Systems Administrator Software Made Easy

It wasn’t too long ago that those who consider themselves to be technologically challenged would cringe at the idea of having to set-up a printer and then connect that with their PC or laptop computer. The technical nature of the process, which would involve installing software and then following multiple steps to create a connection between two devices, was enough to make many people uncomfortable.

For the end user, maintenance of an intrusion alarm system can sometimes conjure similar feelings. It has traditionally meant getting on the phone with the installer or physically being in front of each keypad to make changes to zones, codes and users. It can be time-consuming, technical, and inconvenient.

But, thanks to a shift in the industry over the past decade toward more intuitive and easy to use products and programming along with remote capabilities, systems administrator software has followed suit, and end users now have a user-friendly alternative to manage their intrusion systems. In fact, the end user’s wish list of full programming functionality, easy to use applications, and mobile connectivity is a reality when it comes to systems administrator software for alarm systems.

In the past, users would have to go to each specific intrusion panel to add or delete an individual’s code. If systems administrator software was used, changes were cumbersome and required some level of system training or knowledge. The new generation of systems administrator software is designed for the full range of non-technical end users. HR personnel can enter employee/user codes right into the system without having to visit individual keypads. The security director on a college campus can access the system’s dashboard to look at multiple alarms and responses all from an easy to navigate Web page.

Systems Administrator  softwareThe sophisticated software even decreases room for errors, taking users through programming step-by-step and only saving changes when the steps have been completed properly. This “do it right or not at all” approach opens intrusion alarm system management up to any user that needs access without extensive technical training. Much like setting up a printer, the process for an end user to manage an intrusion system has been greatly simplified so that little technical knowledge is required.

In addition, the software has specific roles or different types of users, allowing the end user to determine who has access to different types of information. For example, maybe the kids in the house can check system status of the alarm system from their phones, but they are not allowed to turn the system on and off remotely. Perhaps HR personnel only have access to add or remove users, while certain security personnel have access only to the monitoring dashboard.

Those expanded capabilities are a significant differentiator from the systems administrator software of the past. Users have full control of the system in one place, allowing for arming and disarming, adding and deleting users, viewing system status in real time, and creating and modifying schedules.

Here is one other big change – all of this can all be accessible through a Web application. Users can sign in to their portal via a Web page, rather than having to download software on individual computers. A Web-hosted application not only allows for remote management, but remote upgrades to the system as well – making sure users have access to the latest and greatest as soon as it’s available.

Just like many of the electronic devices we interact with on a daily basis, managing an intrusion system has become more user-friendly than many people would have ever thought possible. Read how DSC Strengthens PowerSeries Neo Intrusion System with Robust WebSA Software.


What ways are you using Systems Administrator Software to manage your intrusion security? Please leave me a comment below.


Source: Tyco Blog

Data overload, or information you can use? | Enter Data Visualization

Security and video surveillance systems can tell us a lot about our business – when the highest number of employees come through the front door, which way they go after they enter the building, or how many times each day a specific door is opened.

The good news is that all of this information and much more – from access control and event reports, video surveillance footage, and associated analytics data – can be captured by various edge devices and stored within the system. This wealth of data is ready to be analyzed and turned into actionable intelligence that can help to detect and prevent issues in operations, equipment, or policies.

The bad news is…well, it’s the same. Without a means to make sense of it all, this wealth of data can be overwhelming and unusable.

Retailers, for example, are now able to capture minute-by-minute video of people in their stores — moving through the aisles, standing in front of displays, and making purchases at the register. But all of this can just be more video in the recording system if it isn’t put to use.

A data visualization tool can take the vast pools of information — security’s Big Data, if you will — now at the disposal of security personnel and management and turn it into more comprehensible data such as graphs and charts that correspond to particular video clips or POS data.

Perhaps your goal as a security manager is to determine whether you need additional guard coverage within a medical facility. Even though you have a card-based access control system that tells you who is entering the building and when, you now want to look more closely at which areas of the building they are accessing so you can beef up patrols in the more highly trafficked areas.

By deploying people-counting analytics tied to your video system, you can target specific doors or hallways that are covered by cameras and record video each time someone uses that door or enters a hallway.

Data visualization can then take you to the next step, which is putting all those video clips into usable charts. You can sort the data by day, for instance, creating charts that show you days when the traffic patterns are the heaviest. But you can even drill down further, looking at the time of day when particular doors and hallways are most heavily used and chart that information as well. Once you have the data set you want, you can look at the corresponding videos to see the actual activity.

Data Visualization

The result may be that you see the area outside a newly relocated lab is generating a lot of traffic outside of regular business hours. That area may require additional checks by a security officer to monitor the activity.

Retail can definitely benefit from the conversion of information into data visualization. Not only can retailers monitor traffic, just as the security officer did in the previous scenario, but by adding in the POS data, store operators can look at how people movement corresponds with sales.

Using data visualizer technology, it’s possible to create a data set that shows how many people walk by a handbag display, how long they looked at the products, and then how many actually made a purchase. All this is possible just by dragging and dropping the results into the data visualization software — sales from POS, plus those who lingered at the display for more than 10 seconds. Based on the results, it may influence the store owner to add sales staff at certain times of day or maybe relocate a display to a more highly traveled section of the store.

Put simply, data visualization is all about recognizing patterns and trends. Once you’re able to start thinking about all that data in those terms, it is less overwhelming and much more useful. And that really is the good news.


Are you already using Data Visualization software with your security footage? If so, in what ways? If not, any thoughts on how it could benefit your business? Please leave your response in the comments section below.


Keeping Eyes on Home with Video Surveillance System

Busy professionals are always trying to keep up with activities at home. As one of the U.K.’s premier broadcasters, Gabby Logan’s job has taken her to Poland, Ukraine, South Africa and back again.

The former gymnast turned sports presenter began her broadcast career in 1992 as a radio personality, and then quickly expanded into television with Sky Sports, ITV and BBC. Gabby has covered the London Olympics for BBC and England’s football team in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2012. Gabby also served a short stint in Brazil covering England’s football team in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, making a quick return to the UK to present from the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland beginning in late July.

To balance full time careers and life at home, Gabby and her husband Kenny, an ex Scotland International Rugby star, realized that they needed to implement some type of system that would allow her to keep an eye on things at home while she took care of business on road. Whether gone for the day, or away on a trip thousands of miles from England, a home security system that incorporated video surveillance was the solution Gabby needed to stay connected to her family when Kenny was back at home in charge of the family and property.

Working with Vindex Systems in West Sussex, a specialist integrator of CCTV, access control and automatic number plate recognition solutions that works with both public and private sector clients, the Logans selected a system from Tyco Security Products’ American Dynamics range that incorporated the VideoEdge Network Video Recorder (NVR) and Illustra 600 indoor/outdoor IP Mini-Dome cameras.

Using a monitor at home, Gabby and Kenny can actively watch the video from the cameras on the grounds, or view recorded video with the VideoEdge NVR. The system even allows the Logans to save snapshots of specific video images.

Video Surveillance SystemBut the real selling point of the system was the ability, through an iPhone application, to watch live and recorded video from her home surveillance system from anywhere she may be. Now, Gabby has the ability while on the road to check on her home, her family, and any situations that may occur through the VideoEdge Go app.

VideoEdge Go is a full-featured video surveillance viewer that delivers added value to the system and enhances the day-to-day experience by facilitating remote monitoring and forensic investigating from anywhere.

The free, downloadable app works with Logan’s iPhone or other Apple iOS device. And because the video is streamed via a wifi, 3G or 4G connection in H.264 rather than MJPEG, it takes up less space on whatever device she is using.

While England was competing in the World Cup in June, Gabby was onsite with the team, but also in touch with home through her surveillance system and the VideoEdge Go app.

Download the Gabby Logan case study for more details.


What sort of activities would you like from a remote security solution? Let me know in the comments section below.