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Massive Texas School District with 3,000 Cameras Switches Video Management Provider

One massive Texas school district recently upgraded its video surveillance system in an effort to keep up with advancements in Web management platforms.

Austin Independent School District – the nation’s 38th largest school system – has replaced its existing video management system with Video Insight software. Encompassing 230-square miles, Austin ISD has 86,000 students, 11,000 employees, 124 campuses and more than 3,000 video surveillance cameras.

“We were unhappy with the platform that we had invested in and we needed a more practical solution – something that was easy to use,” says Austin ISD Police Department Representative Wayne Russell. “We needed something that didn’t require an incredible amount of CPU processor power that could also serve as a fully-functioning Web client.”

After an exhaustive bid process, Russell found the solution in Video Insight. “Video Insight was the only software solution that worked seamlessly with our existing cameras and it offered a very dependable Web client," Russel says.

A fully functional Web client application was very important to Austin ISD, says Russell, due to the number of employees that tend to move from campus to campus in such a large school system. Russell says prior to the Video Insight implementation his VMS administrator spent a considerable amount of time with user maintenance. “With this number of users a reliable Web client is more economical than installing (and uninstalling) thick VMS clients on each PC, which also overburdens our already taxed VMS administrators,” he says.

The switch to Video Insight has resulted in an improved video management system for Austin ISD in many respects, including: Little to no training for employees; increased video camera image quality; more efficient storage; faster system performance; variety in camera choice and LDAP integration. The 3,000-plus camera system is monitored by the AISD police dispatch 24-hours a day, seven days a week, paying particular attention during peak times to camera feeds in the bus drop off and pick up areas, cafeterias during breakfast and lunch time, playgrounds and in hallways during class changes. Administrators monitor cameras at each school campus, but they report incident to the AISD police who have the sole authority to clip and export video.

Video Insight Chief Technical Officer James Whitcomb says that Video Insight’s open architecture, ease of use and features that were developed specifically for large systems with multi-campuses and facilities is what makes it best suited for a project like Austin ISD. And because Video Insight software supports more than 1,000 cameras from 60 manufacturers, users have a wide variety of choice when it comes to adding cameras to their system.

“As a result of our work together Austin ISD has better system management, better use of storage, no need for in-depth training,” Whitcomb says. “The best news is that they have reliable video surveillance that adds to – and does not detract – from a district-wide safety program.”

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