THE MAGAZINE

The Perks of IP Video

By Megan Gates

What really sold Starbucks was the system’s ability to handle up to 150,000 cameras and an unrestricted number of workstations, says Traegon Hon, business system analyst at Starbucks. While Starbucks is initially using the system in its North America locations and other regions separately, it would eventually like to be able to integrate Omnicast globally.

Also important to Starbucks was Omnicast’s ability to work with legacy equipment. “One of the nice benefits that we ended up with is that we had the ability to leave our existing cameras and recorders in our stores and integrate those into our platform,” Hon says. “So we didn’t have to rip out every product that we’d ever installed over the last 12 years but were actually able to integrate our existing product line into our solution.”

Starbucks currently has a blend of IP and analog systems with about one-third of the roughly 30,000 deployed cameras recorded directly with Genetec products. All of the cameras feed into the Omnicast system.

The system also allows for watermarking the video to ensure authenticity, encryption of video files to limit access, uninterrupted video streaming, and real-time system-health monitoring, which has already paid off for Starbucks, Dettloff says.

“Just through system-health monitoring, we’ve been alerted to sites that weren’t configured properly, and we were able to address those in real time,” he explains, adding that the system has also helped Starbucks identify the cause so security could address the issue before it became a recurring problem across hundreds of stores.

Omnicast also gives Starbucks the ability to manage system updates in a reasonable manner because Genetec allows upgrades to be phased in. That means that Starbucks can have stores using multiple versions of the software since they are all compatible with one another.

Also, as new camera technology becomes available, Starbucks will have the option of upgrading to those cameras still using the existing system.

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