The Perks of IP Video

By Megan Gates

With more than 20,000 stores globally, Starbucks Coffee Corporation has grown enormously since it opened its first store in Seattle’s Pike Place Market in 1971. While the company has excelled at turning out perfect cups of coffee and expanding its empire across the globe, making sure that its video monitoring system keeps up with company needs has been more challenging.

“We went through a pretty rapid growth curve at Starbucks, where we were opening [around] 1,200 stores a year,” says Sean Dettloff, senior manager of physical security solutions for Starbucks. Each new store received new equipment, but over time it became outdated because there wasn’t a life-cycle-management program.

The older equipment didn't allow for multiple users to access cameras in stores for review or automatically notifying the Starbucks security team if a camera wasn’t functioning.

“We were only as aware of our system as what was being reported to us in the field,” Dettloff explains. “So if a store manager said ‘I have a broken DVR, or a broken camera,’ then we’d be able to fix it.” But the system did not make it easy to monitor which cameras were offline in a proactive way through central reporting. The issue was brought to management’s attention, and it was agreed that a new solution was needed, Dettloff says.

Security began reaching out to vendors to learn about their video monitoring systems. They were looking for a product that could handle a large enterprise like Starbucks, that had excellent central reporting and enterprise management capability, and that was scalable. After getting information back from numerous providers and testing products, Starbucks chose the Security Center with Omnicast IP video management system (VMS) by Genetec, Inc., of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Security Center manages video surveillance on a single open platform that allows users to incorporate solutions, such as video analytics systems and business management systems, from other vendors who’ve formed partnerships with Genetec. This open platform can then be accessed by authorized users from a main security center or remotely from any device through an Internet portal.



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