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News

College goes for digital surveillance and reduces costs

Mobotix : 12 March, 2009  (Application Story)
With a Mobotix digital camera network installation, St Dominic's Sixth Form College has been able to significantly reduce costs whilst improving surveillance performance over its legacy analogue system
Mobotix has released details of a project at St Dominic's Sixth Form College which has substantially improved its CCTV security and reduced running costs. By switching to a digital, hi-res solution implemented and supported by Ecl-ips, a Mobotix Advanced Partner, the college has dramatically improved reliability and reduced annual maintenance and support charges by around 20%.

St. Dominic's Sixth Form College, situated in Harrow -on -the Hill, has a network of 30 cameras covering key doorways, reception areas, canteen, car park and the external grounds. "Our old analogue CCTV network caused us significant issues with maintenance and supplier response times," explains Michael McConigley, Information Services Manager for the college, "The image quality, when viewed live or replayed from storage, was also very poor and the complexity of the system required a member of the IS department to assist each time staff needed to view an incident."

The poor reliability of the old analogue solution was incurring regular call out charges for repairs while the lack of remote troubleshooting often meant lengthy delays with key cameras out of commission. With the College planning further expansion, McConigley issued a tender for an upgrade to the CCTV system. The project would add CCTV coverage to the College's new Science building with provision for additional cameras for the new sports hall planned for construction in 2009.

"We choose Ecl-ips because they offered more than just CCTV," explains McConigley. "Their expertise in tying together both the new digital and old analogue CCTV systems and integrating the whole system into our IP network made their proposal very compelling. Also, their proposed maintenance and support contract would save us tens of thousands of pounds over the life of the CCTV network compared to the incumbent supplier."

To help protect the College's investment, Ecl-ips integrated a number of the existing analogue cameras alongside the newer Mobotix digital cameras. As legacy CCTV cameras fail, the College has the option to replace with a low maintenance, high resolution Mobotix equivalent. All Mobotix cameras have no moving parts and require no external heaters or enclosures with full support for Power over Ethernet (PoE). As a result, Mobotix Cameras are more reliable than most legacy CCTV systems.

The success of the CCTV implementation, which has been running now for over a year has been measured across a number of criteria. "We have maintained 100% coverage for months on end, the few issues we have experienced have generally been fixed remotely by technical staff from Ecl-ips within a few hours." McConigley explains, "The image quality from the new cameras is very high and the software for accessing footage is simple enough for staff to use without intervention from the IS department."

McConigley estimates that running costs for the new CCTV system will save the College around £6000 a year. The new sports hall, which is currently under construction, will add a further 11 Mobotix cameras to its CCTV network.

"The confidence of senior management in our system is overwhelmingly positive," adds McConigley. "We have future proofed the system and we have a scalable infrastructure. And we've done it in less time and for less money than we ever envisaged."
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