North American Non-Profit Hindu Organization BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha(r) Installs Genetec Security Solutions to Protect its Numerous Houses of Worship
BAPS is a non-profit, socio-spiritual Hindu organization that provides guidance and inspiration to people to lead more enriched lives, morally, culturally and spiritually, through youth activities and educational opportunities; precipitating and participating in charities; and promoting family values. The organization began in 1907 in a small village in India and has since then spread worldwide, generating more than 3,300 centers. The first North American BAPS facility was established in 1974 in a New York basement, and today there are approximately 70 locations within Canada and the United States.
The Business Challenge
In addition to serving as a Hindu Swami priest, Kaivalyamurti Swami, Administrator at BAPS oversees security and IT initiatives for all of BAPS' North American locations from his base in Texas. Ensuring safety for both the organization's facilities and worshipers alike has proven at times to be very challenging. As a non-profit organization, all security initiatives must be both budget-conscious and easily operable by a varied and rotating workforce of part-time volunteers. Additionally, the various BAPS facilities differ in their security needs and often feature several dispersed buildings, such as prayer spaces, assembly halls, and classroom facilities. BAPS' Stafford, Texas location, for example, has multiple buildings spread across 23 acres of land. It is home to an irreplaceable stone temple that requires precautions against vandalism, since it cannot be replaced if it's damaged. Moreover, the precautious security features must be carefully implemented, without physically and cosmetically impacting the structure in its entirety.
BAPS' Security System Requirements
The search for a security platform first began when BAPS decided to deploy perimeter protection at a Chino Hills, California location. They found themselves in need of a security solution that could integrate with and drive the perimeter protection component; therefore it was important to find an open platform that would easily integrate with third-party solutions.
Although the initial push resulted from the research for its Chino Hills perimeter protection solution, BAPS was additionally using this as an opportunity to identify a security solution they could deploy at all its North American locations. BAPS wanted an IP solution that would enable ease of installation, and keep cabling simple in trickier deployments, such as around priceless temple architecture. It was also important that they find a solution that is modular and would enable BAPS to ramp up its security coverage when needed.
The Perfect Solution
After testing a variety of products, it was suggested to BAPS' to take a look at Genetec's solutions. After meeting with a Genetec representative who "gave a great demo and offered a comprehensive explanation of the solution," said Kaivalyamurti Swami, Administrator, BAPS made the decision to move forward with Genetec. Since that time, "we have never looked back."
BAPS' first Genetec installation involved the deployment of the Security Center, Genetec's unified IP video surveillance and access control system, at its Chino Hills location. Chino Hills had an existing analog system with pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) cameras, but BAPS realized it was of little use without constant monitoring. With the need for one operator per each PTZ, BAPS found themselves with insufficient manpower to fully utilize the system. To address this problem, they turned to the SightLogix automated outdoor video system, encompassing six SightSensor video analytic perimeter security cameras and six SightTrackers that automatically steer PTZ cameras. BAPS integrated SightLogix and Genetec's Security Center software to create a comprehensive video solution, which was able to not only monitor all of the SightLogix implementations, but also add a layer of intelligence to the information gathering process. Ten additional IQinVision Megapixel IP cameras were also added to expand the system's video coverage. "The Sightlogix SightSensors provide us with realtime monitoring of the perimeter of the property and allow us to automatically track and follow any intrusions with the PTZ cameras via SightLogix's unique GPS-based monitoring platform," said Kaivalyamurti Swami.
In 2010, Grady Jett, VP of Sales at Preferred Technologies, was brought on board as an integrator to assist in materials procurement. BAPS planned to continue to take care of its own implementations, but Preferred Technologies assisted in quality control by overseeing system design to ensure all pieces of the solution were used properly and most effectively.
Stafford, Texas was the second location where BAPS introduced the Genetec solutions. It also had an existing analog CCTV system at the time, and Security Center was initially brought on predominantly for access control, using HID Edge controllers. The installation was quick and easy, since the hardware takes advantage of PoE and requires one simple run of Cat 5 or 6 cabling. The facility installed 64 controllers, while adding IP cameras as needed. The use of video surveillance began at Stafford's temple in response to a robbery of its donation box. After installing a couple of Axis IP cameras with built-in PIR Sensors, LED lights and microphone capabilities for audio capture and detection, a second robbery attempt was caught on video, and images were provided to the police. This facility has also used Genetec's SDK integration with Shelby Church Management software and set-up a mobile server to allow remote locking/unlocking of doors and to view video footage. BAPS indicated a strong desire to use COLDSTORE, Veracity's innovative new storage system, to store video surveillance data delivered from Security Center. Genetec provided to Veracity the information they needed and an integration was developed with all three parties working together to create the finished product.
BAPS is also now deploying Genetec's security solutions at some of its smaller facilities; in particular SV-16s, which are network security appliances powered by Security Center. These appliances are compact and energy efficient, and are designed for installations of 16 cameras or less with a flexible per-camera licensing set-up. This solution allows BAPS to provide video surveillance coverage with intuitive, state-of-the-art software even on a small scale, thereby ensuring every facility is secure.
The security solution that will be integrated by Diebold at BAPS' Robbinsville, New Jersey location is a part of a five-phase plan. This location uses HID Edge controllers and 10 SARGENT Harmony locks. A number of integrations are planned with various other products, including Assa Abloy hardware and a Bosch intrusion panel, as well as a Veracity video storage unit.
A total of four BAPS locations currently use Genetec solutions, and another 12 installations are planned over the coming years. Four of these locations are found in Texas, and the other seven are in various locations spanning from New Jersey to California to Toronto, Canada. When all installations are complete, there will be multiple SV-16 installations using between four and nine Axis network cameras. An 80,000 square foot facility in Irving, Texas is now being protected with Security Center and operating 11 Axis network cameras, with another 32 to be added in the near future. In due time, the existing DSX Access Control system in Irving, Texas, will be integrated with Genetec's Security Center as well using the new Synergis Master Controller or HID VertX Controllers allowing unified control and management of all systems. Toronto is looking to implement Security Center and change its existing analog cameras to IP over the course of a few years. BAPS is also evaluating the potential to use AutoVu to augment their security platform. Lilburn, Georgia will be implementing a solution similar to the Chino Hills installation, which uses SightLogix perimeter protection products.
BAPS is very pleased with its decision to use Genetec's Security Center and SV-16 solutions to secure its wide range of facilities. Additionally, the organization has used the Genetec software as a glue to hold various targeted and customized components of their security strategy together. A primary use for Security Center is as a VMS, providing a continuity of GUI while also accommodating integrations of various third-party technologies. Moreover, the system can grow with their needs, allowing them to add camera licenses as their facilities require and budgets allow. "We particularly like the customized views and playback features and the vesitality and power of the video engine that Security Center provides," said Kaivalyamurti Swami. "I don't think any other VMS offers the same flexibility as Security Center as far as stream usage capabilities, which provides the ability to use multiple streams of a camera for different uses - for example high quality for recording and low quality for streaming - and on top of this, the feature is easy to use. This allows us to optimize bandwidth on our network, which is key since we have video, audio, data and voice all going over one LAN network."
Not only has Genetec's software become central to BAPS' security architecture, but they have found the experience of working with Genetec as seamless as the software itself. "From a responsiveness perspective, all Genetec contacts have been cooperative and supportive," said Kaivalyamurti Swami. "We have done some of the installation ourselves, and whenever we had an issue, technical support was always there. They were very helpful and happy to walk us through anything at all. It's been great."
Another integral piece of functionality that Genetec brought to BAPS is the high level of customization it offers. "I think BAPS finds the flexibility of the software and the engineering support the most useful," said Mr. Jett. "By using Genetec's SDK, they have been able to quickly and effectively write software to integrate non-standard platforms." An example that was highlighted by Mr. Jett is the SDK BAPS used at the Stafford location to integrate Genetec's access control with its membership database. The link allows users to import membership data directly into Security Center to avoid requiring duplicate data entry and to make it easy for access control card swipes to simultaneously pull-up membership information. This integration which was developed in-house by volunteer programmers also allows BAPS to use Security Center to track membership attendance at assemblies. BAPS plans to use this integration in its many temples nationwide.
Mr. Jett also assisted BAPS with relay and output integrations with their IP cameras for various other purposes. For example, within the Genetec solutions, some cameras have been configured to fire a strobe light, either on-demand or in response to a set alarm, via relays on their cameras. They have also implemented the Cross Line Detection virtual tripwire feature that runs onboard some of their Axis IP cameras to use as a business development tool for people counting. This software triggers an alarm in the Genetec software when someone crosses the threshold, and then exports data into a spreadsheet that can later be used to count the number of people travelling in a certain direction. This use of the software's ability to record detailed alarm information is just one of many other uses for this function (e.g., fire safety, capacity checks, etc.).
Genetec is able to tie together all of these various components - SightLogix perimeter protection, Axis and IQinVision cameras, custom SDK modules, and more - into one, cohesive security system. "In general, a seamless integrated solution is always going to be better for end users. They likely require less hardware and less training. The ability to fully integrate not only video surveillance and access control, but also other non-standard applications such as intrusion detection, virtual line crossing, strobes, and other products is paramount to Genetec's universal applicability. Having all of this in one system is the way of the future and definitely provides ease-of-use for the customer," said Mr. Jett.
"The thing that I like about it the most is the amount of feedback you can collect and customization that you can do with all the features, down to individual cameras and door readers. It gives you a lot of flexibility. For example, I can have the system send me emails; for the access control system, if a controller goes off line, designated individuals are notified with alerts and emails," said Kaivalyamurti Swami. "So the fact that it gives us real-time awareness of what's going on is really amazing. This software really does provide us with everything that we need."