June 6, 2018

For many years now if you wanted to install cameras to monitor your business you would purchase a NVR/DVR run some cabling and deploy the cameras in the preferred areas.  There would be a monitor connected with a video wall of all the cameras displayed and maybe even the capability to connect to the NVR/DVR over the network or even remotely over the internet with your mobile device.  An incident would occur and you would then pull up the recorded footage and begin searching through minutes or even hours of footage hoping to find a segment of video helping to show the incident in question.

The traditional security camera solutions pose some challenges.  The cost of the video storage for the NVR/DVR goes up significantly with the addition of each camera.  You may end up having to purchase multiple storage devices as your coverage needs increase and add new cameras.  Having this footage stored at one central location also puts you at risk for a single point of failure or having the device itself stolen and losing the recorded video.   These devices also run software that commonly is never updated after the initial install.  Years go by and these devices connected to the internet for remote viewing become targets for attacks of malware and entry points into your network.

BIG recently deployed a new security offering from Cisco Meraki at our Corporate Headquarters and are highly recommending this solution to clients as well based on performance.  These security cameras offer HD-Quality video, centralized cloud management, local storage, optimized retention, motion search, and are available in both indoor and outdoor models.

Each camera has its own self-contained storage so there is no single point of failure.  The storage is optimized based on custom storage plans focused around schedules, video quality, and motion based retention.  Camera firmware is always up to date.  These updates and bug fixes are always pushed out as part of the active license subscription.

Access to the system can be controlled at various levels.  You can create user accounts for view only access to a specific set of cameras or give users additional access to export footage.  Each user can even customize their own video wall.  Additional security for remote access can be enabled by turning on two factor authentication.

One of BIG’s favorite features of the system is the motion based search.  This allows you to select an area of the video feed to search for past activity.  For example, let’s say you had a tool stolen from a job site, or even a piece of equipment, a laptop at the office or a cell phone off a desk.  The solution allows you to select the camera for that area and select the area in question.  Immediately all the footage that involved movement in that area would appear in the timeline.  You can zoom out to longer time windows by just pressing the plus or minus buttons and select to play the selections of your choice.  Once you find the video that you want you can easily export it or take a screenshot.

Meraki continues to add features to the cameras that get pushed out with firmware updates.  Some recent example of this are the video analytics including motion heatmaps to show high traffic areas in your business and people detection as part of its machine learning based computer vision to determine unique identities and count people in an area over time.

To find out more about the Cisco Meraki Solution or How to Get a Free Trial contact BIG at https://bigtechstage.wpengine.com/contact/