Network Video Helps University at Buffalo Continue to Expand Campus-wide Security
Milestone XProtect open platform IP video management software (VMS) is a trusted foundation for the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB SUNY) to continue expansion of their campus-wide security monitoring. The scalable technology has continued to meet growing needs for the different departments for more than 10 years.
IP network cameras were first installed in 2004 at SUNY Buffalo. Today, Milestone XProtect Corporate VMS connects nearly 800 devices across the UB campus, and the system continues to expand. The surveillance hardware is a best-in-class mix of various static and pan/tilt/zoom network cameras from Axis Communications.
The university has also deployed Blue Light emergency phones around campus which are integrated with Milestone’s open platform architecture. When someone picks up a Blue Light phone to make a call, that data goes through the Milestone software rules engine which is set up to move the nearest Axis PTZ camera to view the phone station, provide real-time situational awareness and record the video. As a call comes into police dispatch, Milestone “pops in” the image of the phone location to a large monitor where the operator has instant awareness of the location.
“About a year ago, Digital Surveillace Solutions (DSS) took over the maintenance contract for our Blue Light phones. Since then, they have repaired issues that were previously unable to be resolved for years,” said Joshua B. Sticht, Deputy Chief of Police, Operations, University at Buffalo. “DSS stepped in and got the system operating as expected. Also, a contractor recently damaged the protective dome of an exterior camera. When we contacted DSS the next morning to place a work order, they already knew of the problem and had arranged for replacement parts. They have been extremely proactive.”
As new programs and departments come on board, like the School of Engineering and the Educational Opportunity Center, the university continues to develop best practices in video security. Slowly, they coalesced around a centralized platform managed by Central Computing (CIT) and used by UB campus police. They have access to camera views across the campus and share the management responsibilities with Central Computing.
“Central Computing does a great job of managing the system and providing high quality process and procedure for access to the system, making sure everything is secure, backed up and properly maintained,” said Michael Blumenson, President, Digital Surveillance Solutions, the integrator for UB SUNY. “We’re moving the whole university towards an efficient, full centralization of all cameras and surveillance recording systems.”
In choosing Milestone, the campus has gained flexibility and scalability, effective centralized administration and wider geographic distribution. Additionally, cost efficiencies have been realized by using standard IT resources—both the equipment and network infrastructure—as well as the IT Department’s expertise and maintenance routines for keeping the system up and running.
Opportunities for expansion continue as UB is growing in the downtown corridor. The medical school is also constructing a beautiful new building that will include 200-300 cameras, all connected via Milestone. With additional buildings under construction, new projects abound, such as perimeter monitoring parking lots and other areas needing security.