The Challenge: Evolving from an aging DVR network
Brookstreet is a premier hotel, conference, golf, spa, and dining destination in Canada’s National Capital Region. The emphasis at every turn is to create a sensational hotel experience for each guest.
This takes rapt attention to the details. For Troy Hughes, Brookstreet’s Director of Finance, it’s vital to have the premises under regular video surveillance to document any slip and fall incidents, ensure guest safety (and good behaviour) in public areas and monitor activities around all entry points.
In 2018, Hughes began his search for an alternative to a network of aging on-premise DVR equipment that had reached the end of its useful life.
“The cameras we had were perfectly fine but I needed a way to provide greater functionality, remote access and greater ease of use while reducing our overall DVR operating costs,” he said. “We wanted to migrate the Brookstreet’s surveillance from the traditional little security room behind smoked glass to something we don’t need to maintain and manage with a security team.”
This search led Hughes to Solink, which transitioned a handful of existing cameras to its cloud video surveillance system in January 2019. In place of on-premise DVR hardware, Solink networked Brookstreet’s security cameras through its own cloud video monitoring platform.
“It became very clear to me that Solink would be able to provide us with everything we would need in a DVR system, and support our future plans to scale to more advanced features, such as transaction matching with our points of sale,” he said. “As a finance guy, it’s important for me to have those transactional visuals. At that point, we went all in!”
The Solution: Using cloud video surveillance for ease of use and convenience
Through the Solink dashboard, the Brookstreet’s security camera system can be accessed and managed through any mobile or remote client, including Hughes’ preference for iPad or iPhone. This video surveillance system spans the hotel lobby, gym and pool, meeting spaces, hallways, and parking areas, as well as the Marshes Golf Course, which is a separate property nearby.
Simplicity is important to Hughes. He has access to smart features such as 360-degree camera views, motion search, and an activity feed through the Histograms. This makes it easy to filter through hours of video surveillance footage to find a specific incident or flag unusual levels of activity.
“It’s easy to get in and quickly search for data, or to review, catalog and file an incident on the fly for billing, insurance retention, or law enforcement purposes,” he said. “We sometimes use it to validate a guest dispute.”
Security cameras can be organized into groups for personalized user access. In fact, Hughes has full control over what access and usage privileges he grants to any manager or other employee. He has learned from experience that this is crucial for external and internal theft prevention.
“You can grant that access and capability without a long learning curve — I can manage the entire system and access from my iPad,” he said.
Technical performance and ease of use aside, it’s the human element that’s also important to Hughes. When he needs to get in touch with Solink’s support team, he finds the in-app chat invaluable – that’s because a real live person is quick to respond, versus a chatbot.
“I find the Solink team is highly responsive,” he said.
The Benefits: Lower labour and IT costs, greater peace of mind
For Hughes, is all about those dollars and cents. Solink saves him money on his IT budget and even more on his security budget.
Thanks to Solink’s cloud video surveillance system, he can reduce security-related labour costs to control and monitor access to the premises. Hughes estimates he is saving at least $60,000 in labour costs by eliminating the need for one security position, if not $150,000 or more for a small team.
On the IT side, “the continuity of the system saves us money,” Hughes said. “I get alerts when the camera network is offline before we even know it. The fact that it is centrally managed by Solink from another location and maintenance free is great for our IT team.”
“Solink is an invaluable business tool,” Hughes said. “I always know it is working and doing what we need it to do without having to be logged into it. In the hotel business, incidents are often recognized in hindsight. You need to have constant eyes on the entire property. Solink is like that reliable and dependable employee who is always on time and great at multitasking.”