Digital Video on the Network

It's worth getting to know the IT department and their needs

These cost savings correlate with the users need for a centralized system. Many applications can also work with localized cameras and recording without tying up the network. It is possible to record video locally and only use the network when there is a need to view the video remotely. Remote viewing is one of the most appealing advantages of making video available on an enterprise network, in effect giving anyone access to video from anywhere in a company. The concept opens up new possibilities to leverage the value of video.

Considering use of the corporate network for video surveillance opens doors in bringing in another customer – or gatekeeper into the buying and decision-making process. The IT department oversees the nerve center of an enterprise and is a good contact to make at any company. In many cases, they have also been tasked with looking for ways to create business value and return-on-investment (ROI). Traditional security integrators, and even technology suppliers, should take the initiative to get to know this new customer. Doing so is a great way to build future business and cultivate a new advocate for your technology in an enterprise.

In a larger sense, the customer has changed historically from being the security department to being the enterprise itself­—the whole company. Given that change in mindset, smart integrators think outside the box about how video surveillance can benefit the customer's company as a whole.

We're all familiar with the interoperability of video with applications such as access control and video analytics to track individuals, enable license plate recognition and identify risk situations. Widely available digital video also has enormous potential in helping companies with issues such as risk management and business operations: asset tracking; traffic monitoring; inventory control; identity management; employee productivity; process monitoring; establishing workflow patterns; and managing liability issues. Making video available on the enterprise network is the first step to realizing these synergistic goals. The second is identifying the potential for that video to benefit the company beyond the four walls of the security control room.

Many customers are looking for ways to make security an integral part of their business operations. Gone are the days when security was a “service department” that operated independently from the rest of the company and with a different set of goals and parameters. Nowadays, security departments need to be team players, looking for ways to boost the company's bottom line. Making digital video systems an integral part of the company's enterprise information system is perfectly consistent with that trend. By doing so, today's integrators can expand their business relationships with their corporate customers, establish new partnerships with company management and even non-security departments and promote security's broad-based role in contributing to the business bottom line. It can all start with becoming a part of the enterprise network.

J.M. Allain is president of Panasonic System Solutions Company (PSSC), Secaucus, N.J.