Tue 8 Sep 2020
3 key ways that integrations add value to your surveillance system
Ask any security manager and they’ll say they want to optimize their system to access a greater range of capabilities.
By adding integrations to your video management system, you can do just that.
Trying to juggle multiple systems in real time is like trying to put together the pieces of a complex jigsaw, which can interfere with operators’ primary goal to ensure the safety of people and property. Integrations help security teams to more quickly identify threats, intrusions and faults. Combining your surveillance system and third party functionality into one single user interface enables teams to provide an augmented level of security surveillance and enhanced business processes. For further information on adding third party integrations to your video management system, you can attend the upcoming Accredited CPD Training webinar.
1) Improve situational awareness
Adding third party integrations to your video management system means that your team can be made aware more quickly of events happening in your environment (for example, by integrating with peripheral systems such as access control, intruder detection or your intercom).
Imagine you’re a control room operator overseeing your site’s security, and you’re using separate platforms to manage your CCTV system and intruder detection software. During your shift, an alarm goes off in your intruder detection software, displaying the location of the breach on a map. You’re not sure if this is a false alarm or something you need to deal with immediately. To make sure, you open up the Video Management Software (VMS), find the camera that relates to the alert, click to view the footage and then check to see what’s occurring.
All this is wasting time before you can intervene or resolve what’s going on.
By integrating your intruder detection software and video management system into one user interface, your systems can work quicker and operators can get immediate situational awareness of incidents. In the above example, an integration will push an alert to your VMS as soon as an intruder has been detected, and can also bring up the footage from the camera which is monitoring the area. This makes it much more efficient for operators to discount false alarms, so that when a serious incident does occur they can direct security guards on-the-ground or engage emergency responders immediately. Faster response times make it more likely that incidents can be resolved before they escalate to something more serious.
2) Streamline operational processes
Having the right user interface to integrate your peripheral systems is key, because once you can get them to work harmoniously together on one platform, you can enhance and streamline your business processes.
This is a major benefit for central control rooms which are monitoring multiple sites, such as a business park, where one security control room manages the alarms for all of the buildings. By integrating the alarm systems in each building with the surveillance system, this provides a much simpler way for the operator on duty to manage them all. Instead of having to go around all of the buildings and set the alarms at the end of the day (ensuring that everyone has left already) the operator can check building occupancy on the security cameras and then set the alarms for the night, without ever leaving the control room.
During the night, if an alarm goes off in any of the buildings, the alarm system can send an alert to the VMS and the operator can immediately see which facility has an issue, along with footage from specific cameras. False alarms can simply be deactivated from the VMS. Only if the operator thinks they need to further investigate do they actually need to leave the control room.
Therefore, integrating third party functionality into the video management system helps save time and resources for the security team: by potentially reducing the amount of staff required on shifts, but also by simply speeding up daily operations that have to be done at the same time, in the same way, every day. This means your security team can improve efficiency without ever compromising on safety.
3) Take Direct Action
Third party integrations into your video management system also provide the opportunity to set up automatic tasks, so your system takes direct action based on events happening in real time.
Let’s say you are responsible for the security of a large factory’s multi-storey car park, which is used by staff members every day, as well as visitors who drive in on a less regular basis. To operate an efficient system, you don’t want to have to put one staff member in charge of checking the list of authorized vehicles and then pressing a button to let staff members enter each day.
By integrating your intercom system with your video management system, you can make this a much simpler and more efficient process. First, set up a whitelist of approved license plates in your VMS. Then License Plate Recognition (LPR) software in your security cameras can scan vehicles when their driver presses the intercom button at the entrance to the car park. If it’s an authorized vehicle, the barrier opens automatically. This reduces the security staff resources required but also speeds up the time it takes to get other staff on site each day, saving them hassle and getting people into work on time.
On the other hand, if a car draws up to the barrier and the license plate is not authorized, an alert from the intercom system can be sent directly to the VMS for the operator’s immediate attention. The security operator on duty can speak directly to the driver to ascertain if they should be allowed entry. This means that direct and swift action can be taken to real time events, without slowing up daily operations.
Implementing a security system that integrates powerfully with third party functionality requires planning but the added value delivers a host of benefits. To learn more, attend the upcoming Accredited CPD Webinar “Video Management Systems: Adding Value with Integrations”