Details, details...

Word comes down from on high that this company will be installing video surveillance systems in dozens of its remote warehouses, reports an IT manager pilot fish on the inside.

"The director of operations decided we needed video surveillance in order to monitor the warehouses in real time," fish says. "The ability to review video at our corporate office was key to the project.

"Then he signed a contract to start installing these systems with a national vendor without first consulting with IT."

That results in a series of unexpected phone calls to fish from installers, who need him to drop everything and help them by configuring firewalls, providing them with static IP addresses and then trying to test their systems.

But that's just an annoyance. Fish soon learns that when the Operations boss designed the surveillance system, he didn't add a monitor in each warehouse manager's office to watch what the cameras are capturing. Instead, he's decided the managers will log into the locally installed digital video recorders from their office workstations to keep an eye on the doors and loading dock, just like the headquarters staff will do.

But as fish knows too well, all the warehouses run 100 percent on thin-client terminals that get their computing power from remote desktop servers located offsite.

And many of the warehouses don't have very good connectivity options -- they include slow T1 and asynchronous DSL connections with upload speeds of only 1 or 2 megabits per second.

"So the plan was to upload video at maybe 1.5 megabits per second to a remote desktop server in another state, and then expect to watch that same video on a dumb terminal that doesn't even support streaming content," groans fish.

"When I questioned him on why he did not include IT in his plan, he said that Operations would be handling the video and security systems and that it would not be an IT concern."

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