DeMatei & Co., Inc. is a 100 year old real estate investment and development company with commercial and multi-family properties throughout California. When Caitlin Hoertkorn, Vice President of DeMatei, needed to improve visibility and security at their shopping center in Stockton, she evaluated several bids and found Verkada to be the most advanced solution at the most cost-effective price point.
“We needed a security system that would be straightforward to deploy, maintain, use, and eventually scale. Verkada checked all these boxes and then some, including remote multi-user support and 4K video.”
While evaluating solutions, Hoertkorn received several bids, including one for a network video recorder (NVR) camera system. Despite having only basic software capabilities, no advanced analytics, and no pre-configured remote access, the NVR system came in at a hefty price point.
“The capabilities were simply not worth the cost, so we sought out alternatives. That’s when we found Verkada.”
- High Installation and Hardware Costs
- Lack of Visibility into After-hours Activity
- Manual Configurations Needed for Remote Access
- High Bandwidth Consumption Requiring 5Mbps per Camera
- Two-Line Pricing Model and Minimal Hardware Requirements
- 4K Video with Proactive Alerts
- Remote Access Enabled By Default
- Bandwidth-Friendly Cameras Operating at 20kbps in Steady State
Challenge #1: High Installation and Hardware Costs
“The cost to deploy and maintain the NVR system was about three times as much, and they didn’t come close to the technology that Verkada has. Just the cost of renting a boom lift to mount the cameras was quoted at over $2,200.”
Hoertkorn needed a simple solution that she could eventually scale to other property locations with ease. The NVR system was anything but, requiring a long list of hardware components to operate. These included separate cabling for network connectivity and power supply, AC Bridges, NVRs, various adapters, connectors, couplers, fasteners, wires, patch panels, and protective camera enclosures that Hoertkorn would have needed to purchase separately. All the additional hardware requirements made deployment very expensive. Each NVR was also limited to 8 channels; to scale, Hoertkorn would need to continuously purchase additional NVRs and hardware to support more cameras.
Solution #1: Simple, Scalable Installation and Two-Line Pricing Model
“Verkada cameras have minimal hardware requirements and are quick to get up and running. We deployed them across the entire shopping center in less than a day.”
All that Hoertkorn needed to deploy Verkada’s solution was a PoE-enabled switch, DHCP connection, and Cat5 or Cat6 cabling. All Verkada cameras are powered over Ethernet (PoE), eliminating the need for electrical or coaxial wires. No NVRs, thick clients, or additional configurations were required, making deployment and maintenance a quick and painless process.
“Both installation and pricing were simple and straightforward, the quote is just two-lines: the cameras and the Command software license. Compared to the NVR solution, Verkada is a more advanced camera system, provides regular software improvements, and has no hardware maintenance costs—it was an easy decision.”
By eliminating additional hardware costs, Verkada’s two-line pricing model consists of simply the Command software license and the cameras. The system regularly updates with new software features and security patches, which are included at no extra expense. Hoertkorn has full transparency knowing exactly how much the Verkada system will be over time, allowing her a clear total cost of ownership over the cameras’ lifecycle.
Challenge #2: Lack of Visibility into After-hours Activity
“We needed a camera system with nighttime visibility so we could monitor and capture all activity happening at the shopping center regardless of the time of day.”
The commercial shopping center where Hoertkorn deployed cameras would get activity at all hours of the day. After an illegal dumping incident occurred at night triggering an expensive biohazard clean-up, she made after-hours surveillance a top priority. Though the shopping center has physical security guards, there were still gaps in coverage she wanted closed and that meant cameras that could reliably capture and record activity at night.
Solution #2: 4K Visibility with Proactive Alerts
“Verkada gives us the peace of mind to know our sites are protected. If anything happens, we have 4K footage to prove it. Since the shopping center has activity at all hours of the day, we have time-based motion alerts set up to notify us of any suspicious activity happening on the property in real time.”
Verkada cameras automatically adjust to record in higher definition when meaningful activity is detected in-frame, and have infrared IR illuminators built-in for enhanced night vision. From Command, Hoertkorn can playback HD footage in real-time, digitally zoom, and adjust optical zoom settings to get an evident picture of the scene unfolding.
For proactive security, she has marked critical areas on each camera to trigger an alert if people are detected within certain time periods. In the event that there is a break-in or incident, Hoertkorn receives a notification straight to her phone. From there, she can review the footage and quickly assess next steps. Saved incident footage is also automatically watermarked with the time and date to ensure its usability in court.
Challenge #3: High Bandwidth Consumption & Manual Configurations
“Remote access was a must for us. To enable it, the NVR system required a minimum bandwidth 5Mbps per camera, plus up to four hours of manual configurations.”
For off-site management, Hoertkorn needed a way to view and share video footage from anywhere. The bid she received for the NVR system stated that if remote access was to be utilized, a minimum bandwidth of 5Mbps per camera would be required.
Because the NVR cameras were not configured to support remote access, there was an additional overhead cost to enable it. This cost was only for the initial deployment, and did not include ongoing servicing. In the event that a server breaks or one of the many hardware components malfunction, not only would cameras drop offline, but the repair would have been an additional expense that Hoertkorn would have needed to contend with.
Solution #3: Bandwidth-Friendly and Remote By Default
“The ability to access footage from a computer or phone has been critical to securing the premises. It allows me to monitor the site without having to physically go out there, and we have video evidence to quickly resolve any incidents that may happen.”
Verkada’s solution provides remote access “out-of-the-box”—no configuring, port-forwarding, or opening up a firewall is needed. Through Verkada’s centralized Command platform, Hoertkorn can access both live feeds and historical footage offsite from any app- or web-based browser. Outside of remote viewing, Hoertkorn is able to archive and quickly share videos via a live link without ever leaving the platform. “Verkada makes remote surveillance very convenient, from accessing footage to sharing it out, which has improved our security tremendously.”
The bandwidth-friendly architecture of Verkada’s solution also made it easier to scale. Compared to the 5Mbps needed for each NVR camera, Verkada cameras use a bandwidth uplink of no more than 20kbps in steady state. In steady state, Verkada cameras minimize network stress by sending a stream of metadata consisting of encrypted thumbnail images and analytics to the cloud once every 20 seconds. In the event that Hoertkorn remotely connects to a camera to view footage in HD, upload bandwidth increases to 1Mbps before returning to steady state. To equal the 5Mbps requirement of just one NVR camera, it would take 256 Verkada cameras in steady state (20kbps each), or five Verkada cameras during remote viewing (1Mbps each).
Looking Ahead: Scaling Deployment to Additional Properties
“Verkada is a straightforward system that works. We’re looking forward to enhancing security at additional property locations.”
With Verkada’s scalable hybrid cloud system, Hoertkorn is able to expand security to additional properties with ease. Her next step is to deploy Verkada at multi-tenant buildings to enhance safety and peace of mind. Using Verkada, Hoertkorn can provide DeMatei with a comprehensive view of all sites for enhanced remote management.
If you’d like to learn more about how Verkada’s hybrid surveillance solution can help secure your sites, request a free trial camera today.