Retailer designs video monitoring system to meet its own needs

When Computer Builders Warehouse could not find a system for its stores, it designed it
Monday, September 1, 2003

WARREN, Mich. - When Computer Builders Warehouse could not find a network video monitoring system on the market that met its needs to remotely monitor its own stores, it took matters into its own hands.

The company called upon its software and hardware engineers and its network expertise to craft a network friendly, software driven and plug-and-play system.

The result is its Security and Monitoring System, a server-based system that networks video cameras on a single platform and enables remote monitoring. Computer Builders Warehouse launched the product earlier this summer through its newly formed security division, SAM Systems.

“We wanted a product to be able to monitor our stores, but we couldn’t find anything that met our needs,” said Gene Thomas, chief operating officer of Computer Builders Warehouse and one of the company’s founders. “We wanted it to be able to work off a web browser, a product that had a large capacity and no tapes, and was reliable and redundant so if the power went down we won’t lose video.”

Now with a product in hand, SAM Systems plans to sell the product through its Computer Builders Warehouse stores located in Michigan, Florida, Nevada, Texas and Alabama. Eventually, it expects to forge partnerships with systems integrators who will install the system.

The built to order system features network video tunneling, enabling multiple users to view video without requiring additional bandwidth. And, it features hot swappable drives, so if one drive fails, another one can take its place.

Thomas said the company’s engineers are already working on added features to the product and designing new video related products, but he declined to release specifics.

In the few short months since its launch, SAM Systems has already been deployed in a number of other retail chains, including PowerHouse Gym. Thomas said the goal is to crack the enterprise market and companies with multiple locations.

“This is a very new arena for us, as far as security and monitoring goes,” he said. “But we’re hoping to do several hundred, if not thousands of units by the end of the year.”