Poor CCTV Footage

Is your security more 20th century than 21st century? Access Control & CCTV from your smartphone!

Posted on Posted in Products

HD / 4K CCTV & Door Access from your iPhone or Android Device

One frustration we have within the security industry is the fact that there are so many systems out there that are really not suitable for purpose, especially CCTV.
After all CCTV & Access Control is there to protect us and give us piece of mind, although we often see appeals for information based on grainy and quite honestly, unusable footage.

The above shot is from a traditional analog CCTV system, and as you can see, it’s not great. When we speak to new customers they often tell us their frustrations about CCTV & Access control being extremely difficult to use. In fact when they need simple changes and updates they find it almost impossible to carry them out by themselves.

After being in the industry for many years myself, I can sympathise as a lot of old legacy systems were not designed with usability in mind.

Roll forward to 2018 though, and there are some amazing systems out there. The two systems in this post allow you to monitor and secure your “smart” building all from your “Smart” phone.

Here is a sample of some footage from the very latest HD/4K CCTV camera:

You can see instantly the benefit of this level of clarity when trying to track down a perpetrator of a serious crime. The images are so clear, you can even read the letters from a vehicle number plate without a problem.

In 2018, we really shouldn’t be relying on specialist teams to ‘clean up’ poor grainy CCTV images when there are products on the market that can do a tremendous job of capturing a near perfect image.

It’s not just the cameras themselves though, the management systems for your CCTV and access doors have advanced significantly in recent years. Meet Eagle Eye Networks & Brivo Systems.

Camera Managment

Although the Eagle Eye platform offers a fully functional VMS via the cloud, the element we are concentrating on here is the VMS available for iPhone & Android. It’s really awesome, offering a lot of the management features via your mobile. At a glance you can see exactly which cameras are online/offline or needing attention.

There is also a Google Map view so you can see exactly which locations are covered, and a simple navigation system to view live or recorded footage.

Access Control & CCTV

There are two Brivo Apps in the suite of mobile apps, the first one I’m going to mention is the “Brivo Mobile Pass” which is essentially an employee or visitor app enabling access control card holders to use a simple app in place of their card. In fact, some of our customers use the app as a backup if they’ve left their access card at home.

The app utilitises GPS and will even pop up when you are near a Brivo enabled building. When the app launches you simply swipe left or right to scroll through the doors you have access to and simply press and hold the button to open the requested door. Simple as that!

The second app is “Brivo OnAir”. You can at a glance see enabled cards on the system, a view of recent events, such as door access requests and system disconnects.
As well as this you can open doors and the best bit; you can view a connected camera or even view cameras linked to access records! It’s awesome.

 

If you want a full demo of the software, including the desktop software and mobile applications for both Eagle Eye Networks and Brivo Systems. Feel free to get in touch and we’d be delighted to show you how we can modernise your security solution.

We can also go through your requirements and show you some of our range of HD / 4K camera systems. All of these can also be added to our pro-active smart building monitoring platform.

Merry Christmas from Visually Connected 2017

Merry Christmas and a Happy & Prosperous 2018 from Visually Connected

Posted on Posted in News

A Successful 2017 for Visually Connected

It comes to this time of year where we traditionally send out a communication or a card to all of our suppliers, customers and staff, however this year we have decided to send this out electronically. We wish very warm wishes to you and your families over the Christmas period and we also wish everybody a very happy and prosperous 2018.

It’s been an interesting year in many ways for Visually Connected, however we have grown our team, our turnover and our profit level steadily, putting us in a strong position for 2018. We have been delivering a wide range of IT Support Services, Audio Visual Project Management, Installations and Support, as well as CCTV & Access Control.

We’ve been involved in many different new and exciting projects, and we have met some great people along the way. We really cannot wait to hit the ground running in 2018, so we can continue to deliver the fast pro-active ground breaking service we are known for, but not only that we can move forward and deliver new services, new products and great ideas into your ‘Smart Building’.

We also have some great R&D projects coming soon, and a lot more exciting news to share with you shortly.

Merry Christmas!

James & Sussi
Visually Connected

 

Cisco & Visually Connected

News: Visually Connected achieves Cisco Select Partner Certification and Status

Posted on Posted in News, Press Release

Visually Connected, an IT and Audio Visual specialist based just outside Swindon, are proud to announce a strategic business partnership and certification achieved by the business this week. We are now Cisco Select Partners as well as Small/Midsize Business Specialists.

Quote from Cisco:

“Visually Connected have met all criteria for partnership and specialisation, and proven that they have the ability to provide sophisticated, value-added Cisco solutions through in-depth sales capabilities, technology skills and service offerings.

Visually Connected are now a part of this elite group of Small and Midsize Business Specialisation Partners – we appreciate the ongoing commitment and expertise that they have demonstrated, and we look forward to a successful partnership”.

Through this valued partnership, Visually Connected will be able to supply a full range of Cisco equipment, from Meraki Wireless Access Points, Catalyst and Small Business Switching & Routing, along with ASA firewalls, security devices and collaboration tools. With this advanced technology you can see how it’s possible to automate your network, lower WAN costs, predict performance and detect and mitigate threats with the latest networking technology.

For the larger organisation, through this partnership, access to financing programmes is now possible, provided through Cisco Capital allowing you to get the technology you need in order to grow, today.

Different financing options help address the businesses critical needs, and it allows the end user to focus on key business objectives such as increasing productivity, maintaining profitability and improving competitiveness through innovation.

For more information, visit our website at www.visuallyconnected.com or give us a call on +44 (0)330 133 0902

Cisco Select Channel Partner

Microsoft CloudPBX

Setting Up CloudPBX with Office 365

Posted on Posted in Featured Products

Setting up CloudPBX with Office365

Today we are talking about Microsoft’s CloudPBX. For those of you who don’t know, this is Microsoft’s fully featured phone system which is available from Visually Connected, through the cloud.

Making the decision to utilise Microsoft Office 365 for your business is an easy choice – often, you will need the suite of applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook etc for your day to day work, so it’s natural to look at the extra expansive features the product can offer. Not least, because a telephone system is a huge investment for any size business.

One of the most powerful elements to the suite is it’s capability to provide your organisation with ‘Unified Communications’. Quite simply, Office 365 allows you to put all your communications through a single product, Skype for Business. This means you can use the application for instant messaging, video conference, internet calling as well as standard telephone calls.

The latter is where CloudPBX comes in. A traditional PBX is a system within an enterprise that allows switching of calls between enterprise users on local lines whilst allowing users to share a certain number of local lines, it also enables an enterprise to set up call queues, hold music as well as the ability to inter-transfer calls, so you can effectively think of this product as a PBX that is configured, maintained, monitored through the cloud.

Modern Office with MS CloudPBX

We at Visually Connected are a certified Microsoft Solution Provider (CSP), which means you can rely on us to give you the best advice for your business when it comes to Telecoms and Connectivity. The flexibility and cost savings of using this product is phenomenal. With the cost of day to day calls being included within your monthly subscription, it now makes sense more than ever to move to the cloud.

All the settings and configuration can then be found through the Skype for Business Administration Centre under Office365.

Skype for Business Admin Center

You can then simply port existing numbers across to Office365 or create new ones. Once you have done this, you can then create your IVR, record your prompts and then set up your call queues, and everything is billed under one simple monthly subscription.

Local, Geographic, National and International numbers can be set up or transferred into the system, so whether you are in Swindon, London, or anywhere else in the world, this solution will work for you!

CloudPBX Number Porting

Using physical devices with CloudPBX

There are a wide range of devices available that are certified as compatible with Office365 and Skype for business, from conference phones to desktop handsets, with or without video calling capabilities.

Office365 simplifies communication and brings advanced features to everyone within your organistation, all included within your monthly subscription fee.

Want to learn more? Speak to us today on 0330 133 0902

Polycom vvx400

 

 

Visually Connected Polycom Partner

NEWS: We are now a Polycom Partner

Posted on Posted in News, Press Release

We are pleased to announce that we are now part of the Polycom partner network, enabling us to specialise in the implementation of video conference deployments. Polycom was founded in 1990 and since then, they have been the market leaders in the video conferencing and unified communications industry. For larger deployments within the corporate arena, their technology is the natural choice.

Integration is a key part of the product offering, and you can have a really slick solution when you combine Office 365 / Skype for Business with your VC solution. #DefyDistance and reduce expenses holding meetings with attendees all over the globe using these award winning collaboration solutions.

Delivering Enterprise-grade video, voice and collaboration experiences accelerate decision-making and foster innovation. The RealPresence Group series is now certified on Office 365 and Skype for Business and we can supply all the latest technology, expertise and installation services here at Visually Connected. No matter the size of your deployment, our product experts can be on hand to assist your needs.

Already a Polycom user? Speak to us about our support packages and see how we can make your meeting room facilities work harder for you.


Polycom Product Overview

Conference Phones

Polycom Soundstation 2w

Make it feel like everyone’s together in the same room. Polycom conference phones deliver clear sound to every participant in every location. Advanced audio technology allows each conference phone to intelligently adapt to different room environments. So everyone can hear and be heard, even when more than one person talks at a time. You’ll eliminate confusion and enhance productivity. Not a single word—or opportunity—gets missed.

 

RealPresence Voice VOIP Desk Phones

Polycom vvx400

Help your teams move faster with exceptional audio quality and built-in flexibility. The RealPresence open standards approach to desk phones delivers best-of-breed results and makes collaboration effortless. Get a first-class phone experience with enterprise-grade audio, video, and applications support with robust interoperability.

  • We can supply a broad selection of easy to use, high-quality phones and applications for organisations of all sizes.
  • Crystal-clear conversations thanks to the best audio quality in the industry.
  • Seamless integration into a wide range of communications environments.
  • Advanced features that streamline workflows and improve productivity.

 

RealPresence 8800 Trio Visual+

Polycom 8800 Trio

Polycom RealPresence Trio 8800 delivers the best audio experience ever from the huddle room to the boardroom – making every conversation, every spoken word just that much clearer. Not only does RealPresence Trio break through the sound barrier by providing the most amazing sound quality, but it also redefines the category by serving as the smart hub for your group collaboration and bringing easy-to-use, no-compromise visual collaboration to spaces that were previously cost prohibitive.

Polycom RealPresence Trio is the only modular smart hub in the market today and your expectations of group collaboration will be forever changed. Modular in design and priced right for mass deployment, RealPresence Trio is perfect for any size group.

RealPresence Trio is the only conference phone on the market with the added capability to add HD content sharing from your own device (BYOD) including your mobile phone, tablet or PC.

There are times when nothing can take the place of face-to-face communication and seeing live reactions and body language. Support for a 1080p30 USB camera provides business-class video and gives you that next level of real-time engagement that is critical for effective collaboration

  • RealPresence Trio leverages open, standards-based video protocols to ensure interoperability with major standard-based solutions and call control platforms
  • Speed connection for every call and eliminate errors with the intuitively simple and vibrant 5” touchscreen
  • Easily join a meeting with one-step-to-join and calendar integration and notifications
  • Thoughtful touches like an illuminated mute button on each leg allows everyone to easily manage the collaboration experience
  • Quick and easy to deploy – just like a phone including zero-touch provisioning and Power-over-Ethernet (PoE)

 

RealPresence Group Series 300 500 700

Polycom Group Series 300 500 700

Drive high-quality, enterprise-grade video collaboration in rooms and meeting locations of all sizes. With cutting-edge technologies to maximise your collaboration experience. With the RealPresence Group Series, next-generation collaboration features and accessories ensure that everyone in the conversation is able to participate and be heard. Standards-based interoperability and deep integration with Microsoft Skype for Business/Lync delivers a scalable, manageable experience that simplifies your UC environment.

  • Share content at up to 1080p at 60 frames per second
  • Share content wirelessly from your laptop or mobile device
  • Wireless sharing for up to 4 users at the same time polus annotation and whiteboarding when using a touch display
  • EagleEye Producer uses innovative facial-tracking algorithms to accurately frame all room participants, or focus on the person speaking— whichever you prefer, eliminating the “bowling alley” view that is all too common in video calls.
  • For a more immersive feel, EagleEye Director II offers the highest performance speaker tracking experience, transmitting facial expressions and body language for higher impact and more productive video collaboration.
  • RealPresence Touch makes it simple and intuitive to start and control calls, including one touch dialing from the integrated calendar
  • Polycom SmartPairing technology makes it easy to start calls and share content from your own device.
  • RealPresence Group Series features the ultimate voice clarity, automatically reducing background noises and delivering advanced echo cancellation to keep meetings on track and free from distractions.
  • Lost Packet Recovery protects the audio and video in challenging network environments, keeping the experience optimal for users even in difficult network conditions.
  • Polycom NoiseBlock technology keeps annoying sounds such as keyboard clicking and paper rustling from interrupting your meetings.
  • Polycom Acoustic Fence captures sounds from inside the virtual fence while blocking those from outside, enabling video collaboration in open workspaces.
  • Add Polycom SoundStructure to enable highly sophisticated audio tuning and configuration, plus the ability to add dozens of additional microphones, delivering clarity for everyone even in your largest spaces.

 

Other Solutions

Polycom Immersive

For a fully immersive experience, we can assist with immersive telepresence or telepresence studio, for huddle spaces we can also offer the RealPrescence Centro along with a wide range of other solutions. We are also fully experiences with the HDX range of video conference.

 

Visually Connected becomes Barco Authorized Partner

NEWS: We are now a Barco Partner

Posted on Posted in Uncategorized

We would like to advise all of our followers and partners that although we have been selling Barco products already for some time, we have now been upgraded to ‘Authorised Partner’ status, which means we can give the highest level of technical support along with pre-sales advice.

Barco manufacture a range of products and have markets in a wide range of sectors, but their most notable product is the ‘Barco ClickShare’ which is a state of the art, wireless collaboration device which allows you to wirelessly share content between your laptop and your large format display.

We can also now supply their full range of Projectors, Video Walls, LED Display’s and collaboration technology, all of which are suitable for both corporate and educational environments. Speak to us today on 0330 133 0902 to advise us of your requirements and see how we can help.

 

 

Barco Products

Full HD CCTV for every budget – Low cost Hikvision NVR & Camera Range

Posted on Posted in Featured Products

We are now proud to stock the latest range of HikVision NVR’s and HD IP Cameras. If you are a small business looking for an entry level cost effective way of monitoring and securing your business premises, then you should really check out the fantastic range we have on offer.

We were going to do a video, however I thought I’d write down our experiences of the units available and also give a quick review and write up in terms of specifications, features, ease of use and functionality.

 

Unboxing and initial setup of the DS-7608NI-E2 8ch NVR & DS-2CD2022F 2MP HD POE IP Camera

 

Both units were well packaged and easy to set up, for the NVR, we did need to install a hard drive, but here at Visually Connected, we can supply your NVR already installed with a 1TB or 2TB HDD drive.

The NVR unit itself was fairly easy to install and setup instantly finding the DS-2CS2022F camera that I plugged directly into the back of the PoE port. The infra red LED’s lit up and I could see on the screen straight away how much power the port was consuming.

I set up the NVR with a static IP address on our network, and within moments I was browsing to the interface within a web browser (I am using Internet Explorer due to the reliance of HikVision to use an active x component to view the camera feeds).

The interface itself is well polished and easy to use, and I was very impressed at the level of functionality and features.

If you want to use cameras powered from your PoE network switch, rather than directly from the unit, then that is also fine but you should note that if you do this, you will need all of the camera details – it’s not so much plug and play, but it still requires some effort in terms of configuration.

Here is the default dashboard ‘live view’ consisting of our two existing office ONVIF compliant cameras, along with the 2mp DS-2CS2022F camera in the top left corner.

 

Hikvision Camer Display Mobile App Hik-Connect

Additional Mobile Functionality

 

Hikvision Camer Display Mobile App Hik-ConnectHikvision Camer Display Mobile App Hik-ConnectOne of the newer additions to the HikVision offering is the new mobile app which is called ‘Hik-Connect’. We were keen to try this out, so we installed the android version and set to work getting it to work. Usually with this type of app, you’d have to rely on setting up port forwarding to get it to work, however HikVision have worked around this by utilising their own server in the cloud to act as a bridge between the NVR and the end user browsing the app.

After installing the app, we had to register for an account using HikVision’s bridge service called “Hik-Connect” . This then prompted for us to create an account and add the serial number and information from the bottom of the NVR – once this was done, opening the app on the android device allowed us to see all the cameras linked to the NVR. We were able to view the footage even if we were not on the same wireless network.

The login we created also works on the “EZVIZ” site which allows you to view the footage in your web browser from a remote location.

We have a permanently set up NVR in our Swindon/Royal Wootton Bassett office, so if you’d like a demo of what it can do, then please come and see us.
(We’d prefer some notice to we can get the kettle on, and make sure we are here!).

 

 

Backups TS

How Toy Story 2 was deleted by mistake, yet rescued by offsite data replication

Posted on Posted in Technology Blog

This is an interesting story about how important the right backup strategy actually is, as well as ensuring it works. Way back in the late nineties, whilst routinely maintaining some files, one of the animators on the Toy Story 2 film ran a linux command “/bin/rm -r -f *” which removed all of the files within the root of the directory. At first, the team recovered some files and initially thought that the production was saved, however on further investigation, the restoration was corrupt, and in fact the backups were unusable.

In fact, it turned out the backup software they were using did not throw up any alerts and the backup process was not being verified. After sending the production team home, one of the team realised that they may have one last saviour! In fact, it turned out that one member of the production staff was actually expecting a baby and had been working from home – a number of the assets and files were saved because they had been duplicated for her to work on at this alternative location.

A stressful number of days followed, with restorations from three sources (the office files, remnants of failed backups and the home backups taken earlier). After hours of re-assembling file structure trees and files, and a number of stringent visual checks, the film was saved and it made the release date to the surprise of everyone who was involved with the project.

These days with the cloud, and other associated technologies, it’s actually quite straightforward to implement a backup strategy that utilises offsite data replication, something that’s a must for business when it’s something that can save the day, so it’s not only a case of ensuring the right strategy, it’s also a case of implementing it successfully.


Reference: h post article

visually connected flower competition

COMPETITION: Freshly cut flowers for your office for 6mnths!

Posted on Posted in News

COMPETITION: Win freshly cut flowers for your office for six months!

Okay, so you may think it’s a bit strange for us, a technology company to be running a competition to win a slice of mother nature! – Well, we felt that if we were going to run a competition it would be nice to actually do something a little bit different for a change. Having fresh flowers within the working environment definitely improves the working atmosphere and delivers a fresh calming influence to everyone within that environment.

At Visually Connected, we specialise in providing technology equipment to smart buildings (IT/Audiovisual/Security – Access Control & CCTV), but we also look at delivering unique products to the workplace to improve productivity and employee experience and engagement. Whether it’s using signage via large screens to make employees feel part of the family, or whether we are installing our unique sound absorbing artwork panels, we strive to create an impressive environment where technology, user experience and atmosphere all play a part in creating a happy and productive workforce.

So, what do you have to do, take a look at the FAQ’s below:
1. Who can enter the competition? What is the prize?

Anyone can enter on behalf of your business or employer. The prize is regular fresh flower deliveries for six months. (One delivery per month for six months).

2. How do I enter?

You can enter by signing up to our mailing list, however the other way you can enter is by resharing this post via Facebook and liking our page.

3. How will the winner be drawn and when?

The lucky business/employer will be drawn at random after the closing date. The winner will be announced via Social Media

4. When is the closing date?

The closing date for this competition is 30th April 2017. Terms & Conditions apply.

Apple MacBook Pro MacOS Sierra

MacBook Pro Rollout – Mac Support Swindon

Posted on Posted in Featured Products, IT Services, News, Technology

Visually Connected are currently installing, configuring and managing the rollout of a new range of MacBook Pro’s for an international client based in Swindon. The state of the art machines are powered by Intel Core i7 Processors and are running the latest MacOS, Sierra. These generation MacBook’s are the first to feature Touch ID and the all new Touch Bar.

The Touch Bar is a long thin touchscreen that replaces the traditional function keys on the MacBook keyboard. Depending on what application you are running, the Touch Bar can be configured to control different functions, controls and customisation. In general applications, it will give recommendations for QuickType typing suggestions, however for more specific applications, such as a music editing programme, it can switch over to a completely custom multitouch setup where settings can be applied, tweaked and removed via the Touch Bar itself.

If you are a corporate business looking to make the switch to AppleOS, then give one of our technical experts a call and we can guide you through everything you need to know. Increase your productivity and output with a powerful machine configured and installed by Visually Connected.

Hardware (MacBook Pro)

  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • 3.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
  • 16GB 2133MHz memory
  • 1TB PCIe-based SSD
  • Intel Iris Graphics 550
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Force Touch trackpad
  • Accessory Kit
  • Backlit Keyboard & User’s Guide