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Integrated Systems - Case Studies

Cardax FT - Protecting a diverse range of community assets for the City of Wellington today and in the future

When Wellington City Council installed Cardax FT in 2001, they were one of the first sites in the world on the Cardax FT technology platform. The Council's recognition of the system's potential will continue to benefit Wellington City for many years to come.

Making a positive difference in the community with Cardax FT

Wellington City Council Security Manager, Ian Gilbert appreciates the Cardax FT reporting capability "It's fantastic -it's easy to use and  I draw on the information held in the system regularly".

Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand, is glorious on a clear sunny day.  With its harbour surrounded by an undulating ring of hills and valleys, it is home to a population of 165,000 people.

Like many community-orientated organisations of its kind, Wellington City Council (WCC) manages a diverse range of assets on behalf of the City.  In the case of WCC, the assets are located across the greater Wellington city perimeter each with its own set of security issues: the distinctive Michael Fowler Centre, the Old Town Hall, libraries, the City Gallery, Wellington Zoo, swimming pools and other facilities.  Their responsibilities extend to city infrastructure such as parking facilities, parks and gardens, as well as the administration building for the Council's organisation and equipment.

Funded by the city's residential and business ratepayers, money spent on security competes alongside other Council activities.  Every dollar spent is thoroughly scrutinised.  As a result it can be a challenging, yet highly rewarding environment.

When Ian Gilbert, Security Manager at WCC took on the responsibility of security in 2000 one of his first initiatives was to undertake a security audit.  The results of this audit identified two key issues with their access control system:

  1. While Y2K compliant, it had come to the end of its life.
  2. It was a proprietary system with only one service provider able to support it.

As a result of these issues it was becoming increasingly costly to maintain.  Coupled with the need to audit the cardholder database, it became obvious to Ian that they needed to invest in security to protect the City's valuable assets and council employees.

Following extensive discussion at WCC, the justification for a new security system was accepted and a budget was provided.  The result of the process ensured that Ian had support from a strategic level at WCC, a very important factor in the success of the project.

A comprehensive specification was developed.  Following an in-depth evaluation of options by the WCC project team, the Cardax FT system was chosen based on the following criteria:

  • Cardax FT is a client/server system that communicates with a variety of intelligent TCP/IP aware field devices - this enables multiple technology platforms for system communications to transfer data across the city
  • The Cardax FT database is designed to use Microsoft SQL 7.0 engine - scalable enterprise level software developed and fully supported by Microsoft®
  • WCC can easily expand the system to include other sites as required
  • The Cardax FT system, developed on the latest IT technology platform, is proven and offers opportunities to share data with third party systems
  • The site support plan offered by their security partner Nedax, includes software maintenance
  • Cardax FT has extensive reporting capability drawing on its comprehensive audit trail
  • The flexibility and scalability of the Cardax FT system accommodates the variety of requirements of different sites managed by WCC controllers ensures security is maintained during any disruptions to mains power
  • The ability to support third party readers and card data formats.

WCC decided to install Cardax FT on a more secure, higher bandwidth network with redundant communications capability - a 1 Gb fibre network with copper redundancy.  This allows for the anticipated expansion of Cardax FT field devices and the deployment of digital CCTV.  It also ensures the continuity of events and alarms and provides the level of confidence required by the WCC.

With the release of the Cardax FT DVR interface in late 2003, there is now opportunity to integrate the Cieffe Spectiva DVR system with alarms management within the Cardax FT system - something that Ian is looking forward to.

One of the features Ian particularly appreciates is the audit trail and reporting capability.  "It's fantastic - it's easy to use and I draw on the information held on the system regularly," Ian says.  He also notes that the combination of security measures has had the desired effect of reducing theft.

Significant use is being made of Cardax FT ability to reside on the Telecom New Zealand ADSL network, especially for remote sites such as libraries, service centres and other Council assets.  ADSL provides a high continuous bandwidth connection with multiple client access and permanency of connection, enabling both access and intruder alarms support via Cardax FT and simultaneous live recorded video via Cieffe Spectiva digital video recorders.

There is a significant opportunity to extend the Cardax FT system to integrate intruder alarms.  Currently WCC operates a separate intruder alarm system.  Now, with the support of comprehensive intruder alarms management on the Cardax FT Controller 3000 architecture, they can manage both access control and intruder alarms on the same technology platform.  More recently, the Cardax FT Remote Arming Terminal has been installed for alarm control and monitoring at selected sites.

Ian has observed that since the installation of the Cardax FT system, his own quality of life has improved - there have been significantly fewer after-hours call-outs!  Ian believes that the success of the security measures can be attributed to the careful planning provided through their security consultant and dedicated dealer.  As a result he can now describe Wellington City Council's security system as "solid and stable".

By March 2004 the WCC Cardax FT system was controlling 350 access-controlled doors with more that 2000 cardholders.

The WCC's mission statement reads:  "To be respected in the community for making a positive difference".  The Cardax FT system contributes to this goal by providing the platform for integrated security now and the foreseeable future by protecting the assets for the City of Wellington.

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