SP&T News

Team at Canadian Natural Resources wins Integrator of the Year

The SP&T News advisory board has named Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. as this year’s recipient of the Security Integrator of the Year, sponsored by Anixter Canada.

August 11, 2010  By Neil Sutton

The eight-member board met on Aug. 9 and singled out CNRL as the recipient of the annual award based on the organization’s integration of an access control system with GPS monitoring software on board buses that transport personnel to and from Fort McMurray, Alta., and the Horizon Oil Sands site.

Security Specialist Rick Steele, in charge of CNRL’s Horizon Oil Sands security team, submitted the nomination to SP&T News. He said he and his team were thrilled to be recognized for their work. Steele said the success of the bus project was due to the hard work and collaboration of a number of parties, starting with the security team and CNRL’s information systems department. It is the first time an in-house team and not an outside integrator has been selected for the award.

“It was truly a team approach, even though it was spearheaded through the security department. It wouldn’t have happened without the other players on board,” said Steele, who steered the project from its inception to its conclusion.

Security and IS met on a weekly basis, said Steele; together they formed the steering committee for the project. From there, several other partners were brought on board: First Bus Canada, which installed access control readers; Geotab, which provided the monitoring/GPS application; and Honeywell, which developed a software program which could download the data from Geotab and upload information into the Horizon site’s Enterprise Building Integrator access control system.


“I look at us on the security side as the idea people, then we find the people to make it work.”

Using the combined solution, CNRL is able to put together a picture of who is on board a bus at any given time. The information is used for safety purposes and incident tracking.

“It’s a way of knowing who’s on our buses as they come to the site and go home. We have 35 buses that go from site to town every day,” said Steele.

SP&T News advisory board member Gord Chizmeshya, a Senior Sales Executive at Minelec Ltd., said the level of software integration demonstrated by the project was quite advanced and help distinguish CNRL from other Integrator of the Year candidates.


The judges considered factors such as innovation, collaboration, auditabiity and sophistication of the integration.

“Clearly there was actual software integration where data streams from one system were being interpreted and read and filed by another. That’s a pretty neat trick,” he said.

He added that there was an impressive level of collaboration from the various partners involved in the project, which contributed to its success.

“Based on all of collaborations, I think nothing was overlooked in terms of the functionality or the performance of the final result, which is critical.”

The board debated the idea of an in-house team being awarded the title of Integrator of the Year. The majority felt the level of collaboration between the partners and the application of technology in the project set the project apart from the other nominations.

Board member Jason Caissie, Physical Security Advisor for Royal Bank of Canada, said, “They really took the integration to a different level. A lot of times, integration is hardware integration; it’s matching inputs to outputs. When somebody takes that integration to the next level and does a pure software integration, I think it’s really deserving of recognition. I think that’s why they won this.”

Steele said the solution has already been field-tested and was put to good use when an incident occurred on one of the company’s buses.

“It just made it easy — here’s a list of the people who scanned on, so we said, OK, let’s go talk to them all.”

The Integrator of the Year award will be presented to CNRL on Oct. 20 at an awards gala, sponsored by Anixter Canada. Watch for a full story on the project in the November issue of SP&T News.

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