Heriot Watt University: Shaping the Future of Education
Taking its duty of care towards students and staff very seriously, Heriot-Watt University wanted to explore how state of the art CCTV systems would contribute to a safe environment. The University also had an eye on the future and looked for a scaleable solution that would be a sound investment for years to come.
Heriot Watt University has been acclaimed as Scotland’s International University. With a strong focus on forward thinking and quality education, the University looked to King Communications & Security Ltd for a security solution that would prove reliable, flexible, scalable and future proof. The result was a complete IP CCTV solution based on Milestone IP video surveillance software and an IBM hardware platform implemented by Seric Systems.
With only 12 cameras on the main Edinburgh campus, the university wanted to upgrade its security to provide both staff and students a safe working environment. Moreover, with plans to expand the campus, it was essential that any system put in place could easily accommodate future plans of the university.
Bill Taylor, Security and Operations Manager at Heriot-Watt University stated “We were looking for a solution that would last for at least the next 10 years. The solution put forward by King Communications offered us that scalability.”
After completion of phase two of the project, Heriot-Watt University will have a total of 40 IP CCTV cameras installed covering their campus. In addition to the Milestone Software, provided by King Communications and Security Ltd, Heriot Watt has adopted IBM Director to monitor and protect their network servers.
Stuart MacDonald, Managing Director at Seric Systems says: “If a serious security incident occurs, Heriot-Watt wants to be sure its technology has caught and stored that event. By constantly monitoring the core parts of the system, IBM Director provides peace of mind. You know that everything is working as it should.”
Transmitting over the Universities IP Network, security staff can use a secure password to log on through a web browser anywhere on the campus network and view images captured by cameras. The individual cameras and areas that each user can view can be strictly controlled if required. The location of the camera is also very flexible; they can be plugged in wherever there is a camera port attached to the network. Martyn King, Managing Director at King Communications & Security Ltd says: “Although Heriot-Watt’s new security solution is extremely flexible and provides a sophisticated range of features, it’s very easy to operate. I know that security staff at the University are extremely positive about its implementation and are looking forward to using it.”
“The team from King Communications understood our requirements right from the start and have used their industry expertise to put together a solution that is exactly what we were looking for,” says Bill Taylor, Heriot-Watt University. “We’re really keen to get started on phase 2 of our implementation and extend the benefits further.”
As Heriot-Watt’s new security system is based on software rather than traditional control equipment, it is much easier and cheaper to expand its coverage or increase its functionality. Moving forward, the University is interested in exploring costeffective ways of leveraging the new technology to provide unexpected benefits. For example, with a growing requirement for e-learning, particularly considering Heriot-Watt’s links with remote island communities in the Orkneys and its international programmes, camera ports in lecture rooms and laboratories could be used to record learning materials.