O’Neal Steel, part of O’Neal Industries, is one of the largest family-owned metal service businesses in the United States. For more than 100 years, O’Neal Steel has been a wholesale metal distributor for a broad range of alloys, from stainless steel to aluminium. O’Neal highly values its long-lasting relationships with its customers, promising to address customer needs by delivering quality metal products, top tier services, and state-of-the-art technology.
20 sites, ranging from small office locations to large warehouses
175+ camera streams
92% reduction in time spent reviewing footage, saving 100 hours each week
O'Neal leverages Site Visibility for remote visibility into all of their locations and the ability to set proactive alerts so they can better simplify and streamline their operations.
“Samsara is a great partner and easy to work with. They understand what’s driving our business and what’s valuable to us.”
SATEESH DONTI, CTO
Shifting to a modern, cloud-based platform
When Sateesh Donti joined as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at O’Neal Steel, he quickly realized that they needed to modernize and streamline their camera technology. After having implemented three different security camera vendors, none of them provided O’Neal with the visibility or coverage they needed and O’Neal was struggling to get value out of their incumbent systems.
Often, a site manager would need to manually investigate an incident, only to find the camera had been offline without any alert or notification to the IT team—making it impossible to find the relevant footage. Even when the cameras were online and working properly, there were often challenges navigating the system to find a specific camera stream or moment in time. Site managers would frequently spend hours a week sifting through footage to find a single event. Both the operations and IT teams felt that their existing camera system was unreliable and unsustainable. Because of this, Donti wanted to find a technology partner that could address their immediate needs and partner with them for the long haul.
"What differentiated Samsara from other camera providers was the freedom - from the data to the dashboard, we can do so much more with Samsara."
AI-enabled features to save time and improve operational efficiency
When evaluating different security camera vendors, it was important for Donti to find a solution that was not only reliable and proactive, but also helped them improve the efficiency of their onsite operations. O’Neal has a handful of smaller sites that often go unstaffed during the late hours of the night. Before Samsara, supervisors used to spend hours every morning passively searching through the footage to see if a delivery was made the previous night for them to review. With Site Visibility, supervisors now save hours every week, only looking at the footage if the system triggers a pre-defined, custom alert. Site Visibility can intelligently identify and alert on motion or people detected within a specific part of a frame. This allows supervisors to receive a text or email notification for motion after-hours as well as a direct link to the footage.
“The team used to spend a lot of time sifting through video footage to investigate incidents, now it takes 30 seconds. Site Visibility saves so much time and frustration.”
Since many of the sites are in remote locations, the bandwidth can be unreliable and cause outages in the video recordings. With the Device Management page, IT managers can understand bandwidth utilization and device health for the cameras and gateways. This helps the IT team understand the connectivity of each device, and troubleshoot bandwidth issues from afar.
Having AI-powered detections, proactive alerts, and device management pages has drastically improved O’Neal’s day to day processes. Through the dashboard, the IT and Operations teams have more information at their fingertips that help them make better decisions and take action. The time and effort saved for the team is invaluable.
Flexible deployment options
A major advantage for Donti was the flexibility that Site Visibility offers. The Site Gateway plugs directly into the O’Neal network through a power over ethernet (PoE) switch. From the dashboard, the Site Gateway instantly scans the network for already deployed, third-party IP cameras. Once authenticated, the Site Gateway pulls in these camera streams into the cloud dashboard. No rip-and-replacement is necessary. However, once seeing the value of Site Visibility, Donti decided to deploy additional Samsara high-definition, 5MP Site Cameras across their locations to get even more granular visibility into more corners of their facilities, parking lots, and entrances.
It was important for Donti to partner not only with a vendor that offered a modern and intuitive system, but also with an organization focused on continuous innovation. Since their initial deployment, they’ve already seen dozens of new features roll out such as clothing color detection and inactivity alerts. Samsara’s AI features allow Donti and his team to automate more processes, which frees up time previously spent monitoring or troubleshooting the system.
“The good thing about Samsara is that it protects our existing investment, and we continue to see incremental benefits from Samsara.”
Future innovation with Samsara
According to Donti, Samsara is a true partner to the O’Neal IT team. As the CTO, Donti is always thinking about ways to uplevel O’Neal’s technology stack and digitize the business. He’s most excited about creating big data infrastructure built upon multiple data sources, including camera streams and activity from Site Visibility. Through Samsara’s open API and developer program, organizations have full access to their data and can automate processes, customize workflows, and build powerful solutions.
Through partnership with Samsara, O’Neal can solve big business challenges, such as identifying unsecure machinery before accidents happen, locating the source of unusual vibrations relaying from sensors, and so much more. Before Samsara, Donti never thought to ask more from his security camera systems, but now he is able to think of infinite opportunities to work together and solve real business challenges.