Xerox cuts down on cost, manpower with technology

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

WEBSTER, N.Y.--Today's security solutions have enabled organizations in every vertical market to reduce their manpower and Xerox, a Fortune 500 corporation well known for its own technology innovations, is no exception.
Xerox upgraded its security system at its 1,200-acre campus here with matrix switches and DVRs from Pelco that connect to 170 cameras, and one monitoring center has replaced the previous monitoring center and seven satellite stations.
George Keiser, Xerox Eastern Operations security manger, said the transition has changed the security department here, from a "very labor intensive organization in the early 90s to a technology oriented company" today. Keiser said the company used to employ 225 security guards on site, but it reduced the number to 75.
"A lot of that reduction is made possible by things like CCTV, card access, and turnstiles and revolving doors," he said. "The positions we did retain need to be much more highly qualified technology oriented people than the prior ones did. We need to make sure there are qualified operators and that is a key part of the program."
Keiser said the company previously experienced theft within the building when guard presence was reduced during non-business hours. Now, the camera system serves as a 27/7 guard service of sorts; employees are notified that the CCTV system records at all times and "reported theft has gone down significantly," Keiser said, but he noted that part of the reduction can also be attributed to the change in the company's demographics over time.
Productivity has also improved, he said. For example, security personnel can view recordings from the DVRs without having to retrieve tapes and cameras are linked to an intercom system to enable dispatchers to see who is at an entrance before granting access.
The campus here consists of 50 buildings that contain engineering, manufacturing and administrative, research departments. Keiser said it is "pretty much an open campus" and it was developed to be so when the location was developed 50 years ago. Nearby residents treat Xerox's private roads as though they are public access and people also pass through the campus regularly like it is public property.
"It is a not a high crime area," Keiser said. "Even so, technology helps us keep an eye on places where we do not have physical barriers. Obviously, we have access control inside the facilities -- you can't gain access without a credential -- but on the grounds, it is largely an open environment and that is where the cameras come in to help us."