Super Surveillance for Today’s Super Market

From the self-proclaimed foodie to the parent rushing through the aisles on a Saturday, visits to the grocery store are part of our modern daily life, whether you shop a national chain, a local supermarket or even a farmers’ market in the park. As eating and cooking become hobbyist activities and their popularity surges, many grocery stores struggle to accommodate new technology in surveillance as it becomes available.

Many grocers who have been in the business for years are still using analog surveillance cameras in their stores, despite the introduction of newer technologies. They would like to have the high resolution and analytics offered by new IP cameras, but replacing their older cameras with new IP cameras can be costly, and their extended business hours can make it a challenge to find the time to implement a whole-scale installation of new video cameras and management systems. Grocery businesses also may have other systems in use that may not integrate easily with IP video.
YIgftfUShRc4tu fFt wiAixKJ6j0aOEik5mlW4rNDE

The most successful adoptions of IP camera technology often utilize a network video management system managed by a unified video client to reap the benefits of IP camera technology without abandoning already installed analog cameras. The most-well known benefit of the IP camera is itshigh-resolution imaging, which can be crucial in a grocery store business. A clear image of a person inside the store or license plate in the parking lot can be essential to loss prevention.

Grocery operators also want access to powerful analytic tools and the ability to pinpoint loss prevention incidents, accidents and potential accidents, which translates into faster response times and in some instances, merchandise saved. The benefit of better searching capabilities can often times be achieved only by implementing a newer video management platform, useful in reducing liability for common investigations such as slip and falls. Powerful embedded analytics can also tell retailers how to better handle line queues and how best to staff registers, in addition to alerting them of potential shelf-sweep thefts of high value items. Other tools such as heat mapping can provide for information on the popularity of in-store promotions and displays.

gs1A growing trend in the grocery store market is integration of video with other systems, such as access control, fire, and in particular with point-of-sale systems. The seamlessly integrated platformthat a unified client provides allows for the management of several facilities across different regions using one platform. The added bonus of real-time remote access allows operators to troubleshoot and attend to situations remotely, without an in-person visit to a facility by a service technician.

By using a unified video client and network VMS to manage both analog and newer IP cameras, grocery retailers are afforded thetime to upgrade to IP at their own speed, while also tapping into powerful, newer IP technology.

Ultimately, a unified client makes video management simpler, and its integrations with other systems give operators the tools they need to make the good and quick decisions that benefit a business. Unified surveillance also gives grocers of all sizes the ability to scale their video surveillance operation accordingly, providing a video solution that can take them from the small neighborhood market to the thriving, nationally known grocery store. And that’s no small change.

To learn more about how one integrator helped to shepherd a major grocery chain through its transition to IP video, click here.

No excuses: Everyone has access to access control

gymIf you’ve ever been on a diet or exercise program, you probably understand the concept of self-sabotage. Even before you get started on your strategy to cut back calories, or run for 30 minutes every morning, or join a gym, you’re already thinking of excuses for why those plans won’t work: I forgot to buy the right food, I twisted my ankle, I need that money for the kids’ field trips.

Getting started with an access control solution, especially for entry-level users, can also be a situation in which the excuses start to mount before the installation begins.

There are concerns that it will be too difficult to manage: Who has the IT background to sit at a PC and install the software? Or that it will take too long to set up: Who has time to configure all those readers and door controllers? Or maybe the objection is that your organization is too decentralized: You’re just one medical clinic within a larger network, so how does this even work for you? Does your company have to invest in an enterprise-level system, or is there a different option?

Fortunately, there are solutions on the market that have been geared to address just  those particular concerns. The new access control network appliances are aimed at customers such as satellite offices and locations for clinics, schools and small businesses that aren’t large enough in scale for a true enterprise system, but still want access control functionality and scalability.

In many instances, these types of sites are looking for access control for a couple dozen doors or more, but don’t have the manpower for full-time system management. But if they can be presented with an out-of-the-box solution that is ready-to-go with preinstalled software and preconfigured databases making it easy to add in access points, they are less likely to turn to that list of excuses for avoiding access control.

victor unified siteserver p3 02 na k

Network appliance solutions are also ideal for those in an expansion or change mode. A new school is built, so you just add an appliance for that location. Your small company buys a competitor, and you now have two offices in nearby cities that need access control, so you bring in units for each of those sites.And because these solutions are web-based, they can be managed from any location. So the office manager at the clinic can make updates or someone at another office can handle them if the situation warrants it.

The days of thinking of excuses for adopting access control are dwindling as more small and mid-size operations tap into the intuitive, easy-to-operate new products on the market. So now you just need to focus on that diet.

Centra-Larm: A Central Station Ready for the Future

Many people don’t give alarms and their monitoring much thought in their day-to-day lives. But alarms systems continually monitor our homes, workplaces and communities in order to identify a problem as soon as something happens. From the carbon monoxide detector in our apartment building to the intrusion panel at the office to the alarm system that protects a town’s public drinking water, alarm monitoring has become part of our everyday lives, whether we realize it or not.

RSCS CentraLarm WomanControlStationAlarm monitoring technology has evolved to go beyond intrusion and fire alarm monitoring to also include water pressure change, carbon monoxide, fire, openings and closings, temperature changes, gas leaks alarms and medical alerts (PERS). In addition, market demand continues to increase for video monitoring, GPS monitoring and two-way voice services.

Offering these types of services is important, that’s why Centra-Larm has grown its business over the years from its primary focus on fire alarms to now include a broad array of third party alarm monitoring services. Today the company monitors more than 90,000 alarms from its three central stations in New Hampshire and California.

To meet the current and changing needs of its customers, Centra-Larm has been a longtime customer of Tyco Security Products’ Sur-Gard receivers to provide its central stations with the broad functionality and high-speed transmissions needed for such a wide and varied customer base.

With such a large number of and many types of alarms monitored, Centra-Larm’s central stations need to be fast, versatile and highly automated. That means supporting more than 100 communication formats and the capability to monitor IP transmitters.

At many central stations, it might not be uncommon for an operator to handle a signal for a burglar alarm at a residential property one minute, then have to respond to an alarm indicating a change in temperature in a refrigerator at a grocery store the next. Thanks to technology, the role of the central station and the types of systems that central station operators monitor has changed considerably. It’s a boon to the growth and the development of the central station industry.

As a force in the alarm market for the last 27 years, Centra-Larm understands that the ability to change is often crucial to survival and prosperity. That includes being able to handle multiple forms of simultaneous alarm signal communication and being able to adapt to the ever-changing customer expectations as technology continues to offer new benefits to dealers and end users.


How has central station receiver technology developed in recent years? Learn more about Sur-Gard SG-Systems, and its newly released Sur-Gard System 5 IP-based receiver, which supports visual alarm verification and is recognized as a powerful, yet space saving system.

Read more about how Centra-Larm is using Sur-Gard to serve its 90,000 commercial and residential customers.