Serving up reseller opportunities

Soft but bright spots exist

Ms. BenBrahim Wassima of CST said: "the end-user demanded full frame rate since a single skipped frame can determine the outcome of a claim against the casino or fail to expose fraudulent activity. But bandwidth remained at a premium since there is extensive CCTV surveillance elsewhere in the hotel complex for general logistic and safety purposes. Reducing data storage demands and associated costs were also considerations."

On the hospitality and hotel side of the equation, the market has been somewhat stagnant, victim it seems to the lack of funding that seems to proliferate up and down many verticals these days. That being said, there are opportunities, especially in boutique hotels and some new construction is beginning to show signs of life.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the hotels and other accommodations industry is expected grow by five percent over the 2008 to 2018 period. Among the top 25 markets, Boston reported the largest occupancy increase, followed by Detroit and Miami-Hialeah. Houston experienced the largest occupancy decrease, falling 15 percent.

For those hotels that are cash-strapped, ah, like the rest of us, the operative word in retrofit is hybrid systems, or systems that can use the existing infrastructure, without heavy forklift upgrades.

According to Steve Malia, director, Design and Production for M. Malia & Associates Inc., Brick, N.J., hotels are always looking to make their clients feel more secure, so consultants are seeing more opportunities for retrofits to add camera coverage, as well as installation of emergency call box locations on site for customer safety. Additionally, many corporations are looking for competitive service contracts to handle multiple locations.

"Customers are looking for cost efficiencies across all solutions," said Malia. "With the price of IP equipment becoming more competitive now, utilizing the existing network and backbone infrastructure makes it easier to add cameras, etc. at existing properties. Many hotels are also taking advantage of camera and point of sale integration to increases efficiencies via audit of their retail and food and beverage operations," he added.

Malia said hotel sales have not yet recovered from the recession, so integrators need to work with properties and help them achieve their desired security with a firm budget in mind. "Whether this is done thru phasing of a project, or upgrading rather than replacing existing equipment, providing this level of customer service and care will be worthwhile to an integrator in the long run," he continued.

The hospitality and casino vertical market may seem slow at this time, but these end-users are ramping up for the day when they can add surveillance and fully integrated solutions to their property and boost security overall.

Betting the House on IP Surveillance
By Fredrik Nilsson, general manager of the Americas, Axis Communications

As one of the earliest proponents of video surveillance, the gaming industry has a deep history (and investment) in analog technology. Some of the first casinos to take advantage of the latest innovations in video surveillance are the Native American casinos, who are pioneering a movement to network surveillance. What benefits are these early technology adopters talking about?

Emergence of HDTV Arguably, the gaming industry stands to benefit the most from the meteoric emergence of high-definition. Because HDTV is an industry standard guaranteeing resolution and color fidelity at full frame rate, casinos can be certain that their images will meet gaming regulations. At a more tangible level, surveillance staffers can now identify the subtle difference in chip color that could mean the difference between $10 and $1,000, or focus on a particular card to ensure fair play. Improved resolution standards also allow casino management to better work with law enforcement by providing crisp images for prosecution.

Scalability Unlike analog predecessors, IP technology can be changed and upgraded without major forklift installations. When new camera or analytic technologies emerge, casinos can easily test and implement without disrupting surveillance operations. They can also start with a system that meets their budget and then expand to meet growing business needs. Furthermore, IP allots diverse features-such as time synced two-way audio and audio/motion detection-to be added in-camera or on the network rather than building a disparate security feature.