Texas A&M University is a land grant, sea-grant and space-grant institution located at college Station, Texas. The university's enrolment numbers approximately 44,000 students studying for degrees in 10 academic colleges. The school has a 5,200-acre campus among the largest in he nation with more than 100 buildings, a 324-acre research park and a campus value exceeding $1 billion.
For any university creating a safe environment, around the clock, for students, staff, and visitors is of paramount importance. Prior to its recent security system upgrade, Texas A&M employed a CCTV surveillance system with a range of VCR and DVR recording hardware in five of its covered parking structures. Security for the parking facilities was supplemented by an intercom and gate control system to manage access, which is purchased by students, staff, and faculty on an annual basis.
These non-integrated and often dated systems were failing to meet ever-increasing image quality, system management, and productivity demands. To ensure satisfactory coverage, the University was contracting, at substantial cost, 26 security personnel to provide an on-site presence 24/7, 365 days at the various garage locations. Faced with increasing costs, the university hoped to minimize parking permit fee increases, but not at the expense of reduced security, particularly during late-night periods.
The Texas A&M Department of Transportation Services selected the DVTel Network Video Management System (NVMS) to provide enhanced, network-based security management for its extensive group of parking garages. The new solution comprises over 200 cameras, a similar number of intercom boxes, and about 75 entrance/exit gates spread out over the five facilities. Turnkey Security, Inc., Manchaca Texas provided installation and project management expertise. The CCTV, intercom, and gate control systems were retrofitted with DVTel encoders so all data could be put onto the campus network, enabling system functionality from a single operations centre or from any location on the network within each parking garage.
With the transition to integrated digital network recording, Texas A&M will save approximately $500,000 in personnel costs on an annual basis. Doug Williams, Associate Director, Transportation Services, commented, "if the savings wasn't motivation enough, the technology is much, much better."
With the DVTel networked system in place, one officer can do the work of five monitoring cameras and intercom boxes, and the department can now focus on increasing officer patrols, especially during overnight hours.
Project specifications called for 100% audio recording, a multitude of inputs, and a system with modular expansion. Only DVTel came close to meeting these demands.
The upgrade represents a truly integrated system: video and audio are stored together and accessed using one interface, so staff watch synchronized video and audio.
Transportation staff can view any camera anywhere on the network, and they have the flexibility to listen and respond to intercom calls from within that garage facility or from the central operations centre.
During regular business hours, staff are on duty at all the garages and each is managed separately. But after 6:00 and on weekends and holidays, management of all five garages can be consolidated to the central operations centre. The reduced demand for staff and improved productivity means A&M no longer contracts outside security staff all functions with in-house personnel.
Leveraging both system functionality and DVTel's customer commitment, DVTel built unique HTLM maps to provide pictorial displays of all the functionality in each of the garages.
The DVTel system provides improved performance and management, and gives the university the freedom to grow and integrate other locations and technologies.