Integration & Information Technology Intersect

The recent rash of computer viruses has practically made Symantec a household name. But who’s helping physically protect this leading Internet security provider while it fights to keep networks and computers around the world safe from nefarious hackers? Selectron, a Portland, Ore.-based systems integrator, that’s who.

Symantec has been relying on Selectron’s expertise since a vendor recommended it in 1997 to a consultant who was working with the software firm. After performing extensive work at its Eugene, Ore., facility, Selectron was instrumental in helping Symantec move to a new campus in nearby Springfield.

The mission was to create a main security hub that could handle all of Symantec’s North American operations, and reduce its reliance on guards and lessen its manpower expenditures.

The project called for a wide area network (WAN) backbone capable of providing centralized electronic security monitoring, with a segmented database enabling decentralized individual site
administration for 15 locations. Symantec also sought an access control solution in which a single card could be used across its entire sphere of operations.

The expansive system was to be based on an integrated platform that encompassed access control, including proximity readers, biometrics, ID badging, electromechanical locks and optical turnstiles; CCTV, including digital video recorders (DVRs); perimeter/interior intrusion alarms; fire detection; and environmental controls.

Selectron has spent several years planning, designing, installing and servicing this large-scale project. In a true marriage of information technology (IT) and electronic security, the integrator faced many challenges, including working closely with Symantec’s security personnel, consultants and suppliers; coordinating with the general and electrical contractors; and maintaining security at the original site while equipment was transferred to the new location.

An Exciting New High-Tech Business Comes to Town

Founded in 1982, Symantec provides content and network security software and appliance solutions to individuals, enterprises and service providers. The company’s Norton brand of consumer security products is among the most widely known in the world. Headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., Symantec has worldwide operations in 36 countries, more than 4,000 employees and posted revenues of $1.41 billion in fiscal 2003.

Selectron, founded in 1960 and a member of the PSA Security Network, was already well established as one of Oregon’s leading specialists in the design and installation of integrated security management systems when Symantec came in and converted a Eugene department store into its local headquarters, employing approximately 750 technical support and engineering personnel.

Vendor, Consultant Vouch for Local Systems Integrator

Thanks to recommendations from Lenel and Corinthian Consulting LLC, Selectron was awarded the job to install access control and CCTV systems in Symantec’s new local offices.

Serving commercial, industrial and governmental customers, Selectron’s areas of expertise include: access control; facility management; visitor and vehicle control; video badging; CCTV; alarms; personnel and object locating; life-safety systems; consulting; specification and design; client needs analysis; master site plans; product evaluations; training programs; documentation; and CAD drawings.

Client Decides to Move and Centralize Security Operations

Looking to expand and improve its operations – which included converting its single-site, standalone security to a networked multisite system – Symantec soon grew weary of its antiquated building. The company’s management selected neighboring Springfield as the site to build its ideal facility.

Indicative of a trend that has been sweeping through the electronic security industry, the nature of the project required Selectron to rely on and interface significantly with Symantec’s IT staff. This was fairly complicated as there were six major points that had to be addressed.

1. Planning the future deployment of Lenel systems across North America and forecasting the impact on Symantec’s wide area network (WAN). “Symantec needed to know its WAN would support security needs as the system expanded in the future to meet its changing and increased corporate security requirements,” explains Kobelin.

2. Planning and coordinating converting from the standard SQL database to Oracle (the Symantec standard) running on a UNIX server. “Converting from SQL to Oracle was particularly important because Oracle was the de facto Symantec database,” confirms Kobelin. “This allowed a better partnership to be reached among Symantec IT and security personnel, and Selectron. This was a very important key to the project’s success.”

3. Coordinating and planning activities with Symantec’s database administrator, its WAN specialist and UNIX administrative specialist. This entailed a lot of preplanning, flow-chart analyses and plans for conversion.

4. Coordinating interaction with Lenel’s representatives to discuss, educate and confirm details with Symantec’s IT staff. “Lenel was a very important part of the whole planning and execution aspect,” adds Kobelin.

5. Researching and confirming the best long-term solutions for Symantec regarding various Lenel options, with the final decision being to deploy Lenel OnGuard Pro 1.

6. Planning and conducting training sessions for Symantec staff members from several different departments (IT, security, admin, etc.).

Balancing Security, Schedules Between 2 Sites Proves Difficult

Moving away from the cyber realm issues, the project also presented more than the requisite level of physical and logistical challenges. Selectron was tasked with determining and coordinating the job while simultaneously moving as much of the existing equipment as possible, and still providing a high level of security at the Eugene facility as secured areas were being activated in Springfield.

Since it was working under a direct contract with Symantec, Selectron also had to coordinate all its work with the general and electrical contractors. So even though it was not an official member of the construction team, in acting as the owner’s representative, the integrator provided CAD drawings to the contractors to enable the system to be smoothly installed with their conduits, equipment rooms, doors, door hardware, etc.

With any large-scale project, scheduling is typically a major issue, and this one was no exception. “To complicate everything, the move took place over the Christmas holidays, which greatly impacted people’s vacation plans,” says Kobelin. “Some Selectron employees had to adjust their schedules at great personal sacrifice.”

Additionally, Springfield is a distant 95 miles away from Selectron’s Portland offices. “It’s not like the client and project were right here in our own town,” points out Kobelin. “Our team had to face all the issues of this project while dealing with travel and logistics issues. It was an intense, highly stressful project.”

WAN-Based System Monitors Client’s North American Facilities

Starting in 2002, Selectron began outfitting Symantec’s Springfield facility with an enterprise access control and digital CCTV head-end. The configuration permitted establishing a singular access control card database, with data segments attributed to individual sites for secure site administration.

Remote digital CCTV se
rvers were installed at select sites to provide flexible surveillance technology for both that site’s security and the head-end’s operations staffs. The fire alarm system was integrated to open delayed egress doors on alarm, with video called up upon alarms.

In addition, the system includes more than 45 HID proximity readers; Gunnebo Omega optical turnstiles; a mix of 64 fixed Pa

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