Maximizing Efficiency with Cloud-Hosted Security Solutions
Siemens cloud solutions allow campus security departments and IT personnel to simplify the security technology installation process and get more done with fewer resources.
As cloud services have spread to every sector of the economy over the last decade, the security industry has now embraced the benefits that the cloud brings.
This is particularly true on school and college campuses, where tight budgets and an abundance of “smart” security systems make the benefits of the cloud particularly attractive.
“Any data that can be used with an on-premise system can also be hosted or stored in the cloud,” Laurie Mitchell, the director for Siemens Central Monitoring and Customer Support Centers, explains. “This can range from access control, visitor management and video platforms to entire PSIM offerings that can be virtual.”
Cloud solution offerings allow campus security departments and IT personnel to skip the complex process of installing server equipment and receivers to support their latest security investment. Instead, companies like Siemens offer solutions they host themselves, meaning all security operators have to worry about is where they want their work station.
“Customers have finite resources, not only when it comes to finances but also access to IT staff and support,” Mitchell says. “Cloud services reduce money spent and dependency on other resources typically needed to accomplish campus security goals.”
Saving IT personnel time is especially important at multi-campus locations and small schools that don’t have large IT departments.
Beyond the cost and resource savings, cloud-based systems can also be maintained remotely at a more frequent rate than is practical with systems hosted on campus.
“Using remote services to diagnose an issue or perhaps be able to clear the problem remotely is more cost and time effective for customers,” Mitchell says. “Cloud providers apply patches, update servers, and update software, etc. so those responsibilities no longer fall on IT personnel’s shoulders.”
And the cybersecurity of cloud-based systems can be more reliable than traditional systems as well, both because of more effective maintenance and the fact that on-premise solutions offer a centralized point of attack hiding behind a single set of firewall rules.
It’s no surprise schools have been clamoring for cloud-based security systems when you consider the range of benefits that come with them. But navigating the many cloud-based options and finding the right one for your campus can be a challenge.
Siemens focuses on hosted and managed video and access control solutions.
With the company’s Video Alarm Management, Siemens can remotely verify any alarm generated including motion, intrusion or access control using real-time footage. This prevents unnecessary emergency calls and lets institutions focus on situations that pose real threats. With Video Guard Tour, Siemens reviews and records video from campus surveillance cameras at scheduled time intervals selected by school officials, reducing the cost of dispatchers and security officers with a state of the art virtual service.
“We can view video footage around the campus looking for any type of security breach or loitering,” Mitchell says. “This allows customers to have on-site campus police patrolling between multiple buildings or campuses instead of being stationed to watch video for one particular site. If activity is seen, the on-site police can be dispatched to the proper location to take action.”
And schools can use Siemens Video Escort to have the company virtually escort people and assets moving through campus using video surveillance, providing video documentation if needed later on.
Siemens also offers a suite of remote solutions on the access control side. We’ve already mentioned the myriad benefits that come with moving from on-site servers to the cloud, but remote systems management can also identify system malfunctions, allowing experts to respond immediately based on a campus’s protocols. Siemens can also conduct day to day administration of your system, completing tasks such as card administration, access control and reporting.
“Our access control offerings range from a simple hosted system where the customer can enroll users for the system themselves to a managed system where they don’t need to have a person trained on creating various door groupings and access levels in addition to enrolling users,” Mitchell says.
Mitchell also noted that some smaller customers simply want a hosted keyless entry system while other, larger customers go for the complete package of remote management offerings.
Whatever option you decide is right for your campus, Siemens can work with customers to incorporate a customized response, displaying school-specific standard operating procedures to minimize unstructured decision making during high-stress situations.
The range of offerings means customers working with Siemens can find the perfect amount of remote, cloud hosted solutions to maximize the efficiency of their campus operations while empowering officers to do the work that matters most. For more information on Siemens’ flexible cloud offerings, call 1-800-743-6367 or visit Siemens online at www.usa.siemens.com
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Campus Safety magazine is another great resource for public safety, security and emergency management professionals. It covers all aspects of campus safety, including access control, video surveillance, mass notification and security staff practices. Whether you work in K-12, higher ed, a hospital or corporation, Campus Safety magazine is here to help you do your job better!