Multisite Video Surveillance: Embracing a Singular Video System

Jack Woepke
Jan 17, 2024
5 minutes
Physical Security Industry
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school with multiple buildings

Businesses with multiple locations often confront the issue of how to best monitor their properties with video surveillance. This blog will explore the key components to multisite enterprise video security and why businesses are migrating to a cloud-first approach.

What companies do today?

Historically, enterprise video security systems have been challenging to scale for businesses with multiple locations.  Those that require consistent monitoring had to invest in more IT personnel to manage the equipment at each site and own the surveillance.  Each facility could have their own system with no mutual connection between the sites and different people monitoring each of them.

Central monitoring stations have also been used.  This includes a central location where a converted PC with video management software (VMS) would be the connection between the network video recorders (NVRs) or digital video recorders (DVRs) at each location.  With the video footage passed to the VMS, it would allow all video feeds across sites to be accessible at that central location.  However, it could result in the footage only being accessible at the location of the PC and VMS.  

Video management softwares unlock features and accessibility to video footage across sites, but still requires manual playback and searches for investigations.  Business franchises or global organizations no longer see this as a viable option.

Who benefits from multisite video surveillance?

  • Warehouses
  • Schools
  • Company offices
  • Retail franchises

Why are the pain points?

The key challenge that multisite businesses face is disparate security systems across their various locations.  These video security systems may have been from different vendors and installed at different times with varying degrees of sophistication.  This leads to a decentralized security structure that is difficult to manage seamlessly.

Security equipment at each facility may also have a distinct combination of security cameras, access control systems, and video storage devices.  This range of equipment introduces intricacies into maintenance, troubleshooting, and monitoring.  With each system could come different operation practices unique to the personnel monitoring it.  Differing systems at each location can lead to security vulnerabilities and operational inefficiency, let alone high IT overhead.

Additionally, remote video surveillance access for each location has become critical for security managers.  With multiple systems comes multiple video viewing platforms, thus requiring more time and resources needed to sift through video footage.

Physical central monitoring systems are no longer viable either, as access to the footage could be necessary for each location.  Instead of having a security team monitor the footage outside of each location, teams onsite can review the footage and act quicker on the property. The use of advanced features is also beneficial for each location, such as person of interest tracking, motion alerts and license plate recognition. It is increasingly important for each site to have access to these features, instead of just one central location.

Why is it important to have one system?

Multisite surveillance allows for security or facility managers to be in more places at once, fortifying the business’s security measures.  If an incident occurs, regardless of location, a security or facility manager can quickly retrieve video surveillance feeds from any camera remotely.  This reduces costly IT overhead and less training required for only one system to adopt.

Costs can also be saved by having one vendor contract instead of multiple different contracts across the locations and systems.  The cost of having one system pays off over time with reduced on-site security personnel and improved loss prevention.

With video management features, in addition to artificial intelligence, video feeds across all locations can be utilized to optimize operational efficiency.  For example, if a warehouse had one system across all their locations, they could identify when one truck leaves a facility and enters the other, ensuring the cargo matches accordingly and work processes are in-sync. 

Retail stores have found one system to be beneficial to maintain consistent customer service, seeing how workers interact with customers across locations.  Additionally, they will be able to monitor theft all from one viewing platform, to coordinate how loss can be prevented.

Warehouses, corporate offices or school campuses oftentimes have large areas to cover with video surveillance. They can also operate with the goal of not having a special IT infrastructure room for video management and monitoring. This makes remote video surveillance of every location critical for operations.  One system simplifies these needs.

video security with multiple locations

How does multisite surveillance work?

Multisite surveillance, with one enterprise video security system, is commonly adopted with a cloud-first approach.  If a business has multiple locations, either next to each other or across state lines, they may have different networks with security cameras installed.  For each network that the business wants to include security cameras from, they would each need to have a NVR.  Each location, or NVR, would contain footage via Local Area Network (LAN).

The IP Address from each location’s NVR is then configured to a central platform.  To access the video footage from the NVRs remotely on the central platform, it would be streamed via the cloud to the device.

Once all the footage is streamed together, additional features are then enabled.  Coram AI has adopted this approach with the business’s network bandwidth in mind.  

With Coram AI, video playback is only streamed to the cloud when the user is viewing it.  This saves large amounts of bandwidth for the business’s locations.  There is a small amount of data consistently streamed to the cloud, for maintenance and dashboard thumbnails, but this is a miniscule amount that does not impact the bandwidth.

Multisite surveillance with Coram AI

Coram AI eliminates the need for businesses to have a central VMS and enables users to utilize AI features across all of their facilities’ video feeds.  Multisite businesses are often price conscious when it comes to updating their enterprise video security system.  With Coram AI you do not need to replace any of your existing IP cameras or access controls, and they can be managed within Coram AI’s dashboard.

Many warehouses, manufacturing plants, schools and enterprise businesses utilize Coram AI for their multiple location surveillance and have seen improvements in operational efficiency and ease of use.  See how Coram AI works with schools in the blog post here.

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