Together is a non-profit based in Omaha, Nebraska that has supported the local community for the past 46 years. Our mission is to prevent and end hunger and homelessness. We achieve our mission by working through strategic partnerships and collaborations with other nonprofit organizations, government, businesses, and caring individuals. Together’s core values of hope, dignity, compassion, excellence, and diversity are the guiding force in how the organization leads and serves those who need Together most.
Like many small, nonprofits, Together runs lean to preserve and direct resources back to the people who need them most. In 2018, Executive Director Mike Hornacek made the decision to go all-in on the cloud—from their enterprise software to phone systems and video surveillance infrastructure.
Together had recently updated their cameras and wanted a cloud-based solution that would allow them to preserve their recent investments. As a longtime Milestone customer, they also wanted a solution that could integrate with their Milestone XProtect video management software. Hornacek found Arcules while doing research on the Milestone website and liked what he saw.
Arcules’ open platform enabled Together to leverage their existing cameras and Milestone XProtect VMS while eliminating costly licensing fees and streamlining installation. Together began with 8 cameras located at the organization’s headquarters in Omaha. Installation was easy, and Hornacek himself was able to train additional users.
“Arcules was plug and play, which for an organization like ours is fantastic,” says Hornacek. “It didn’t take long for me to figure everything out and feel comfortable with it.”
By taking advantage of Arcules’ open platform, Together saved thousands of dollars and dozens of hours by simply integrating the Arcules solution with the new cameras they had purchased and existing infrastructure.
The Arcules Cloud scales quickly–no servers or storage to add. Together’s offices, warehouse, and public service locations were added in mere minutes; while the system’s flexibility will allow for easy growth when the organization expands into the Midwest region.
The Arcules platform is continuously updated and maintained and works on any device with an internet connection – whether that’s a desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone. Together’s small organization can now monitor their systems from anywhere and never worry about management costs.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for Together’s services surged by over 400% across all programs—even as their volunteer count was cut in half. When an opportunity to expand operations into a neighboring building arose, Together reached out to Arcules to scale its video surveillance infrastructure with eight additional cameras for the new facility.
Today, a total of 16 cameras provide coverage for their offices, warehouse, and any areas where services are provided to the public. Large monitors inside the office broadcast live video feeds from the parking lots, providing an extra layer of security for employees leaving after hours. Cameras can be monitored directly from a laptop or a tablet, as well as in the administrative facility’s main control room, so staff can be comfortable that somebody is always keeping an eye on things.
By adopting a cloud-based platform, Together has been able to significantly reduce management and maintenance on their solution. Software upgrades are automatic, and continuous monitoring and proactive support alerts Hornacek to potential issues before they become problems.
“We’re a small, nonprofit organization, so we’re spread pretty thin. We don’t just have people standing around monitoring our security systems. So having a built-in infrastructure is hugely helpful and has led to a great return on our investment,” says Hornacek.
Hornacek also appreciates the openness of the solution and ability to integrate with a range of cameras and devices. As Together expands operations to new communities in the Midwest, Hornacek plans to scale the company’s Arcules solution. “Our second rollout really reinforced how easy it was to bring on a new site,” says Hornacek. “I am confident that as we grow, our Arcules solution will be able to grow with us.”
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