"The Dummies’ Guide to Remote Monitoring"

BY: admin_opgroup

7 August, 2017


A little knowledge of what remote monitoring is, how to best achieve it and who to turn to for sound advice can result in cost savings and tangible security improvements for your business or construction site.

Remote monitoring of surveillance systems (CCTV) and access control (barriers and gates), from a central alarm receiving centre or other locations is, confusingly, often described through the all-encompassing term, Remote Video Monitoring (RVM). In the past fifteen years, RVM has become a niche discipline within the world of security and has encroached significantly upon the more traditional methods of security such as manned guarding, security patrols and other physical presences. It is a force to be reckoned with and this short article sets out to arm you with some fundamental information so that one can speak with a degree of authority on the subject.

The adoption of remote monitoring to solve both corporate and industrial security needs reflects the development of the technology required to support the concept, but perhaps it also holds a mirror up to society’s collective appetite for entrusting machines to undertake mission critical work, or entrusting computers to handle our sensitive data. From a technology standpoint, the first CCTV cameras, which rolled out commercially in the 1970’s to high risk institutions such as banks, were quite unsophisticated…fast forward twenty years and by the mid-nineties many CCTV systems were internet ready out of the box. Today, it is almost a given that if your CCTV or access control system was installed in the past ten years, it will be instantly compatible with a modern Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC), and this will allow Optiwatch, one of the foremost suppliers of RVM to simply ‘plug and play’. In doing so, they will be able to swiftly commence active monitoring of the safety and security of your interests.

There are two strands to the RVM service Optiwatch provides. The first strand is the company’s ‘Virtual Security Guarding Service’, in which professional and qualified staff in the Optiwatch ARC proactively perform regular patrols of your premises or construction site to ensure that no criminal activity especially, trespass, vandalism, theft or arson is committed. To this end, Optiwatch works with customers to develop a tailored assignment instruction which will include things such as the frequency and types of virtual patrols to be conducted as well as the measures to take in response to a viewed event.

Systems can be hard wired, or wireless for ease and portability. By including a public address or small speaker rig into the system, Optiwatch’s operators can use microphones to talk to suspected perpetrators, issuing stern warnings to them that authorities are watching them, and advising them to leave the vicinity. This approach serves as an excellent deterrent and can often stop crimes before they are committed.

The second strand of Optiwatch’s RVM service is the response to alarm activations. To achieve this and ensure that security cameras (or access control systems) invoke the required alarms into the Optiwatch ARC, there is a certain amount of equipment that is required client side. Most critically, this includes a need to incorporate intelligent PIR sensors, or through-the-lens alarms, which are placed around all of the high-risk areas of a site. These instantly transmit alarms in the event of a security breach.    

The cost savings to be had from utilising your existing security system and integrating Optiwatch’s monitoring solutions into it are appealing to say the least. This is because Optiwatch’s monitoring packages begin for as a little as £1.50 per hour. Compare this against the price of a physical, human presence and the proposition is even more attractive, and for a business or a company that previously used 24/7 security guarding, the savings could be more than £60,000 per annum!

If your site does not already have a CCTV or access control system in place, you may sit back and relax, comfortable in the knowledge that Optimum partners with numerous top-tier equipment manufacturers. Optiwatch can design and install a system for you with the help of their highly respected systems manufacturers, which include HIKVision, QVS, Dahua and Bold Communications. Extensive quality tests are undertaken in collaboration with these manufacturers and guarantees are provided to the client as to the efficacy of the products which are installed to the end user’s premises in the event of a genuine system failure or malfunction.

If an RVM scheme does not achieve desired outcomes, the questions of exactly how effective remote monitoring is and what it can achieve are important ones. Fortunately, Optiwatch are longstanding operators in this field, with a wealth of knowledge and experience in full equipment design and installation, alongside integration with their customers’ existing systems, so they ensure from the outset that any proposed solution really addresses client requirements, resulting in positive outcomes every time.

Unlike many organisations who offer monitoring solutions, Optiwatch maintain and operate their own dedicated ARC (alarm receiving centre). This alone makes a significant difference when it comes to speed of response, collaboration with emergency services and all-round maintenance of high security levels. Optiwatch’s alarm receiving centre is the hub of it’s monitoring operations and the solutions provided. It is accredited and approved as part of the company’s wider ISO 9001 standard.  It is manned by fully qualified operators around the clock and is supported by a fleet of mobile response vehicles who are on standby to investigate any alarm activations, immediately. To facilitate this, the company provide both keyholding and alarm response, so outside of core business hours, when you are unlikely to wish to be the first point of call, Optiwatch will respond and investigate on your behalf, producing a full executive report and / or contacting you in the event of a serious security breach.

So, there we have it, The Dummies’ Guide to Remote Video Monitoring. The concept is remarkably simple really and very commonplace in today’s security world, so if you have not yet investigated the possibilities it could deliver, perhaps now is the time. You see, when handled by a conscientious and professional company such as Optiwatch, the results of RVM will be outstanding and address the needs of all stakeholders in your organisation. Beware of substandard imitators who have neither the experience nor the approach to make it positive step for your company. Optiwatch boasts exacting clients such as Kier Group, Galliford Try, Lovell and Wates Construction, to name but a few – proof positive that they deliver on budget, on time and to expectations. Perhaps now is the time to contact Optiwatch to arrange an informal chat…