CYPRESS, Calif. – (June 13, 2013) –Christie® technology is supporting an efficient digital operations security support center for American Water, the largest investor-owned water utility company in the United States. Thanks to the Christie Phoenix™ network-distributed open content management system and a Christie LCD flat-panel video wall display solution, American Water now has the capability to simultaneously monitor its security systems across the U.S., in one centralized location.
American Water provides high-quality water and wastewater services to more than 14 million people in more than 1,500 communities in the U.S and parts of Canada. Working closely with AV integrator ClassCraft Design Associates, American Water developed an IP-based solution using Christie Phoenix, allowing the security management team to efficiently watch, operate, manage, and respond to security alarms and incidents across their operations.
Christie Phoenix nodes are now collecting data from various physical and digital sources throughout American Water’s service areas, including streaming video and audio, desktop captures, online information, local cable television feeds, and facility systems. The captured information is simultaneously being presented onto a display wall. Installed under the guidance of Class Craft Audio Video, the system was designed to be energy and space efficient, have low operating costs, and promote efficient security monitoring operations. From the display wall, information can quickly and easily be integrated, customized, recalled and shared from multiple locations and multiple sources with high accuracy and reliability.
“With several hundred IP-based sources we needed the ability to create custom layouts that could be recalled on-the-fly and quickly, allowing us to respond to alarms and incidents the moment they occur,” explained Nicholas Santillo Jr., CPP, PSP, Director of Operations Security for American Water. “It was important to select the right technology that would give us the best capabilities at the lowest cost of ownership – while allowing us more efficiency, and reliability in the management of our security monitoring operations.”
Simple, Reliable, Flexible, Scalable - Christie Solutions Fit the Bill
American Water and ClassCraft chose the Christie Phoenix solution after reviewing and comparing many other options. According to Michael W. Class of ClassCraft Audio Video, there were several requirements and challenges involved in the project that made Christie Phoenix the perfect solution for the job. Among them, the system needed to be simple, reliable, and easily operated by the security staff.
“Christie control room solutions are consistently reliable and simple to deploy, compared to other products that are out on the market – it’s something a buyer can understand,” said Class. “In addition, the product was the easiest to install and configure making it more cost effective than other solutions. This was a major consideration in my decision to recommend that solution over others that I saw.”
Another factor was the Christie Phoenix’s scalability, which allows American Water the ability to scale that solution up or down, as needed, to meet operational requirements. “It’s a key feature that we wanted in the environment and that the other solution providers did not offer,” noted Santillo.
He continued: “When we compared Christie Phoenix to other products on the market, the decision was clear. Simplicity, reliability, and low total cost of ownership were paramount. Other vendors’ complex solutions with multiple servers and switchers would mean more potential points of failure throughout the system with associated higher costs. Christie Phoenix is a simple design and a single-SKU solution, enabling us aggregate information quickly to ensure our employees’ and customers’ safety, protect our facilities, and provide holistic situational awareness to our operational teams.
A Control Room for Tomorrow
With the implementation of the new Operations Security Support Center, Christie’s commitment to service and quality has left a positive impression on American Water and ClassCraft. The Christie Phoenix system is operational, and American Water’s Operations Security professionals are pleased with the performance and reliability of the solution.
“The deployment of the Christie Phoenix at American Water has thus far been successful, providing a highly functional, highly adaptive solution that will meet their needs today, while also equipping them with the tools they need for solving tomorrow’s security problems,” said John Stark, senior director of Collaborative Visual Solutions at Christie. “By embracing forward-looking trends and using Christie Phoenix’s network-distributed, IP-based solution, American Water has developed a model for digital public utility control rooms.”
Christie Phoenix is a network distributed open content management system for simultaneous encode, decode and display of audio-visual data, enabling seamless access and control of audio-visual data, regardless of the user’s location.
About American Water
Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs approximately 6,700 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 14 million people in more than 30 states and parts of Canada. More information can be found at www.amwater.com.
Christie Digital Systems USA, Inc. a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ushio, Inc., Japan, (JP:6925), designs, builds and installs customized projection display solutions. Christie delivers turn-key solutions for sophisticated virtual reality, simulation systems and control room environments including high-resolution power walls, multi-sided immersive environments, curved screen displays, domed simulation and multi-projector arrays. Industries and organizations that rely on Christie range from government agencies to oil and gas, aerospace to entertainment, and manufacturing and design to pharmaceuticals. For more information, visit www.christiedigital.com
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Christie® is a trademark of Christie Digital Systems USA, Inc., registered in the United States of America and certain other countries