Supermarket giant upgrades its video tech to prepare for growth
Carrefour is one of the largest hypermarket and supermarket chains in the world. The much-loved French brand was first introduced to the Middle East in 1995 through an exclusive franchise agreement with the Dubai-based retail pioneer Majid Al Futtaim. Today Majid Al Futtaim operates over 70 Carrefour outlets across the region, serving 200,000-plus customers per day, and is continuing to expand.
Cost-efficient centralised monitoring with built-in failover
With ambitious expansion plans, the security team at Carrefour in Jordan needed to overhaul surveillance capabilities to improve safety and security. Their priority was to prevent losses, enhance the customer experience and greatly increase operational efficiency across its existing express stores and hypermarket.
The legacy CCTV system was proving expensive to maintain and labour-intensive to operate, while low bandwidth at some stores was limiting performance. These problems were about to be compounded by new requirements to move from 30 to 90 days storage.
Authorised retail staff would need a user-friendly interface at each store, while the security team needed a full-featured, centralised monitoring and control environment. Further, the system had to provide resilience against a range of fault conditions as well as offer hardware and software that was low cost and easy to maintain. And importantly, Carrefour wanted a future-proof solution that would allow the addition of an unlimited number of new sites without incurring expensive license fees.
High-performance surveillance and business intelligence
The security team at Carrefour Jordan turned to specialist systems integrator Ametrad Technology Services, which impressed with its proven track record of successful deployments of IDIS technology built around IDIS Solution Suite (ISS) video management software (VMS).
Modular and scalable, with an industry-leading pricing structure, ISS VMS gives Carrefour a cost-effective centralised monitoring environment, with multi-layered failover providing protection against network instability and power outages.
32 2MP domes and bullets provide coverage at the hypermarket in Irbid City Centre with a further 64 legacy cameras due to be upgraded, while an average of 28 cameras delivers situational awareness at eight express stores. The IDIS cameras ensure pin sharp image capture in varying light conditions, including in darkness up to 30 metres, and cope with changing light and shade thanks to true wide dynamic range. 32-channel NVRs at each supermarket provide 370Mbps throughput and up to 960ips UHD real-time recording. This ensures high performance live monitoring and forensic video retrieval, while native RAID 1 provides an important additional layer of redundancy.
Thanks to true plug-and-play IDIS DirectIP® technology Ametrad engineers connected each device in minutes, and IDIS For Every Network (FEN) technology allowed one-click configuration linking each store to the control centre. The hierarchical connection structure between IDIS DirectIP devices also guaranteed the most efficient method of cabling into the compact control room.
Limited bandwidth was solved with IDIS Intelligent Codec which typically reduces storage and bandwidth requirements by up to 75% compared to H.264, while dynamic multi-stream control has alleviated latency. These technologies also allowed Carrefour to double the camera count at each store to provide comprehensive coverage without the need to upgrade networks.
Ametrad is also deploying IDIS VA in the Box analytics, to provide each store with heatmapping, people counting, queue management, and intelligent reporting capabilities.
Results and Benefits
Low total cost of ownership and a futureproof solution
IDIS Solution Suite (ISS) control panels provide live monitoring, playback, event search, system health reports, and navigation via store layouts, allowing control room staff to troubleshoot and manage 100s of video streams and devices across multiple stores. These intuitive functions have reduced the time needed to find and export video clips from hours to minutes.
The IDIS VMS is also ensuring compliance with processes in line with Carrefour’s high operating standards, which have earned the supermarket giant its exceptional customer service record. And stores already using VA in the Box are gaining new insights regarding customer behaviour, helping improve sales performance.
Carrefour is now looking to adopt IDIS Deep Learning Analytics and has contracted Ametrad to provide maintenance services.
"We have not experienced a single hard disk drive failure, a request for an NVR reset, or any gaps in footage due to a power outage. This is tangible evidence of IDIS quality, resilience, and failover technology that works. All the hardware is backed by a cost-free industry leading warranty and the ability to easily add new stores, as they come online, give Carrefour a truly low total cost of ownership."
Managing Director of Ametrad Technology Services