Integrating Talkaphone at George Bush International Airport
Security integrators need to create a solid link between a product and the end user. The strength of such links can be the difference between success, failure, and most importantly, future business. George Bush International Airport in Houston, Texas wanted to upgrade and integrate their security systems into one cohesive force.
Talkaphone was chosen to supply nearly 400 emergency call boxes for the airport. It was decided that the call boxes were to be installed in five major parking structures on the north side of the facility. In order to install and integrate such a large number of emergency call boxes, the city of Houston chose Preferred Technologies to install and integrate the Talkaphone units with the rest of the airport’s security network. Preferred Technology’s Nancy Bryant was the Project Manager for the installation and integration. Nancy Bryant had the following to say about the project,
“This project was a huge security upgrade for the city of Houston. The project wasn’t just the installation of new phones. It was cameras, phones, and access control… a combination of all security products.”
Initially, there were several challenges that had to be addressed before the installation of the call boxes started. The largest challenge for Preferred Technologies was that the boxes needed to be connected to transformers that were difficult to get to. Even though this slowed the installation process, Preferred Technologies was able to install everything on schedule and with no problems.
The most challenging part of the project was integrating the airport’s new installations with the access control, camera, and emergency phone systems that were already in place. There are a lot of people and departments who deal with security at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Preferred Technologies had to make sure that the airport monitoring center, technical teams, public safety department, and security engineers were all able to work together using their multiple systems. After all the Talkaphone units were installed into the airport security systems, Mrs. Bryant explained how everything worked together,
“The emergency phones work with the access control systems by triggering an alarm when the emergency button on the phones are pushed. This activation causes the airport cameras to fix on that location and start recording. The airport monitoring center is notified of the location and can respond accordingly. There is a second information button which can be used if you have a stranded vehicle or need a jump… that signal goes to the parking facility personnel. ”
Security integrators appreciate working with a product that incorporates well with what an end-user already has. The Talkaphone Emergency Call Boxes provided solutions that make Nancy’s job easier. Nancy said,
“I like the fact that we can integrate it…I like the relays on the phone, so in the event that a button gets pushed we can force that relay to do something else. We can integrate with a security system and alert a monitoring center that an action has occurred at that call box.”
Ultimately, the decision is with the end-user as to what products will be installed, and sometimes this creates more difficulty for the integrator. Preferred Technologies wanted to present a product that would be beneficial from a technical and installation standpoint to the airport and themselves. Preferred Technologies Vice President of Sales, Grady Jetts, elaborated on this point,
“From a sales perspective, Talkaphone is a self-selling system. On this job it was hard-spec’d, so working as a team we’ve done a good job ensuring that the solution stays with the airport. I am a firm believer that people these days like to touch, feel, and try the things that they purchase. When a customer sees a product work the way it’s supposed to work, it makes it very easy to sell the product. From a sales perspective, having a preassembled complete system is advantageous and makes our job easier.”
Preferred Technologies was also required to maintain the call boxes for the duration of their warranty. The phones were progressively installed at the airport since 2007 and are easily maintained.
“Since the installation, I never had an experience where I had to call Talkaphone for assistance,” explained Nancy Bryant.
When the warranty for the call boxes expires, the responsibility of the unit maintenance falls from Preferred Technologies to the airport. Nancy added,
“The airport has its own technical team and it’s my understanding that they’ve been very pleased when they’ve had to contact Talkaphone. This makes our suggestion for the integration job look good even though we no longer deal with those units.”
Overall, Preferred Technologies was able to overcome any challenges that arose with the installation and integration of the 400 emergency call boxes installed at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Their job was simplified with the selection and use of the Talkaphone units and they capitalized on this advantage by creating a smooth integration of all of the airport’s security systems.
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