Dimension Data and Cisco have announced that they have joined forces on an initiative aimed at reducing the number of rhinos being poached in South Africa.
Believed to be the first technology solution of its kind, the two companies will deploy some of the world’s most sophisticated technology in an unnamed private game reserve adjacent to the world-renowned Kruger National Park to monitor and track individuals from the time they enter the reserve gates, until they exit.
In phase one, Dimension Data worked closely with Cisco to gather information from the game rangers, security personnel, technology, and control centre teams. The first step was to create a secure Reserve Area Network (RAN) and install Wi-Fi hotspots around key points, which is completed.
Phase two of the Connected Conservation project will incorporate CCTV, drones with infrared cameras; thermal imaging, vehicle tracking sensors, as well as seismic sensors on a highly secure intelligent network. Dimension Data has also deployed the Reserve Area Network (RAN) using Cisco technology, which will be one of the first installations of its kind in the world.
Bruce Watson, Dimension Data’s Group Executive – Cisco Alliance said, “The goal of our end-to-end technology solution is to proactively intervene and stop people entering the reserve illegally – whether it’s cutting fences, being dropped onto the ground by helicopters, or simply driving in through the entrance gates. Over time, the solution will be replicated in other reserves in South Africa, Africa, and globally to not only protect rhino, but conserve other endangered species such as elephants, lions, pangolin, tigers in India and Asia, and even sea rays in the ocean.
Chris Dedicoat, executive vice president of Worldwide Sales for Cisco said: “We’re extremely proud to be a partner in the Connected Conservation efforts. Cisco and Dimension Data have applied their innovation to transformational cutting-edge technologies and have leveraged our synergies in the latest network, security, data centre, collaborative workspaces and hybrid cloud solutions. We hope the number of rhino will once again thrive in this protected game reserve.”
More about the solution
Design and deployment: Dimension Data’s Professional Services team designed and is implementing the solution which will be operated on site as a managed service, utilising our cloud for data analytics and back up.
Reserve Area Network (RAN): At the beginning of the pilot phase in December 2015, a high-value,
point-to-point radio RAN was built and tested as a proof of concept to create a high security ‘net’ which covered the entire perimeter of the reserve. Collaboration through reliable communications for alerts and warnings and the ability to share live video footage across the reserve greatly enhances the team to counter incursions.
IT infrastructure: Remote locations posed enormous challenges, and limited bandwidth was one of
them. The Cisco team created a plan to build an IT infrastructure. Coupled with Dimension
Data’s range of remote network monitoring, routing and switching, and managed services, the solution
provides an unprecedented onsite capability for technology deployments, proof-of-concept test beds, and
rapid solution developments from which the broader conservation community will benefit.
Wi-Fi and LANs at every entrance gate including biometrics and CCTV: Dimension Data is installing
Cisco Wi-Fi and local area networks at each gate, which improves and strengthens the communication
channels between security personnel and rangers in the reserve.
Digital infrastructure and data analytics: Data is collected on every individual entering the reserve. This includes fingerprints of staff, contractors, suppliers, and rangers and trackers working in the reserve, ID numbers or visitor passports will be scanned, and registration plates of all vehicles entering the reserve will be captured.
· Using predictive modelling, the analytics team is able to estimate when an individual or vehicle is expected to exit the reserve.
· Digitising the physical security processes has established a more reliable sequence for allowing people in and out of the reserve, ensuring that the reinforcement is more reliable and accurate.
· Data is analysed on an ongoing basis to enable better decision-making, future investments, and technology deployments.