When things come together, things work better. That’s the case when security works with its information technology staff and outside integrators to improve corporate protection.
Louis Burdulis is no stranger to thinking outside of the box. Burdulis is security director at BMC Software, a global software development company. With a directive to “do more with less,” he’s responsible for improving the quality of BMC’s security guard force without “breaking the budget.”
Burdulis felt that his expertise in corporate real estate allowed him to look at the security envelope from a different angle. His approach: to Construct a balanced mix of security staffing and technology to create a more secured environment at a lower overall cost. Burdulis said, “I want my security officers to zero in on what is critical. With this in mind, we incorporated sophisticated security integration technologies to assist our officers in making quick and, more importantly, accurate decisions.”
Money saving solutionA fully integrated security platform allows officers to make rapid, informed decisions whenever human intervention is required. BMC’s Security Operations Center (SOC) is the heart of this system. Surrounded by glass walls, its presence is prominently visible to employees, as well as to all visitors and guests.
A significant investment in fully integrated, state-of-the-art electronic security technologies provided immediate savings to the company’s overall security staffing budget. In fact, it yielded a whopping 43 percent reduction annually.
“When BMC committed to providing an improved safe and secured work environment by pulling back its resources from a third-party facilities management company, they created my position,” said Burdulis. “This also meant bringing the security guard force contract along and reconfiguring that in-house as well.
“Based on our initial projections and qualitative targets, no one expected significant cost reductions. But by partnering with our integrator and its in-house security personnel company, we not only improved the overall quality of our security envelope, but also reduced employee turnover, and actually lowered costs.” Burdulis added, “We realized a total annual cost avoidance of over $850,000.”
Prior to the events of September 11th, BMC implemented training measures to ensure additional safety of its employees and visitors. Security Officers are now trained in first aid, CPR and Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) use, and some are Certified EMTs.
Specifications of the systemDave Suttles, vice president and manager for SYSTEMSgroup’s Houston Division and BMC’s security integrator, worked with Burdulis to design and implement electronic security systems that offered its campus flexibility and growth. “Louis and I have enjoyed a successful 14-year business relationship with each other. I know how he thinks and what he wants to achieve. As his security integrator, it is my job to deliver proven, cost effective, value-add solutions,” stated Suttles.
At the heart of the security system is the Software House 800 Access Control System networked throughout the BMC campus, using Integral digital video recorders and servers to record and store images from the security video cameras located throughout the sprawling campus. All four parking garages are equipped with the TransCore Toll-Tag technology and interfaced through the Software House system to control access through the high-speed roll-gates at all entrances and exits. Other technologies integrated into the overall security system include Aphone intercom systems, license plate cameras at all entrances and exits to the campus, and custom designed light optical turnstiles throughout the campus building interiors. The command center currently monitors 10 additional BMC remote sites including access control and digital video.
Also, for the convenience of BMC employees, Burdulis and Suttles designed the access control system to allow an approved BMC access control card to be used as an employee debit card on their campus. This was accomplished by integrating the Cypress technology for the on-campus debit system to be used at all point-of-sale terminals including the on-site cleaners, retail stores, cafeterias and on-campus Starbucks locations.
Burdulis and Suttles worked hand-in-hand to design unobtrusive electronic barriers which worked well with the sophistication of BMC’s award-winning architecture. Burdulis commented, “It was very important to our architect and interior designer that we maintain a low-profile, minimalist, inconspicuous security application. Therefore, our selection of security devices in public view, at our entrances, in our lobbies and hallways, had to meet their strict guidelines.”
Expanding the knowledge to other locationsBurdulis continues to expand his vision to other BMC facilities worldwide. By bundling systems and services, he continues to replicate the Houston campus security model, generating additional savings and raising the level of global security services for BMC.
Burdulis added, “We have installed access control and digital video systems at some of our international locations, as well as domestic sites in Boston, Washington D.C., Irvine, Sunnyvale, Pleasanton, Dallas, Plano, Atlanta, Chicago, and Austin…As technology for digital video continues to improve, we will add more remote video over IP cameras to record and monitor BMC sites around the world.”
BMC Software’s headquarters and corporate campus is located in the affluent Westchase District of Houston, Texas. World-renowned DMJM architects of Los Angeles, California began working with BMC Software in 1990 after its decision to consolidate operations from various Houston leaseholds into a new suburban corporate campus.
One of the design team’s primary goals was to develop a planning strategy to accommodate rapid growth while recognizing the unpredictability of the software industry. The solution was a flexible framework into which single or multiple buildings could be added as required over time. The security initiative had to be developed in the same spirit, to accommodate rapid growth of facilities and employees, while keeping overall costs contained. Over the past decade, four office buildings and four on-site parking garages housing over 4,200 parking spaces were added. BMC’s architecture was based on a ubiquitous floor plan allowing maximum interior flexibility, while remaining appropriate for non-company users -- should BMC decide to sell or lease part of its space.
The 1.6 million square foot Houston campus exhibits some of the most advanced designed corporate space on the globe, housing all sorts of amenities for its employees. The campus looks very open and approachable because BMC’s security barriers have been designed to be low profile, discreet and to some degree, invisible. Nevertheless, it is one of the most secured corporate campus facilities of its type.
The big payoutIt seems that all the pre-planning has finally truly paid off. BMC recently announced the sale of its campus to a California partnership for $295 million. Thomas Properties Group and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System bought the four building 1.6 million square foot complex, along with 24 acres of undeveloped land. The price per square foot represents one the highest prices paid for property of its kind in the West Houston market. BMC will maintain its current headquarters at the campus through an extended lease agreement with the new owner.
Upon reflectionR. Michael Lagow, president, SAFEguard Security Holdings, Inc., the parent company to SYSTEMSgroup, added, “BMC is one of the best examples of corporate security that I have seen. Louis Burdulis is to be commended on his vision! This is a great example for other corporate campuses to benchmark. I admire clients who take the initiative by raising the bar to ensure a safe working environment for their team. Our firm was a pioneer in the converged security services model, where a mix of staffing and electronics bring value to a client’s bottom line, while reducing overall security costs.”
BMC Software is a leading global provider of enterprise management solutions that empower companies to manage their IT infrastructure from a business perspective. Delivering Business Service Management, BMC solutions span enterprise systems, applications, databases and service management. Founded in 1980, BMC posted fiscal 2006 revenues of more than $1.49 billion. For more information, visit www.bmc.com.