When stepping up to large commercial/industrial projects it becomes much more than just being a security provider — it is about being a complete partner. While that may seem a bit cliché, it really is true, never more so than today when systems are evermore complex and necessitate working more closely with clients’ security, IT and facility personnel. Idesco’s recent IP video installation at Adelphi University in Long Island, N.Y., vividly illustrates this dynamic.
This particular project flies in the face of prevailing economic trends as it combines the most in-demand new security technology with one of the hottest markets — educational institutions. Not so coincidentally, those also happen to be two specialties of Idesco, a New York-based systems integrator that opened its doors more than 65 years ago. As Integration Engineer Greig Silver explains, a lot was riding on the Adelphi job.
“This was a first entry for Adelphi into IP systems,” he says. “They are being carefully watched by sister institutions across Long Island that will be judging this new technology based on Adelphi’s experiences and satisfaction. That put a great deal of pressure on us to get it right.”
Having built a new sports complex and in the process of further expansion, Adelphi’s stakeholders planned to phase out an existing DVR-based system and bring all cameras into central storage over the campus’ network. Although the school’s roots trace back to 1863 and its campus is nestled in peaceful surroundings, officials sought the latest in high-tech security and the other benefits it can bring.
“Adelphi University’s Garden City campus remains one of the safest campuses in the country,” says Gene Palma, Adelphi’s executive director of Public Safety and Transportation. “The university has always been proactive in implementing the latest security technology to better serve the university community in the event of an unfortunate incident. These systems are useful for crowd management, maintaining the security of our buildings and extending the reach of our staff.”
The project — which included the 75-acre campus’ performing arts center, early childhood learning center, parking facility and soccer field — had to be done unobtrusively and aesthetically to maintain the decorum befitting an institute of higher learning. Universities also have the built-in challenges of contending with faculty, staff, students, vendors and visitors. To meet its client’s needs, Idesco teamed up with several leading suppliers and subcontractor Com Bell to deploy a solution featuring more than 50 IP cameras.
Networking Helps Get Network Job
As a third-generation family operated business that began as an ID card supplier, Idesco has spent six decades building a highly respected track record. But it was someone on the inside who provided the inside line on the Adelphi project. The integrator had developed a strong relationship with New York University (NYU) after completing several dozen projects incorporating video, access control, ID management and alarms throughout its widespread campus. When one of Idesco’s main contacts at NYU left and became involved with the new construction at Adelphi, he invited one of his favorite integrators to participate in the bidding process.
“Knowing that the new technologies we planned to deploy required specific expertise he [Adelphi Associate Director of Public Safety and Transportation Robert Hughes] invited Idesco to join the mix of vendors proposing systems and solutions for our projects,” says Palma. “He had worked extensively with Idesco during his tenure at NYU, and knew they were capable of supplying the systems needed and meeting the tight deadlines involved.”
Along with other potential vendors, Idesco submitted its bid and worked with Adelphi on revisions to fine-tune the requirements, meet budget goals and build in future-proofing. It quickly became clear that it would be a very collaborative effort given Adelphi’s level of security sophistication. The university’s existing life-safety and security systems included card access, ID management, fire alarms, panic and duress alarms, emergency call boxes, and emergency notification.
“They knew the kind of coverage they needed, and relied on us to guide them in using newer technologies to achieve their goals,” says Silver. “We managed to meet their needs in sheer camera numbers, improve on the quality of video for both live monitoring and recordings, and supply a head-end with significant room for growth and expansion at a competitive price.”
An additional factor working in Idesco’s favor was that it shared a common relationship with Com Bell. “We have relied on Com Bell for our network installations for several years, and discovering that Idesco had also worked with them on other projects was a definite plus,” adds Palma.
Ultimately, Idesco’s mutual professional associations, design expertise and responsiveness won Adelphi over and an agreement was finalized in January 2008.
The integrator was tasked with the challenge of coordinating with the general contractor’s overall construction schedule to complete the project prior to classes starting in late August while hitting various targets along the way. This necessitated a delicate balancing of communication and planning to satisfy both Adelphi’s and the GC’s requirements.
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