SMH Automation- und Überwachungssysteme GmbH (SMH) in Germany is a system integrator and a key player in the market for managed parking spaces and cooperates. VDG Security is the preferred supplier for the video management part of their projects. Managing Director Lutz Bruhn reflects on the strategic cooperation with VDG in the present and in the future.
There are about 3.7 million managed parking spaces in Germany of which 70% is paid parking. The largest national players are APCOA, Q-Park and Conti-Park and there are several medium-sized and smaller local car park operators. There is a growing trend towards more owner occupancy by hospitals, city centers and local communities. Where does SMH fit in? Lutz Bruhn, its Managing Director: “Since its founding SMH has concentrated on network connectivity and centralization of car parks with a strong focus on voice- and video management technology. Also, SMH is a partner for planning and consulting for car park managing companies.”
Using VDG Sense as the standard
“Some four years ago VDG Sense was mainly selected because it had a perfect interface with the management system FlinQ (by Flexposure, also a TKH company). We were positively surprised with the features and the performance of the VDG Sense solution and based on these good experiences we decided to adopt VDG Sense as our standard video management solution for all projects. Not only in Germany but in all European countries where SMH is active, because product requirements for the German parking market do not differ greatly from those in other European markets.”, Bruhn continues.
VDG Sense’s added value: easy integration
When asked for some decisive features in which VDG stands out against the competition Bruhn immediately mentions the flexibility to expand and modify the system, the user-friendly operator interface, the secure management of stored data and the easy way recorded incidents can be found, analyzed, saved and exported as evidence for authorities.
Bruhn is also very impressed with the connectivity options of VDG Sense. “For our bigger projects VDG Sense can be easily integrated with other software applications, like the FlinQ security management system. For smaller installations that don’t have a security management system VDG Sense offers so called plug-ins to communicate with other systems. One of the plug-ins we often use is to connection with Commend Intercom Systems, another important partner for our parking solutions and also a TKH company. This plug-in enables live presentation of all intercom cameras in VDG Sense while simultaneously the video streams are lip sync recorded with the intercom audio conversations”.
Roll-out in all car parks
All new built car parks, big or small, are equipped with IP cameras and VDG Sense video management systems. In addition to local operators and recording, all local systems are connected with VPN lines to the VDG Sense management system at the Apcoa Control Centre in Stuttgart. Lutz Bruhn: “In Germany about 70-80% of the parking installations are still equipped with analogue cameras. This installed base will gradually be replaced by IP cameras, but until then we connect analogue cameras to the VDG Sense installations using Siqura video encoders.”
Last but not least Bruhn mentions the excellent support he and his customers get from VDG’s support team. SMH wants to use a standard video management system area-wide that can be remotely managed and supported. “That’s why SMH also prefers to use VDG’s hardware instead of third-party computers and servers. This way we keep it all in one hand, making installation, service and support easier and much more efficient for all of us and finally it saves our clients a considerable amount of money and annoyance.”
Bruhn emphasizes that his suppliers must bring a combination of reliable products and good support. This is of vital importance for his activities since SMH operates in several European countries with a relatively small team. “This requires perfect teamwork between our own technicians and our main suppliers. With VDG this teamwork is perfect! I am convinced that our partnership will bring us many more successful projects.”