The rise of hosted security services

SIW takes a look at several companies in the Software-as-a-Service industry


According to Hauhn, both services have been deployed across a range of vertical markets.

"The biggest advantage of (having a hosted solution) is it lowers the total cost of ownership," he said. "Ideally, it reduces the capital expenditure required to implement (an access control system) and to implement a very robust entry level-type system."

The company is also looking at hosted/managed video services as a potential offering for its customers as well, Hauhn said.

Niscayah

Systems integrator Niscayah provides both hosted access control and video surveillance in 18 of the 19 countries in which it operates, according to Bob Stockwell, the company's director of system operations for North America. A new standalone, hosted video solution was launched earlier this year.

In the last 24 months, the company has increased video capabilities at its monitoring center in Boston, Mass., according to Stockwell.

"Some examples of (this increased capability) are video verification of alarm signaling and customer DVRs being replaced with a hosted, cloud format," he said.

A majority of the company's hosted services have been used by customers in the healthcare, retail and banking sectors, but Stockwell says that petrochemical facilities are also becoming big adopters.

Axis Communications

Though they do not actually host the video themselves, Axis is one of the major providers of video hosting software.

According to Surfaro, one of the big differences between the Axis Video Hosting System software and some of its competitors is in Internet connectivity. Rather than having to pay for a static IP address or use network address translation in conjunction with a dynamic domain service which tracks the static IP address, Axis' software tells the camera exactly where it needs to be streaming without the need for these additional services.

"It is an automated, binding method for (to link) your camera to the server," he said.

The end users of this software range from small businesses like real estate and law firms to much larger entities such as government agencies and healthcare providers.

byRemote

Initially established as a Web development company, byRemote entered the surveillance industry in 2002 after it got the idea to transmit video over an IP address, according to the Dave Bedford, the company's director of business development. After exploring the marketplace for a while, the company eventually wrote its own video hosting software.

Until 2009 the company engaged in direct sales of its software, at which point they switched to the channel reseller model. The company's vertical markets range from homeowners with multiple houses up to a large retail chain. As with some other companies in the industry, Bedford said byRemote allows its dealers to rebrand their hosting software to make it their own.

Alarm.com

More focused on the residential and small business markets, Alarm.com provides hosted video and alarm monitoring services. Alison Slavin, vice president of product management for Alarm.com, says the company's services are sold to dealers who then bundle them with other monitoring services.

The company currently has over one million customers. According to Slavin, the company has seen an uptick in its alarm monitoring services due to the reduction in use of landline telephone services. Alarm.com launched its video solution about a year and a half ago and recently released an updated version. Slavin said that many customers now expect a hosted video solution and that innovations in surveillance technology have made that easier.

March Networks

Though they don't offer a traditional hosted solution, March Networks does provide a managed video service that can provide security managers with peace of mind.

According to Peter Wilenius, vice president of product management for March Networks, the company's managed video offering has several elements.

"Our network operation center in Ottawa does daily monitoring of the health status of all the devices (on the customer's network), ensuring that they are functioning properly," he said. "If a disk drive fails, we can diagnose that in real time and can dispatch a service tech to correct issues before they become problematic."