Driving operational efficiency with cloud video security and workplace sensors

Video    Cameron Mazza, May 25 2022
4 mins

Part two of a blog post series on how workplace sensors and cloud video security cameras integrate for a smarter, more secure workspace.

Last time we talked about how integrations among your security cameras, sensors, and video management software can do more than just save you time and money. It can optimize your offices for healthier employees and prevent unsafe working conditions before they get out of hand. 

Now it’s time to jump into more operational advantages and how you can prevent physical threats without jacking up the energy bill.

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The inefficient, dumb office

First, let’s talk about what I call, The Dumb Office (TDO). And I don’t say this to be rude, but if we’re being honest, an office with the air conditioning on full blast when everyone leaves early for a much-needed Friday happy hour doesn’t sound too bright. TDO building probably has some timers set in for HVAC and maybe motion-sensing lighting. This sounds like a decent start, but rarely do I encounter an office space where work and timing are always predictable. 

TDO is probably wasting energy on weekends and is built on a floor-by-floor plan. I remember this time I went into my old company’s headquarters on a Saturday night to grab a notebook, and the motion lights lit up about 20,000 square feet of office space for little ole me. Yes, I was absolutely flattered. But I doubt the facilities manager wanted that energy bill, despite the ultimate feeling of a spotlight on me. 

So, while TDO might make your employees feel like superstars, you probably aren’t winning any green office awards today. Here’s where the Ava Aware Cloud video security platform and workplace sensor dual solution shines

Moving toward the not so dumb office, also known as The Smart Office

The Smart Office (TSO) is what it’s all about. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with your own Pat, but it still brings all the benefits of optimizing energy efficiency. Let’s take a look inside.

With your security cameras, you can see if someone is in a meeting room. Hold for applause, please. Jokes aside, your camera can, in theory, sense a filled room without you needing to observe it (known as Schrodinger’s Camera—OK, the last joke). Suppose an existing surveillance camera connected to the Ava Aware platform determines the room is empty. In that case, you can equip the integrated systems to pause heating, cooling, or HVAC until a person is sensed entering the room. This can apply to entire areas of your office, meeting rooms, and floors if need be. Setting up an “if this, then that” rules-based integration with your systems is the first step to removing unnecessary energy expenditures on empty spaces, even during normal office hours.

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Integrating your Ava deployment with sensors removes all guesswork, and the office becomes adaptive and smarter. With that intelligence comes better safety for you and your employees.

Surveillance cameras are limited—unless you have total coverage in every nook and cranny, there are probably some blind spots in your office. By probably, I mean there absolutely are, as cameras can’t be in restrooms or areas directly showing sensitive information. It is possible to bridge the gap between security camera feeds with sensors. Acoustics or entryway tracking alerts you to any movement between spaces. Adding access solutions to the mix, like our new sister company and cloud access control provider OpenPath, makes keyless entry usage possible. These tools work together to address any cracks in your security solution and make the smart office a reality.

Sensors alert

Balancing privacy with security

Privacy and security are crucial to any business. Although related, they sometimes feel like two fighting siblings trying to share a toy. Give to one, and you take from the other. You, of course want to maintain office safety, but overdoing it can feel a bit like Big Brother. How do you manage both, or better, maximize both?

Sensors come in to save the day once more! Supplementing security cameras with sensors or physical access control solutions provides you with data to track the movement of a perpetrator, per se. If they enter an area with no video security monitoring, like a nursing room, you wouldn't know because you also likely don't have cameras pointed directly outside the door.

If you supplement these gaps with sensors on door frames, you will know when the door opens, but you still maintain the person's anonymity entering or leaving the room. You may use this information for workplace satisfaction improvement or deciding how to upgrade your office. And if an intruder were to be up to no good, trying to evade your Ava security cameras, you would be able to see if the nursing room door opened just after the interloper escaped out of frame. 

Whether using sensors for data accrual or increased safety, it is always an easy win to let your employees know that you've enhanced both office privacy and office security.

Like a Megazord...

You may have seen the news that we recently joined the Motorola Solutions family. Ava is still on track to boost and revolutionize the cloud video security industry—and now we have some help from Openpath. Together, Ava and Openpath integrate seamlessly into an “all you need” cloud video surveillance-access control security solution when decking out your next office. Like the Megazord in Power Rangers, Ava's acquisition allows it to join forces and rapidly expand its capabilities.

By putting these solutions together with the budding sensor industry (check out Disruptive Technologies or Halo), you power your security solution to the max. Your employees will be safer and healthier, and their privacy will not be compromised in the process.

All together now

The office of the present (I won’t say future because all of this technology is readily available!) has physical security beyond security cameras. Threats to the work environment go beyond vandalism and theft—today, we have insider threats, cyberattacks, environmental contagions, and new safety standards, unseen harm—where video surveillance cameras can’t be deployed. Access control and sensors are the integrations required to bring your security to life—seeing, hearing, sensing, and even smelling threats. Keeping the alerts, notifications, and commands in one place means it’s easier than ever to keep your employees safe. 

Smarter, better, faster, and safer will be the ways you describe your new workplace—isn’t it great to integrate? Learn more about the power of the Aware Cloud and workplace sensors integration by downloading our brochure. 

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