Integrator Upgrades Long-Time Client to IP Video Surveillance

Case Study


Integrator Upgrades Long-Time Client to IP Video Surveillance.

Retail-focused integrator I-Tech embarked on an ambitious journey to upgrade a major grocery retailer’s surveillance system to IP technology using solutions from Tyco Security Products.

I-Tech of Bladensburg, Md. was formed in April of 2000 after Jim Clifton and his team broke off from another company and formed a separate, retail-focused integration firm. Together, the core group of people from I-Tech has worked as a team for more than 27 years.

With their combined skills and experience, the I-Tech team has carved a niche for themselves doing all things low-voltage for retail customers--quite an achievement for a company with no website and no advertising. Relying on word-of-mouth referrals from the start, I-Tech has built a name for itself as a reputable, hardworking operation that will do whatever it can to meet and exceed client needs.

"We aim to take care of the customer first," said Clifton, vice president of I-Tech. "We have a reputation that we will never walk away from a site without having it done, and done well. Since we work from referrals, the only way to continue business is to do a good job."

It was this reputation and recommendation from a long-time client partner more than 12 years ago that got I-Tech's foot in the door at one of the largest grocery chains in the U.S. And it was I-Tech's level of customer service and hard work that has kept the grocer as a partner ever since.

I-Tech continuously looks for high-quality, cutting-edge equipment from suppliers with strong track records. With this strategy, the firm can offer its clients products and platforms that meet customer needs both in the short and long term.

Illustra PTZ Cameras

According to Clifton, the grocery chain's asset protection team had been considering moving from its analog surveillance system to IP for several years. “We proposed a few options, but we kept going back to Tyco Security Products because of the longevity of the company, as well as backward and forward compatibility of the solutions it offers,” Clifton said. The grocery chain has had Tyco Security Products equipment, specifically its American Dynamics solutions, successfully installed in its stores for the past 25 years, and Clifton himself has worked with Tyco Security Products for more than two decades.

Illustra Box Cameras

For this particular project, I-Tech needed to find an IP system that included a stable, long-term solution, end-user simplicity and functionality with the ability to integrate with other systems. Because of the magnitude of the project -- 80-plus retail locations -- the upgrade would take time and would need to be compatible with existing analog equipment to make the most of the company's past investments as well as decrease any potential-surveillance disruption. In addition, scalability was a priority because of the current 80,000 to 140,000 square footage of each store and future expansion plans.

Considering all of the client's needs, I-Tech ultimately decided to install Tyco Security Products’ Illustra IP cameras — including PTZ cameras, indoor box cameras, mini domes and outdoor dome cameras — and VideoEdge network video management systems, all managed by the company’s victor unified management system. The team determined that the first phase of the project would focus on IP installations for all new store openings. “We installed the first store about two years ago, and we are continuing the process for all new stores,” Clifton said. By the end of 2015, new IP equipment will be in more than 20 store locations.

VideoEdge network video management systems, all managed by the company’s victor unified management system

The functionality of the solution has allowed I-Tech to provide its client with better searching and analytics capabilities, as well as faster, higher-resolution remote capabilities than were possible with the analog system, explained Clifton. The upgrade now enables the client's control center to look out for accidents and potential accidents as well as pinpoint loss prevention incidents and react more quickly than ever.

Operators are able to capture clearer images of people as well as license plate numbers when an incident occurs. In addition, the grocery chain's asset protection team is able to use its surveillance system to monitor patterns of improper procedures and more proactively offer remedial training to employees.

Illustra mini-domes Cameras

Though price was not the highest priority for this particular project, it's almost always a factor, said Clifton, and the improved performance and higher definition of the IP cameras permits I-Tech to cover the same square footage with fewer cameras than an analog solution and more features, functionality and speed. Each store will only need to install 70 to 80 IP cameras to replace 120 to 130 analog cameras.

Heading into the future, upgrading all of the grocery chain's stores is on the horizon, Clifton said. Additionally, I-Tech is always looking at new and emerging technologies and what might make a good addition to its clients' existing systems. Accommodating its customers in any way possible is one of the missions for this integration firm.

“We really try to focus on being a partner with our clients,” Clifton explained. "That's the most important thing."

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