EMC rolls out video security services

EMC is rolling out a services offering that helps customers set up physical security systems and automate the analysis and management of data collected by video cameras, alarms and other devices.

EMC's Physical Security Solutions were begun in 2005 and help companies install new security devices and organize disparate sources of information. Devices such as video cameras and badge readers are often deployed without a master plan and don't communicate with each other, says Dick O'Leary, EMC's senior director of the global solutions group.

"The customer is generally telling us they don't think they have a security problem. They have plenty of devices and tools to secure the facilities," he says. "What they have is an information management problem. A typical comment from a security professional is 'I know I have all the information I need in my security system somewhere, I just can't find it when I need it.'"

Service engagements range from tens of thousands of dollars to millions of dollars, with customers in government, retail, gaming, financial services, airports and other industries. EMC has always provided some services to help roll out these physical security systems, but was mostly concerned with selling actual products, O'Leary says. (Compare security products.) EMC's announcement this week has the company formalizing the service offerings in a partnership with IP video security vendor Verint Systems.

Service engagements begin with a physical security assessment EMC conducts with several partners to identify a customer's needs in data analysis and for equipment like cameras, alarms, video archiving, encoders and video software.

Next, EMC and partners design and implement video and other physical security systems, plugging everything into back-end storage and servers so the data can be protected and managed centrally.

The Kentucky Exposition Center is using the EMC services to add cameras to a 520-acre set of facilities that previously had no video security, says Alicia Dunlap, information systems manager for the Kentucky State Fair Board. The board manages the state-owned Exposition Center, which includes a convention center, two arenas (including the home of the University of Louisville basketball team) and a Six Flags amusement park.

Kentucky has installed 20 cameras on one end of the facility in an ongoing project that has so far cost US$220,000, including all storage, servers, switches, cameras and the services that helped design and implement the system.

The Exposition Center, which will add cameras throughout its facilities, bought an EMC Clariion CX3-10 storage device, and keeps all security data on a private network that has no connection to the Internet. Software provided by Verint helps search through video and sync cameras so Kentucky officials can look at what all cameras saw at any given time, Dunlap says.

"They were instrumental in providing us qualified and certified contractors to do physical installation," she says. It's complicated "because there are so many pieces and we were doing everything at once."

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