This is part of our series on how a managed services team helps your system deliver the required level of corporate safety and security.

(If you’re new to this series, a third-party “managed services team” is a remote set of security experts who assume responsibility for your security system’s day-to-day operation. Here’s our team.)

Today, we’ll focus on how they help deliver a high level of system uptime.

A security system needs to be fully operational around the clock, or there will be unwanted vulnerabilities and inconveniences. Every camera should be working, every door’s card reader should be operational, and system users able to log in and operate the system.

#1 Problem Diagnosis

Unexpected behavior can have many causes, and diagnosing the issue properly is the fastest way to resolution. A managed services team has the experience to know if the problem lies in the hardware at the edge (like a card reader or camera), the intermediate hardware (like an IoT gateway), the network, the user permissions, the system software itself, or something else.

An experienced managed services team can quickly and easily identify and troubleshoot problems using techniques and industry practices to resolve issues that most of the time would
require a level II technician to be on site.

Understanding the problem correctly can save you from unnecessarily rolling a truck for a service call.

#2 Constant Focus after the Project is Done

A good managed services team is your instant source of on-demand training for the tasks that you need to perform.

Need to change a contractor’s access privileges but have forgotten how? They’ll show you how.

Need to change a door schedule? They’ll show you how.

When you have instant access to a help desk, you’re less likely to misconfigure the system on your own and create downtime.

Moreover, a managed services team stays aware of how your system evolves and drives continuous improvement and adaptation.

#3 Established Protocols and Experience (alt: Fox or Hedgehog?)

Assume you have a reasonably large security system spanning several facilities or more, with hundreds of cameras, doors, and cardholders. And your company is expanding.

Who will be responsible for the ongoing configuration of the various components of your security system, to make sure they are running properly?

You have five choices. The first four are:

  • No one
  • The IT department
  • You
  • Someone else in the security department

Honestly, none of these choices are likely to keep your system running smoothly.

A good managed services team (the fifth choice) knows all the possible failure modes, keeps up with software changes and knows how to adapt, and follows protocols to harden and monitor each type of camera and door.

They know how to maximize uptime.

For example, think of a camera in a mission-critical location. How can you immediately know it has a problem? A good managed services team configures the VMS to be aware of the camera and send an alert if something goes amiss. Some software plugins like Genetec’s Camera Integrity will notice if the lens is dirty or the view is obscured.

Additionally, a good managed services team sets up a separate SNMP daemon to constantly ping the camera, and trigger an alarm if it goes offline.

Last, that alarm needs to be diagnosed, correctly triaged, and the proper support initiated.

All of this is easy for a managed services team. Not so much for you or your busy IT department.

Managed services teams are specialists in operating enterprise security software like Genetec. That’s all they do!

Uptime Matters

Particularly for mission-critical facilities and applications, security system uptime is essential. A managed services team keeps your cameras and doors working properly for more of the time — and usually saves money too.