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EXCLUSIVE: Enhancing hospitality with the power of video surveillance

Hospitality business - hotel

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Technologies such as storage area network arrays have enabled hospitality businesses like hotels and casinos to enhance security and operational efficiencies, says BCD.

The growing significance of surveillance in hospitality

As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, video surveillance and data retention have become indispensable tools in the dynamic and customer-centric world of the hospitality industry.

Although their primary purpose is to increase protection, these systems now go beyond traditional security measures to offer a wealth of additional benefits.

Ensuring the safety of guests, employees and assets remains a top priority and modern surveillance systems can monitor multiple areas within a hospitality establishment, such as reception areas, lobbies, parking lots, dining rooms, kitchens and storage rooms.

Their purpose includes deterring crime, identifying suspicious activities and providing crucial evidence for law enforcement or internal security measures and can extend even further to improving operational efficiency, enhancing customer experiences and compliance with regulatory obligations.

Enhancing security and safety

Furthermore, advanced security solutions equipped with video management software (VMS) offer a range of tools such as real-time alerts and analytics.

For instance, a security team can receive immediate alerts when a license plate associated with theft is detected, enabling them to respond swiftly and intervene effectively.

These tools not only enhance security but also alleviate the burden of demands, particularly for large hospitality businesses with limited security staff.

Video surveillance systems also play a critical role in ensuring the safety of both guests and employees. They contribute to crowd control efforts by detecting foot traffic patterns and identifying potential issues before they escalate.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, surveillance systems have even been utilized to provide health-related tools such as contact tracing, occupancy limits and insights on social distancing compliance.

Additionally, these systems can monitor areas for accidents, ensuring a swift response and remediation while enforcing safety requirements among staff members.

Operational efficiency

In addition to security and safety, video surveillance solutions support operational efficiency in the hospitality industry.

By analyzing foot traffic patterns, businesses can better allocate staff resources and identify areas that require improvement or renovation.

For example, a restaurant can determine the busiest times in the dining room and adjust staffing levels accordingly.

Video insights also help optimize utility usage by adjusting heating and cooling systems based on the number of people in a specific area.

By leveraging video surveillance data, businesses can make better informed decisions.

Regulatory compliance

Compliance with regulatory requirements is another crucial aspect of the hospitality industry.

Video footage serves as valuable evidence to ensure and demonstrate compliance with various regulations.

Employers can monitor staff to ensure adherence to proper procedures and protocols and the captured footage can be used to assess compliance and provide the necessary training or resources.

Furthermore, specific hospitality businesses, such as hotels and casinos, have legal obligations to retain their video footage for a specified period.

Storage area network (SAN) arrays provide a reliable solution to meet these data retention requirements efficiently and in compliance with relevant regulations.

Elevating customer experience

Customer experience lies at the heart of the hospitality industry and video surveillance systems can play a significant role in enhancing this.

Intelligent detection features and insights derived from surveillance data enable businesses to detect and address issues such as long lines, bottlenecks and loitering.

By identifying high-value guests, businesses can provide personalized attention and exceptional service.

Moreover, the mere presence of security cameras can help to deter crime, ensuring that guests feel safe and comfortable during their stay or visit.

Technical challenges and requirements

While video surveillance systems offer substantial benefits to the hospitality industry, they also present technical challenges that need to be addressed.

Reliability is crucial since hospitality businesses operate around the clock and security systems must maintain high uptime and dependability.

Security and data privacy are also paramount and surveillance solutions must strike a balance between advanced features and secure infrastructure to prevent data loss or leaks.

Accessibility and ease of use are essential for video surveillance systems in the hospitality industry. Hotel staff, security personnel and management should be able to access video feeds and recorded footage easily and intuitively.

This enables prompt response to incidents, efficient investigations and the ability to review footage for training and improvement purposes.

SAN arrays

To address these technical challenges and meet the unique requirements of the hospitality industry, SAN arrays offer an effective solution by providing scalable and high-performance storage infrastructure for video surveillance data, ensuring reliable and efficient storage and retrieval of footage.

They offer features such as redundancy, data protection and high availability, minimizing the risk of data loss or system downtime.

SAN arrays also provide the flexibility to accommodate the growing storage needs of hospitality businesses.

As video surveillance systems capture and retain a vast amount of data over time, scalability is crucial.

SAN arrays can easily scale up storage capacity by adding more drives or expanding the storage infrastructure, allowing businesses to meet their increasing storage requirements without disruptions.

Meeting the growing demands of video data

Data retention is a significant consideration in the hospitality industry, particularly to comply with regulatory obligations.

Many jurisdictions require hospitality businesses to retain video footage for a specific period of time, usually ranging from weeks to months.

SAN arrays offer efficient data retention capabilities, allowing businesses to store and manage video footage for the required duration.

They provide features such as data deduplication and compression, optimized storage utilization and reduced costs.

In addition to storage capacity and data retention, SAN arrays offer high-performance data access, which is crucial in a real-time surveillance environment.

They provide fast read and write speeds, enabling quick access to live video feeds and efficient retrieval of archived footage.

This ensures that hotel staff and security personnel can access the necessary video data promptly, enabling them to respond to incidents effectively and make informed decisions based on the recorded information.

Quick retrieval for real-time surveillance

Furthermore, SAN arrays support advanced data management features that enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of video surveillance systems.

They enable intelligent video analytics by integrating with VMS platforms.

These analytics can automatically detect and alert for specific events or behaviors, such as unauthorized access, loitering or suspicious activities.

By leveraging the power of SAN arrays, hospitality businesses can capitalize on these advanced analytics capabilities to enhance security, operational efficiency and customer experiences.

A safer, more efficient and customer-centric hospitality industry

In conclusion, video surveillance and data retention play a vital role in the hospitality industry, contributing to security, safety, operational efficiency, regulatory compliance and customer experience.

SAN arrays provide a reliable and scalable storage infrastructure that address the unique demands of video surveillance systems in hospitality businesses.

By investing in robust and efficient storage solutions, hotels, resorts, restaurants and other hospitality establishments such as casinos can leverage the full potential of video surveillance data to create safer environments, improve operations and deliver exceptional guest experiences.

Advancements in technology have revolutionized the way the hospitality industry utilizes video surveillance, enabling businesses to go beyond traditional security measures and reap numerous benefits across various facets of their operations.

With the right video surveillance systems and data retention solutions in place, the hospitality industry can continue to thrive in a safe, efficient and customer-focused manner.

This article was originally published in the August edition of Security Journal Americas. To read your FREE digital edition, click here.

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