Holiday Inn Munich: Increased Security, Perfect Service

In Munich, the Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express welcome city travellers from all over the world under one roof. The dedicated employees ensure their convenience, while IP cameras from eneo make sure that they can feel safe.

Primestar Hospitality GmbH is one of the fastest growing operators of Hilton, Wyndham and InterContinental Hotels Group hotels, with the well-known Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express brands in its portfolio. In 2017, Primestar Hospitality opened a hotel complex with 306 rooms in the east of Munich: the Holiday Inn & Holiday Inn Express Munich - City East, which combines both brands under one roof. Five kilometres from the city centre, this twin hotel is equipped with a conference area, a mini-fitness centre and a rooftop terrace. While the Express concept is designed especially to meet the needs of people on short breaks or business travellers, the Holiday Inn is a family and conference hotel. The upgraded amenities include a mini-gym, leisure activities for children, an all-day open lobby restaurant, and upgraded services which provide upscale guest comfort which recommends the hotel as a place to stay longer. For the security of guests and staff, both hotels use eneo IP cameras in conjunction with a Synology display and storage solution.

With DIGICOM informationstechnologie GmbH, the hotel operator has once more entrusted a proven partner with the planning and installation of the video security system. Based in Göppingen, the company was founded by Tamer Vural and, over the course of more than three decades of its existence, it has developed into an internationally operating provider of personalised solutions for data transmission and security technology.

The core business of the company includes solutions for central media control, digital signage, internet via satellite and video surveillance. Tamer Vural and his team have proven their particular expertise in numerous projects for renowned clients in a variety of industries, including Edeka, O2, and Vodafone.

Even in such demanding industrial environments as offshore platforms, the team routinely implements modern data transmission solutions. For Primestar Hospitality, DIGICOM informationstechnologie GmbH has already equipped several hotels with video security solutions, relying almost exclusively upon IP cameras from eneo.

Strengthening the sense of security - unobtrusively

Video surveillance should also document any incidents in the hotel's business and provide video evidence which can be made available to the police if required. However, much more often than for forensic purposes, the video data is used in practice to investigate cases of damage, primarily in the parking spaces for guests. While this mainly involves clarifying liability issues, cameras on the staircases enhance the sense of security for guests and employees. Whether it's in the lobby or the parking garage, regardless of where they are used, the cameras are always designed to give guests and staff a sense of security, but not to give the impression of monitoring people. Accordingly, in the hotel and restaurant business, small, inconspicuous models are required which fit perfectly into the hotel ambience. Like the small eneo IP dome.

A plus with regard to security and service quality

With its plastic casing, this IP camera is designed for indoor video surveillance applications. Although it is not intended for ceiling installation, but for surface mounting, it fits discretely into the respective ambience thanks to its flat design, so that the camera is easily overlooked or confused with a smoke detector. Tamer Vural, who has been using this model with other eneo cameras in other hotels run by Primestar Hospitality, such as the Hampton by Hilton on Berlin's Alexanderplatz or the Holiday Inn Frankfurt Airport, is convinced of the value for money and design of the dome camera: “The camera is simply optimal for these types of environments - small, easy to install and reliable. And the beauty of it: you cannot see it and do not recognise it”.

The General Manager is also very pleased that the high-resolution cameras reliably document any security-relevant incidents in the forensic quality required. This demonstrated itself, for example, during the past Oktoberfest, as the hotel operator informed us. When a melee arose between guests in the lobby of the Holiday Inn Express, not only was the end of the dispute clearly visible, but also the professional intervention of the additionally staffed security personnel, who brought the situation to an amicable and immediate conclusion, was documented in the desired transparency. “However, the benefits of the cameras go beyond prevention and detection”, the hotel boss emphasised. In an industry in which customer orientation is everything, the satisfaction of the guests can also be increased with the help of the cameras, for example by optimising the deployment of personnel in key areas such as the reception. “I'm always kept up-to-date about the number of our guests via the monitor in my office. In this way, I can ensure the high level of our service quality by reinforcing the reception staff in the respective property with additional employees at peak times - an increase in efficiency in the service, which contributes positively to the customer experience”.

Outdoor area and underground parking

eneo IP domes from the modular Callisto series monitor the outdoor area, relevant corridor sections and the underground car park. Of particular interest here is, inter alia, the exit, because here motorists on the one hand often rub people the wrong way, on the other hand often choose the wrong exit and thereby block the entire system sometimes by pressing the emergency button. The cameras, which provide an overview here, have been partly mounted with a mounting ring on the wall or on the ceiling, and partly with wall brackets on the outer facade. Equipped with an aluminium casing and a robust dome, these IK10-certified cameras are much more resistant than the fixed domes in the lobby and lounge area. Their motorised varifocal lens with a focal length of 2.8 to 12 mm delivers video recordings, the resolution of which, with three megapixels, clearly exceeds Full HD. The analysis of important image details is supported by a fourfold optical zoom, while the lens setting with the integrated "push-focus" function is particularly easy to install. For video surveillance of areas where, as in the guest parking area, difficult lighting conditions prevail, the image enhancement functions D-WDR, BLC and HLC ensure that the dome camera delivers convincing video images even under these conditions. Thanks to Smart IR technology, the illumination level of the integrated infrared LEDs automatically adapts to the respective lighting conditions, which is also advantageous when used in such an environment.

Proven combination, closed system

Instead of a PC client, a Synology VisualStation VS360HD is used to display the video streams in both hotels. This provides an extremely compact solution for live viewing and HD quality playback of up to 36 network cameras. The box weighing just 300 grams, with an edge length of 32 x 130 x 130 mm, can easily be accommodated even in confined spaces, making it perfect for use in the back office of both hotels. Its intuitive user interface appeals to beginners and is also appreciated by advanced users. The video data is stored on a Synology RS815plus, a high-performance 4-bay NAS server which is particularly well-suited for the volume of data accumulating in small and medium-sized enterprises. This combination of eneo cameras and Synology display and storage solutions has already proven itself in the other video security systems which DIGICOM has designed and installed for Primestar Hospitality. Tamer Vural reaffirmed: “I will stick with this combination in the future”. The entire system is a hermetically secure network, outwardly finished like a classic CCTV system. "The system is capped", the DIGICOM boss explained. "It is a separate network to which only the authorised users have access. Hackers cannot enter from outside because it's not connected to the Internet". The eneo cameras and the Synology network storage have been preconfigured by the technicians of VIDEOR Solutions. The team led by Thorsten Reichegger set up the IP addresses of the cameras in advance, carried out software updates, set up users and passwords, and equipped the Synology network storage with additional hard disks - a service which Tamer Vural has already learned to appreciate in other projects. “It saves us a lot of time and lets us rely upon the system to work on-site.

And if something does not go smoothly or if we need further support, the VIDEOR technicians solve the problem quickly and reliably”. If necessary, also on site, as most recently in the context of this project. VIDEOR employees were there when the display solution had to be adapted to the new requirements as part of the expansion of the system due to a reconfiguration. Since then 31 cameras in a stable and secure video network have contributed to greater security and service for satisfied guests.