SES Takes Home an Integrated Installation of the Year Award for Wells Fargo Solution
Securitas Electronic Security’s expertise in security integration and design is brought to bear in a complex solution for Wells Fargo’s twin-tower offices in downtown Minneapolis.
Every industry needs security for its facilities, but few sectors have needs as critical as the financial realm.
Banks are trusted with extensive and sensitive client data — and of course their monetary assets. Few banks hold as much of that trust as Wells Fargo, a leader in banking, mortgage, investing, credit card and consumer financial services.
The company has more than 8,600 locations and 13,000 ATMs, and its $1.9 trillion in assets ranks third among U.S. banks. Clearly, Wells Fargo has much to protect.
That is why the company makes security a foundational concern and utmost priority, which is reflected in every one of its new construction projects.
So when the firm built a 17-story, 1.1 million square-foot twin-tower facility in downtown Minneapolis for 5,000 employees and other commercial businesses, the need arose to have a complex system installed to secure the adjoined buildings.
Wells Fargo decision-makers chose to partner with a leader in security installation and integration — Securitas Electronic Security (SES).
Formerly Diebold Security, SES is among the business pillars of the industry’s largest pure-play providers and offers a full portfolio of intrusion, fire, video, access and integrated systems.
The firm’s services include monitoring, maintenance, inspection, managed, hosted, embedded and online services, and more. SES was a partner Wells Fargo could bank on.
“SES’s centralized, programmatic approach to project delivery and well-established expertise in navigating the complexities of working within construction environments offered Wells Fargo the highly synchronized process and proven experience they were looking for in a security partner to take on this significant, high visibility project,” says SES President and SSI Industry Hall of Famer Tony Byerly. “The result is a state-of-the-art, streamlined security program for the twin-towers complex and a solid Wells Fargo partnership with SES.”
Indeed the collaborative creativity between Wells Fargo as knowledgeable security client and SES as proven security provider in complex construction environments proved an ideal match.
The result of that union generated a project worthy of being named SSI’s 2017 Integrated Installation of the Year winner in the Large Company category.
“We are proud to be acknowledged by the industry for outstanding security project design and our systems integration competencies,” says SES President and SSI Industry Hall of Famer Tony Byerly. “We truly appreciate the opportunity to partner with leading companies like Wells Fargo.”
Find out how SES pulled off this award-winning $3 million project and aced the Integrated Installation of the Year criteria of innovation; systems design; integration of at least three electronic systems; seamlessness of installation; uniqueness of application; ease of operation; and end-user satisfaction.
Busy Building Challenges
A facility of this magnitude warrants comprehensive security. Those standards were impacted by the site’s location. In downtown Minneapolis, because of the cold winters, buildings are connected to one another by indoor walkways and common spaces.
The idea is that pedestrians can traverse the neighborhood without stepping out into frigid temperatures. Wells Fargo’s new complex is one of these connected buildings.
It is accessible to the public from several buildings, including the stadium of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. The dense and sporadic pedestrian crowds created by Minneapolis’ foot traffic only exacerbate the importance to monitor public space and guard restricted areas.
C.J. Dailey, vice president installation operations, SES, understood that the facility’s location accentuated the need for Wells Fargo’s stakeholders to procure a complex integrated system to protect the enterprise as well as its clients.
“These buildings are very exposed to the public,” says Dailey. “When it comes to a security strategy for this facility, it’s something Wells Fargo had to think about extensively. You have a lot of people walking into a large financial institution — and through multiple points.”
Because Wells Fargo has high and efficient company standards for security, the financial institution was able to design much of the twin towers plan prior to opening the bidding process.
At that point, the client engaged SES and other security companies in a series of in-person meetings to go through specifics and anticipate any potential alterations.
In the proposal development stage, SES learned that Wells Fargo was concerned with the number of man-hours the project would create onsite.
Too many people there would only add to the challenges of a construction environment and increase the risk of an injury, which Wells Fargo goes to great lengths to avoid.
Wells Fargo employees would need to inhabit some floors of the facility, even as jackhammers rumbled away on nearby floors. It was important to maximize organization and minimize distraction.
In learning of this, SES representatives were confident they had the right solution for Wells Fargo. They were confident of being the team that could work around the construction environment by using a unique model for deployment.
When working on complex integrated systems, SES utilizes its world-class Engineering Center of Excellence in Elmsford, N.Y., to ensure high standards of operations and scope compliance.
It is a state-of-the-art design facility where SES designs, engineers, prefabricates, programs and commissions systems prior to onsite installation.
This model of prefabrication lets SES reduce time spent working at the client site. It makes final installation more of a plug-and-play process to minimize variance to the customer’s expectations.
This deployment model was well suited to the twin towers project. SES would pre-test the systems, which would reduce the potential for variance when implementing and integrating 30 different floorplans.
Finely Calibrated Approach
The two groups launched their schematic development in early 2013. During that process, Wells Fargo held biweekly meetings in Minneapolis with SES and other contractors to ensure smooth implementation. Everyone involved in the project was well informed and highly communicative.
“That’s a Wells Fargo best practice — something they do on all large enterprise projects,” says Rob Raymond, senior vice president, SES financial sales. “They set a formal cadence of meetings with all partners and contractors, because they know if something affects one trade, it has a way of affecting everyone else. It’s energizing to work with a customer who has a committed strategy. I credit Wells Fargo for their planning and involvement.”
Comprehensive an Understatement
The installation took 16 months, during which time SES installed the following robust integrated system (see sidebar for manufacturer information):
- Security command center: work-stations, computers, monitors, video wall and more
- Security server room: servers, UPS, IP NVRs and more
- Alarm monitoring system: hard-ware control panels and security field devices such as alarms, duress buttons and door position switches
- Video: interior and exterior IP cameras (fixed and pan/tilt/zoom)
- Digital recording system: numerous NVRs to record video
- VMS: software to manage video storage and retrieval
- Intercom system: integrated with the access control system
- Elevator control system: controls floor access to all employees and vendors for the freight elevators providing additional security
- Mantrap control system: the interlock is utilized such that the secure storage area will not allow access to or from the space as long as a single door tied into the interlocks is open, preventing sensitive material from being removed from secure storage without an audit trail; all doors require entry and exit reads for auditing
- Turnstiles: multiple lanes for access
All of the systems are monitored in a security command center designed specifically for Wells Fargo.
The command center is the heart of the bank’s security operations and where operators monitor the buildings, their inhabitants and contents, as well as tracking and managing the flow of visitors.
Navigating Code Compliance
Challenges for this type of project included aligning all vendors with the scope and approved sequence of operations. All code compliance issues were managed and documented during the submission process.
This process consisted of all material and product submissions including a full set of shop drawings that contained specific final system designs in 45 pages of “E”-size drawings representing 500 hours of engineering and CAD services.
Despite careful and collaborative planning, the groups encountered compliance requirements that necessitated them slightly revising their plans.
Wells Fargo desired a campus-wide IP intercom system so security associates in the command center could communicate easily, especially with people accessing restricted areas.
The original plan was to put the same intercom in the facility’s 28 elevator cabs. Wells Fargo worked with a manufacturer to build IP stations for the elevators’ stainless-steel panels, but national elevator code necessitated a few alterations before those panels would be fully compliant.
SES and Wells Fargo collaborated to troubleshoot the challenge. Engineers from SES modified the substation design. The new stations met ADA requirements as well as other sequence-of-operations demands.
SES then worked with all of the appropriate manufacturers and technology partners involved with the twin towers project to test and ensure the revised IP intercom system would be supported by all other components with the facility.
Solution Delivers Value
Wells Fargo’s onsite security team can easily operate the system from the command center by using its ExacqVision Enterprise System Manager.
In the case of an emergency situation, Wells Fargo employees at the main corporate security command console can also access and manage the system.
This ease of quickly and remotely assessing security posture throughout the campus has Wells Fargo highly satisfied with how the project actualized.
BEST OF THE BEST: Check out the rest of the winners and runners-up here!
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