New Jersey County Upgrades VMS to Better Manage 600 IP Cameras

Qognify, aprovider of video and enterprise incident management solutions, has announced Cape May County as one of the first organizations in the world to deploy Qognify VMS, a truly next generation open architecture enterprise-class VMS that delivers low total cost of ownership, business process support, advanced ecosystem integrations and cloud readiness.

Cape May County is the southernmost county in the state of New Jersey. With much of the County along a picturesque peninsula that includes 30 miles of sandy beaches, it 95,000 year-round population swells to almost one million during the summer months. The Cape May County Government is responsible for the operation, safety and security of the County, including sites such as its airport which is also home to the Department of Emergency Management, the Sheriff's Department, Superior Court and jail, the Cresthaven Nursing Home, as well as the Cape May County Park & Zoo, which attracts as many as 15,000 visitors each day.

With sites spread out across the County’s 267 square miles, the surveillance challenge how to manage a growing network of highly distributed surveillance cameras, that are required to be live 24/7, to help keep residents, workers, visitors, the government’s 1,200 members of staff and its infrastructure safe and secure. A complication is the need for some cameras to be located rural and low bandwidth areas.

The responsibility falls to Network Administrator at the County of Cape May, Dan Gilbert. He states: “Every camera needs to be fully operational and recording non-stop, anywhere the public might be, from the play areas in our Zoo to libraries, airports and courts. Our video management system (VMS) is essential to the performance of the entire network.”

Cape May County’s 600 cameras are all IP and predominately from Axis, with a small number from Sony and other manufacturers. These cameras are connected to 11 NVRs and consume in the region of 2.5 petabits of storage, with all footage being stored for a minimum of 60 days.

The company that has been trusted to meet the Cape May County’s video management requirements for more than 10 years is Qognify. Gilbert explains how this long-term partnership began: “We visited a nearby utility company to learn about how it was managing video surveillance and we were impressed with what we saw.” He continues: “The fact that the NiceVision solution was trusted for the surveillance of its nuclear power plants instilled us with the confidence to use the same solution.”

In the years since, Dan Gilbert has diligently evaluated a range of other VMSs, but has always preferred Qognify, moving from versions of NiceVision to VisionHub, adding: “We want to be sure we have the best system and are delivering the best value for money to the government. I have tested many other VMS’s and even earliest iterations NiceVision would outperform many of them.”

The latest upgrade began in early 2022, when the County became one of the first organizations in the world to deploy Qognify VMS, a truly next generation open architecture enterprise-class VMS that delivers low total cost of ownership, business process support, advanced ecosystem integrations and cloud readiness.

Qognify VMS meets all the County’s fundamental requirements for a VMS. It is can easily handle 24/7 monitoring, as well as being simple to manage, maintain and operate. Gilbert notes a big performance advantage of the new system, that has already been deployed across two of the six sites. “One of the biggest advantages that Qognify VMS provides is that we can control everything from a single console. The video configurator, administration and ability to view live video is now all in one place.”

“Qognify VMS operates so smoothly,” comments Gilbert. This smoothness also extends to the quality of video playback. “It doesn’t matter if you are watching video footage from one day or one week ago. We have ultra-smooth, frame-by-frame, no jitter playback from every camera on the network. It has made a big difference in clarity and picture quality.”

This improvement is even more impressive, given the video networks bandwidth challenges, with the County operating an ethernet virtual private line, and bandwidth speeds as low as 20MBPS in some areas.

Given the scale of the County’s infrastructure it has taken a phased approach to upgrading to Qognify VMS, moving site by site. “With the scale of the infrastructure we have It can feel like we are operating our own small country.” The full transition to Qognify VMS is expected to be completed by the end of year, whilst at the same time the County is increasing the number of cameras in operation.

Looking to the future, the relationship between Cape May County and Qognify is strong, with Qognify VMS providing added functionality that the County can choose to take advantage of. This includes powerful bi-directional integrations with access control and intrusion detection systems, as well as video analytics. Furthermore, as bandwidth increases across the County it has the option to store video data in the cloud using Qognify Cloud Bridge, to reduce its hardware footprint, add even great resiliency and scale its already significant storage requirements as needed.

Gilbert concludes: “With Qognify VMS we are futureproofing our surveillance network for many years to come.”

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