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Barings

The Client:
Barings traces its origins back to 1762 when it was established as a firm of merchants and merchant bankers. The company has forged a place in history, undertaking such monumental transactions as the finance of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, in which the United States doubled in size by purchasing over one million square miles of territory from France. The Baring Asset Management (Barings) operation was established in London more than 40 years ago.

Today the company is a global investment management firm with offices, clients and business lines spanning the world's major markets.

The Situation:
Barings operates two facilities in the London area. The first, in Bishopsgate, City of London, is the company’s worldwide headquarters, housing some 450 staff. As with many of the companies in this area, Barings shares occupancy of their building, renting space across the ninth to twelfth floors. Whilst the building has a main reception and manned guard station on the first floor, Barings manages security across its individual floors which includes operation of its own reception and security desks, access control and CCTV.

A second facility opened earlier this year, located in South London. This office was designed as a ‘lights out operation’ meaning that staff are not based there full-time. Instead, the facility is used as a European Data Centre and a disaster recovery office, providing staff with an alternative working location in the event of a problem at the Bishopsgate office.

The security system at the Data Centre needed to be easy to manage remotely whilst
performing all of the required functions including continuous synchronisation with the
access control system at Bishopsgate. Barings also wanted a solution that offered
proven reporting so that, in the event of any type of security breach, it could quickly
and easily interrogate the system’s history.

The Solution:
When Barings first moved into the Bishopsgate office in 1989, there was an access control solution already in place. Whilst initially meeting the needs of the company, over time it had become more unreliable and cumbersome to manage with increasing costs for maintenance and support, as well as frequent system downtimes. The reporting functionality was time consuming and often ineffective, making it impossible to track history in order to investigate minor security issues. Barings was also concerned that the system’s proprietary nature limited its options in terms of service and support and working with its preferred installation company.

In 2000 Barings made the decision to replace its obsolete system and, following an extensive tender process, chose the Honeywell WIN-PAK™ access control system with PW5000 controllers and approximately 50 proximity card readers, all of which were installed by Reliance High-Tech Ltd. As well as the access control system on Barings’ own floors, the company has also installed its own readers in the main foyer, enabling staff to enter and pass through the main entrance turnstiles without the need for separate access cards.

On moving into the Data Centre, Barings once again approached Reliance High- Tech Ltd, asking them to make a recommendation based on security requirements at the building. Reliance High-Tech Ltd demonstrated WIN-PAK and the Honeywell Fusion Digital Video Recorder (DVR), which offer an integrated video and access control solution, enabling staff at the Bishopsgate site to monitor the Data Centre remotely. The cameras would be linked to the graphical user interface (GUI) of the access control software so that, in the event of an alarm being triggered, the remote operator could receive instant pop-ups showing a live camera view or simply click to easily retrieve historic event images. Reliance High-Tech Ltd also proposed installing Neverfail high-availability software to monitor WIN-PAK and maintain a replica of the application environment as a back-up in the event of a problem. This meant that the Access database running at the Bishopsgate site would be continually replicated on a server at the Data Centre, ensuring full service continuity. This was a critical consideration in Barings’ Enterprise Continuity Planning (ECP) requirements.

“We could immediately see the advantages that the Honeywell system offered including the search and reporting functionality, the database back-up and one single supplier for both CCTV and Access”
Dave Mathews Barings Security Manager

Barings was confident that the proposal met its requirements. Dave Matthews, Security Manager at Barings says: “Barings has always taken a pro-active approach to IT, recognising that new technology can provide a real competitive advantage in this market. We could immediately see the advantages that the Honeywell system offered including the search and reporting functionality, the database back-up and one supplier for both CCTV and Access”.

Implementation of the new system, including ten readers, one Fusion DVR and a number of cameras, was carried out during working hours without any disruption to staff and no impact on security. The system runs on a VLAN within Barings’s own IT network with a fibre backbone to the Data Centre supporting the Neverfail back-up. “The installation went very smoothly and I doubt staff even noticed. We had strong confidence in Reliance High-Tech Ltd; the way they presented themselves and their ability to deliver what they said they would” said Mark Williams, Head of Business Services.” The relationship with Reliance High-Tech Ltd is excellent – they have always been able to offer new solutions to meet our changing requirements.”

The Benefits:
As a financial institution, Barings is accountable not only to its customers and shareholders but also to the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The latter has stringent legal requirements with which companies such as Barings have to comply, covering all manner of areas from accounting to planning to disaster recovery. The new access control and video system supports Barings’ ECP disaster recovery planning. In the event that the Bishopsgate office becomes inaccessible, their operation can be moved quickly and seamlessly to the Data Centre. Neverfail provides further reassurance, ensuring that the access database is always backed-up and accessible.

On a day-to-day basis the system is proving easy to manage. As well as handling the main office systems, security staff based at Bishopsgate are able to monitor activity at the Data Centre, responding to alarms remotely. The integrated networked solution enables them to visually confirm the identity of visitors to the site as images from the CCTV cameras can be instantly compared with access card photo-id pop-ups within the WIN-PAK software.

Reporting is straightforward and, in the event of searching through history, both access control and CCTV logs can be quickly and simply accessed. The system has already proved its value - following a recent incident, Barings was able to provide police with CCTV evidence which helped police to detain an individual at other premises within the City.

Barings is confident that, as its requirements change over time, the Honeywell system will be able to accommodate these changes. In fact, Barings is so impressed with the security system that it has now asked Reliance Hi-Tech Ltd to upgrade the Bishopsgate site to include Fusion DVRs, to gain the full benefits of access control and CCTV integration across its entire operation.

Partner of Choice:
Reliance High-Tech Ltd specialises in the provision of fully integrated electronic security solutions, closed circuit television surveillance (CCTV) and access control systems. The company offers a comprehensive range of services, based on cutting-edge technology, for the commercial, industrial and public sectors.

Reliance High-Tech is a NSI Gold certificated company, complying with ISO 9001:2000 requirements for the installation and maintenance of CCTV, access control and intruder alarm systems. It is proud to have received accolades for the quality of work including ‘Best Integrated Security Solution’ awarded at the 2005 industry Security Excellence awards.

The Products:

  • Honeywell WIN-PAK™
  • PW5000 Control Panels
  • Fusion DVR
  • Omniprox readers

 

Barings Case Study (PDF)