CGI Protects Leverages IP Technology to Enhance Guard Services

By Ashley Willis

NEW ORLEANS — Crescent Guardian Inc. (CGI Protects) can thank its clientele for the inspiration behind its recently released CGI Fusion portfolio, which incorporates electronic tracking, IP video surveillance, hosted services and physical security.

“We’re a company that has been providing guard services for nearly two decades,” CGI Protects Vice President of Sales Ray Cavanagh tells SSI. “A few years ago, we received requests from our customers to do a little bit more than that. Our customers would source guard services, and then they’d go to another company to purchase cameras, and yet another for the access control system. They didn’t have just one firm to handle all their security requirements.”

Based on customer feedback, the company set out to provide a holistic security approach with CGI Fusion, which augments traditional guard services by leveraging IP video surveillance to assist in tracking, tracing, hosting and monitoring, and securing personnel and assets, both on and off-site.

CGI Protects uses Axis Communications cameras, Milestone XProtect IP video management software (VMS) and BRS Labs behavioral analytics to create solutions for its clientele in the commercial, government, critical infrastructure and pharmaceutical markets. Headquartered in New Orleans, the company, founded by its CEO Marian Pierre, provides guard services throughout the South and CGI-Fusion Electronic Surveillance across the United States.

“We chose what we believe are the top products in their fields to offer best-in-class solutions,” Cavanagh says. “We go to great lengths to help the end user understand the products, and how they integrate with other systems.”

CGI Protects operates a video command and control center where security personnel provide remote video monitoring services, which help customers reduce their overall security costs, according to Kelly Stark of Stark Marketing, a public relations firm representing CGI Protects.

“Our customers saw the advantages of using CGI Fusion when they looked at the cost of providing guard services on the premises versus having the remote monitoring and then having the guards respond,” she says.

For example, guard services that range from $15 to $25 per hour can be reduced to about $3 an hour for remote monitoring. “And when customers upgrade from analog to IP video surveillance, they see they are able to remotely monitor a more sites with better quality images and the ability to view the video right from their handheld devices ,” Stark says.

The company introduced the service in February 2011 to roughly 2,000 congressional representatives and business owners at the Washington Mardi Gras event in New Orleans, which focuses on effective ways to secure people, assets and the environment. Since debuting the service, customer interest has been incredible, Cavanagh says.

“The interesting thing is the CGI Fusion part of our business is growing faster by far than the traditional guard services that we offer,” he explains. “Approximately 25% of our install base currently takes advantage of these services. However, about 75% of our customers are in discussions with us about augmenting their guard services with electronic surveillance.”

With CGI Fusion, Cavanagh notes that the company is not only helping to prevent public safety officials from responding to false alarms, but CGI Protects is also filling a niche that many in the industry are neglecting.

“Neither the national guard services companies nor the big security companies offer the products or services of the other,” he says. “So we feel that there is nobody out there taking a holistic security approach. With this service, one additional service we offer is first responder service. Many response units, such as the police or fire departments, can’t respond to everything, and it’s very important that they are not responding to false alarms. With CGI Fusion, we can respond first. If there is a true emergency that requires official help, we can always contact public safety.”

Ashley Willis is associate editor for SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION. She can be reached at (310) 533-2419.

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