Comprehensive Campus Solution Earns ESS an Integrated Installation of the Year Award
Management of a financial firm’s new state-of-the-art commercial complex has discovered nothing could be finer than to be engaged with one of the top integrators in the Carolinas.
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Ubiquitous disclaimers make it abundantly clear that all investment opportunities come with inherent risk. So imagine the delight when a company from within the investment world happened upon an actual, honest-to-goodness sure thing.
That’s how it played out for LPL Financial after receiving the payoff of a comprehensive, integrated security solution delivered professionally and painlessly by Enterprise Security Systems (ESS).
The Charlotte, N.C.-based integrator (founded 2001) was engaged to secure LPL’s new Fort Mill, S.C., campus composed of two separate buildings and a common six-floor parking deck.
LPL management’s desire was to provide inspired workplaces where the firm’s 3,000+ employees are empowered to do their best work. The grounds also include a full-service cafeteria with indoor and outdoor seating, a fitness center, and outdoor walking trails.
ESS and other project stakeholders were tasked with providing state-of-the-art solutions to ensure employee safety and security without the typical institutionally overt physical electronic security measures.
A concentric approach with an emphasis on aesthetics and functionality was paramount. Products were carefully chosen to blend with the architecture both inside and out.
From the Slim Line Boon Edam turnstiles and revolving doors to the Arecont Vision Microdome cameras, a high level of security was realized without compromising the beautifully designed spaces.
Find out much more about this high-return security investment that brought ESS the accolade of being an SSI Integrated Installation of the Year Award winner.
Winning Client’s Trust
LPL’s corporate security team along with its project consultants and general contractor were looking to partner with an experienced security integrator that had demonstrated a high level of competency with the facility’s legacy products as well as a strong reputation of serving other high profile customers in the Carolinas.
Another key requirement was engineering a standalone security network strictly isolated from LPL’s corporate LAN. ESS was referred by a local consulting firm it had established trust and credibility with on prior projects.
The integrator was able to engage early on in the design phase to add real-world expertise with the products and integrations desired.
ESS began collaboration at the 80% design review point and had the opportunity to offer recommendations and positively influence the other related trades in an effort to streamline the installation for all.
This allowed the project stake-holders to build trust and confidence in ESS in advance of the bid process.
ESS provided budgetary numbers for multiple revisions and ultimately submitted a final competitive bid after the 100% construction documents were released.
The integrator’s competence with security networks and cabling infrastructure was an essential element in this process.
ESS was also able to leverage many years of experience installing and servicing numerous Class A office spaces and working with large, high profile and discriminating clients.
The company has performed similar system integrations with Daimler Trucks North America both at its truck plants and Fort Mill, S.C., offices/datacenter employing similar technologies and manufacturers.
“The biggest challenge with a project of this scale and integration requirements is making sure that the various manufacturers you have chosen truly work as a fully integrated solution and you as the integrator have proven the desired functionality before it is sold and installed,” says ESS Senior Sales Engineer James MacQueen. “The other major hurdle is having to work under a tight deadline and ensuring you have sufficient project management time to cover all of the co-ordination and construction meetings.”
ESS was awarded the project as a sub-contractor under the general contractor, Shelco LLC, within one week of the bid opening.
Power of Prep Work
LPL Financial Equipment List
AMAG Symmetry Enterprise Access Control (3,000 cardholders, badging station)
- Symmetry Enterprise Version 8.1
- 51 AMAG Symmetry M2150 controllers with I/O & NIC option boards
- 142 HID iClass RP40 SE & RP10 SE readers
- 3 AMAG/Salient recording server appliances
- 85 Arecont Vision microdome cameras for fixed interior views
- 8 Arecont Vision IP panoramic cameras for exterior views
- 38 Samsung IP 1080p dome cameras for parking deck views to cover intercoms
- AMAG Symmetry Stentofon integration module and licenses
- 18 Stentofon Turbo stations at building entrances and parking deck intercoms
- 4 Stentofon Video Masters at guard desks
- 1 Stentofon Alphacom EX1 exchange server
- 12 Vigitron Vi2300A Ethernet PoE extenders
- 7 lanes of Swing Lane turnstiles entry to Lake and Park buildings
- 3 revolving door sets
- 2 LCD display consoles
- Unauthorized egress alarms
BCD Video Servers, Workstations & Network Switchgear
- AMAG Symmetry HP enterprise server
- 38 Antaira managed industrial hardened network PoE switches
- 10 BCD video HP workstations
- HP/Aruba campus LAN core switch chassis with PoE copper and fiber blades
- 42 LifeSafety Power dual voltage power supplies with enclosures built for AMAG 2150 Series controllers
- 11,000 feet of multimode 50 micron, armored fiber optics
- 22,000 feet of Cat-6 plenum-rated cable
ESS began onsite project management in October 2015, followed by technical manpower beginning the following month. Total cost of installation to the customer was in excess of $1.5 million.
Prior to any onsite work, ESS project management created extensive documentation reflecting all of the system details; labeling, IP addressing, equipment make/model, locations, descriptions, door schedule designations and camera mounting specifics, meticulous site plans, floorplans and detailed shop drawings.
This enabled the integrator to efficiently collaborate with Shelco, project consultants and LPL’s security administrators. ESS technical staff performed various mockups prior to delivering the equipment to the project, a considerable amount of time and frustration savings was realized by preprogramming and labeling many of the field components.
The database server was also preconfigured in the lab and thoroughly tested prior to commissioning onsite. Both buildings were to be equipped with exterior HD cameras, card access-controlled doors and intercoms, while the parking deck was to be outfitted with numerous HD cameras and emergency help point intercoms.
“We evaluated the electronic door hard-ware and helped determine the proper application for conduit and cable pathways,” says Operations Manager Clint Crosston. “Working closely with the electrical, interior door and exterior glass door subcontractors during the final phases proved to be very valuable and helped avoid mistakes, duplications and creep of scope.”
As per specifications, ESS employed AMAG Technology’s Symmetry Enterprise as the head-end for the access control, video and intercom systems.
“As one of the largest and most experienced AMAG dealers in the Carolinas, we felt confident we would achieve success with the project based upon prior experience and the strong team of AMAG certified technicians on staff,” says ESS President Kurt Kottkamp. “Shelco did an excellent job managing the project by keeping all of the subcontractors communicating and collaborating during the entire process, and responding to issues rapidly.”
Kottkamp also credits LPL’s corporate security team for attending the construction meetings and making sure specific needs were addressed while adhering to the timeline for commissioning and training.
Vendor Ties Prove Vital
ESS leveraged its vendor relationships as part of what it calls its Tier One Partners (TOPs) program to bring to bear assurance of consistently high performance at LPL Financial.
As part of that, all ESS’s field technicians maintain current certifications from every manufacturer’s products used at LPL. This level of expertise was paramount in delivering a truly integrated solution.
Highlights of that solution include the AMAG management platform; Arecont Vision and Samsung (now Hanwha) surveillance cameras; Salient recorders; BCD video servers; Stentofon call stations; HID Global access readers; Boon Edam turnstiles; and LifeSafety Power power supplies.
The security management systems at LPL are designed to be monitored locally onsite in the security operations center by a contract guard service that includes individuals who sit at consoles and those who patrol 24/7.
“AMAG has done an excellent job integrating with third-party platforms allowing a very intuitive user interface that creates efficiencies,” says MacQueen. “This means users can research an event and/or respond to an emergency in real-time without having to navigate through multiple applications.”
Among myriad responsibilities associated with the project, ESS was also tasked with continuing to support the AMAG controllers within the three original LPL buildings in Charlotte that were to be decommissioned over a period of three months from completion of the new facility.
“This was challenging as the card-holder database needed to be managed and maintained to assure continued corporate-wide security,” says Crosston.
Meanwhile ESS worked closely with the local AHJ, fire alarm vendor and the Division 8 door vendor to ensure safety and code compliance were achieved at all egress points.
By integrating the fire alarm and emergency command systems, the integrator applied the inherent safety inputs within the Boon Edam revolving doors, allowing safe egress in the event of a fire alarm or any building emergency.
Befriending GC & IT
As discussed, ESS worked very closely with LPL corporate security staff early on and throughout the progress of the project to make sure expectations were met and that the client was aware of additional applicable feature sets.
According to Kottkamp, the most difficult aspects of the job were managing the very tight deadline to commission and train the customer before LPL took occupancy.
“Any accelerated construction schedule on a project of this scope presents a multitude of issues,” he says. “Multiple dependencies with related trades posed the greatest risk. Fortunately, Shelco did an amazing job coordinating and documenting the progress of the project, making sure there was open communication between the subcontractors and the other trades they would be impacting.”
For ESS’s Crosston, it was a foregone conclusion early on that this project would consume 90%-100% of his time if ESS was to deliver on schedule.
“Typically, projects of this size with all of the various integrations and components can easily become a monumental burden for the technicians and PM to deliver on time and 100% complete by the target date,” he says. “The ESS team pushed through when needed by working overtime and on weekends when necessary.”
ESS also had to overcome difficult barriers presented by IT and their concerns with cybersecurity protection, along with helping to establish a standard of “best practices” for installation of all applicable devices, associated software, the security network and ongoing service and maintenance.
“Building IT’s trust across the organization took a great deal of time and handholding from a sales perspective as they had a low expectation of systems integrators from poor prior experiences,” says Kottkamp.
End User Is Ecstatic
LPL stakeholders are elated with the security solution and expressed complete satisfaction by having ESS provide numerous system enhancements since the completion. A great relationship was established with ESS as a trusted advisor and partner.
“We are amazed that there have been so few service calls or problems since the commissioning, almost unheard of for a system as complex as ours,” says LPL V.P., Corporate Security Kevin Cliff. “ESS demonstrated professionalism, competence and caring every step of the way.”
BEST OF THE BEST: Check out the rest of the winners and runners-up here!
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