Pearland ISD - USA
- Pearland ISD
- North America
- Solution category
- Large school district with a small budget
- Solution (BusinessSolution)
- Centralized System / Video Insight Enterprise VMS
Large school district with a small budget
Pearland Independent School District is a large school district in a thriving suburb of Houston, Texas. The district has 22 campuses, over 1,000 teachers, and more than 18,000 students. Although Pearland is faced with budget constraints, their emphasis on providing a quality education is always their first priority. As a result, they must make maximum use of their limited administrative and financial resources.
One key administrative area for Pearland is the management of an extensive video security system throughout their school district. Amazingly enough, the district manages a network of over 800 IP video surveillance cameras with only a part-time telecommunications manager.
How do they do it?
Pearland ISD first installed video surveillance cameras at Pearland Jr. High School. The design of the stairwells was causing security and discipline concerns. The cameras quickly proved that they were a useful tool. They provided administrators with data needed to support and provide documentation for discipline incidents. The next security camera implementation was at the agricultural center. Exterior and interior cameras were installed to provide security for the animals and property in that location. It was quickly becoming evident the importance that the security cameras were playing in providing secure and safe environments for the staff and students of Pearland ISD.
The school board invested a large amount of funding through bond proceeds to install cameras at the high school.
IP cameras were placed at exits, throughout the building, in the cafeteria and in the kitchen area. This was the first school to have cameras throughout the building.
The Safety Resource Officers and administrators felt that this was money well spent. The presence of the cameras significantly improved safety on the campus. The camera system did result in a decrease in discipline, thefts and vandalism reports. The expansion of the IP camera system proceeded at a rapid pace, but the expansion created new administrative problems for the district.
Dissatisfied with their existing IP Video Surveillance system vendor, personnel in the telecommunications department began to investigate alternatives. They looked at all of the major players in the market and decided to look at Video Insight in greater detail because of how user friendly the Video Insight software was for non-technical staff.
To put the software through its paces, they decided to run a test with Video Insight software. District personnel set up a side-by-side live test comparing their existing system with Video Insight and were surprised when the Video Insight solution required 40% less CPU utilization than their existing system with the same number of cameras. Not only was the software easy to use, but it made efficient use of their bandwidth and CPU capacity. Because the infrastructure was already in place, the switchover to Video Insight was relatively painless; the Pearland techs merely uninstalled the old software and installed Video Insight.
Pearland is fortunate in that they have a state-of-the-art redundant 1 GB backbone. There are 20 servers running the Video Insight IP surveillance software. Some servers for the older schools are maintained at the central administration building while the servers at the new schools, including the newest high school, are installed on site. Pearland is in the process of upgrading all schools to have equivalent video surveillance coverage.
Pearland ISD, like most districts, has a lean technology department. Additional cameras required no additional staff to manage the camera system. There are two Telecommunications Specialists who share the part time role of managing the camera system. In addition to their normal duties as telecommunications managers for Pearland ISD, they are responsible for ensuring that all video surveillance systems are operational. They are also responsible for working with the district administrators and SRO (Safety Resource Officers) to design the camera layouts for new installations. They manage all user accounts and also provide end user support and training of all personnel that use the system. Training for school administrators and School Resource Officers is done on a one-on-one basis. As Gary McLeod, Pearland Telecommunications Specialist said,
“training is easy because of how easy to use the Video Insight system is. We use the Facility Maps to make it easy for our users to find our cameras.”
The implementation of Video Insight has greatly reduced the total cost of ownership for the Pearland ISD IP video surveillance systems.
As with all organizations, keeping administrative personnel costs at Pearland as low as possible is essential. Because the system is so easy to use, there are fewer requirements for additional training and support of the end-user community, which translates into a system that requires little in the way of ongoing support. Since the Video Insight software makes the most of limited bandwidth, storage and CPU, more cameras can be managed from fewer servers.
This reduction in servers also saves Pearland on annual maintenance and operating system costs. Pearland continues to add servers and cameras including systems for a new high school. All these cost savings add up to produce an extremely cost effective video security for the Pearland school district.