The business case for megapixel

Technological advances and declining costs will help you 'sell' the technology to your executives

Here are some suggestions on communicating with management about system cost:

- Be specific about cost savings. Create a spreadsheet comparing costs of a system using megapixel cameras vs. standard IP or analog camera technologies. Focus on the specific impact of using fewer cameras or eliminating the need for mechanical pan-tilt-zoom devices. Factor in all the costs, including infrastructure savings, reducing the number of components (cameras, housings, cabling), installation and support savings, and operator savings. Prepare your case to present the benefits of the technology in terms of operational advantages for the company as well as the long-term total cost of ownership.

- Emphasize better image resolution. They say that "a picture is worth a thousand words," and the modern corollary might be "a megapixel image is worth a million words." The quality of a megapixel image is a great selling tool for the technology. Viewing live and recorded megapixel images is one of the best ways to make a strong case for the new system. Try comparing a recorded standard-definition or analog image to a megapixel image and zoom in after an event to demonstrate the forensic utility of recorded megapixel video.

The Application Rules

Each customer's application and expectation of image quality should be matched to the right megapixel camera. While a 5MP camera might be an excellent choice in some projects, it is not necessarily ideal for all scenarios. If an application requires faster frame rates or different light sensitivity, for instance, a 1.3MP, 2MP or 3MP camera might be a better option. Being attentive to application requirements and setting expectations are important steps in choosing the right megapixel camera. Finding a knowledgeable installer/integrator is also paramount.

Like all management personnel in today's economy, security professionals need to justify every dollar spent on security. While it is challenging to project the cost savings that tighter security provides relative to protecting assets and personnel, the ability to project ROI relative to savings and related efficiencies from using megapixel cameras vs. conventional imaging devices is easily ascertained.

We urge resellers and users alike to compare the overall performance benefits megapixel cameras deliver and simply calculate the overall cost efficiency they provide. The results couldn't be any clearer.

Raul Calderon is vice president of Marketing for Arecont Vision.