The BBC

Iconic British brand invest in a complete security upgrade.

Pacific Fire and Security were delighted to be offered the contract for the security upgrade for the BBC, spanning across their nationwide portfolio.

 

The Project

Iconic British brand the BBC awarded the project of streamlining their security operations to Pacific Fire and Security at the beginning of 2019.

The portfolio had varying technology, with some systems being disparate legacy systems. The challenge posed here was changing these and thereafter unifying them to form one single interface. Before our work, the security solutions were not standardised and did not communicate with each other. This was extremely frustrating to the customer, they needed an enterprise class system, not an amalgamation of units put together over the years.

The systems themselves were also failing, at different rates, causing significant downtime for the client. For a brand as large as this, downtime was no longer an option, with significant security risks present it was important the system was changed quickly.

 

Unification Begins

The client wanted something that could easily pull everything, from every site, into one easily accessible interface. This interface had to suit the needs of the various end-users such as security teams, facilities etc. Pacific started the process with the specified enterprise-wide video management system (VMS) which all fed into leading solution Security Center 5.8 from Genetec. End users benefit from one-click operability, with an app that gives them control across many sites.

Pacific also installed over 420 new Mobotix cameras, utilising any existing cameras and integrating these with the new Genetec servers. Integration was done wherever appropriate to maximise budgets for the client- approximately 290 cameras were integrated over the course of the project. On board microphones and speakers were also integrated on a number of the cameras for public address purposes, with some sites using directional analytics and thermal lenses for extra perimeter coverage.

 

Equipment to suit

Pacific had to, with the help of Genetec and Mobotix, create a system that effectively met the needs of the thousands of people employed by the British Broadcaster.

Genetec software benefits the customer with the “Federation feature”, allowing the organisation to set the two main control centres in Manchester and London as operational hierarchies. This means they can remotely access not only other control rooms but the many sub sites around the UK. Central centres can receive all alarm and intercom calls, so reaction at all hours is now possible. Disaster recovery was a concern for the client, however now a remote team can step in if those on the ground are not able to. This gives the customer more than just surveillance capabilities, but also the chance to act upon issues in real time.

Mobotix cameras, such as the dual imaging units installed throughout the portfolio offer the client the chance of thermal imaging and perimeter control as well as high quality recording.

HD displays, with high resolution provide images that may be needed for identification of persons if required. With all cameras, intercoms and intruder panels integrated into the single platform, it is now far easier for security to navigate and monitor.

The system installed and all on-site equipment, is so scalable that future requests such as biometric readers can easily be unified into the platform. The client can now add whatever equipment they like, whenever they need to, thanks to the open and scalable nature of Genetec Security Center.

Conclusion

One of the primary goals of the project was to eliminate any obsolete CCTV hardware. The Proximex servers that were installed previously were running Windows XP and as such, were no longer supported. These were also deemed a security risk by the client’s own IT department.

The client wanted something unified, secure and the opportunity to stay abreast of future technological advancements.

Zac Short, Project Commissioning Manager for Pacific comments: “The upgrade to Genetec has the benefit of a natively hardened system, with a multitude of options to improve further. It even offers a hardening score as a guide to ensure the system is secure. Coinciding with the camera upgrade, the system now displays identification level image resolutions and with all cameras, intercoms and intruder panels integrated to a single platform security can navigate and monitor with far greater efficiency. It is a huge difference to how site used to operate and far more secure.”

Lee Williams, Managing Director for Pacific comments: “This has been one of my favourite projects to date and seeing what has been achieved is extremely rewarding. From the initial site survey to now, the difference is incredible. It’s also possible to keep going, whenever the client decides they would like to – we could at this stage, add in many other security features and technologies. Although the project was challenging at times, our fantastic working relationship with both Genetec and Mobotix helped enormously allowing us to remain flexible and work efficiently. We are thankful to both the lead suppliers, Genetec and Mobotix for their help throughout and look forward to the future with both brands.”

Thank you to all those involved in the project, Pacific received satisfaction from the client and look forward to the future.