Schools improve security and save money with open platform IP video surveillance

Schools improve security and save money with open platform IP video surveillance

Schools should be safe havens for education. New developments in video surveillance technology based on IP technology are helping primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities improve security, as well as enhance operations and minimise losses in commercial areas (such as bookstores, cafeterias, and vending machine halls). Compared with traditional analog solutions (also known as CCTV or closed circuit television), IPbased solutions are much more versatile and cost effective. In fact, the advantages can be even more dramatic when an IP video surveillance system is based on an open platform capable of incorporating both IP network (digital) cameras and a school's existing analog cameras (connected through the use of inexpensive video decoders).

While analogue video surveillance solutions are generally proprietary (designed as a closed system only available from a single company), open platform systems use video management software specifically designed to allow a variety of hardware and software applications from different manufacturers to interface with it. This enables the platform to function in new and different ways beyond what was originally intended. For this reason, open platforms provide a base on which to continue to build and expand the capabilities of a system for years to come.

Some of the advantages of open platform IP video surveillance system include:

  • Seamless integration with other security systems (building management, access control, retail point of sale applications) and a single point of control for integrated security systems
  • The ability to add situational awareness to improve response times in emergency situations
  • Superior information sharing with first responders, such as police and fire departments
  • Lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and substantial cost savings through the use of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components and third-party applications
  • Protection against future obsolescence and extensive "forklift upgrades"
  • Easy and cost-effective expansion as needs grow
  • Ability to add new innovations as they become available

For many educational institutions, this shift from traditional analogue technology to open platform IP video surveillance comes at a perfect time. Most schools and university systems need to make the most of their budgets now and in the future. They've already seen significant cost-saving and productivity benefits from IP-based IT (information technology) and networked solutions in everything from administration and student records to accounting and communications. They have the necessary IP network infrastructure in place. Now it's time to make the move to IP video surveillance – particularly with a solution that enables them to leverage the significant investment they've already made in analog cameras.

There is one more consideration that should be paramount in such a decision: selecting a solution well-supported by a strong ecosystem of certified solution providers and system integrators. Certification ensures greater expertise and superior implementations. And a strong ecosystem provides greater choice in cameras and other components, proven interoperability, stronger service, and a more reliable future.

 The IP open platform video surveillance company with the industry's largest ecosystem of certified resellers, hardware and software partners is Milestone Systems. A leading global developer of open platform software for managing IP network-based video, Milestone makes the most versatile solution for video enabling operations, managing risks, reducing costs, optimizing processes, and protecting people and assets. Milestone XProtect™ open platform video management software is being used in more than 50,000 customer installations worldwide and is sold through authorized and certified partners in more than 100 countries. The Milestone open platform provides the widest choice in hardware and software, supporting over 900 IP cameras, encoders, and nonproprietary DVRs (digital video recorders) and NVRs (network video recorders) from more than 80 different manufacturers. These numbers continue to grow.

This white paper discusses how colleges, universities and K-12 schools can save money and improve security through choosing to buy or migrate to video surveillance systems that are IP-based and built on open platform video management software. We discuss the advantages of IP networking for video surveillance. We examine what to look for in an open platform IP video surveillance solution to ensure that it truly is open. And we explain how video surveillance is moving beyond “just security” and transitioning to a world where video-enabled applications provide situational awareness to improve effectiveness, speed up incident response time, reduce loss of life and property, and help educational facilities achieve better TCO on their system investment.

What's inside?

  • The need for video surveillance in schools
  • Better use of staff and equipment resources
  • Superior scalability for changing needs and budgets
  • Superior image quality and situational awareness
  • Open platform versus proprietary DVR/NVR solutions
  • Advantages of an open platform IP video management solution
  • Integrated Security System at University of Illinois
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