Why invest in network intercoms?

Network intercoms offer a convenient way to protect your premises. Combining communication, video surveillance and remote entry control into one single device makes it a great addition to your surveillance solution.

This article examines how open network intercoms could benefit your business.

Superior video and audio performance

Network intercoms make access control and security more straightforward. By increasing the control and efficiency of your visitor management, premises security and staff safety can be improved, while also saving costs – without compromising on image quality.

It is fundamentally important that your network intercoms makes it easy to see and communicate with visitors. This can sometimes prove tricky in certain conditions, but can be solved by using quality network-based security cameras with your door entry system. For example, with a wide field of view it is easier to remotely identify your visitors and grant them access. For dark or strongly backlit situations, technologies such as wide dynamic range (WDR) and great low light performance ensure uncompromised image quality. Further, by using acoustic echo cancellation and noise reduction technology, you can also ensure reliable communication with visitors, something that is invaluable in often noisy outdoor environments.

Adapt to your security needs

It is not practical to invest in a whole new system every time you want to add new functionality to your security system. Therefore, we recommend looking for products that are based on open and widely adopted standards, such as SIP for communication or ONVIF and VAPIX for video surveillance. By using an open solution, you can add new features to the already familiar systems you have in place For example, using an intercom with an integrated card reader makes it easy to integrate with your existing access control system.

Open standards also allow you to connect to basically any modern video management system (VMS), so cameras and recordings, schedules, storage, alarms and notifications are all handled in the exact same way. Calls from visitor can be received directly into the VMS through the enterprise wide IP phone systems, or as a standalone call to a specific desk phone or mobile device. This makes it a valuable tool for combined video surveillance, communication, and visitor management.

Simple and cost-efficient installation

network intercoms illustration

Intercoms use standard network cables and connectors that are usually already in place in the building, so there is no need for dedicated and expensive proprietary wiring.

Power over Ethernet (PoE) means you only need one standard network cable for both power and data transmission. These are low voltage installations which do not require an expert to install, and it is easy to back-up in the case of power outage.

By choosing an intercom based on open standards you also keep down the number of devices both on the outside and inside of the door. On the outside, intercoms will act as security cameras, a door phone and access control reader, reducing the need for separate devices, with no loss to the system’s performance.

Furthermore, a network intercom will connect and utilize whatever equipment you already have. There is no need for a dedicated control panel or answering unit. This keeps down the upfront investment and also the number of devices that need to be supported and maintained over time.

Scalability: address today’s needs to be prepared for tomorrow

Having a system based on open standards and interfaces also creates more freedom and flexibility for changes in circumstances, as you are not locked into a proprietary system. For example if your company grows or your security needs change, you can be sure that your system can be upgraded, without having to change the products mounted in your facility.

The same goes for communication solutions, which might go from a single desk phone receiving calls from visitors, to an enterprise level communication system routing calls over a larger area. Not to mention, should you need to call multiple destinations, phone book features make it easy to look up and call various recipients.

The same scalability also comes with the number of intercoms. In a network-based system you are not limited by a centralized control panel so the system can grow with your organization and you can add new intercoms as you go. Regardless if you are in the same building or adding new locations, by utilizing standard network infrastructure, you’re good to go.

Openly available APIs and SDKs allow you to adapt your system for basically any kind of special solution or integration, specific to your needs.

Beyond access control

With onboard intelligence, intercoms become an even more powerful professional security tool. They can be programmed to trigger alarms, calls, alerts, camera recordings or public safety broadcast messages, based on whatever is happening at the scene, all in real-time.

This kind of event driven security solution relieves burden from operators and improves both the accuracy and efficiency of daily operations. The intercom will call for attention when an operator needs to take action or even automatically perform pre-defined actions in certain situations as defined and scheduled by the system owner.

For example, audio analytics can be used to detect a gunshot, glass breaking or the early stages of a brawl and send an alert to security. Among other things video analytics can be used to detect motion or loitering in restricted areas, scan QR codes to activate predefined actions or for facial recognition for identification or two-factor authentication.

All activities in the surrounding area can be accurately documented along with other security video and events, providing full control and traceability for security staff. With capabilities like these, network intercoms transform from isolated tools into intrinsic and proactive elements of a network security system.

The mighty intercom

So to wrap things up there are several good reasons to look into a network intercom. They provide 3-in-1 functionality, combining video surveillance, communication and entry control to add superior performance to your security system. Their open interfaces and intelligence provide a tool to create powerful, scalable and cost-efficient security solutions to protect your premises today and in the future. This combined makes them a compelling investment that, over the lifetime of your security system, will provide an excellent return, both in terms of security and operations management.

Find out more about our range of network intercoms here.

Network intercoms