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Video security cameras are increasingly becoming an element of office network infrastructure. Just as telephones brought voices to our desks, now cameras are transmitting images to our computer screens. These Internet-connected cameras are quite different from those of the past.

Not just security

In years past, security cameras were associated with surveillance and secuity. Times have changed. Today, cameras are commonplace, more friendly, and more welcome than you think.

Today, employers are installing IP video cameras for the following reasons:

  • To provide safety in parking lots and garages
  • To prevent theft from storage areas and loading docks
  • To monitor cash drawers and monetary transactions
  • To observe behavior in waiting rooms
  • To deter vandalism and graffiti
  • To see who’s at the front door or other access point

Employees report that cameras provide them with a sense of security — a psychological benefit that is especially valued by staffers working face to face with unpredictable behavior from members of the public.

In comparison to hiring guards, security cameras are an inexpensive way to monitor large campuses — and to be all places at once. Schools, religious institutions and residential complexes, rehabilitation centers, and other facilities where constituent activity and occupancy is intermittent, and potentially sensitive, are finding it prudent to install cameras at strategic locations.

Alternative Technologies works with clients to place cameras where visual monitoring is desired. These IP video cameras can collect high definition video, record it, and stream it securely to any web browser. Cameras can be configured to trigger on motion. Most models also allow high quality still images (an advantage over VHS and other video formats). Many models can be controlled (pointed and focused) remotely, and programmed to trigger an email alert, page or cell phone call. Facility managers can then log in remotely, and securely, to view what is happening at the monitored location.

Alternative Technologies can connect your network to integrate all major brands of IP cameras, including:

  • Axis
  • ACTi
  • Panasonic
  • Sony
  • Exacq Technologies
  • OnSSI

An on-site consultation is always free of charge. To arrange a demo of an IP video camera system, send us an email or call 510-848-4411.

We couldn't make this up! image

Security Camera imageIn early 2011 we installed a camera near our server and stock room. Not long after, a spare key we kept hanging in an unobtrusive place went missing. We reviewed the motion-activated “tapes” and noticed an arm reaching in and taking the key of its hook.

No one recognized the arm. It was that of an intruder, who now had access to our office and stock room. Fortunately for us, we realized our security breach before any harm was done. We didn’t identify a suspect. However, we did change the lock and our policy regarding spare keys as a result of having a security camera monitoring our back entrance/server room area.

Interested in a camera? Email us

Not just security: Video Conferencing imageIn today’s work environment where we collaborate “closely” with colleagues across town, across the country and around the world, video conferencing is becoming commonplace.

Just a few years ago it was seen as expensive, but as airfares go up, and technology has come down in price, video conferencing is becoming a realistic alternative for even small offices.

If you have commercial-class broadband internet connection (Cable, T1 or T3), chances are you have network infrastructure to accommodate video conferencing.