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Christie's Sold on the Art of Integration

11/30/2010 -When Christie’s, a leading art business and fine arts auction house, decided to upgrade physical security systems at its New York City headquarters and regional offices, it turned to Diebold to leverage legacy equipment, incorporate new technologies, and integrate a number of systems into one platform. The change allows security to monitor the entirety of its U.S. operations through a single command center.

Founded by James Christie in London in 1766, Christie’s has offices and salerooms in 53 worldwide locations—among them London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, and Hong Kong. It holds approximately 450 sales per year of fine and decorative arts, jewelry, photographs, collectibles, vintage wine, and more. Christie’s global auction and private sales in 2008 totaled $5.1 billion. In the last few years alone, the auction house has handled the sale of notable items such as the painting Le Bassin Aux Nymphéas by Claude Monet, the private collection of the late fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, the black dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiff­any’s, a 1707 Stradivarius violin, and props, costumes, and other items from the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation.

The security upgrade began in January 2009 with a search for a systems design and integration provider. “We started the vetting process about six months prior to the decision,” explains Steve Wrightson, director of security for the Americas for Christie’s.

The goal “was a centralization of security systems. We had independent platforms at ten of our regional offices that we wanted to integrate into our central command station,” at Christie’s headquarters in New York’s Rockefel­ler Center, says Wrightson.

(To finish reading "The Art of Integration" by Associate Editor Ann Longmore-Etheridge from the November issue of Security Management , click here .)

♦ Photo of Christie's Auction House sign in Geneva, Switzerland by ines saraiva/Flickr