Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College

Located in the small former mining town of Miami, Oklahoma, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, commonly referred to as NEO, is a two-year community college with programs in a variety of academic fields including agriculture, nursing, theatre and the social sciences.

Different sectors of campus were operating on a mix of cameras that each came with their own software, but didn’t all speak ‘the same language.’ Video Insight has provided that ‘common language’ we needed to be able to have all of our cameras speak to us across the network in an easily retrievable and storable fashion.

Issue:

Oklahoma College Using Several Different IP Camera Software Programs Throughout Campu

NEO currently has an enrollment of 3,400 students who attend classes on a campus with 22 buildings. Unlike the majority of two-year colleges, NEO has on-campus housing for 900 students, presenting an area of security coverage not considered by most other two-year campuses: dormitories. This additional security need, plus an overall evaluation of their existing piecemeal system prompted Network and Technical Support Coordinator Brian Sparks to seek a video management software (VMS) solution that would streamline their operation, making it more efficient, useful and effective.

NEO had several different IP cameras – including Vivotek – in use as standalone systems in different parts of the campu. The campus bookstore, for example, had a system of six cameras only they were able to access. The student activity center had a different system with many additional cameras. Even the technology department operated on yet another different camera system.

When Sparks came on board, he saw the need to consolidate the various systems into one that was managed by a unifying software, rather than operating on three separate platforms that weren’t within reach of each other. Sparks says they found their perfect match in Video Insight IP software.

Solution:

Video Insight IP Surveillance Software Centralizes NEO Video Management System, Allowing Security, Administration Access to Any Camera Campus-wide

“We had the right idea by using IP video surveillance at NEO, but we were adding cameras here and there with no uniformity and no ability to communicate with each other,” says Sparks. “This meant, if we had an issue in the bookstore, for example, our security officers had to go to the bookstore to retrieve video. Video from the proprietary camera software typically wasn’t easily obtained.”

Same thing went for other areas of campus, says Sparks. “Each of these different sectors was operating on a mix of cameras that each came with their own software, but didn’t all speak ‘the same language.’ Video Insight has provided that ‘common language’ we needed to be able to have all of our cameras speak to us across the network in an easily retrievable and storable fashion.”

Video Insight Chief Technical Officer James Whitcomb says Video Insight software is designed to address the issues NEO faced, as well as those that arise within the education security market.

“Video Insight is uniquely suited to the multi-campus educational facility market because of our ease of use and affordability,” says Whitcomb. “But one of our best features is that campuses can typically manage any size installation with their existing resources because – since our software supports more than 700 cameras from 50 manufacturers – we do ‘speak their language”.

After installing Video Insight on a centralized server, now every location on campus that before couldn’t communicate to technology or security – because it was operating on its own standalone platform – is connected via their network. This has made it possible for Sparks, administrators or campus security to monitor or retrieve video in a matter of seconds, saving valuable time and alleviating frustration.

“Our security operates primarily on an incident basis, so when we get the call from law enforcement and they need video from a certain window of time, I can now call it up in my office or via the web client rather than having to physically go to the location like we did before. It’s so much more efficient this way.”

Sparks said that because Video Insight can be accessed via the web client through smartphones and similar devices, his security officers call up video cameras from iPads when they patrol the campus on foot and in golf carts.

“If they are on the perimeter of a dorm building and they want to see what’s going on inside, they just call it up on their iPad and take a look,” says Sparks. “They have been very, very impressed with Video Insight’s capabilities. Our officers have said that it has greatly enhanced their security efforts.”

NEO looks to double their number of cameras in Spring, 2011, and to add more as they renovate buildings throughout their campus. They have chosen to move forward using only Vivotek camera products, adding cameras to enhance coverage of their residential areas, covering every floor of every dorm as well as every parking lot, campus-wide. NEO has existing cameras in all areas of campus where money is exchanged, but, as they grow, they will add more cameras to those areas, as well.

“We have been very impressed with Video Insight and how it has streamlined our video surveillance campus-wide,” said Sparks. “As is the case when you come across a great technology, we aren’t sure how we did without it before but we are glad to have it in place and look forward to a long partnership.”