Cisco has officially renewed Bytes Technology Networks’ certification as a Cisco Physical Security Partner in South Africa. The certification forms part of the prestigious Cisco Advanced Technology Program (ATP), and means Bytes has been able to demonstrate it has the levels of Cisco-certified professionals required by Cisco.
Cisco’s Physical Security offering comprises both access control and video surveillance. The access control uses Cisco kit plus some third-party reading devices to secure premises with sophisticated card- or fingerprint-based systems. The video surveillance portion uses Cisco Internet protocol-based cameras.
“There are many companies offering access control, and others offering video surveillance. The true benefit of this offering is that it’s a common platform, so there’s full integration,” says Mike Ellison, technical manager at Kronos, a division of Bytes Systems Integration. “That means an ‘event’ on the access control system can be easily inked with the relevant CCTV footage. The footage can be distributed to decision-makers via e-mail, SMS and even, using Cisco’s IPICS technology, to a cell phone. It’s really a step change because it brings the power of the network to physical security—and who better to do that than Cisco?”
In addition, the solution is highly scalable and, says Mr Ellison, is truly enterprise-class, with the ability to deal with literally thousands of entrances and cameras. It also has the advantage of providing access to Cisco’s leading network tools and services, such as quality of service and Medianet, which allows true plug-and-play when adding video surveillance cameras to an existing Cisco network. The solution can be virtualised on a Cisco Unified Communication System and can be hosted offsite. Bytes can offer the solution as a fully hosted service to clients, if desired.
“Our value proposition in this area is compelling because we have been leaders in electronic security for many years, with experience supplying some of the country’s leading corporates with anything from single sites to integrated enterprise solutions. Specifically, we have a well-established Cisco division with excellent networking skills and our Kronos division can integrate Kronos time-management software into the Cisco Physical Security offering,” says Mr Ellison. “In that way, Cisco can be used as the front end, with the data automatically exported into Kronos for analysis at the back end.
“We’re very excited by the opportunity to introduce our existing Cisco customers to the power of networking in physical security, and also the market at large. Systems become so much more valuable the more they get connected, and that’s true in this industry as well.”