Migrating to IP-based technologies provides an opportunity for all kinds of command-and-control centers—whether they are supporting an enterprise, public safety or a critical-infrastructure entity—to realize improved functionality and resiliency, but making the transition can be complicated and challenging, according to speakers participating in a recent webinar addressing the subject.

For a large enterprise like a hotel and casino, the transition to IP means surveillance systems can be supported by thousands of cameras at virtually every property that allow monitoring of almost all areas except guest rooms, according to Dave Logue, vice president of security and surveillance at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

“Each resort has two separate systems dedicated to surveillance: one is the security system, and then one is the gaming surveillance system, which has access to all security cameras, as well as the gaming cameras,” Logue said, noting that resorts also work closely with the regional fusion center, which coordinates an extensive camera system in public areas.

“The camera system both inside the hotels and outside is very intricate. A lot of people don’t realize how many eyes we actually have on what’s occurring 24/7—not just on the Strip, but downtown, as well.”

Logue said the impact that video has had on security operations during his career has been dramatic.

“We’ve gone from—in most instances—four or five screens or monitors to 35 or 40 in one room, and then we’ve added the human component,” he said. “There might be as many as 15 to 20 on a shift now working one monitoring room, whereas 10 years ago, there might have been four or five. So, the importance of it has not been lost on the corporations and the folks that own the hotels and resorts.”

Prioritizing security has resulted in plenty of budgetary resources for The Cosmopolitan to make necessary upgrades in technology and personnel, Logue said. But funding is a significant issue for utilities when carriers choose to retire legacy copper circuits that historically have transmitted critical SCADA and teleprotection data, according to Brett Kilbourne, vice president of government affairs for the Utilities Telecom Council (UTC).

“A lot of times, what you’ll find is that carriers will offer an IP line that will have a lot more capacity than what the previous line was providing, which is good in terms of supporting the functionality, but it may be buckets more capacity than we actually need, and you pay a premium for that,” Kilbourne said.