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Colonial National Bank Fiji goes IP with DVIS and Pacom

Colonial National Bank Fiji goes IP with DVIS and Pacom

Applications demand continuous, high quality and certifiably accurate video
surveillance of high risk areas particularly those involving high value
transactions. And for a widely distributed organisation, such as a bank with
many branches spread over several islands, the ability to integrate the individual
systems into a single network is highly desirable.  

Colonial National
Bank began operating in Fiji more than 130 years ago as a life insurance
company. Today it has 17 branches distributed across 4 islands. Its
headquarters is situated in the capital Suva, on the main island of Viti Levu.
Currently Colonial is owned by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia Group.

With over 670
employees and 140 registered insurance sales agents, this is a major operation
and it demanded an integrated security solution with a proven track record in
real time video and the ability to expand easily. Vital too was that the
solution be capable of not just additional video surveillance expansion but
access control integration should this be required.

According to ECS
International’s manager, corporate services, Riz Akbar CPP, Colonial has
implemented a culture of security to protect its staff, facilities and
financial process.

“As part of this
implementation, in 2007, CNB engaged ECS to train its key security team on
security operations,” Akbar explains.

“Importantly ECS
International is the only accredited DVIS, Inner Range and TECOM installer in
Fiji and it was natural that when the issue of CCTV came up we should be

redundancy, backup storage and dual streaming for central video management were
essential requirements. In short, CNB wanted a modular system that would
integrate seamlessly with other sub-systems in the future if called for”

“The CCTV system
was planned after several consultations with ECS International. To commence the
roll out, CNB management decided to install the first DVIS Video Server at its
Pacific House Branch in Suva.

CNB’s building
services manager, Edward Hoerder, was CNB’s project administrator for the CCTV installation
and Akbar says Hoerder had clear requirements for the new CCTV system.

specifications were to install a CCTV system that would meet its current basic
environment and also be upgradable in the future,” Akbar says.

“In short CNB
wanted a modular system that would integrate seamlessly with other sub-systems
in the future.”

Hoerder agrees.

“CNB wished to
implement a reputable system that was tried, tested and proven,” he says. “It
had to meet our current needs and needed to be easily expanded as required.”

The application

Akbar explains
that the system is most easily understood as a single widely distributed large
scale NVR with dual streaming multiple monitoring points and redundant storage.

“It was required
to have multiple monitoring points with differing camera allocations at each
point so that the security officers could concentrate on their own areas of
responsibility and also be excluded from areas outside their security level”.

“Most of the
existing cameras across the three sites had degraded beyond useable
functionality and some branches had no video surveillance whatsoever”.

According to
Akbar, in terms of scope, the systems comprise of 76 cameras and 3 DVIS video
servers with varying user privileges. CCTV system functionality is dictated to
a significant extent by the features of the management software driving the
system. At Suva Central the DVIS Video Management platform has been deployed
and is being used primarily to provide surveillance of commercial and residential

“Importantly, the
Suva Central installation has separate layouts of high resolution cameras
protecting multi-level carpark areas and fire stairs. This was incorporated
into the current system with designed by ECS,” Akbar explains.

fire stairs and carpark surveillance of this nature is rarely seen in high rise
buildings. CNB’s vulnerability assessment showed that perpetrators were most
likely to hide in fire stairs and then gain access to parking levels in order
to ambush executives.

“Moreover, the
CNB has a strict live view and playback criteria. ECS had to ensure that 4CIF
real time recording and playback was available at critical locations such as
tellers, vault and cash-in-transit passageways.”

Hoerder states
that he was pleasantly surprised at the image quality on playback which in his
opinion was closed to DVD standard. 

A relatively high
volume of transactions in Fiji are still conducted in cash. However, electronic
fund transfers at point of sale and acceptance of credit cards across the
country are gaining pace. Criminal elements perceive this convergence to be an
opportunity to fleece unwary customers through a variety of methods such as ATM
and credit card scams. As a result Hoerder says CNB specified high resolution,
real time playback that could identify criminals and be used in prosecutions.

“Tourism is the
backbone of our economy and we as a leading financial institution must ensure
that visitors have confidence in our ability to catch and prosecute criminals,”
he explains. “We in turn need to have confidence in our CCTV systems to deliver
positive results.

According to
Akbar, surveillance is considered vital to the bank’s ability to secure its
operations and provide court admissible evidence.

“The building
facility control centre required simultaneous view of site layouts to respond
in a timely manner to intruders and emergencies.”

Akbar says the
video management software supplied by the manufacturer needed no customisation
and only a small amount of additional programming was required.

software supplied by Data Video Interactive Solutions Pty Ltd provides control
of almost every aspect of the operation of CCTV equipment,” he explains.

“Since this
installation used only a part of the available functionality of the equipment,
the supplied software was already able to provide the required functions. The
only additions were the database programming specific to the equipment’s

“A dashboard GUI
consisting of interfaces to the BMS, Cardax FT, Car Park Control, Fire Alarm,
Licence Plate Recognition and Intercom System is ready for integration during
stage II of the project.

“A key
value-added feature offered by ECS was the high level interface to Cardax FT
and Inner Range Concept 4000. Cardax FT is installed at Suva Central, an iconic
structure in the heart of Suva. Inner Range has been the preferred security
management system across its 22 national branches,” Akbar explains.

The installation

Akbar says that
while this is not a huge installation there were still challenges for the
installation team.

“Chasing of
existing concrete walls to install conduits for hiding cabling inside the walls
was the usual challenge,” he says. “Surface installation was out of the
question and the extreme weather conditions such as tropical cyclones and
hurricanes mean commercial buildings in Fiji are traditionally constructed of
high grade materials such as reinforced structural concrete.

“Chasing cables
through this type of concrete requires skill and persistence with careful
attention to detail in sensitive areas such as vault rooms which were designated
dust free zones,” Akbar explains.

“Conduits had to
be laid with bending radius to cater for future cables and service work. And
further making-good with this installation had to be of an exceptional standard
in order to meet CNB’s décor. This was all undertaken prior to chasing.”

Getting a clean
power supply was another challenge.

“Clean and
constant power supply is a major issue that faces electronic installations in
Fiji,” says Akbar. “Power surges are a constant threat and risk to the success
in major installations.

acclimatised to western operating conditions quickly learn that unless surge
protectors and filters are fitted, there will be damage to components often not
covered by the manufacturer’s warranty – this was a real concern for CNB.”

Akbar explains
that to counter this issue, CNB has installed essential power redundancy for
all its mission critical equipment which ensures that components last their
expected lifecycle.

“A key
value-added feature offered by ECS was the high level interface to Cardax FT
and Inner Range Concept 4000. Cardax FT is installed at Suva Central, an iconic
structure in the heart of Suva. Inner Range has been the preferred security
management system across its 22 national branches”

At CNB all remote
equipment is powered from its associated controllers in the usual way.

“There’s also the
threat of lightning strikes from tropical thunder storms that dictates ample
spares must be kept in stock locally.”

According to
Akbar, the hardware installation covered 3 weeks and final commissioning
another week.

“To make matters
interesting, we were hit by a category 3 tropical cyclone during the cabling
process. There was a rush to secure the works-in-progress and ensure that all
penetrations were ‘cyclone proof’.

“A common issue
in the tropics is water seepage through conduits,” Akbar says. “Heavy tropical
showers throughout the year are a fact of life and steps must be taken during
the installation to minise the impact of water damage to equipment.

“Three employees
participated in this installation, one labourer, one technician, and the
assistant project manager who also conducted fit-out, programming and ground
training,” he says.

“The installation
was carried out by local ECS technicians who have received formal integration
training in Sydney. They were responsible for all the fitout and programming.”

Akbar says no
support was required by ECS from the manufacturer or the distributor.

installation and integration was completed using ECS staff,” he explains.
“Head-end equipment was supplied by DVIS Australia and cameras by PACOM NSW

“DVIS managing
director Andrew Wu shared our excitement and passion in winning a major client
such as CNB. This support was important because a key issue for ECS is the fact
there are no DVIS branches in Fiji,” Akbar explains.

“This means
there’s nowhere to run if spares or new stock are required so supplier support
and parts availability back in Sydney really are critical to our success at

According to
Akbar another key part of the installation process involved training of CNB’s
properties staff and branch managers.

“Operational and
technical training was provided by ECS’ local technical manager who had
attended a certified training program in Sydney,” he says. “The technical
training was successfully conducted for the CNB property administrator, Edward
Hoerder and branch managers.”

“This training
included system configuration, user access management, basic troubleshooting
and administrator level controls over the system,” he explains.

Further, due to
the fact that local law enforcement agencies require AVI formats for footage
review and at the same time instruct us to save a native format for prosecution
purposes meant that branch managers had to be trained to distinguish between
the two and understand the reasons therefore.

The results

Now the system
has been installed and commissioned, Akbar says that security onsite at CNB
branches is demonstrably improved.

“CNB’s security
officers can now view multiple areas and the system ensures that only
authorised persons are permitted to access sensitive areas,” he says. “Any
complacency about the system was quickly arrested by capturing of some
unsavoury incidents – CCTV is now taken seriously.

“The system at
CNB fully meets the design criteria by providing real time video and play-back
at 4CIF.”

Akbar says he is
proud of the young local team that carried out the installation and

“ECS believes in
giving opportunities to local young technicians, allowing them to develop their
electronic security skills.”

“DVIS managing
director Andrew Wu shared our excitement and passion in winning a major client
such as CNB. This support was important because a key issue for ECS is the fact
there are no DVIS branches in Fiji”

SEN News
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