With all the advancements in building security, it might seem like you have to start from scratch to get a comprehensive security system. But that’s not always the case. The various third-party systems you already have installed can often be made to communicate with each other through a comprehensive systems integration plan. This systems integration enables you to achieve dramatic improvements in your security posture, while leveraging the technologies you already own and use today.
1 – Can Disparate Systems Talk?
The short answer is yes, they can. With systems integration, there’s often a misconception that the integration comes with limitations, such as using one specific manufacturer or technology. However, experienced systems integrators are able to connect disparate systems through 3rd party integration software options offered by many of the top security manufacturers in the industry today. What’s more, many security manufacturers strive to make their systems backwards compatible allowing for more robust solutions within the existing security software platform. And, other security manufacturers have open protocols which enable cross-brand communication. Once your disparate systems can communicate with each other, their inputs and outputs can be controlled and monitored via a single dashboard, providing proactive solutions and real-time information.
2 – Which Technologies Can Be Integrated?
Many communications and security technologies can be integrated regardless of manufacturer or model and can be monitored from a central dashboard. The most common integrations are made between these systems:
- Public Address and Intercom Systems
- Signage (Digital and LED)
- Video Surveillance Systems
- Access Control Systems
- Panic Buttons
- Mobile and PC Alerts and Communications
- Phone Systems
3 – What are Some Integration Examples?
Access Control Systems
- Access control systems can be connected to your intrusion and camera systems, creating a proactive notification system. Should a door be ajar or forced open, an automatic notification with live and prerecorded video can be sent to key administration personnel immediately. This can be on mobile devices and existing PC’s/MAC’s. This capability provides full supervision of your facilities in real-time.
- Lockdown systems can launch multiple systems from the single strike of a button. These include launching a prerecorded PA message, altering the access control system rights so only selected first responders and administrators can enter the facility, generating automatic notification to the police department, launching strobe lights throughout the facility, and sending text messages with mapping to indicate where the alarm was activated.
- Cameras feeds can be layered onto a visual facility map for continuous monitoring from the dashboard – both PC and mobile. During an alarm, first responders and facility leaders can bring up those cameras to see a live feed.
Intrusion Alarm systems
- Alarms can sound when doors are inappropriately opened. Door locks can be engaged from the dashboard or mobile device, or they can be engaged automatically depending upon the type of alarm that has been triggered.
- Strobes can be turned on, and digital and LED signage can display pre-determined or live messages, such as “Shelter in Place” or “Evacuate”.
- Loudspeakers can automatically launch pre-recorded messages, such as “Shelter in Place” or “Lockdown.”
Mobile and PC Notification
- Alerts can be sounded and displayed on all devices automatically. Live updates can be sent to all stakeholders.
4 – What’s Involved in Assessing My System?
Typically, a site walk through is the primary method for assessing your security system. Depending on the size and complexity of your current security system, this can take an hour to a half day. A preliminary feasibility plan can be provided upon completion of the site walk-through.