Greenfield of Opportunity: Integrating Different Hosted Security Systems

Better coverage for customers; bigger repeat revenue stream for you

Some 99 percent of the customer sites you walk into today have a network. Along with Internet and email, they probably use a VoIP phone system and any number of Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms for mission critical activities-from payroll to customer relationship management to HR benefits programs. It's even become commonplace for businesses to use hosted platforms for central alarm monitoring and access control.

Sending video surveillance to the cloud is actually treading down an already familiar path. So why not take advantage?

When you integrate hosted video with hosted alarm monitoring and/or hosted access control, you create a security solution significantly more effective than if your customer were operating each hosted system separately. Collectively they provide secondary authentication for door access, visual verification for event alarms and even afford customers a way to accept unattended deliveries with greater confidence. By integrating all three systems, you can offer your customers a way to improve their overall security operation for less.

Less opportunity for false alarms. If your customer's business resides in one of the many municipalities that now require companies to deploy some sort of alarm verification before dispatching police and fire responders to a scene, integrating video surveillance with central alarm monitoring and access control completes the hosted security circle by providing video verification of events. Collectively the three integrated hosted solutions dovetail nicely with respective compliance needs while avoiding costly false alarms that can quickly deplete an operating budget.

Less upfront investment. Speaking of budgets, a hosted business model removes traditional buying barriers by moving security systems from a capital expense to an operating expense. This enables your customers to leverage more sophisticated surveillance technology for a lower start-up cost. Consuming security as a service allows them to budget more manageable monthly user fees, which translates into a steady, recurring revenue stream to bolster your own integration business.

Less ongoing maintenance to manage. By definition, hosted systems remove onsite infrastructure needs from the equation. The host provider handles all the maintenance, from patches, updates and upgrades, to tracking network connectivity and the health of the cameras, alarm system and access control devices. In addition, the provider should be contractually bound to guarantee quality of service, something your customer's overburdened security department may not have the available resources to match.

Here are a few scenarios where integrating hosted video into other hosted security systems can bridge a vital gap in protection.

Secondary access verification: Who's really walking through the door?

In a typical hosted access control system, if a user swipes a valid key card or enters a correct PIN they'll be granted access to the building. As a safety precaution, the card or PIN usually ties to a directory that stipulates specific access levels (location, time of day, etc.). But what happens if the key card is stolen or someone hijacks the PIN?

There's no way to ascertain if the person using the access code or the key card matches the person authorized to do so in a traditional access control system. When you link network surveillance cameras to the access control system, however, you provide a means for secondary verification. Now you can program a delay in the door mechanism to give the host provider time to call up a photo ID of the user and compare it to the video streaming from the location. If the two don't match up, the security operator can deny entry and send someone to that location to detain the individual.

Alarm verification: Is a break-in happening or is it just the wind?

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