Bath Spa University, a public university formerly known as the Bath School of Art, is a leading university in creativity, culture and art with roots that trace back to 1852. With seven major campuses and a number of teaching sites that span across Bath, England and surrounding areas, the university offers hands-on experiences that prepare students for employment following graduation.
As Head of Facilities and Services, Andy Williams works alongside colleagues in the Estates Department to ensure that maintenance and operations across campuses provide a pristine environment for quality learning.
The legacy Milestone system was installed and replaced over a decade in an ad-hoc manner due to various changes across the estate. Much of the system wasn’t GDPR compliant and coverage spanned across areas that might be considered intrusive or unnecessary.
Additionally, the DVR system performed unreliably, which resulted in undetected downtime and extended gaps in coverage. Unpredictable costs associated with service fees and replacement parts that made maintaining the system incredibly expensive.
“I needed a solution that was more manageable in terms of budgeting and operability; that, alongside the need to follow GDPR requirements, prompted me and my team to evaluate new CCTV vendors on the market.”
Given the expansive campus and the number of faculty that needed access to cameras, Williams found Verkada’s cloud-based CCTV solution to be effortless to manage at scale. The ability to group cameras by sites and sub-sites, and grant role-based levels of access, removed much of the bottlenecks he experienced with the former DVR solution.
“Because I can curate and control who has access to which feeds, it’s easy for me to ensure that data is guarded with utmost security. (Verkada) provides the necessary protections that allow us to be fully GDPR compliant.”
Simple to Install Across Campus
One thing that greatly impressed Williams about Verkada was how simple the cameras were to install and bring online. With the exception of cameras that were installed at height, Williams and his team completed the deployment in a matter of days. By connecting cameras to a single PoE cable, all feeds were instantly accessible via Command, Verkada’s cloud-based platform.
“The desktop experience and app are both incredibly easy to use. I’m able to do everything, end-to-end, from wherever I am: activate the cameras, assign permissions, find footage, archive clips, or share feeds with outside folks.”
Best of all, Williams and his team were able to adjust and position cameras in real-time. “In the process of mounting the cameras, we were already looking at the live feeds. Before getting off the ladders, we were able to make sure that everything was pointed in the right direction and covering the right angles.”
Successful Adoption Across Key Departments
The intuitive interface required no formal onboarding; in minutes, the team was fully acclimated with the system. This offloaded much of the retrieval requests Williams and his team previously received. “As soon as the teams received access to the (Verkada) system, they logged on and started to identify all the different ways they could use the tool to benefit them in their jobs.”
“I’m certain that any member of a team could come in and find what they need in seconds, no matter their level of technical skill. Simplicity is key in the adoption of a new tool, which is what made the value of Verkada immediately clear to me and my team.”
Stakeholders across key departments also shared positive feedback regarding 4K image quality during day and night. “The camera quality, and the software experience, offers a high-end and professional edge.”
Future-proof Solution with Immediate ROI
With cost as one of the primary factors during the vendor evaluation process, Williams found Verkada’s straightforward pricing model and the 10-year product warranty to be highly cost-effective.
“What I didn’t want to have to do in five or six years time was another rip-and-replace. The partnership (with Verkada) is something I know will sustain in the long-run. The speed at which we’re getting new features now, is just a glimpse at how the system will get better over time.”
Additionally, the reliable and immediate assistance of Verkada’s support team has become a major reason Williams is excited to partner with Verkada. “Whenever I have a question, I’m able to give the team a call or hop on live chat to get the answer I need. Certainly, that’s not the case with most vendors.”
“My aim is to have fewer people on the ground and more of a reliance on the camera system. The ability for the existing team to access footage and respond immediately from wherever they are, makes this highly possible.”
Williams is looking forward to the continued deployment of cameras across main and remote sites. Once CCTV systems are centralised on Verkada’s platform, he hopes to build a control room where his team can easily monitor cameras at a high-level and make greater use of the extensive features of Verkada’s software.
To learn more about Verkada’s easy-to-use CCTV solution, get started with a 30-day camera trial today.