Why a holistic approach to security can save you time and money

By February 25, 2020Food for thought

By John Tannous 26/2/2020

At HSC, we pride ourselves on our experience, we can look at a new project from every angle. This knowledge affords us insights that can be a difference maker for our clients in terms of time and money. Let me tell you a little story about a street surveillance project for a housing estate in Randwick we recently completed.

The project consisted of multiple existing and new light poles with CCTV cameras and network equipment attached. The objective was to provide general CCTV coverage of key areas with analytic capabilities to help the onsite guards monitor and respond accordingly.

HSC submitted our proposal which included great detail and clearly showed we had read, understood and also questioned inconsistency/errors in the project scope. We were awarded the project based on the detail of our tender response.

The original scope called for the existing analogue cables to be reused, along with media converters as the network back bone for the new system. Essentially the new cameras would connect to the new network switches at each pole via new cat6 cabling and then the switches would connect to the new recording server via >30 year old analogue coax cable.

We advised the potential issues that would be faced and the likelihood that the cables would not be in good working order as they were installed in underground pits which had not been maintained and have been damaged over 30 years by natural shifts in the earth, tree roots penetrating the conduits and by other trades digging in the area. There was no register or plans detailing the location and cable routes of all cables. The consultant and the strata committee still wanted to proceed with the project utilising the existing cable against our recommendations.

Once onsite, our first task was to test the existing cabling and sure enough the results were bad. Most cables were damaged or unable to be located, the cables that were not damaged were still not capable of transmitting the amount of data required.

A cost was submitted to investigate the pits and determine if they were in a condition suitable to run new cabling. Unfortunately, after locating, inspecting and testing, many were in a poor state and required repair. The client decided to repair some that had damaged cable and then utilise the existing which were still working to some degree.

At this stage, the project had ground to a halt while the consultant worked with the client to decide on the next course of action. In the meantime HSC pre-emptively prepared an alternative quote to repair all conduits and pits while recabling the entire site with a new Fibre back bone which would provide a stable connection while future proofing the site and allowing for future expansion. The quote was subsequently accepted saving tens of thousands of dollars in unnecessary works but only after thousands had already been wasted trying to utilise the existing cabling in the first place.

In summary, cutting costs is an important part of any business decision, however, cutting costs doesn’t always lead to saving money in the long run. Network cables being fibre or copper are the backbone of a system and the quality of the network has a direct impact on the reliability and performance of any system that utilises it.

HSC understand the need to keep costs low but we also understand where these cost should be cut and where not to. We have been able to save our clients money while still delivering reliable security systems that perform to a higher standard not only at the time of completion but well into the future. Systems we are proud to put our name on.


John is a BNI Edge Member who holds the Security chair for the chapter, you can get in contact with him here or if you would like to hear more about becoming a BNI Edge Member and opening your business up to a whole world of networking opportunities click here.