Cisco Meraki products offer a whole host of opportunities to equip your enterprise for the technical challenges of the future. The purpose of this case study is to present a range of features offered by Cisco Meraki.

The security cameras are complicated and prone to failure

Our example concerns a spa hotel with adjoining hotel shop. The hotel car park, the lobby and the retail units require surveillance with security cameras. The previous surveillance installation used an older camera system. The old surveillance system was based on an NVR solution, that is to say, videos were transmitted to a central network storage unit. The system was integrated into the normal hotel network. When network issues occurred, the cameras could not transmit the video stream to the network storage unit, and the video recordings were lost. In many cases, this was not noticed until a later date when the video material was needed. Furthermore, viewing the video material was a laborious and complicated job, and the hotel management always had to call on the assistance of an external service provider.

A new approach with Cisco Meraki MV cameras

The hotel management decided to seek a new security concept and struck gold with Cisco Meraki MV cameras. One major factor in the customer’s decision was that the Cisco Meraki system is easy to operate, thus rendering the external service provider unnecessary once the system has been set up. What is more, the MV cameras are failure-proof as the video material is stored on the cameras themselves. A network connection is not needed until the material is viewed. The hotel management was also convinced by the additional options offered by the smart analytics tool for business development.

Cisco Meraki cameras are fast and simple to set up

Switching camera systems was simple. MV32 with fisheye lenses were chosen for the lobby while the MV22 with varifocal lens was deployed in the shop. The MV72, which is designed for outdoor use, was selected for surveillance of the car park. All cameras can be completely configured before mounting using the Meraki Dashboard. As the hotel does not have its own IT specialists, an external company was engaged to carry out the installation, whereby costs were kept low thanks to the short set-up time. As the Meraki Dashboard has also been designed for use by laymen, the management required no further support from the external service provider once the initial set-up had been completed. The cameras’ analytics tools are also easy to understand. Training by means of Meraki webinars was sufficient to familiarise the management with all of the system’s features.

Separation of video surveillance for the external shop

As the hotel shop is run by a subtenant, the shop’s surveillance videos should only be made available to the shop manager and not to the hotel staff. In the past, this required a separate video system, but now, thanks to rights administration, video surveillance of the shop can only be viewed by authorised shop staff. Nevertheless, in its capacity as lessor, the hotel management can assure itself at any time that the video surveillance is working correctly and offer support should any issues arise.

Analytics tools offer added value beyond mere security

In addition to security, the smart analytics tools were a further reason for switching to Cisco Meraki. The hotel management and the owners of the hotel shop can use the data from the video surveillance for their business strategy. Location analytics and motion heat maps can be used to determine how long guests spent in the lobby area or shop, for example. The view can be precisely set on a per-day or per-hour basis. This helps the hotel management to deploy staff in the lobby or hotel car park in line with actual requirements. In the hotel shop it is also possible to determine which goods were perused for a particularly long time or which areas of the shop receive little attention from customers.

Intelligent object detection helps in the event of damage

Objects can be classified and automatically detected with the assistance of intelligent object detection and motion search. This speeds up the search for the period in question in the event of theft or damage. For example, if a guest reports the disappearance of a suitcase from the lobby, the incident can be resolved quickly. All that has to be done is to mark the area in which the disappearance occurred in the video frame for the system. Any changes are then automatically detected by the system and the user is shown possible times for the disappearance. Motion recap groups a number of frames to show the user times and events in a way that is easy to understand. Instead of having to watch a large number of videos, the events in question can be selected in seconds. Thefts can then be solved without having to invest a great deal of time.

Overall Cisco Meraki MV cameras are simpler and more reliable

The new video surveillance system from Cisco Meraki has reduced the amount of work involved for the management in the event of damage. The old video surveillance software was difficult to use and also failed whenever the network failed. The Cisco Meraki system has consigned such problems to the past. The dashboard’s user administration makes it easy for authorised staff to access videos while also providing protection against unauthorised access. Thanks to the combined system of local and Cloud storage, the new video surveillance system is much more reliable than the old system. This saves costs while improving quality.