Leaders in Video Surveillance - A Security Dealer Roundtable

Panelists, this month, discuss: “The Future of Video Technology.” Susan Brady : IP-based video is undeniably the technology of the future for video surveillance. How long do you think it will take for IP-based video systems to make a...


Abram: Video surveillance and security dealers need to readjust their thinking. The reason can be summed up in one, slightly overused term: convergence. The relationship between video surveillance, security and information technology (IT) has quickly changed the nature of our business. Sanyo is convinced our current dealer partners will be extremely successful in this new market as it is our belief their video surveillance and security expertise adds a significant value to the new convergence business models. However, it is imperative to learn the new technologies and nuances of the IT market so they can recommend the best “security” solutions on a facility by facility basis. This expertise is what built this industry years ago and will remain its foundation for years to come.

McDonagh: Dealers need to be able to cut through the noise in the IP-video market and recognize robust solutions that provide value, scale with the needs of the organization and leverage existing investments in security solutions. To meet these criteria, an IP-video solution must be built on open standards allowing it to interoperate with systems already in place, as well as future technologies. It must also support video analytics at the network edge, where video is captured, in order to eliminate costly hardware additions on the back-end. Finally, dealers should look for solutions .

Schafer: As we get into the more robust and IP systems we have changed training practices too. We are doing more webinars. We are doing more training here on our campus and all over the world. We have 20 locations where we do training now. Plus, we do it at the field level too. We are identifying the needs early. We've bolstered our organization to be more outbound and working early in the cycle so when systems integrators are working on projects we can go out with them throughout the process. We do demonstrations, go out on presentations and we'll also help with the configuration and pricing of the deal. We have experts in all the vertical markets like retail, government and commercial. When there is an opportunity we align our resources to meet the needs of integrators and their customers. We also have three Mobile Product Showcase RVs that travel throughout the country and in Canada .

Forest : The most important thing for dealers is to remain focused on understanding the security challenges their customers are trying to overcome. Many of the challenges their customers face, such as poor image quality or an inability to manage many cameras centrally can be well served by IP-based solutions.It is important for dealers to educate themselves on which manufactures offer complete solutions versus point solutions. Dealers have told us that working with vendors that offer complete solutions makes deployment much faster and increases overall system performance and reliability.

Hauhn: IT departments started getting involved in security decisions several years ago, before the current IP camera movement. Now more than ever dealers need to learn how to talk to their customer's IT department. It is “their” network and dealers need to demonstrate that they know about the network and enterprise level IT. They need to know the terminology and know what it means. Dealers must be able to communicate the benefits of an IP system to their customers and help them understand all that it can do in terms of helping to make them safer and more efficient.

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The Next Wave of Technology in Video Surveillance

Roger Finger, Principal and Senior Consultant at systems integrator IP Pro Tech in Oregon, reveals expert tips on how to sell and implement IP video surveillance.

Q. Since IP Pro Tech is a company specializing in IP video surveillance, how do you overcome the cost argument?

A. We constantly fight the battle of analog versus digital in the customer's mind. The industry is in a state of transition right now. The DVR guys are going to come in a little bit cheaper than IP video, so we have to justify why IP systems are worth a premium price.

It's all about return on investment (ROI). This system will be in place for approximately 5-10 years. What is the likelihood that you will experience a loss during that period? When you amortize the purchase over a 5 year life cycle, the cost differences between DVR and IP video vanish and the real question becomes ‘How well is this system doing its job?'

Lately, with the megapixel cameras, we have a very dramatic talking point. We liken it to HDTV. If you were going out to buy a camera right now for personal use, what would you buy? You would buy a digital camera, of course, and with the most pixels you possibly could. Would you buy a VCR or a DVD player? Of course, you would buy the DVD.