What's your flavor?

Managed services offer variety and flexibility

The primary benefit of a hosted, managed network video surveillance solution is that management and maintenance of the surveillance system is centralized and handled by the integrator. Other benefits include better access to the application for remote workers, decreased risk of a failed or delayed deployment and instant access to the latest product enhancements of the particular system. Since the service is rented on a monthly basis, end-users can spread the expenditure for the system over a period of years, while at the same time building in a recurring revenue stream for the reseller at the time of the sale.

This approach also minimizes the impact on staff time typically taken up by training. Instead, a small staff of technicians from the systems integrator could be trained to exclusively handle system deployments. Since this group would be performing the same function centrally for many different customer sites, this reduces the number of technicians requiring training.

Hosted solutions also typically offer a variety of service levels for both the service and equipment, such as cameras, encoders and local archivers.

Gaining greater transparency to the real-time operation of a customer's surveillance system can also be beneficial to the working relationship between end-user and integrator. The remote system maintenance center will know of trouble with the system before it impacts the customer's investigation and response efforts. The ability to monitor the system first-hand will mean that integrators can offer a much higher level of systems availability to its remote management and system maintenance monitoring customers.

Paul Smith is executive vice president of DVTel Inc. He can be reached at psmith@dvtel.com.