Universidad Argentina de la Empresa

Universidad Argentina de la Empresa Standardizes on Genetec Omnicast IP Video Surveillance to Secure Buildings across Three Campuses and Facilitate Ongoing Expansion

Universidad Argentina de la Empreasa outside view

Business Challenge

Founded over 50 years ago, Universidad Argentina de la Empresa (UADE) is a private university in Buenos Aires. This higher education institution is focused on developing entrepreneurial business professionals to propel economic progress and meet the employment needs within Argentina. Ranked amongst Argentina’s top universities, UADE offers numerous undergraduate and graduate business programs across three campuses in the neighbourhoods of Monserrat, Recoleta, and the city of Pinamar.

With a resident hall and over 10 buildings within the core of the Monserrat urban campus, UADE is focused on keeping its student safe from potential outlying city crimes or threats. Vandalism and theft were also concerns plaguing the University. Although the University had an existing video surveillance system, the analog technology lacked real-time investigative features, was becoming costly to maintain and was simply not able to scale.

As huge proponents of technological advancements, Alejandra Carrasquedo, Chief of Security at UADE and Gironte Gaston, Manager, IP Telephony and Video Surveillance at UADE, joined forces to spearhead a move to IP video surveillance technology. While a more advanced feature-set was top of mind, the selection hinged upon three criteria: 1) monitoring all sites from a central location, 2) improving bandwidth across an existing network, and 3) having the ability to easily grow and add newer cost-effective wireless and Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) devices.

After careful consideration, UADE chose Genetec Omnicast IP video surveillance. Omnicast is part of the Genetec unified security platform, Security Center, which offers advanced functionality like an intuitive mobile client, a map-based interface and more capabilities.

Multi-Campus Monitoring Facilitated by Efficient Bandwidth Management

To date, Omnicast IP video surveillance system manages 380 IP cameras across all three campuses from vendors Axis Communications and InterLogix. The most significant advantage for the UADE security and IT departments is the ability to manage and maintain all independent camera systems from its central monitoring station at the main Monserrat campus. While each campus security team autonomously monitors their own campus video surveillance system, the FederationTM feature allows UADE to centrally control all systems as though they were part of a single virtual system, which improves overall operations and security.

Security Center Mobile functionality is also extended to senior security staff, who use either their mobile phone or tablet to access video streams from any campus system. “Being able to tap into the system from anywhere on campus provides the highest level of situational awareness to our team, and minimizes our response time to events,” explained Mr. Carrasquedo.

With almost 400 IP cameras streaming video over the network, UADE is leveraging some of the unique bandwidth minimizing features of Omnicast. The Multicast feature helps UADE minimize network traffic by allowing only a single copy of video to be sent to any client application in the event that multiple users are accessing the same video. On-motion recording is also set up for a large percentage of cameras, lessening video transfer loads and storage requirements.

According to Carrasquedo, this has also made the security operator’s job easier: “With on motion recording, we are only keeping the video in which an event likely occurred. Instead of having to look through hours of video to find an event, now our operators can quickly identify specific instances of archived video with ease.”

A lighthearted anecdote to support this fact was provided by Carrasquedo: “A student reported that their backpack was stolen from a 6th floor classroom when the student left to make photocopies. With a quick search, operators concluded that the student had in fact left the backpack in a 5th floor classroom. We had video evidence to show the student who was happy to retrieve their belongings.”

Omnicast Features Offer UADE Unprecedented System Reliability

UADE implemented all of Genetec’s high-reliability features including redundant and failover archiving, built-in failover directory with automatic load balancing and real-time health monitoring. According to Gaston, “The health monitoring tool helps us take preventative action to ensure all our cameras and servers are online and fully functional. We keep track of system performance by automating status reports which we receive via email, and can also check statistics in real-time.”

In case of device failure or if a device goes offline, the health monitoring tool also immediately notifies UADE IT staff. This allows an administrator to immediately respond and get the system back up and running at peak performance, lessening the chance of possible security breaches or vulnerabilities.

Failover and redundant archiving protect video recordings from hardware and software failures, automatically switching to a standby archiver when necessary. Similarly, the failover directory provides a hot standby solution for client workflows and application configurations set by UADE with simultaneous load balancing, which allows the system to automatically connect to the least busy Directory. All of this leads to one conclusion, according to Gaston: “Our Omnicast system is extremely reliable.”

System Flexibility Carries UADE into the Future

With the freedom to add cameras at its own pace, UADE continues to expand the system when necessary. Furthermore, the security department is looking into adding the AutoVu license plate recognition system of Security Center to automate gate vehicle access control for the campus parking lots. Integrating Omnicast with a video analytics system is also under consideration.

In conclusion, Gaston explains why UADE has made a successful long-term investment in Genetec Security Center: “Security Center with Omnicast IP video surveillance has allowed us to leverage our existing network to centrally manage and maintain all of our campuses from a single intuitive interface, simplifying our jobs. Its support for a variety of cameras, encoders and video surveillance equipment has also given us the flexibility to choose leading devices that suit our application. We are confident that we can easily grow our system and that it will continue to adapt to our evolving security demands.”

Infrastructure at a Glance

Omnicast IP video surveillance system manages 380 cameras spread inside and outside numerous campus buildings and the residence hall. Thanks to the system’s open architecture, UADE chose IP cameras from Interlogix (Camplus IP and GE Legend IP Dome) and Axis Communications (AXIS 216 VSF, AXIS P3304, AXIS Q1910-E Thermal, AXIS M3203, AXIS M1011, AXIS M1031 and AXIS 233 D). Nine physical servers each with 5 TB store video up to 20 days. Six 42” monitors form a video wall where live views either rotate or stay fixed, depending the sensitivity of the location. Another two 22” monitors are used by operators to handle real-time emergencies or investigations. All video is transmitted back to the monitoring stations via a dedicated fiber network.