Campus security has become a more prevalent issue in recent years as educational institutions are facing a number of security threats. The security system today has gone beyond the typical fire and burglar alarms. In fact reputed educational institutions are increasingly relying on CCTV and access control systems to provide greater security to their students and staff members.
Manipal University has always been at the forefront when it comes to leveraging the latest technology. According to T Mohandas Pai, Chairman, Manipal Global Education, “It is our intent to provide the best of facilities, study centers, broadband, food court and create a positive environment so that students can focus on their studies. And secured campus is an integral part of creating a high quality university.”
Manipal University Jaipur (MUJ) was launched under Manipal Education Group in 2011. The permanent campus of the university was set up on 122 acres of land at Dehmi Kalan village near Jaipur. MUJ has world-class infrastructure, including state-of-the-art research facilities and modern library.
An automated system
In line with Manipal University’s legacy of providing quality education, the university uses the latest and innovative methods and technology to impart education.
In such a scenario, the main concern of MUJ was to replace its existing manual security system with an automated one. The solution had to be available 24×7 and enhance the security cover of the University so that the large number of students both on the university campus and in the hostels felt safe.
Considering the various challenges of technology, network and business, needed to be met by a single provider with adequate domain expertise, MUJ zeroed in on Cisco Systems. “Cisco is the kind of aspirational company that goes well with our principles,” Mohandas Pai said.
The Cisco Physical Safety & Security solution provides Video Surveillance with rich analytics features for the campus, including indoor and outdoor applications, and integrates the command & control center with the existing IP Telephony solution. It has the capability to integrate with the Radio communication system (PTT Radios) used by security personnel.
Cisco’s network-centric video surveillance software and hardware support video transmission, monitoring, recording, and management. The video surveillance solution works with advanced features and functions of the IP network infrastructure-switches, routers, and other network security devices-to enable secure, policy-based access to live or recorded video. MUJ has added Cisco Video Surveillance solution on top of the existing Cisco Network Infrastructure.
A total of 423 cameras with Cisco Smart PSS solution was deployed across the campus. These were divided into 3 phases– Hostels, Admin block and Common areas. They installed 12 IR Enabled Bullet cameras in common areas to cover the entire area, 358 Cameras inside the Lifts and rest in Admin blocks with 720P resolutions to cover the entire campus. The cameras were designed to monitor all the important areas 24/7 with intelligence built-in, providing the much needed layer of security.
One big benefit of the solution was that the administration could monitor and manage instances of ragging, bullying and student movements considered as major issue in today’s universities. Service and support are integral to succeed with the deployment and operation. The partner was involved in the deployment, at each stage of the solution lifecycle, including in maintaining the network solution.
Cisco IP Based Surveillance Solution with remote monitoring capability has helped keep track of the campus helping MUJ become a smart campus. Solutions like PSS deployed are scalable and can be extended to all campuses because the solution is also way better than legacy physical security personnel.
The other solution, Cisco’s Advanced Video analytics solutions, runs at the edge level to create state-of-the art Campus surveillance solutions. These were configured on common areas, and few critical areas inside admin blocks to send alerts automatically to command center as a video pop-up and minimize the requirement of security personnel.
There is also an alert mechanism to send mails in case of unforeseen event happening to facility admin. Cisco Video Analytics consists of embedded software on video endpoints, such as IP cameras and offers users innovative ways to perform video analysis.
The software provides an intuitive interface and powerful tools to enable organizations to make the best use of their surveillance video. Analytics processing occurs on capable edge devices, providing a cost-effective method of deploying video analytics on the network.
The solution further simplifies operations and lowers costs by freeing up security personnel and therefore helps organizations use security resources more efficiently. The scalability and easy deployment eliminate the need to purchase additional analytics servers or storage resources, further reducing total cost of ownership.
“The Cisco IP -based surveillance solution has helped MUJ transform into a smart, safe and secure campus. Video analytics helps to proactively monitor and manage likely threats thus creating an environment of heightened safety to our students,” said Mohandas Pai.
The ‘Wow’ factor
There were a number of benefits on choosing Cisco. For example, Cisco physical security products support the vision for a single, unified security suite that enable integration with all security operations within the IP network. Also, a number of non-security applications are also supported.
Cisco offers the flexibility to mix equipment from multiple vendors to help MUJ capitalize on existing investments; including migration flexibility and interoperability among installed devices. This approach can help MUJ reduce the total cost of Ownership of the solutions and minimize the manned security personnel.
Cisco Video Surveillance solution is plug-and-play, and requires almost no additional management time. The ease of management further reduces total cost of ownership. In fact, one of the public safety officers learned how to change camera views without any involvement from IT.
The college IT team also appreciated the responsiveness of the Cisco support organization. The Cisco SMARTnet service provides access to the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) support and a guaranteed turnaround time for replacement parts. When TAC determined that a server needed a new hard drive, the replacement arrived the very next day, resolving the issue. According to a member of the IT team, “Experts on IP video surveillance are still fairly rare, and we have access to them through Cisco TAC.”
MUJ is seeing an increased RoI from the converged infrastructure. While standalone video surveillance systems can be costly to operate, maintain, integrate, and upgrade over time and become obsolete more quickly. Since Cisco’s video surveillance devices and applications interoperate with third-party products, there is no loss to MUJ’s initial investments in your current security system.
Purushottam Kaushik, Managing Director, Sales, Cisco India & SAARC said, “Enabling a safe campus takes diligent effort and Manipal University has taken necessary steps to plan, train the staff, and implement technology, which includes video surveillance and analytics that can provide a safe learning environment.”
A growing market
The global school and campus security market is expected to show a remarkable growth in the coming years. One of the major factors contributing to the growth of the campus security market is the increasing criminal cases and the increasing security concerns. According to TechNavio’s December 2014 report on global campus security, the research firm predicted that school and university spending on video surveillance and access control will be more than $1.1 billion by 2018, growing at a compound annual rate of 14.3% over the same time.
“As the number of attacks on schools has increased, so too has the need for technologically advanced security systems in schools and other educational institutions,” the researchers of the study claimed. “Students have become the soft targets for criminals and terrorists, and it becomes the responsibility of school authorities to be equipped with proper security solutions to minimize the risk of such attacks,” they said.
The availability of cost effective security systems, such as suveillance cameras and access control devices, are acting as a major driver for market growth, it said.
In the US alone, video surveillance accounts for nearly two-thirds (65%) of the market. The concept is fast catching up in other countries as well. According to Persistence Market Research, Asia-Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing segment due to the increasing criminal activities and security concerns in this region and with institutions such as Manipal University adopting such practices, the trend will accelerate in the coming years.