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Network / IP - Case Studies

Value Place Hotels ensure safety with a cost-efficient Milestone-Axis IP video solution from ISG Technology

"Value Place can record all transactions and also use it for training to assist the front-office people with any questions they may have.  The corporate office can log on remotely if there are incidents or events to check, make sure the standard processes are following the corporate quality requirements, and if any modifications are necessary."

- Steve Johnson, Account Manager at ISG Technology Inc.

Security challenges

There is a small number of staff at each hotel which keeps the overhead down and efficiency up.  Concerns about general security, theft and vandalism required a video security system.  At the outset management wanted an IP based solution but budget required some concessions in quality.  The first ultra-low cost IP video implementation proved insufficient as cameras left unprotected were easily vandalised and the software solution was less than friendly.  The company business model that combines corporate-owned and franchise facilities also required a system that can be accessed by management both locally and centrally.

Technology solution

Milestone XProtect Basis+ IP video surveillance software manages up to 9 Axis cameras housed in vandal-resistant domes throughout each hotel location.  The software provides both remote and local access to the system for viewing live or recorded video.  It is a cost-efficient solution that is reliable and effective, supported by ISG Technology Inc., the implementation partner and IT systems provider.

Multiple advantages

The Value Place Hotels have a dependable solution to protect their premises with top quality IP video surveillance.  They can monitor activities - both locally and centrally - without the costly need for security guards.  Each location can keep track of who is coming and going in the buildings, and resolve incidences that might occur.  Corporate can keep on top of what is happening at the hotel locations, also using the recordings as a training tool to track and improve procedures.

Value Place® is a new chain of hotels created by Jack de Boer, the previous founder of the Candlewood and Summerfield Suites, as well as the Residence Inns.  He is known in the hospitality industry as the "father of extended-stay."

Value Place is an alternative to more expensive lodging, designed with the expertise of 30 years' experience.  That experience has brought understanding of what the customer wants: the appreciation of not being charged for products or services they don't use and great value in a cleaner and safer environment.

The building design and standards reduce maintenance requirements and expenses while providing a more comfortable atmosphere for guests.  Based on property size, from 104-121 rooms per site, each Value Place Hotel operates with as few as 4 full-time employees, keeping operating expenses low - and the prices down for customers.

IP video surveillance is a management tool

Before they even built the first new hotel locations, Value Place managers had heard about IP video surveillance and were interested in that approach.  They were familiar with DVRs, but discovered that IP technology would provide them with the flexibility and scalability required for the company's many locations and fast growth, as well as the local or central operation of the system that fits the combination of corporate-owned and franchise hotels.

"This company really puts value in the words Value Place, so we had to go out and find a very competitive solution price-wise," recalls Tim Palmquist, Account Manager at ISG Technology.

"We therefore initially chose some very low-end cameras and a sharply discounted software product with proprietary hardware that appealed to the management's budget wishes.  But upon installation, that system was coming up short, so the management decided to re-do the entire solution with better quality.  We proposed the Milestone software with HP PCs, Linksys switches, and the Axis cameras in robust enclosures - all of which only marginally increased the cost of the solution but raised the level of quality significantly.  This Milestone-Axis solution is head-and-shoulders better than the first solution and very cost efficient."

The Axis 206 cameras are installed in hardy enclosures to prevent vandalism.  These have been put up in the back entrances, hallways, and stairwells.  Axis 212 PTZ cameras with audio features enabled are installed at the front desks.

"These cameras were chosen because the quality of image for the economy of price makes a really good combination," comments Palmquist.  "The Axis 206 gives good ‘bang for the buck'.  The audio capabilities of the Axis 212 PTZ let them record front desk conversations, as well as allowing them a look at all angles for what is happening.  The Axis 212 PTZ with no moving parts is also very cost-effective allowing operators to control viewing around the front desk areas and to also have the audio capabilities built into the camera.  An added benefit is that these cameras utilize Power over Ethernet (PoE), which is integrated in the 212 and enabled through a splitter on the 206 cameras."

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