When an alarm is triggered, the central station operator needs to instantly decide what action to take. Does the event warrant an immediate call to local law enforcement? Or should they just notify the customer that an alarm went off? Without eyes on the location, any decision is basically an educated guess. However, when you link network surveillance cameras to the alarm sensors, you give the dispatcher the critical situational awareness needed to decide if the event is real or it's just the wind rattling the door. If the cameras show someone breaking into the premises, or a fire erupting in a wastebasket, then a 9-1-1 call is definitely in order. But if cameras show no evidence of an event, then the policy might be to simply report the alarm condition to the customer and note it in the log. Plagued with rising fines for calling in false alarms, video verification can be an advantage realized to the customer's bottom line.
Unattended deliveries: Who's dropping off what?
Many businesses today accept unattended deliveries. The driver is given a key card or PIN that grants entry to the receiving dock or an entrance the business chooses to authorize. He drops off the packages, signs the log and leaves. But this process can be problematic since there's no way to verify who actually made the delivery, what they delivered and what was logged. If a package comes up short, was it a clerical error on the part of the delivery guy, or did he deliberately leave product on the truck to sell off the books? When a network surveillance camera is integrated into the process, the scene would play out in much the same way as described in the secondary access authorization scenario. Opening the door triggers the video camera to begin recording the event. The footage provides a visual record of the whole transaction-whether the door was opened by the regular delivery person or a substitute, as well as evidence for what goods were actually delivered. If positioned strategically, the camera can also capture what remained on the truck. In case of a dispute, the video serves as forensic evidence of what really transpired during the unattended delivery.
Entering a greenfield of opportunity
With budgets often dictating staff resources, a hosted solution can be very appealing to customers looking to stretch their physical security dollars. It not only reduces the total cost of managing physical security, it frees security professionals to focus their energies on security issues rather than the maintenance and support of technology.
Like they would for monthly cell phone service, customers pay a nominal fee for the hardware technology, or perhaps lease rather than own it, as long as they consume the security systems as a service. The service provider archives their video safely off site and provides access to it through a secure portal. The central monitoring station logs alarms and contacts appropriate responders. And the service provider maintains and updates PIN codes and key card authorization directories for the customer. Converging video, alarm monitoring and access control into a single, cohesive solution amplifies physical security beyond what each of these hosted systems could deliver on its own.
Using a fee-for-services model shifts physical security from a hefty capital expense-which can be a real deal killer-to an affordable monthly operating expense. For you, it represents a greenfield of opportunity to grow your business with a repeating revenue stream that will cement a long-term relationship with your customer.
Matt Krebs is the business development manager for Video Hosted Solutions at Axis Communications, Chelmsford, Mass.