Verint Solutions in Action Price Chopper The Company
Price Chopper Grocery Stores
Price Chopper® is based in Schenectady, NY and is owned by the Golub Corporation. Pharmacies, in-store scratch bakeries with artisan breads, customcut meat shops, seafood departments with a sushi offering, full-service floral, natural and organic products, a kosher store and Super Centers are just some of the recent Price Chopper innovations. This family-owned company prides itself on longstanding traditions of innovative food merchandising, leadership in the community and cooperative associate relations. Price Chopper’s future is as promising as its distinguished past. From the earliest days of the last century to today, hard work and caring about customers has made the difference.
Solutions and Services
The grocery store chain currently operates 119 locations in New York, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire.
Verint Nextiva Multiport Encoders, Nextiva IP Cameras, and Nextiva Retail Software
Location New York, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire
Price Chopper needed a video surveillance solution that would upgrade the aging video surveillance systems and IT infrastructure at its distributed store locations. Price Chopper wanted to address the immediate issues of video retention and retrieval times, as well as make a strategic investment and lay a foundation for future applications and technologies.
The Solution Verint® Nextiva® Multiport Encoders, Nextiva IP Cameras, and Nextiva Retail Software
A Gradual Shift to IP Video Price Chopper’s innovative approach to operating a business continues to resonate today. In support of the company’s ongoing loss prevention efforts, Price Chopper worked with system integrator Checkpoint Systems, Inc.® to design a video surveillance solution that would upgrade the aging video surveillance systems and IT infrastructure at its distributed store locations. Price Chopper wanted to address the immediate issues of video retention and retrieval times, as well as make a strategic investment and lay a foundation for future applications and technologies. “Innovation has always been at the forefront of Price Chopper’s business initiatives and continues to drive our vision for the future,” said John Neuberger, Director of Loss Prevention for Price Chopper. Although Price Chopper was using video surveillance to help minimize shrinkage, their existing analog system was becoming out of date. The previous system consisted of analog cameras and DVRs that stored video on DVD media at each store location. It was relatively slow to retrieve and process historical footage in the event of a security incident or insurance claim. In order to leverage existing technology, Checkpoint Systems, Inc. recommended installing Verint’s Nextiva S1724e 24-port video encoders. These encoders helped maximize the current investment of over 9,000 analog cameras located at 119 grocery stores and the corporate distribution center.
The Nextiva S1724e is a 24-port video encoder that combines low cost of ownership with a compact, efficient design. The S1724 video server incorporates Verint’s industry-leading video encoding technology for superior imagery and optimal bandwidth utilization. Automated camera tampering detection rapidly determines when cameras are out of focus, to help ensure that critical images are available and reduce the need to physically examine each camera on site. In conjunction with the video upgrade, Price Chopper needed to improve the server and storage at its store locations. This would provide a robust infrastructure for a new digital video system as well as a consolidated platform for rapid deployment of future business applications. After evaluating solutions from multiple vendors for both digital video surveillance and upgraded IT infrastructure, Price Chopper chose: • • •
EMC CLARiiON networked storage and Navisphere Management Suite for online video storage Verint’s Nextiva S1724e IP video encoders, Nextiva Retail software, and Nextiva S2610e and S2750e IP cameras IBM System x servers running VMware ESX Server for virtualization
Price Chopper previously deployed CLARiiON storage in its corporate data center, so they could easily leverage the staff’s existing training and infrastructure knowledge. Foremost in EMC’s product portfolio is the CLARiiON midrange storage platform, because a digital video system needs solid, scalable online storage. Reliability is especially important for avoiding system downtime and loss of video. The CLARiiON family of networked storage arrays scales from a handful of disk drives to almost a petabyte in one system. It has a measured 99.999% availability among units in the field, providing confidence that stored video would not be lost. It supports SATA drives for low-cost capacity and Fibre Channel and flash drives for high performance. There are a number of capabilities available for data protection and disaster recovery, such as RAID, snapshots, and remote replication. EMC’s CLARiiON along with Verint’s Nextiva video management software was the only solution that could support VMware. Rolling out VMware allowed Price Chopper to easily partition applications more efficiently using the CLARiiON storage platform. VMware virtualization is a popular solution for reducing IT costs through server consolidation. VMware increases server utilization and reduces its consumption of energy and floor space. It also simplifies management. A new virtual machine can be provisioned in a matter of minutes, as opposed to the days it takes to buy and install a new physical server. “Throughout the selection process, we were extremely confident in the strategic Verint and EMC partnership, and their proven ability to deliver a full, integrated IP video solution,” said Neuberger. Verint’s Nextiva Retail software capabilities were strong, and offered an open platform SDK for integration with access control systems and alarms. Price Chopper can monitor all of their Lenel access control panels located at all entry and exit doors through Nextiva to help improve operational efficiency, cut waste, protect against liability, deter theft and ensure employee safety. The IBM servers
with VMware provided a flexible, cost-effective platform for running multiple applications at each store, such as the Verint Nextiva Retail software, Windows Active Directory, and future applications. Verint’s Nextiva Retail solution integrated with Price Chopper’s pointof-sale (POS) systems to identify suspicious transactions and help loss prevention personnel take a proactive approach to shrinkage. The solution also includes operational efficiency analytics like line queue analysis, to help Price Chopper management coordinate staffing levels and identify customer service best practices. “We chose Verint because of their significant experience in working with leaders in the retail market and the outstanding value that their networked video solutions deliver to retail customers,” added Neuberger. “Nextiva Retail will allow us to take a proactive approach to loss prevention and enhance our overall store operations.” Price Chopper has seen significant return on investment already. They have been able to use video in a variety of ways that ordinary loss prevention departments wouldn’t do. As an example, a customer made a purchase at one of the stores and accidentally left behind his wallet. Price Chopper was able to call the loss prevention department and internal investigators viewed the video at the store immediately. The video showed a person pick up the wallet and immediately leave the store with it. By quickly turning over this video to the local police department, they were able to arrest and return the victim’s wallet within an hour and a half. In another example, a customer claimed their five-year-old child had fallen and was injured on a wet floor. “We were able to quickly retrieve the video showing that the parent was carrying the child on their shoulders and fell off due to the parents’ negligence,” said Neuberger. Price Chopper was able to show the accident had nothing to do with a wet floor. This type of immediate video continues to protect Price Chopper against litigious accusations saving the company thousands of dollars in legal fees. Price Chopper is continuing to add new stores and update older locations. Verint’s Nextiva S2600 series IP cameras are being installed throughout their corporate warehouse, data center and corporate headquarters. Nextiva IP cameras deliver dual-stream, MPEG-4/MJPEG video up to 4CIF/30 frames per second. Dual streaming enables video to be viewed at high resolution with
conditions. Additionally, the S2750e readily changes from color to black-and-white mode in day-to-night applications. Beyond loss prevention, Price Chopper is also considering ways to use the analytic software for improving store operations and layout, such as by analyzing customer traffic patterns. Activities like this would allow them to derive even more value from its investment in digital video surveillance. In the immediate future, physical security analytics are scheduled to be implemented at their corporate warehouse, data center and corporate headquarters to increase security officer efficiency by handling alarms generated by the cameras quickly.
excellent image clarity, but stored at lower resolution to optimize use of storage resources. “By giving us the opportunity to adapt 21st century technology to a nearly 70 year-old company, Verint has helped us enhance our operations and improve our bottom line,” added Neuberger. Nextiva IP cameras feature high-quality CCD sensors for high resolution, high signal-to-noise ratios, and clear, crisp images. Verint’s industry-leading video encoding technology provides superior imagery with optimal bandwidth utilization, especially in typical environments where there is little or no motion. Day/night functionality and low lux sensitivity allow high-quality images to be captured in even low light. In addition to the external S2600 series cameras, all new locations along with Price Chopper’s headquarters, will be installed with Verint’s Nextiva S2750e IP mini-dome camera. This camera is designed for ease of installation and integration, delivering MPEG-4 SP and/or MJPEG video up to 30fps at VGA resolution. The S2750e IP camera has a varifocal, auto-iris lens and powerful CCD sensor, enabling a wide choice of viewing angles (with 480 TVL horizontal resolution) and reliable image quality in even extreme lighting
Digital video over IP networks is the fast-growing segment of the surveillance market. Due to its advantages, it is supplanting analog closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems that record onto tapes and optical media, such as DVDs. While this is still the most common configuration in the field today, they cost more and lack some of the latest capabilities of the new digital video. Today, the video solution of choice includes digital cameras, IP networks, online disk storage, and analytic and video management software. Digital video surveillance has many advantages over analog systems. It costs less to deploy and offers sophisticated analytics and video management. Rather than operate a standalone video infrastructure, digital video becomes an IT application that leverages organization’s existing IT infrastructure – like Price Chopper. And you do not have to toss out an investment in analog cameras and monitors, because encoders and decoders can perform the translation. Physical security and loss prevention are as important as ever, so it is worthwhile to consider how digital video surveillance is changing the footprint in other retail organizations. It is evident that Price Chopper’s innovative approach to deploying an open-standards based video platform provides them with the flexibility to apply newer technologies as they emerge.
About Verint Video Intelligence Solutions Verint Video Intelligence Solutions™ is the worldwide leader in networked video, a “single source” for virtually every facet of video surveillance operations: from cameras, encoders, and intelligent DVRs to video management, viewing, and analytics software.
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