The benefits to Irish Business Owners of Integrating Access Control and Video Systems
The potential benefits to customers of integrating video systems with their access control systems have long been obvious to both security industry practitioners and business owners alike. Put simply, this involves associating cameras with doors (and other entry/exit points) which then allows the relevant system to generate video footage of access control events. Every time we have an access control event at our premises we now have video footage to show us exactly what has occurred.
There are three levels of integration so let’s briefly examine the case for and against each of them:
- Low Level Integration
This type of integration utilises inputs, outputs and relays at a basic level. A user swipes a card into a reader which then turns a PTZ camera around towards a specified point.
Pros: Quick, low cost and effective at a basic level.
Cons: It is not a flexible, feature rich option providing alerts or a scope of functionality for the end user.
- API level integration
This scenario occurs when two separate manufacturers (CCTV and Access Control) decide to create an interoperable product where two separate pieces of software are talking to each other and working together. Typically this would see a small camera icon appear in the management admin software where an access control event has occurred. The end user would then click on the camera icon to view the associated footage.
Pros: What has proven popular here in the past is that customers have been able to pick their preferred access control system and CCTV system manufacturers and have them work together.
Cons: The difficulty with this type of collaborative integration is that if one manufacturer updates their software then there is a very strong chance that the integration with the partner product will fall over. Similarly, if the end user requires new features for the integrated system it can be difficult, expensive and time consuming to acquire the level of collaboration between the two manufacturers that is needed.
- Unified Integration
This, by a distance, is our preferred level of integration for the following reasons:
– We have just one manufacturer of both Access Control and Video Surveillance equipment.
– We have one, all encompassing, piece of software.
– We have one integrated graphical interface covering Access Control and Video.
– We have one unified point of contact for development, sales and support.
Our partners at ACT systems have two fully integrated products aimed at different groups of businesses:
On Premise Access Control and Integrated Video System
ACTVIQUEST is an on premise product and is a natural progression for any business with an existing ACTpro access control system looking to upgrade their CCTV system.
Typical clients using this type of system would be businesses with a significant security requirement such as government departments, hospitals, prisons and pharmaceutical companies.
Cloud based Access Control and Integrated Video System
ACT365 is a cloud based product aimed at businesses with multiple outlets (gyms, property management companies, petrol stations, high street retailers and convenience stores for example) where IT support services accessible to the outlet operator would be limited in scope.
Some of the practical benefits for Irish business owners of integrated ACT access control and video systems include:
1. Reduced investment in end user training – Unified integrated system users only have one GUI (graphical user interface) to familiarise themselves with as opposed to diverse systems operated from separate servers. A unified system makes life much easier for the business owner or staff member.
2. Security alarms and alerts – End users have the capability to configure alerts to cover an infinite number of scenarios. For example, in the event of a cash office door being forced open an email alert is sent to the business owner accompanied by video footage of the incident.
3. Powerful, scalable reporting – All access control events are now backed up by the kind of powerful video footage which is vital to any investigation.
4. Video verification – A unified, integrated ACT access control and video system makes it easy for the business owner to cross reference video footage with an access control event. For example, if an employee’s entry swipe card is stolen and the culprit steals from or causes damage to the restricted area our video footage will identify exactly who is responsible for the incident.
Integrated unified systems are something that we at KDS security believe bring enormous benefits to businesses to choose to invest in them. For more information contact us at http://kdssecurity.ie/contact-us/ or Call Us today on 01 8338040.