Keeping thieves away from The Thief

Video    The Thief
How this luxury hotel streamlined operations and strengthened customer satisfaction with an intelligent video security solution.
The Thief
Industry Hospitality
Founded 2012
Number of rooms 114
Days open per year 365
Industry Hospitality
Founded 2012
Number of rooms 114
Days open per year 365

The Thief

A contemporary boutique hotel sitting along a historic pier, The Thief enlivens an up-and-coming culture center in central Oslo. Once a notorious shipyard, the area, Tjuvholmen, was famously the location for executing captured thieves. Today, Tjuvholmen is the paradigm of restoration—with art museums, trendy apartments, high end-shopping, and The Thief at its center. The only part that remains of its dark past is the name it lent to the renowned hotel. 

The Thief promises only to steal your worries away, and provide a warm haven in a maritime city. And a haven it was—during the height of the COVID-19 surges, it was one of three open hotels in Scandinavia. At this time, The Thief made strategic security decisions that would end up helping them in ways beyond traditional video surveillance.

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The challenges

Safety is paramount. With celebrity guests and many entrance points, ensuring privacy and security is key. Before meeting us at Ava, The Thief’s teams would physically go to the server room and manually fast forward through hours of video footage to search for an incident. With cameras covering the property’s entry points and loading docks, this took hours. 

When the pandemic hit, it hit hospitality hardest. The Thief, whose bookings are 70% foreign tourists, had to adapt. Fewer visitors meant the need for staff diminished. Slimming down, the hotel reduced its team of security to one individual. This person was in charge of all security, including managing the hotel’s outdated security system and increased risk of threats in an increasingly cyber era. The new head of security needed a plan—he needed to scale, to become lean and efficient. 

“Guests have asked about our security system. They want to feel safe leaving their valuables and bags at the front desk.” says Head of Security, Werner Sveen Larsen. “It’s for safety, first of all. If something happens, we can use the simple interface to quickly see the recording from one hour back or give access to the police for a look into the incident. Before, we had all recordings stored in our server room, with one computer to search, and it was a big operation to find something that had happened two days ago. The technological future of Ava is way ahead of the old system we had."

The solution

The Thief suffered from an outdated video security system and a reduced staff. It would take quick work to find a solution that could help create efficiencies without ignoring the hotel’s previous security system investment. With a little research, the Thief’s Head of Security was directed to an Ava partner who understood their needs and a clever way to address them. The answer was to leverage that investment while creating new value with the Ava open video security platform.

In partnership with Neowit, Ava helped the Thief’s security team install 10 new cameras, complete with Ava Aware. Ava Aware is the backbone of the solution; with the ability to help scale a complex security instance to an intelligent machine learning network in the cloud. The cameras are intelligent and cloud connected—allowing for a seamless user experience that can be accessed remotely. The old system was bulky, with a large NVR stored in a crowded storage room accessed through a single computer. Neowit helped make that a thing of the past: with Ava, security footage can be accessed and searched from any registered phone wherever the security operator is.


Cloud connected flexibility

The Thief is a 16,000 km2 hotel with many rooms, hallways, entry points, and only one security personnel. Previously, to access video recordings, this person would have to go to a specific server room within the hotel to access any video footage. With the Ava Aware Cloud platform, he can access video footage from whichever location is in.

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Efficient investigations with Smart Search

Older cameras meant older technologies behind them. The Thief’s previous system required hours to search through footage, hoping they would see something unusual. With poor video capture quality and a stagnant alarm system, the upgrade to Smart Search with Ava Aware allowed the operator to search quickly through hours of data, find similar objects, and create edited videos which could be easily shared with the correct parties. 

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Integrations with third-party cameras

With the hotel already having invested in a security system and cameras in recent years, Larsen's ability to add value to that investment was an appealing prospect. The Aware Cloud video security data platform can connect to most pre-existing cameras and create new intelligence from them. This only gave the security team more of a reason to go with the video security solution from Ava Security.  

Within the blink of an eye, I am alerted to an incident and can immediately address it. I am able to check in on any camera feed, review the recording and share with interested parties immediately.

– Werner Sveen Larsen, Head of Security of The Thief

The results

The old solution was complex. Few employees were trained in it and that made surveillance difficult. “We chose Ava because we needed a solution to provide non-technical employees who wouldn’t need formal training. Now our front desk associate, manager, and other staff all have the app on their phone and most problems are solved before they get to me.” 

Any time an incident occurs, it’s either handled by a front desk employee or quickly resolved by Larsen himself. The cameras along the perimeter of The Thief detect motion and make event searching effortless. Real-time alerts can let users know if movement is caught within a specific timeframe, such as by the loading dock at 3 am. This is especially useful when running through old footage. 

With such a drastic reduction in the number of hotel staff, Ava Security helped bring more efficiency and relief. The connection to the cloud means better access from anywhere. The intelligent data platform, Ava Aware, brings insight to a single pane of glass from all the security cameras deployed.

The technological capabilities of Ava are way ahead of the old system we had.

– Werner Sveen Larsen, Head of Security of The Thief

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