The Vox Telecom Group has expanded its telecoms portfolio to include remote security monitoring under the name Guardian Eye, says Jacques du Toit of Vox Orion, the first company within the group to launch the service.
"We realised that almost all our customers using the Vox Cristal network are paying for bandwidth capacity they hardly use at night," says Du Toit. "Using that spare capacity to monitor security systems turned out to be a good deal for everyone."
Guardian Eye enables trained control room agents at a secure site in Gauteng to monitor many customer sites at the same time, says Du Toit. "Well-placed video cameras that are actively monitored can cover a site much more effectively than a security guard on foot. We also link up a range of secondary motion detectors on the site, so we can use a 'double knock' system to limit false alarms. If both a motion detector and a camera report movement, a monitor can zoom in and see instantly what's happening."
Direct contact with armed response
Guardian Eye control room agents can liaise directly with armed response companies to co-ordinate operations, adds Du Toit. "If there's a genuine intrusion we notify the armed response company and can continue giving them accurate information about what the situation is on site. We can also remotely open gates to allow them access, and because they know it's not a false alarm they're more likely to get there quickly."
Video output is recorded to evidence-quality standards and an incident management system is part of the package. "We work with each customer to develop a response plan and there's always an incident report on the appropriate person's desktop by the next morning. As a secondary benefit Guardian Eye can also monitor on-site security staff and the performance of response companies. Some installations even enable control room staff to stream voice back to loudspeakers on site so they can deliver verbal warnings to intruders.