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Intercom Deployment Best Practices Guide
Intercom Deployment Best Practices Guide

Learn how to prepare for an Intercom device installation and troubleshoot issues

Updated over a week ago

When you install your Verkada Intercom for the first time, you might encounter issues with network, hardware, or misconfiguration. Use this guide to prevent installation challenges and troubleshoot them if/when they occur.

Prepare Command for install

A Verkada Command organization is required to manage and troubleshoot Verkada devices.

Required. Verkada Support requires an Admin to generate a support token to troubleshoot Verkada devices. The installer must be an Org Admin, Access Admin, and Access Site Admin on all relevant sites. This allows the installer to confirm all devices are working and provide a support token for troubleshooting. Learn more about Roles and Permissions for Intercom.

Before you begin

Take these steps before each deployment:

  • Ensure the end customer has a Command organization.

  • Add the Verkada devices to the organization before the installation begins.

Note: Keep note of the device's serial number and ensure you see that serial number in Command before contacting Verkada Support.

Stage hardware

Staging is the process of verifying that devices function properly before installing them at customer sites. Once the intercom is staged, further troubleshooting can focus on physical and network problems rather than hardware.

Note: When you stage devices, it helps you avoid the costs and difficulties of troubleshooting a faulty intercom after it has been installed.

To stage the hardware:

  1. Connect each device to your Power over Ethernet (PoE) switch.

  2. Allow the device to check in to the Command portal and update. If the device does not check in or update in 30 minutes, you need to troubleshoot.

  3. Verify that you see a video feed in Command.

  4. Verify that history is being populated in Command.

  5. Trigger an unlock using Command, Verkada Pass App, or Desk Station, and verify that the relay works.

  6. If using the intercom as a door controller, wire a Verkada reader into the terminal block.

    1. Make sure it powers on and all 9 readers are solid.

    2. Scan a card and verify that access is denied.

  7. Contact Verkada Support if you don’t get expected results.

Finalize the deployment

The most important aspect of an installation is to provide a working solution to your customer so that they can maintain the deployment and get help when you leave. This means demonstrating to them that they have access to all of the devices they purchased and that the devices are fully functional.

Complete the checks below to demonstrate that the installation was successful before you leave the site.

Hardware

  1. Make sure the plastic film is removed from all intercoms.

  2. Verify intercom status light is solid blue and progress LEDs (above call button) are no longer blinking.

  3. Verify that you used shielded wiring for all access control connections (reader, locks, REX, DPI).

  4. Verify each lock unlocks when a badge with access is scanned.

  5. Verify DPI state is correct when door is opened and closed

  6. Verify that IR glare is not present at night.

Software

  1. Verify that all REXs are properly configured to unlock the door

  2. Make sure (at least) 2 customer users are added as Org Admin, Site Admin, and Access admin for all sites.

  3. Configure access levels and doors for the intercoms.

  4. Ask the customer to log in and confirm that they can see all of their intercoms.

  5. Check with the customer to confirm the expected number of intercoms are added to Command.

  6. Check with the customer to confirm that each intercom is live streaming in High Quality (HQ), Standard Quality (SQ), local streaming, and recording history, as expected.

  7. Confirm that the customer has access to the support page so they can leverage Verkada Support, if needed.

  8. Ask the customer to remove you, the installer, from the Command org. This is standard practice when the installation is complete.

Troubleshoot deployment

Regular operation

When the LED on your Verkada intercom is solid blue, and the button LED is the only other illuminated light, this means that the intercom is in a normal operating state.

During regular operation, the intercom uses only 1 color to communicate its status:

  • Solid orange: Intercom is on and booting up

  • Flashing orange: Intercom is updating firmware

  • Solid blue: Intercom is running, connected, and recording data

When an intercom is unable to reach the required endpoints and services for regular operation, it runs network tests and displays the result using a combination of LEDs.

Note: This feature only works if the intercom has upgraded firmware from the factory version. Staging before install guarantees devices will be on the newest firmware.

Blue+orange LED statuses

Color Combinations

LED Status

Verification Process

1 Blue

1 Orange

Intercom is connected with PoE, but is unable to connect to the switch.

Verifies the physical layer status of the intercom's Ethernet interface.

1 Blue

2 Orange

Intercom has not received an IP address.

Verifies if the intercom has received an IP assignment by a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server.

1 Blue

3 Orange

Intercom is unable to reach the configured gateway.

Sends an Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) request to the gateway.

1 Blue

4 Orange

Intercom has detected duplicate IP addresses on the local area network (LAN).

Sends an ARP request for the IP assigned to the intercom. If any other device replies to that ARP request, this status is shown.

1 Blue

5 Orange

Intercom is unable to resolve Verkada hostnames.

Looks up a domain name system (DNS) of the relevant intercom endpoints.

1 Blue

6 Orange

Intercom is unable to receive a response from the Network Time Protocol (NTP) server.

Attempts to get time synchronized via Network Time Security (NTS) or NTP.

1 Blue

7 Orange

Intercom is unable to certify the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connection, likely due to SSL inspection.

Validates the certificate presented to the intercom while attempting a Transport Layer Security (TLS) handshake with Verkada endpoints

1 Blue

8 Orange

Verkada endpoints are not reachable after booting up.

Note: This LED status is only shown if (at least) 1 endpoint is unreachable.

Sends Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) requests to Verkada endpoints.

Network diagnostic tests

This simple battery of tests uses your laptop and the IP address used by the intercom to confirm the network is configured to work with Verkada.

  1. Work with the DHCP server admin to get the IP address, subnet mask, default gateway, and DNS servers for the intercom. The intercom can be identified on the DHCP server by its Media Access Control (MAC) address. (You can find the MAC address on the backplate of the intercom.)

  2. Disconnect the intercom from the network. (This avoids an IP conflict when you configure your laptop to the same IP address.)

  3. Assign your laptop the same IP settings as the intercom.

  4. Connect your laptop to the same cable used previously by the intercom.

  5. Verify that you can access the URLs in your browser:

  6. Verify reachability for SIP servers (should be allowlisted):

    • verkada-erik-sip.sip.twilio.com

    • verkada-erik-sip.sip.us1.twilio.com

    • verkada.sip.us1.twilio.com

    • chunderm.gll.twilio.com

    • eventgw.twilio.com

    • ers.twilio.com

  7. Verify NTP reachability for Verkada’s NTP servers:

    • For Mac users, open a terminal window and enter:

      • sudo sntp -sS time.control.verkada.com

      • sudo sntp -sS 34.216.15.26

      • sudo sntp -sS time.cloudflare.com

      • nc -zv time.cloudflare.com 4460

    • For Windows users, open command prompt and enter:

      • w32tm /stripchart /computer:time.control.verkada.com /samples:3 /dataonly

      • w32tm /stripchart /computer:34.216.15.26 /samples:3 /dataonly

      • w32tm /stripchart /computer:time.cloudflare.com /samples:3 /dataonly

If all the above tests succeed and you’re still experiencing problems, see Roles and Permissions for Intercom and verify that every endpoint is allowlisted.

Related resources


Need more help? Contact Verkada Support

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