McKesson is a global health care company that distributes pharmaceuticals and provides health information technology, medical supplies, and care management tools worldwide. Founded in 1833 and employing nearly 80,000 people in 2016, McKesson is the oldest and largest health care company in North America.
“Our Haivision Video Wall System has helped us address challenges around immediate access to critical information and transparency of critical data and events for our clients. The system’s ease-of-use and quick access to critical information are valued enhancements over our old system.”
Senior Director of Corporate Security and Safety | McKesson
In 2008, McKesson’s Corporate Security & Safety Department established a small Corporate Security Operations Center – or CSOC – to monitor the company’s North American distribution centers. Originally designed to accommodate a single watch officer, the CSOC featured one multimonitor workstation, a server, and a wall-mounted screen for monitoring CCTV and alarm systems.
“The old CSOC was about 300 square feet – basically a closet,” laughs Ed Shubert, Senior Director of Corporate Security and Safety at McKesson. “It was cramped and hot, but it served our needs at the time.”
However, those needs would soon evolve as McKesson extended its global reach in the following years. By 2014, the company had significantly expanded its operations domestically and abroad, with its acquisition of Celesio – a leading European pharmaceutical company – cementing its status as a global health care leader.
Ed recognized that McKesson’s expanding global presence would bring with it new risks and security challenges, and he believed that the CSOC could be leveraged to help monitor and mitigate these new risks. Under his leadership, the CSOC team began evolving its operations. Originally monitoring just 10 distribution centers, the team was soon overseeing more than 35. A new Global Risk Management program was also introduced to help protect McKesson’s people, products, and property.
From CSOC to GSOC
The scope of the team’s operations had outgrown the small, cramped CSOC facility. “We saw that our programs were delivering a lot of value, and we wanted a facility – and technology – that would allow us to continue developing them on a global scale,” Ed says.
He proposed a plan to transform McKesson’s CSOC into a GSOC – a Global Security Operations Center. He envisioned a worker-friendly, technology-rich environment complete with a watch floor, conference room, and collaboration space.
As part of the new facility, Ed hoped to implement a high-tech video wall system that could better support his team’s new visualization needs. “Our old, single-display solution was limiting,” he explains. “It served us in the beginning, but it wasn’t large or flexible enough to support our growing operations. I knew we needed a video wall.”
In early 2016, Ed received approval on his GSOC proposal and was given full command of the design and execution of the project. As he began researching video wall solutions for the facility, he had several key requirements in mind. “Ease of use was non-negotiable,” he says. “I needed the operators to be able to easily control the system and change the configuration of content on the displays.”
“I also knew that video walls can become very expensive if they’re not functioning correctly, so I wanted to find a vendor with a strong support program.”
After evaluating a number of vendors, Ed selected Haivision to provide a video wall solution for McKesson’s GSOC. “I was impressed with Haivision’s technology and the guidance they were able to provide for my solution,” he says.
Construction began on the Global Security Operations Center (GSOC) in August of 2016. Just three months later, the new facility and their Haivision video wall solution were fully operational. The completed, 2200-square-foot GSOC features a spacious watch floor, a high-tech conference room, four offices, collaboration space, a kitchen, and a break room. Proudly displayed on the wall of the break room is the GSOC’s mission statement: ‘Collect, Analyze, Deliver Data to Mitigate Global Risk. “WE HAVE YOUR BACK.”’
On the watch floor, three operator workstations – with sit-stand desks and ergonomic chairs – face a bright LCD video wall with a 4×2 configuration of displays. A watch officer at one of the workstations monitors the array of camera feeds, maps, security applications, and television news displayed on the video wall.
The Haivision Alpha video wall processor allows all of the team’s content sources to be displayed simultaneously, creating a real-time operating dashboard. “This is the heart of the operation, right here,” explains Ed. “We are receiving data on a moment-to-moment basis from all of our programs, and the video wall gives us a snapshot of events happening globally.”
Leveraging the video wall solution in the new GSOC, the team has been able to expand its operations to support three major initiatives: Monitoring, Global Risk Management, and a myriad of C-Suite support services.
Real-Time Monitoring and Control
The Monitoring program has been augmented significantly, with the team now overseeing 105 offices and distribution centers around the world. To manage the thousands of camera feeds streaming in from all of these facilities, watch officers use the video wall to display a real-time alarm monitoring suite, which is integrated with the company’s various alarm systems and network video recording platform.
“If a fire alarm or intrusion alert goes off at one of our facilities, the event pops up on a map application on the video wall,” explains Tony Rivera, Senior Manager of Global Security Operations. “The Watch Officer can then click on the alert to display the camera feeds at that facility and see what’s going on.”
The team controls the content on their video wall with Touch Control software. Through this simple touch application, watch officers can push custom arrangements of camera feeds, applications, TV channels, and more to the displays. “We change the content on the video wall frequently throughout the day, depending on what we need to focus on,” explains Tony.
Protecting People, Product, and Property Around the World
Leveraging their new visualization capabilities, the team has also been able to expand their Global Risk Management programs. Ed is particularly proud of the new Travel Safe program, which supports and protects the thousands of McKesson employees traveling and working around the world each day.
“Around 25,000 McKesson employees travel for business every quarter, and we have a responsibility to make sure they are safe and supported, no matter where they are,” he explains. “So, we collect and analyze global risk data and disseminate it to the people and business units who need it.”
Whenever an employee books a business trip, the GSOC sends them an in-depth report alerting them to specific risks in the area where they will be traveling. “Our reports highlight any current issues in the area: geopolitical issues like revolutions or terrorism, health concerns like the Zika virus, severe weather, crime patterns – anything that could have an impact on our people or operations.”
The team also monitors employee safety in real-time through an integrated risk-management platform displayed on the video wall. If an event occurs in an area where employees are travelling, the platform displays an alert with a summary of the issue and the number of employees in the affected area. Through the platform’s integrated smartphone app, the GSOC team can then contact potentially affected employees to confirm their safety, provide critical updates, and coordinate emergency assistance if necessary.
Employees can also contact the GSOC directly for emergency assistance. “Say a person is overseas in a developing country and they start having appendicitis pain – we don’t want them to go to an un-vetted doctor,” Ed explains. “So, they contact us through the hotline on their smartphone app, and they’re immediately connected with an operator who will help get them to the nearest vetted doctor.”
Satisfied with the outcome of the GSOC project, Ed says that the new Haivision system is helping his team work more effectively and efficiently.
He reports that his team’s new visualization capabilities have already produced a return on investment for McKesson. “By using the video wall to monitor our cameras and access control systems remotely, we have been able to eliminate physical security guards from many of our facilities, which has saved the company thousands of dollars,” he says.
Looking to the future, the team hopes to continue developing their operations and delivering even more value to McKesson and its employees. “We’re building a holistic program, and we want to keep expanding it in the years to come,” says Tony.
Reflecting on the success of the GSOC project, Ed says he’s proud to work for a company that prioritizes the safety and wellbeing of its employees. “I’m truly proud of the services that McKesson provides through our corporate security and safety programs,” he says. “We get a lot of letters from employees thanking us for protecting them when they were in danger or became ill abroad. Just hearing that we’ve helped someone in Europe, India, or New York – it really means a lot.”