Video Surveillance On The Go

Video Surveillance On The Go

The necessity of a fully functional Web Client and Mobile VMS

video surveillance on the goAfter investing thousands of dollars in a video management system, it’s important to be able to maintain the level of features you have access to from a monitor station, such as making video clips, zoom and mapping.

When implementing a video surveillance system for your business, it is essential to have a feature-rich video management software (VMS) application that is robust, yet easy to use. Installing a VMS monitor station at work stations throughout an entire building or campus is key. In many cases, large scale facilities, such as colleges or school campuses, have monitor walls and security centers dedicated solely to video surveillance.

Our fast-paced environments, and the need to be in several locations at once, including off campus or out of the office, means a VMS needs to not only be accessible from virtually anywhere, but also reliable. The Video Insight VMS provides virtually the same application for end users who log into the Web Client or use the VI Mobile iTunes iPad and iPhone app on the go, as it does for those who use Video Insight at a computer station.

Web Client

Providing a secure, highly functional Web-client application is essential for a VMS, which is often the only application that many will use.

A navigation tree should have easy access to cameras and servers. A benefit of WebClient 5.0 is that it is easy to use, and has an incredible array of features not often found via Web access including:

  • Live and recorded video from any server
  • Video Clipping
  • Quick search
  • Mapping
  • Playback integrated with Live Control
  • Optional ActiveX Control
  • Load balancing
  • Active Directory and LDAP authentication
  • Can be used with any browser

These capabilities are crucial for those entities that have a great number of remote VMS users, such as the Austin, Texas, Independent School District, which has 124 campuses across 230-square miles, 11,000 employees and 86,000 students. Austin ISD has a 3,000-camera, 50-server video surveillance system and, after using a different VMS provider, switched to specifically use Web Client.

Under their previous VMS system, the district used a Thick Client that had to be physically installed on each PC. With the large number of users in this district, this was an almost full-time job for the VMS administrators.

“We needed something that didn’t require an incredible amount of CPU processor power and that could also serve as a fully-functioning web-client,” said Wayne Russell, Austin ISD Police Department representative.

An organization as large as Austin ISD requires a dependable VMS to provide monitoring of facilities and students, and the ability to review incidents and make clips in an easy and rapid fashion. School districts of this size, move employees from campus to campus, which means the VMS administrators spend a lot of time with user maintenance. A reliable Web client is more economical than installing and uninstalling thick VMS clients on each PC, which also overburdens the already taxed VMS administrators.

Use of the VI Web Client has made the Austin ISD VMS more reliable and efficient, Russell said.

Mobile Apps

The Web Client will always be a regularly used feature of VMS, but with the rapidly growing number of smartphones and tablets, it has been crucial that video surveillance companies provide quality and dependable applications to access video via these devices.

The VI Mobile App from iTunes—and the ability to use Video Insight from Android devices—allows users an array of features and the ability to use the VMS from anywhere.

The mobile App features live and recorded video from any camera with control PTZ, active directory login, login to independent systems with unique credentials, alarm logs and motion alarms viewing.

Because the VI VMS is used by more than 25,000 school and college campuses, it’s essential for campus security to have access to live and recorded video at a moment’s notice, from anywhere. Northeastern A&M College in Miami, Okla., has praised the Mobile VI App because security officers rely on it so much.

As part of their routine patrol, officers drive golf carts around campus. They stop outside of each building and, using an iPad and the VI Mobile App, call up cameras inside of each building.

If they view anything suspicious, only then will they enter the building. This approach increases the officers’ safety in the event of a potentially hazardous situation, as the officers can access the cameras and see what is happening inside before entering a building unaware.

Ensuring Complete Coverage

If you are in the market for a VMS, or are considering an upgrade, be sure to evaluate the system’s Web Client and Mobile App prior to purchase as more and more endusers rely on the ability to access cameras and important features on the go.

This article originally appeared in the February 2013 issue of Security Today.

About the Author

Chief Technology Officer James Whitcomb oversees all aspects of technology, product development and strategy for Video Insight. Whitcomb and longtime business partner Rob Shaw co-founded Video Insight as a start-up in 2002 to provide an easy-to-use yet technologically sophisticated video surveillance product.

As the company has grown to include thousands of customers, Whitcomb has worked to ensure that the Video Insight software product is continuously updated to meet the ever-changing demands of the end-user and to accommodate the dozens of technology camera and hardware manufacturers. Whitcomb is called upon to provide analysis and has authored video surveillance trade publication articles. His in-depth technology experiences along with his loss prevention and customer service background have provided a great foundation for Video Insight.

Prior to Video Insight, Whitcomb and business partner Shaw co-founded Ashford.com a NASDAQ listed public e-commerce retailer of luxury goods with annual sales topping $60 million. Whitcomb deployed an early DVR system that monitored the 40,000 square-foot Ashford jewelry warehouse and recorded daily package shipments, tying them to customer service records for a complete detailed history. Whitcomb also cofounded Synergy Development (another endeavor with business partner Shaw), serving as CIO of the company which provided custom solutions for large enterprises including Pulte Homes and Fleetwod Retail until it was purchased by Microsoft in 2000.

Whitcomb has been honored with the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year (2000), the University of Houston Business School Future 500 Award (2001), and the Better Business Torch Award for Excellent Customer Service (2002). He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin


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