Business IP intercom systems are becoming increasingly popular among organisations seeking to provide secure access to their premises. In this article, we focus on the core benefits of IP intercom systems for businesses.
Some of our readers may not be that familiar with IP intercom, so before we get into the benefits of these security systems, we’ll answer a couple of basic questions first.
- What is an IP intercom system?
- How do IP intercom systems work?
- What are the different types of IP intercom systems?
What is an IP intercom system?
An IP intercom system is a two-way communications device used by a business to grant access to their buildings.
IP stands for internet protocol.
Therefore, an IP system is set up and operates via your existing internet connection.
There are various benefits of IP intercom systems which we will cover later in this article.
How do IP intercom systems work?
IP intercom systems work via the transmission of voice and images over ethernet.
Essentially this means the intercom system runs via a business’s existing internet and IT infrastructure.
Audio communication and images are converted into digital signals and are delivered over the IP network.
These security systems are especially advantageous for companies that already have IT networks and structured cabling as it allows easy integration of the IP intercom into the existing infrastructure.
Existing IT resources can be used without the need for any additional networks.
For many businesses this has cost advantages and allows for easy scalability, allowing the business to add more devices to the network easily.
Traditionally, intercom systems were installed separately to a business’s telephone and IT systems.
This would often cause disruption to the business’s operations as these systems would have to be installed with extensive cabling and more.
What are the different types of IP intercom systems?
IP intercom systems cover:
- Audio intercom – these business intercom systems allow companies to manage access to, and within their premises. When someone arrives at the building, they call through the intercom for the operator to let them in
- Video Intercom – otherwise known as video door entry and video access control, these entry systems allow you to see who is at the front door before letting them in. If you’re looking for a secure form of audiovisual access control, we’d recommend video intercom every day of the week.
You should by now, have a good understanding of what IP intercom is and how it works.
In the next part of this article, we’ll discuss the main benefits of IP intercom systems
The benefits & advantages of IP intercom systems
The main advantages and benefits of IP intercom systems are:
- Flexibility. IP intercom systems can be managed by various users within a business. For example, traditionally, when a visitor arrives at your business premises and calls through via the front doorbell, it is answered by a reception team. An IP intercom system can be handled by and assigned to multiple users. This is the perfect solution for a small business, looking to grant access safely and securely to suppliers, visitors, and more
- Security and peace of mind. IP based video intercom systems allow businesses to see who is at the front door before letting them in. IP based audio intercom systems, allow businesses to hear who is at the front door before letting them in. Effective access control systems are imperative to a business’s efforts in keeping its staff safe and protected.
- Fast, easy installation. Compared to outdated analogue systems, IP based intercoms are far easier to install. Why? These business intercom systems are connected over your existing IP infrastructure, there is no need for extensive cabling or large amounts of time on site. This results in a faster installation, and less disruption to the business.
- Crime prevention. Businesses invest in security systems for a multitude of reasons. One of the core factors is crime prevention. Whether it’s audio or video, an IP intercom can be an effective tool in reducing and preventing crime. How? Business intercom systems provide an extra layer of security for companies looking to manage access to their premises. Access is only granted when the operator is satisfied a bonafide visitor is looking to gain access to the property.
- Data capture (site visitors). IP intercom systems can be set up to track and log visitor data. In certain scenarios this can help with resolving incidents and in others, managing health and safety effectively. If you know who is in the building and who isn’t, you can manage security threats accordingly and effectively.
- Performance & quality. Older analog systems can suffer from system outage and poor audio / video quality. Older video intercom systems are particularly problematic, as many only offer black and white video. As IP intercom systems are connected to the existing IP infrastructure, images and audio quality are no longer an issue.
- Scalability. As your business grows, so can your intercom system – with ease. With IP intercom, you can easily assign and implement new call points without the need for new cabling. New users can be added to the system easily, therefore reducing the need for large amounts of additional cabling, costs and disruption to the business. With IP intercom, if you need to scale up your system, you can, easily!
- Company image. No one likes to arrive for a meeting only to be stood in the rain waiting for someone to let them in. This applies especially to a new customer or an important visitor. An IP based system, whether audio or video intercom enables fast and impressive access to your building.
In the final sections of this article, we will cover:
- The different types of business that will benefit from a video intercom installation
- The main IP intercom system manufacturers
- Further reading – other articles we’ve published on the benefits and advantages of security systems
What types of businesses use IP intercom systems?
For any business looking to safely manage access into their buildings, an IP intercom system is a solid option.
Regardless of the business in question, video and IP intercom systems largely work in the same way.
However, the way they are applied varies from business to business.
Here at Safeguard Systems, we work with a range of businesses. Below are examples of how IP intercom systems can be used by businesses in a variety of ways.
- Construction sites – when it comes to construction site security, there are a range of options available such as CCTV, access control and alarms. Construction businesses use intercom systems to grant access to site visitors, suppliers, contractors and more. On larger building sites, IP intercom systems can be used to manage access to and from protected areas of the site where access is limited to authorised personnel only.
- Schools – security is a major factor for many schools. When it comes to school security, we usually think of CCTV and intruder alarms. There is a range of security threats faced by schools on a daily basis such as antisocial behaviour, unauthorised access, and more. For schools looking at an effective access control solution, an intercom system will tick many boxes. A quality video intercom system allows those in charge of admitting guests and visitors to the school to do so in a safe, secure manner. Peace of mind and all-round security.
- Gyms – when it comes to gym entry systems, an intercom is a solid choice. When considering access control for a gym, many use keyless door entry systems such as keycards and fobs to provide access to members. An alternative for a fully staffed gym, particularly a smaller outfit, would be a video intercom system. When members arrive they call through using the intercom and are granted access accordingly. Video intercoms can also be used by gyms to grant access to delivery drivers and other ad-hoc visitors.
- Office-based businesses – if you’re looking to create a strong first impression of your business, an IP intercom will do just that. Rather than arriving for a meeting, knocking on the door or calling the person they are visiting, visitors just push the buzzer and are granted access in a secure professional way. Further to intercom systems, there is a range of office security systems including CCTV surveillance, intruder alarms, and other forms of off access control.
- Solar Farms – by their very nature, solar sites are located in remote areas and are largely unstaffed. From time to time, solar farm operators need to grant access to contractors to deliver maintenance and other remedial works. With productivity and costs in mind, IP intercom systems allow access to be granted remotely. When a contractor arrives at the site, they can call through via the intercom and be granted access remotely. Therefore, this reduces the need for someone to be present on-site every time a supplier requires access. In addition to intercom systems, there are a number of other solar farm security systems including CCTV, perimeter protection systems, and more.
- Farms and agricultural businesses – those in charge of farm security can benefit from an intercom system in a variety of ways. Intercom systems can be used to grant access to site visitors and suppliers. Additionally, intercoms can be used to manage access to and from restricted areas containing valuable plant machinery and hazardous waste.
- Car Parks – operators of car parks can use intercom systems to allow customers to communicate with the control centre. For example, if a customer has lost their ticket an intercom system allows them to call through to the operator to request manual payment. There are occasions when customers arrive at the exit barrier, only to realise they have forgotten to pay. Rather than hold up an entire car park of people looking to leave, they can call through via the intercom at the exit barrier and pay remotely.
- Nightclubs, pubs, and bars – businesses in the hospitality industry use intercoms to manage deliveries to and from their premises. Access can be granted from within the building or remotely easily with a push of a button.
- Hotels – those in charge of hotel security use video and audio intercom systems in a variety of ways. An intercom system for a hotel can be used to grant access for deliveries and can also be used by guests looking to check in out of hours. Intercom systems for hotels provide safe, secure access to and from their premises.
- Warehouses – for those in charge of warehouse security, an intercom system is an effective tool in granting access to site visitors and deliveries. Warehouses by their very nature can be large expansive sites, with a high volume of traffic to and from the site. An intercom system placed at various access points can help to deter unauthorised access. By preventing unauthorised access, you are helping to reduce the potential for criminal activity.
- Factories – when it comes to factory security systems, CCTV and other forms of access control, such as keycard door entry systems, usually spring to mind. Those in charge of factory security, face a range of security threats all the time such as health and safety, theft and more. A robust intercom system can be an effective addition to a factory security system in helping to manage access to and from the site in a safe, secure way.
Who are the main IP intercom system manufacturers?
Here at Safeguard Systems, we work with a variety of leading security industry brands.
When it comes to access control and business intercom systems we work alongside many of the world’s leading security system manufacturers.
Paxton – With over 30 years of experience, Paxton designs and manufactures market-leading security solutions for a range of buildings.
Gallagher – Gallagher Security is a global leader in the innovation, manufacture and marketing of security solutions.
Videx – With years of security industry experience, Videx is one of the leading manufacturers of door entry & access control systems in the UK.
If you’re currently looking into your security system options we’d recommend reading the following articles:
The benefits of video intercom – in this article we cover the main benefits and advantages of video door entry systems
Reasons to invest in video intercom – in this article we cover the variety of reasons business invest in video intercom systems
Interested in an IP intercom for your business?
Hopefully, this article has given you a good understanding of video intercom, what it is, how it works, and the main reasons to invest.