The Boring Lab

Close
Close
Close
Close

6 XProtect Integrations Every Educational Institution Needs

This blog will address six challenges that are especially pertinent in an educational environment and help you understand how you can customize your Milestone XProtect VMS with integrations to meet those needs.
Table of Contents

As educational institutions face increasingly complex security challenges, having a reliable video security system is one of the best ways educational institutions can be proactive about ensuring student safety.

Milestone offers tailored solutions for the most optimal business outcomes for educational institutions, like “allowing schools to modernize and standardize over time, allowing improvements for data collection while meeting budget constraints.” There’s a limitless amount of integrations available for XProtect users. But some are more valuable to educational environments than others. 

In this blog, we will address 6 challenges that are especially pertinent in an educational environment and how you can customize your Milestone VMS with integrations to meet those needs.

Challenge: Improving School Safety Plans Using Data

Heat mapping technology is a valuable tool that can help schools improve safety and security planning. It can provide security personnel with the ability to track and monitor all activity in the building in real time. This information can be used to make changes to the layout of the school and inform the design of safety protocols.

In the event of an emergency, heat mapping technology can also help responders rapidly identify and respond to threats. 

This innovative solution creates a “heat map” of activity around physical locations captured on video. The software uses artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to study moving objects in the frame and generate data points that create a heat map. The result is a graphical representation that can reveal patterns of behavior over time. That information can be used by school administrators to improve student safety or building security. 

Heat mapping technology can also be helpful in improving operational efficiency. For example, understanding where and when students congregate can inform the layout of furniture, the timing of events, and more.

Challenge: Proactively Monitor for Technology Errors & Connectivity Issues That Could Jeopardize Post-incident Investigations

System maintenance is a required cost of any surveillance system. However, schools that are located in remote areas or that experience frequent storms and power outages are at a higher risk for losing video coverage due to resulting connectivity issues and camera hardware malfunctions.

Many do not realize how common disruptions in video are. Missing video can be caused by any number of factors including

  • Internet connectivity issues
  • SD card errors
  • Limited storage space on the recording server
  • Power outages
  • A spider building a web across the lens
  • Someone tampering with the camera
  • Routing and switching malfunctions
  • Someone spray painting the lens
  • A crow sitting on the camera and changing the fov
  • Someone filling the lens with silly string

 

With children’s lives on the line and liability concerns at the forefront of concern, schools cannot risk an incident happening during a camera down event.

The Boring Lab’s VMS Health Monitoring tools seemlessly integrate into Milestone XProtect, constantly monitoring the health and performance of all the system components including the cameras, video feed, server storage, and more. It auto-generates alerts when issues are detected and provides easy-to-understand data visualizations that help system administrators understand the root cause of problems. The Boring Lab’s Boring Toolbox was built exclusively for Milestone, making it the easiest management tool to get started with and use alongside your XProtect VMS.


Check out this case study with Grand View University to learn more about why the university staff calls The Boring Toolbox “the best investment that [their security team] made all year” and how it has given them peace of mind in knowing their security footage will be there when they need it most.

Challenge: Verify Permits for Parking Enforcement and Access Control

One of the most important features of a video security system for schools is the ability to monitor and document who is on campus during school and after hours. “Access control” refers to a wide variety of solutions, that gives schools more visibility and control over who is allowed on campus at any given time. 

This oversight is especially helpful when it comes to parking enforcement for a few reasons: 

  • Cases of theft or vandalism, as it can help law enforcement identify and apprehend the perpetrator
  • Maintaining safety protocols for entry and exit plans
  • Monitoring traffic flow
  • Proactively monitoring for potential threats and unknown people
  • Reduce liability in the event of an accident or a crime

License plate recognition (LPR) is a camera-based technology that uses optical character recognition (OCR) to read vehicle license plates. LPR cameras are typically mounted on street poles or atop buildings and can be integrated with video management systems (VMS) to automatically track and log vehicles as they enter and exit an area of interest. The FF Group LPR integration for Milestone XProtect supports both European Union (EU) and United States (US) license plate formats and can be configured to automatically generate alerts when suspicious or unwanted vehicles are detected.

Challenge: Identify Potential Threats and Unknown Parties on Campus

A video security system with facial recognition can help to identify who is coming and going from the premises and keep track of who is on campus at any given time. This can help to ensure the safety of students, staff, and faculty members.

SAFR from RealNetworks is a facial recognition platform that can be integrated with Milestone XProtect video management software (VMS). SAFR uses deep learning algorithms to detect faces in live video streams and compare them against reference databases containing millions of images. When a match is found, an alert can be generated and sent to security personnel. SAFR also allows users to create watchlists of known individuals and track their movements in real time across multiple cameras.

Challenge: Monitor Traffic Flow on Campus and Control Access to Designated Areas

As stated in The Department of Justice’s 2016 Comprehensive Report on School Safety Technology “Access control devices prevent or otherwise control physical access to school property, people, and resources. These devices are some of the most widely used for school security and safety. They are used to keep doors closed when necessary, direct pedestrian flow within schools, maintain control of school property boundaries and direct and control vehicle access into and around school property… In addition to preventing entry to school grounds or buildings, these devices are used to prevent theft and vandalism, help ensure school visitors are more easily accounted for, and ensure specialized equipment and other items are safely secured.”

Genea is an access control system that integrates with Milestone XProtect video management software (VMS). Genea allows users to create rules that automatically open doors or gates when certain events occur, such as someone approaching with an authorized keycard or badge. Genea also supports two-factor authentication, which requires users to present both an authorized keycard/badge AND a second form of identification, such as a PIN code or biometric measurement, before being granted access. 

Genea’s access control solution is a favorite among property management companies because of its flexibility in managing large distributed site locations. This is a feature that translates well to campuses with distributed departments that need their own sets of rules and authorizations.

Challenge: Easily Search Through Video and Collect Video Evidence

Despite the need for a modern, fully functional, intuitive, and scalable VMS, many education institutions (K-12 schools, universities, day care centers) are operating on a limited budget and don’t have the means to invest in expensive equipment and system management. Having camera equipment that is both scalable and adds helpful functionality can make a big difference in the long-term usability of the security system. 

One of the biggest challenges of managing and maintaining a video security system is knowing how to use the data being collected effectively. Because let’s be honest, having hundreds of hours of footage is useless if you aren’t able to find the incident clip that you actually need quickly and easily.

In addition to being on the more affordable side, Hanwha cameras integrate seamlessly into Milestone XProtect and come equipped with extended functionality. 

Hanwha’s AI camera metadata plugin for Milestone allows you to easily query metadata, making it easy to locate specific incidents from your video footage using plain language. For example, you can use search terms such as “blue minivan” or “person wearing red backpack” to pull up specific video clips that feature the elements you describe. 

This functionality makes Hanwha cameras an ideal solution for anyone who doesn’t have the time or patience to play Where’s Waldo every time they need to pull video evidence.

Conclusion

There are many benefits that come along with integrating Milestone’s XProtect platform into your educational institution’s security plan but these six integrations offer unique solutions vital for keeping students safe.

Want to try out these time-saving tools yourself? Sign up for a 30-day free trial today and get access to all of our time-saving tools for Milestone XProtect!

Team Boring

Your go-to XProtect eXPerts. We learn the technical stuff that will save you time and make it less boring.

Team Boring

Your go-to XProtect eXPerts. We learn the technical stuff that will save you time and make it less boring.

Love learning about all things XProtect?

Sign up for our [NOT so] Boring Newsletter to get a monthly dose of XProtect tips, security trends, and a touch of humor delivered directly to your inbox.

You Might Also Enjoy…

  • All Post
  • Case Studies
  • How To
  • Milestone XProtect
  • Product Releases
  • Security Industry Best Practices
  • Time Saving Tips
  • Troubleshooting