HARVEY Norman is a franchise operation with 250 stores trading under the Harvey Norman, Domayne and Joyce Mayne brands. Stores sell electrical, computer and entertainment equipment, furniture and bedding in different sectors of the market. The company takes the interests of franchisees very seriously and its commitment to store security is an expression of this.
Harvey Norman maintains a very high level of technical expertise within the organisation and provides the franchisees who handle their own day to day security operations with both the security hardware and specialist security support. Until relatively recently, all stores were using surveillance systems with analogue cameras and DVRs, but as system reliability and image quality issues mounted it became imperative to find a new long term replacement. 
Top of the list of requirements was good image quality, but important too, was 90-day storage capacity, hybrid operation with existing analogue cameras, and easy-to-use client software. In this environment, where systems are operated by store managers without specialist skills or knowledge, this last criterion is particularly significant, so intuitive design is key. 
Besides meeting these requirements, Geutebruck also enjoys a reputation for offering the most cost-effective IP systems. According to Bill Elkass, Harvey Norman’s general manager of loss prevention, Geutebruck technology is user friendly. 
“Its client software is very easy to navigate through and it was particularly useful to us that there are Geutebruck staff here in Australia who could provide answers and help in devising a good solution,” Elkass explains 
For the stores with upgraded systems the frustration of poor images is now a thing of the past. 
“Now we find that when we are looking at an incident of theft, we can see exactly what is going on: what a suspect picks up and where they conceal it,” he says. “And our new systems provide image clarity that enables the police to take action.”
Installations vary depending on the size of a store and on the existing kit which has been incorporated. Small stores have 40 to 50 cameras, large ones around 110, and the average is 60 to 70. While some stores have pure IP systems using super micro servers with 30 cameras per server, others are hybrid. 
Hybrid solutions use Geutebruck re_porter hardware and combining existing analogue cameras with new IP cameras sited to monitor critical areas. These critical areas include cameras over cash registers for instance, to provide a detailed record of transactions and spot discrepancies. 
“Running Geutebruck software on super micro servers is a good solution for us,” explains Elkass, “It gives us the storage duration we wanted. We find we need 90 days because it takes time for the police to put a case together, and it can be some weeks after an incident that they request video evidence. In the past we had usually overwritten the relevant recording. Now, 9 times out of 10 we still have it.”
The overall plan is to upgrade the majority of sites over the next 5 years. New or refurbished stores will get pure IP systems, as may some of the larger stores. Systems in the remaining stores will be replaced with hybrid ones as and when these require attention.
How has the new technology gone down with the non-technical store-managers? 
“The image quality is excellent and is providing the information they need: for example allowing them to recognise known offenders. I have to say, they are absolutely loving it. The franchisees talk among themselves and they all want Geutebruck technology.”