One of a Kind Security Systems

Marcomm Systems Group

The company formerly known as Marcomm Fibre Optics Incorporated began in 1991, and the name changed to Marcomm Systems Group Inc. about one year ago, which is when David Trudel became President. David joined the company in 1994 as the Vice-President, and explains that Marcomm has always focused on electronic security systems: “That’s what we specialize in; we’ve become a center of expertise in the high-end integration of electronic security systems.”

The majority of the company’s business has been for Correctional Service Canada, installing systems in every medium and maximum Federal institution in the country. Approximately 40 such institutions have been outfitted with a security system, and all of those systems are provided with comprehensive warranty support and emergency service support from Marcomm.

The government of Canada creates ‘design and build’ projects known as P3 – Private Public Partnership – projects. Marcomm Systems Group Inc. is currently contracted to install all of the integrated electronic security systems in the new Southwest detention center for the Ontario government, as well as for the new Forensic Science and Coroner’s Complex in Toronto. This project is heavily integrated with iris scanners – quite necessary because of the nature of the building. Explains David, “We have Genetec security center software, we have mega-pixel, high-definition cameras going in, and all other systems like the intercom, the card access, and the cameras, which are all IP based.”

Other P3 projects the company is currently undertaking are the large court complex being built in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and the Quinte Court complex in the Bay of Quinte, Ontario, which are both being equipped with an integrated security system based on the Genetec system. Marcomm is also undertaking a project for the DND in Petawawa, for its new medium-heavy lift helicopter hangar. Another present project, New Brunswick’s Point Lepreau nuclear power plant security refurbishment, makes clear just how strongly the company excels in large, complex systems.

“Central to all of these installations is the software that we developed back in the mid 1990s, and are now re-developing, and that is called Dynatrol,” explains David. “Dynatrol software stands for dynamic, annunciation and control.” This security systems integration software was developed to create data interfaces to other sub-systems within the building, whether it is a card access system, an intercom system, a public address system, perimeter fence detection system, wireless locating system for people, or a door control PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) system for prisons. The challenge here is typically that all these various system are not able to communicate with one another, but the Dynatrol software serves as the base unit for each system to communicate with, and even includes touch screen technology, literally putting the entire building’s security system at the user’s fingertips. Such a piece of software is no doubt a great feather in the company’s hat, David agrees. “Developing, supporting and creating this software that has now been around for 20 years or so is one of our largest accomplishments.”

Traditionally, software existed that could perform these operations, but they were originally built for building automation and required a great deal of modification to get them to work with security systems; it was a system that made security, which should be nimble and responsive, into a cumbersome operation of constantly pushing buttons.

Dynatrol security systems integration software, on the other hand, has built-in integration parameters that will work with over 200 different types of subsystems. It is also designed to automate mundane tasks that security personnel used to have to attend to. With this system, when an intercom button is pressed somewhere in the building, the camera image will pop up on the screen with full audio, and with the simple touch of the screen the operator can then open a door – within, for example, a nuclear facility where such a comprehensive system can help prevent serious injury or disaster. Not only does the software add the ease of automation at the touch of the screen; it also collects data, analyzes it, and verifies it. Dynatrol also stores all the recordings for managerial use at a later date.

There is simply no other security software that compares to Dynatrol. The other leading security system brands do feature some degree of integration, but all of the components that are installed are proprietary, and don’t allow for upgrades or compatibility with other subsystems. Dynatrol leaves it up to the owner of the new system to choose the best components for the job and install them accordingly – HD cameras can be integrated with top of the line intercom systems and the best door locks money can buy; it’s that simple.

Marcomm’s system can also be installed using existing components. A major university in Ottawa, Ontario, for example, has a rather large system right now but the components are not talking to each other. “We’ve just given them a demonstration of Dynatrol,” says David. “What’s nice about this is that we can bring in our software for them, interface with all of their existing systems, give them a common platform and then integrate all of the various systems together. So it’s great for the retrofit and saves them from having to replace three out of five systems in order to integrate them. We also have roughly 65 Dynatrol software licences currently installed and running on Parliament Hill.”

The software provided by Marcomm is continuously being developed, and according to David there will be a second generation of the software, ready for release by 2013, which will be able to make even better use of some additional leading edge technology. This version will be based on a Linux Kernel instead of the traditional Microsoft version. As it stands, the software is made to be redundant; if it happens that one console crashes for whatever reason, there will be another one ready to take over its tasks.

This new version of Dynatrol will be available for approved dealers. “What we’ve realized from going to trade shows,” explains David, “is that no one has come even close to doing what we have done. In the future, the system will be available for security system specialists to use in their own high-end integration based systems.

“We have up to 500 licenses for this software out there right now; we’ve installed it in Federal/Provincial prisons, in courthouses, DND facilities, water filtration plants, in nuclear generating plants, commercial and industrial buildings, and in currency printing facilities. This facility has hand vascular scanners, bullet proof glass and turnstiles to get in – and Dynatrol runs the entire complex.”

Marcomm currently employs about 32 employees, who David describes as possessing a lot of common sense, a lot of drive, and a lot of experience. The company’s expertise is so specialized that it provides all necessary training in-house, transforming new hires into experts. Marcomm’s team will take customers through the entire process, from design, to supply, to installation, to commissioning, and through to ongoing system maintenance.

In the future, the company plans to expand into audiovisual equipment, a field which meshes well with the company’s expertise in security equipment. It’s no surprise that Marcomm was able to become a Crestron dealer, which according to David is essentially integration software for the AV world.

Marcomm strives to stay on the cutting edge of technology, and at this point in time the company has roughly 14 million dollars worth of work in the pipeline for IP video alone. With its specialty in providing “advanced security systems with the highest degree of expertise, functionality and integration,” Marcomm prides itself on ensuring the successful on time completion of all projects – no matter how complex or comprehensive.

August 21, 2017, 7:47 AM EDT

A Model that Addresses Infrastructure Demand

The Labourers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA) is a National Union representing over 500 000 members – over 110 000 in Canada with an International Office in Hamilton, Ontario. It has Local Unions across the country and is the most common union of construction, healthcare, waste management, and show service workers in this country. In fact, LiUNA, established in 1903, is Canada’s largest Building Trades Union.