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 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. 

If you enjoyed this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!

About the Author


Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

Security Is Our Business, Too

For professionals who recommend, buy and install all types of electronic security equipment, a free subscription to Security Sales & Integration is like having a consultant on call. You’ll find an ideal balance of technology and business coverage, with installation tips and techniques for products and updates on how to add sales to your bottom line.

A free subscription to the #1 resource for the residential and commercial security industry will prove to be invaluable. Subscribe today!

Subscribe Today!

Get Our Newsletters