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Slick System Secures Oil Company

With the price of barrels hitting record highs, it’s a good time to be in the oil business. Just ask Convergint Technologies, which benefited from serving a major petroleum industry client that viewed having the best possible security solution as being ...



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With the price of barrels hitting record highs, it’s a good time to be in the oil business. Just ask Convergint Technologies, which benefited from serving a major petroleum industry client that viewed having the best possible security solution as being priceless.  Tony Varco, vice president of Convergint’s security division, explains: “In late 2007, one of the world’s largest independent energy companies, Hunt Oil Co., opened a new 14-story, high-tech headquarters in Dallas. The company needed a security solution capable of integrating many disparate systems such as access control, intrusion and duress, and video surveillance.”

The Schaumburg, Ill.-headquartered integrator prevailed over four other major firms invited by Hunt and its security consultant, Kroll, to present their concepts. Convergint Technologies was awarded the $1.3 million, 18-month project due to its proven ability to design, install and support stable, flexible and cost-effective security solutions.

The results not only thrilled the end user but also convinced SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION’s judges to select Convergint as runner-up for the 2008 Integrated Installation of the Year Award. Discover how Convergint delivered a reliable system to safeguard Hunt’s people and property that can scale as the organization grows. 

Drilling Down Into the System

“Our solution was built on an open architecture platform to enable seamless integration with an expandable suite of proprietary or third-party functions and technologies,” says Varco. “Best-of-breed access control, visitor management, duress, IP video and other systems were integrated with a dedicated virtual LAN to provide flexibility and simplify client administration.”

The video surveillance solution features Lenel video analytics and centralized storage supported by RAID-5 network video recorders (NVRs) with hot swappable hard disks. “More than 150 [Axis] IP cameras were initially installed, including several megapixel pan/tilt/zoom and fixed-dome cameras,” says Varco. “To complement the décor of the facility, many camera casings were customized to match wall coverings or woodwork.” 

The entire security network is monitored 24/7 from an advanced security operations center (SOC) featuring innovative “virtual windows” created by the transmission of real-time images captured by megapixel cameras to high-definition Sony LCD monitors inside the SOC.

The access control system’s features include password-protected touchscreen controllers that utilize programmable logic circuits for control of various doors — giving one-touch access to security staff to manage key access points. The building’s duress system is integrated with the VLAN and includes multiple panic buttons. Contactless HID smart-card badges provide interoperability in applications such as physical and logical access control, credentialing, cashless vending transactions and biometric identification. The system ensures security with redundant authentication between card and reader through encrypted data transfer. High-definition Fargo card printing provides another layer of security.

Full-height Smarter Security optical glass turnstiles in the main lobby maintain aesthetics yet effectively control traffic. Turnstile tailgate detection notifies the SOC if an unauthorized individual follows an authorized person. Metal detectors are used in times of heightened security and X-ray equipment scans packages before they’re distributed.

Parking garage security and safety features include mounted automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) and high-visibility Code Blue emergency phone towers. A long-range Trans Core access reader scans RFID toll tags of entering vehicles.

Oil’s Well That Ends Well

The Hunt job presented Convergint Technologies with many challenges, particularly during the facility’s construction phase. “As with any large project involving multiple vendors, slowdowns in one area mean having to put in a lot of man-hours to finish one time, resulting in staffing issues,” says Varco. “We also had to interface with other trades that were outside our scope of work.”

Additionally, the biometrics readers proved to be especially troublesome to integrate. However, Convergint did not become a $120 million company with an annual average growth rate of 50 percent since 2002 (a year after its founding) without learning how to contend with just about any obstacle.

“We overcame the challenges through project management, coordination and communication,” says Varco. That dedication to exceed expectations paid off in the form of a “very satisfied” client, as stated by Roger Martin, manager of Security Services for Hunt. 


Article Topics
Video Surveillance · Access Control · Fire/Life Safety · Systems Integration · Fire/Life Safety 2 · Biometrics · Convergint Technologies · Features · IP Video · LAN · Megapixel Cameras · All Topics

About the Author
Scott Goldfine
Scott joined SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in October 1998 and has distinguished himself by producing award-winning, exemplary work. His editorial achievements have included blockbuster articles featuring major industry executives, such as Tyco Electronic Products Group Managing Director Gerry Head; Protection One President/CEO Richard Ginsburg; former Brink’s Home Security President/CEO Peter Michel; GE Interlogix President/CEO Ken Boyda; Bosch Security Systems President/CEO Peter Ribinski; and former SecurityLink President/CEO Jim Covert. Scott, who is an NTS Certified alarm technician, has become a respected and in-demand speaker at security industry events, including presentations at the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) Annual Meeting; California Alarm Association (CAA) Summer and Winter Conferences; PSA Security Network Conference; International Security Conference and Exhibition (ISC); and Security Industry Association (SIA) Forum. Scott often acts as an ambassador to mainstream media and is a participant in several industry associations. His previous experience as a cable-TV technician/installer and running his own audio company -- along with a lifelong fascination with electronics and computers -- prepared Scott well for his current position. Since graduating in 1986 with honors from California State University, Northridge with a degree in Radio-Television- Film, his professional endeavors have encompassed magazines, radio, TV, film, records, teletext, books, the Internet and more. In 2005, Scott captured the prestigious Western Publisher Maggie Award for Best Interview/Profile Trade for "9/11 Hero Tells Tale of Loses, Lessons," his October 2004 interview with former FDNY Commander Richard Picciotto, the last man to escape the Ground Zero destruction alive.
Contact Scott Goldfine: sgoldfine@ehpub.com
View More by Scott Goldfine
Biometrics, Convergint Technologies, Features, IP Video, LAN, Megapixel Cameras, Network Video Recorders


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