31 May Lessons in scalable enterprise security
Majmaah University in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
In a fast-changing security Landscape, the ability to easily scale network surveillance, remote monitoring and a rapid response across the enterprise is a growing challenge. Here we share some Lessons from the education sector on how a Leading Saudi Arabian university is benefiting from a future-proof, integrated approach, built on the Latest technologies from IDIS to minimise risk while keeping a tight control on costs
Across all areas of industry, fierce competition, increasingly complex organisational structures and rising risks are putting ever more pressure on security resources. The higher education sector is no exception. Today’s universities operate in a highly commercial global market where maintaining a duty of care and reputation for safety is vital to long-term business success. With that in mind, when the security team at Majmaah University in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia needed to upgrade protection for students, staff and visitors, it wanted a centralised enterprise solution it could depend on to be scalable, future-proof and highly cost-effective.
Rising to the university challenge
The university was founded in 2009 as part of a state-sponsored Ministry of Education initiative to expand university education in the Kingdom, boost the number of graduates in the country and create more provision for high quality scientific research and development. The main university headquarters and campus is in Al Majmaah, a city of 130,000 people about 180km north of Riyadh. However, the university serves a much wider area including Zulfi, Remah, Ghat and Hawtat Sudair, with campus sites located almost 50km apart. Teaching and research is delivered through 13 academic schools while another 20 buildings across multiple sites provide accommodation for the colleges, administration, deanships and medical services.
Majmaah University turned to regional security systems integrator Digital Media, to scope a 24/7 HD surveillance system. Criteria included centralised control, reliable remote monitoring and full redundancy for key facilities, plus excellent image quality, rapid video retrieval and optimised use of network bandwidth. Additional requirements included compatibility of all surveillance systems; simple plug-and-play deployment; video management software; ease of use; live and simultaneous video playback; simultaneous map monitoring; minimal maintenance; plus, user-friendly diagnostic, administration and reporting capabilities.
Cost-effective HD surveillance
Having explored a wide range of options, the university chose a solution built on the !DIS Solution Suite (ISS). Based on an IP framework, it delivers a fully integrated network HD video surveillance solution including IP cameras, network video recorders and client software as a complete package. Embodying in-depth IDIS expertise, the solution combines powerful features and functionality with exceptional flexibility to scale from small businesses to complex multisite enterprises.
With a modular range of options and simple cost structure, the 155 package can be readily tailored to meet precise specifications. For smaller enterprises, notable benefits include an intuitive GUI for installers unfamiliar with IT networks, plus powerful recording features. For more substantial requirements like those at Majmaah University, IDIS Solution Suite Expert provides a general purpose network video recording application designed to fulfil a wide range of requirements without the hassle of complicated licensing structures.
A comprehensive mix of networked systems was installed at campus sites in Majmaah, Hawtat Sudair and Alghat. Equipment includes: 336 pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ), box, dome and infra-red bullet cameras; 18 network video recorders (NVRs); and a suite of 155 Expert servers and clients. The solution also leveraged a network of 16 distributed antenna systems. The new command centre at Majmaah was fully equipped with control systems including an IDIS Software Solution (ISS) video wall and 512CH federation server to provide centralised monitoring across the multiple campus sites.
Robust protection guaranteed With two layers of monitoring, robust protection is guaranteed. Each college benefits from its own monitoring via both the 155 Expert and 155 client. In addition, additional monitoring for each college is managed from the main head office monitoring centre via the 155 federation server and video wall. The solution is therefore delivering much more than basic surveillance. Robust communication channels between each satellite campus site and head office enables the university to take advantage of specialist event management features and reporting. For instance, the university security team now has access to a rich range of innovative features to proactively manage all its video monitoring needs and link them to a back-end event management platform.
Ultra-customisable features can be formatted to suit specific operator and analyst priorities, so facilitating more efficient monitoring and analysis of real-time events and recorded video data. Furthermore, by leveraging the network of distributed antenna systems, the IDIS solution ensures that coverage is optimised while minimising power consumption, so reducing the cost of ownership.
Enhanced enterprise safety
Following a smooth, swift installation by Digital Media, the IDIS solution is providing cost-effective surveillance to improve campus safety and protection. It has delivered superior performance, dynamic multi-stream control and multiview functionality to minimise bandwidth usage – all at a low total cost of ownership.
The general manager of Digital Media, Mr Ahmed Dahi, said: “Major advantages included the reliable redundancy capabilities to minimise network congestion, failover features to prevent service disruption and one-touch focus rapid response cameras. Also, userfriendly software enables the university’s in-house team to easily manage monitoring, playback and reporting from any network device.”
The security manager at Majmaah University added: “Thanks to Digital Media’s expert implementation of the IDIS solution, we can more easily maintain high quality security and provide peace of mind for our students, faculty members, staff and visitors, therefore enhancing the educational environment and supporting our strategic aims.”
Prepared for the future
Building on the positive results to date, Majmaah is looking to significantly expand the solution later this year. Its reach will be extended to several additional sites across the estate, including Majmaah University College of Applied Medical Science at Al Zulfi and to a number of residential centres. This will include a further 234 cameras (a mix of PTZ, box, dome and IR bullet models); 9 NVRs; several 155 Expert SCH units; and a range of associated infrastructure.
Beyond this, whatever the future brings, the IDIS approach is ensuring that Majmaah University is fully equipped to scale its enterprise security to suit all of its requirements for the foreseeable future. This in turn will continue to deliver cost and efficiency benefits while enhancing its reputation as a safe, secure organisation and protecting its commercial interests and enhancing its reputation as an organisation where student safety comes first.
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