP cameras provide HDTV image quality at 2-megapixel resolution and compression technology. They also lower the demands on system bandwidth and storage and provide a broader viewing area than the bank’s analog cameras.

The new system is fully compatible with all existing infrastructure, including Monticello’s servers, PCs and IT architecture. This enabled the bank to create a modern surveillance system while purchasing only what it needed.

“The main thing that we were looking for was something that was easy to install and maintain and wasn’t too expensive,” said Kelley Rader, Monticello’s IT manager. “We wanted a PC-based system that would support different types of storage on our network. This solution fulfilled all of those key requirements.

“In addition, the sales team let us do a trial run in one of the bank offices, which gave us the opportunity to test system viability and operate the system for ourselves.”

With all requirements met, the bank’s security team easily installed the system themselves. Because each megapixel camera captured more area than its analog counterpart, Monticello decided to incrThe software Monticello incorporated more than proved itself during the trial run.

“The software is a lot easier to manage than what we were using before,” Rader said. “It’s easy to organize cameras in the order we want, and to view and drag and drop video into new screens.”

The software allows the security team to remotely view and manage Monticello’s 12 sites centrally with a single interface as a critical capability. The team also appreciates the speed with which it can locate, save and store video segments using the Elements thumbnail, timeline, replace, zoom and touchscreen features. The management features allow for an easy setup and configuration on all new cameras and set user credentials and permissions for the entire system from a central location.

All of the banks’ surveillance sites have been connected into a central security office where the software has enabled easy, consolidated management of all views performed. Security officials have been able to leverage the existing network and server infrastructure, save on installation and service fees, and position staff internally to maintain and monitor security.

“We not only eliminated outsourcing, but greatly reduced the need for system service, also from the outside vendor,” Rader said. “These two factors have accounted for major cost savings, not to mention reduced reliance on others.”

Adding storage to traditional recording solutions can be costly and limited, but by using Element software the bank could expand video storage cost-effectively and efficiently.

“With our previous system, the fixed amount of hard-drive storage limited our ability to use megapixel cameras, and the vendor charged us way more than the cost of the hard drive to upgrade,” Rader said. “Now we are building our own NVRs, and that allows us a lot more storage options. We can incorporate local storage or iSCSI storage to get the retention times we expect using high-definition video.”

The bank chose to leverage the wider viewing capabilities—versus analog cameras—by using the megapixel dome cameras to increase its surveillance coverage. By implementing the megapixel cameras, a 10-percent savings was realized in camera count.

“The information security officer, Melissa Piercy, loves it because she can blow up the picture and still get a great quality image,” Rader said.

The Monticello security team was able to install and configure the software and cameras because of its compatibility with the bank’s IP infrastructure and simple configuration features.

Investment in an IP, high-resolution digital system has paid off for Monticello because it has provided an overall lower-cost solution with central in-house control over operations, more video coverage per camera and freedom from proprietary storage requirements.ease the coverage area for its 12-location operation while still reducing camera counts by about 10 percent.

 

This article originally appeared in the May 2012 issue of Security Today.

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