Cameras and other technologies were positioned above and on gaming tables being used by architects and engineers participating in the educational event.

One sure bet: The IP trend is real and booming.

Over 100 architects and engineers (A&E) participated in  an innovative, creative and dynamic program that brought best of breed technologies together for a video management system “bake-off” in Santa Monica, Calif. Sponsored by Axis Communications and its technology and application development partners, attendees squared off in a competitive poker tournament that pitted eight different video management systems against one another.
This interactive event enabled leading security consultants to experience, explore and analyze the different video management solutions in fun, real-world applications. The feedback among attendees was very positive, as they pointed to the value of keeping current with new technology and recognized that IP solutions were increasingly important in their consulting expertise and proposals.
“This is a good use of my time, which is very limited,” said Henry Homrighaus, Jr. of Professional Security Consulting in San Antonio. “The value is in seeing the new technology in an application.  I can see who is moving to H.264 among both my peers and the vendors. The head-to-head comparison of MPEG-4 vs. H.264 performance is very valuable. Plus the poker tournament is a fun and effective way to view the physical layout and see different video management systems perform.”
The venue’s ballroom was transformed into a poker room as Axis and its application development and technology partners built an eight-table casino to host the two-day poker tournament. This enabled the A&E community to enjoy themselves, compete and directly touch, compare and score different video management systems.
The instructions to the attendees were straightforward: This casino has decided to buy IP cameras and has hired you to select the best video management system from among eight solutions.
Tom Galvin, president, NetVideo Consulting created an evaluation form that encompassed the key system criteria. Following these eight suggested system features would allow for the most ideal setup.
  1. Live video monitoring to follow a person in the casino.
  2. HDTV/Megapixel camera evaluation using one camera to create multiple views of the cards.
  3. Sabotage to identify camera tampering/set off tampering alarms.
  4. Video forensics to find a thief through search and playback.
  5. Event detection and management during a real-time alarm.
  6. Architecture, scale and redundancy of the software system.
  7. Video storage options and management.
  8. Overall integration capabilities with access controls, point of sale and video analytics.
This type of evaluation can be used by many organizations to review and compare video management software.
The benefit for attendees was a first hand experience with IP technology applications and the opportunity to network with peers who are also experts in security technology. The conclusion among most attendees was that “the IP train is leaving the station and they had better get on it” to best meet their customers expectations and capably solve their security issues.
“The security executives in end-user organizations are asking for IP and IT-centric solutions. This event helps my colleagues better understand the technology and share expertise with each other,” noted Galvin. “Most security leaders are seeking economies of scale, integration into other building functions/departments and technology leverage to reduce personnel cost. Surveillance was the first step in this direction. An IP platform linking video, access, ID and monitoring is the next big jump for enterprise security programs.”
The event lasted just over two-days and enabled the attendees to learn, critique, network and enjoy themselves. “We did not want to cause death by PowerPoint,” said Fredrik Nilsson, general manager, Axis Communications (and author of the book, “Intelligent Network Video”). “We wanted to create a fun, exciting and learning environment for our partners and our guests. They also had the opportunity to network and compete through the poker tournament format.”
Charlie Howell, CEO, Security Concepts and Planning of Camino, Calif., whose clients include California utilities and prisons as well as celebrity’s homes, shared that, “The trend is coming from the client, especially in new projects. And IP is being used to extend the life and investment of analog security systems. I am seeing changes in customer requests from mass notification and emergency management systems for a private community to utilizing the IT help desk for access control support. This event is an excellent way to learn and network.”

SIDEBAR: The Poker Game: Bringing People and Solutions Together

Axis and their application development and technology partners built an eight table casino for a two-day poker tournament, which enabled the A&E community to compete and directly touch, compare and score different video management systems.
The effect was powerful. The poker game experience was exactly as seen on TV tournament play with each player’s cards viewed in the VMS partner’s operations center. And the host ensured authenticity by having Robert Thompson of The Celebrity Poker Showdown run the tournament (money was not exchanged and minor prizes were awarded to the top finishers).
Axis ecosystem partners applied its video management solution to a dedicated poker table for the duration of the tournament. They utilized Axis cameras and technology from network and communications partners. The technology partners laid the foundation for the poker room.
The video management ecosystem partners applied their systems on the platform and connected to cameras positioned above and on each table. They managed their systems from a private operations center off of the poker room floor.

A&E Poker Tournament Partners
Manufacturers who contributed a technology to the poker room:
  • AMAG Technology demonstrated an intelligent networked solution that scales to manage security management challenges from small, remote facilities to multi-national organizations.
  • ExacqVision IP showed a complete surveillance solution for any size installation. Its software can be run from an off-the-shelf PC or is available pre-configured on NVR or hybrid servers.
  • Genetec provided a complete solution that addresses three main security needs: access control, video surveillance and license plate recognition.
  • ipConfigure offered ESM 4.0, an enterprise IP video surveillance software solution designed to manage and record unlimited cameras, locations and users.
  • Lenel demonstrated its OnGuard security platform’s integrated solution, including digital video management, video analytics and IT convergence.
  • Milestone’s XProtect platform showed attendees its powerful surveillance solution that is easy to manage, reliable and currently working at over 35,000 client installations.
  • OnSSI showed Ocularis, its IP video control platform that provides a feature-rich camera management, sophisticated recording and archiving, Push Live Video alerting, video-wall management and virtual matrix functionality.
  • Salient Systems introduced Complete-View 3.2, which includes single-seat administration, dynamic video scaling, advanced mapping and video investigations tools. Complete-View enables an organization to monitor, maintain and manage video from any location.
Network and Communications Partners:
CommScope-   Network infrastructure solutions
Firetide -   Multi-service mesh network backbone system
HP ProCurve-   Networking switches and ports
Iomnis-   Servers/Storage
Veracity-   Coaxial to Ethernet cable converters