Europe's first private business park, Paris Nord 2, prides itself on the resources it offers – and with good reason. Spread over some 300 hectares – the equivalent of 420 football pitches – its premises are home to 550 companies, employing in excess of 20,000 staff members. In addition to its 265 office buildings, the area also serves as a location for numerous warehouses, car parks, restaurants and hotels.

The video surveillance task

Another notable feature among the wide variety of resources offered by the business complex, which opened in 1981, is the equipment it has put in place to create a secure working environment. In the past, the business park's management team primarily relied on security personnel and a small number of surveillance cameras to provide the best possible level of security. Despite this, over time the site increasingly became the target of vandalism in public and private spaces, as well as falling victim to theft and wilful damage of parked vehicles. In the end, the management team took the decision to install a state-of-the-art video surveillance system, serving not only as a preventative measure and a deterrent, but also as a tool for assisting police with their inquiries. The intention was for the system to maintain a 24/7 view of critical points across the extensive site. From the operator's perspective, it was also essential to have a continuous recording facility that would make it possible to find out exactly what had happened when incidents occurred. The system had to be flexible and easy to handle, and it had to reduce the workload for staff on site, thus keeping costs down.

The SeeTec solution

Compared to current industry standards the video system that was already in place had a limited capacity and range of functions, making the system unsuitable for fulfilling the additional requirements that the operator now had. However, it was the system's lack of ability to expand through the addition of more cameras that posed the most significant problem. Despite the Paris Nord 2 business park gaining an increasingly higher profile, attracting more and more companies to its premises, the surveillance system technology had simply stagnated. With this in mind, the management team tasked Informatique Nord 2 – an independent IT system vendor – with finding and implementing a new video surveillance system.

SeeTec Display Agent function allows the large-screen system to be controlled from a standard client workstation

SeeTec LPR module is being used at four lanes that provide access to one of the car parks in Paris Nord 2 (Image copyright: GIE Paris Nord 2)

After a brief period of examining the bids submitted for the job, as well as a trial run involving several suppliers, it was SeeTec which came out on top. Thanks to its modular system concept, the IP-based video management software SeeTec Cayuga made exactly the right impression. Packed with a range of modules and features that can be docked onto the core software, it provides a customisable, scalable solution that is able to grow effortlessly with customers' needs over time. The approach taken by the German manufacturer – with its own local branch in the greater Paris region – is not tied to any specific platform or manufacturer, enabling it to provide a product that is tailor-made for the customer and a one-stop solution that caters to all kinds of requirements.

Full coverage surveillance

The project became a reality in less than a year, with additional functions adopted from SeeTec Cayuga's extensive range making it possible for the system to go above and beyond the requirements it had originally been asked to meet. In addition to straightforward recording and playback of video streams, image data can be combined with the customer's procedures using functions such as licence plate recognition, video analysis and the Access Control Interface. This results in additional benefits. As an example, the SeeTec LPR module is being used at four lanes that provide access to one of the car parks in Paris Nord 2, detecting all incoming and outgoing vehicles and registering them in a database. This means that security personnel always know exactly who is currently on the premises, and provides quick answers in cases of damage or theft.

Full-coverage surveillance for interior and exterior areas as well as car parks takes place from Paris Nord 2's security control centre. When choosing the surveillance cameras, Informatique 2 opted for hardware provided by Swedish manufacturer and market leader Axis Communications. More than 100 cameras have been installed across the entire premises, providing the security team with a 24/7 view of the images they capture on a large-screen system in the control centre. This not only makes it clear what is happening on the site, but also creates a display that is rich in detail. The SeeTec Display Agent function allows the large-screen system to be controlled from a standard client workstation. In the event of an alarm, control centre employees are able to assess the situation quickly and prioritise the actions that needs to be taken on site, ensuring security staff are deployed in a way that is resource-efficient.

Plans have already been put in place to install more cameras designed specifically for night surveillance and to make use of additional modules and interfaces

The customer

The security system has delivered results that have surpassed the management team's expectations by far. Thanks to the recorded video footage, it has been possible to shed light on both minor and major offences – such as wilful damage to public and private property – and convict those responsible. Given the business park operator's positive experience of using the video system, plans have already been put in place to install more cameras designed specifically for night surveillance and to make use of additional modules and interfaces. One aim, for example, is to use the SeeTec Access Control Interface in combination with an access control solution in order to control who is allowed to enter the premises and buildings. A system like this would keep staff constantly aware of incidents such as unauthorised persons in office buildings.

Daniel Fournier, Project Manager and CEO of Informatique Nord 2, is delighted with the success the project has brought: "We are working closely with the relevant authorities and, together, are committed to ensuring a pleasant working environment for tenants and users alike – creating a place that people enjoy visiting. SeeTec Cayuga is helping us every step of the way."

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