Virtual guarding and virtual doormen are two flavors of remote video monitoring security services in great demand. They are, in fact, managed services that add value to the integrator's suite of products and offerings and are a great way to beef up video at the protected premises with mobility and remote monitoring.
You have to understand the different types of video monitoring before you can effectively ascertain what your prospect wants and how you will accomplish their goals. There is interactive monitoring that can be piped proactively to smart phones or other Internet connections real time. There are guard patrols that use preset parameters to check the protected premises for any exceptions. There is guard replacement that interactively patrols a facility, notes any exceptions and sounds alarms in real time while interacting directly with a central monitoring station or other guards on the premises. In this scenario or others, live audio adds a deterrent and real-time notification factor.
However, integrators have to do their due diligence on the companies they might consider to help them offer virtual guarding, virtual doormen or other remote monitoring services. Due to the size and diversity of the security industry, and both the concentration of control by major players alongside the overall industries desire for change, many of the great strides and advances that companies like Viewpoint CRM are experiencing are being muddied by the rhetoric of the 'warehouse' central stations that, while operating as they always have, simply have added some catch phrases to their Web sites, a few buzzwords in their sales pitch and a slide to their PowerPoints. Be prepared to ask point blank: What is it that I'm really getting with the service and how do you describe your video offering as far as what it can accomplish? Also, is audio included and is it one or two-way? In other words: Just how interactive is the service?
Viewpoint CRM was conceived, funded, built and operated as a true adjunct to guards, doormen and on-site concierge services. The growth in the industry has come from this new alternative in a $29 billion industry, guard services, that historically has offered little flexibility. Not only can one guard only be in one place at a time, but many posts require immediate interaction, which is an ideal opportunity for interactive services. Moreover, sites experience seasonal, weather-related and other variables to their security needs while the staffing remains static. Viewpoint offers immediate escalation or ramped up agent involvement based on real time need and demand whereas one guard is one guard and that is what you get!
Integrator perceptions of service
Integrator Team AVS, Boston, has partnered with Viewpoint to provide an alternative to guards and doormen for five years, successfully selling systems of over 100 cameras and realizing RMR in the thousands that provide Team AVS clients savings in the thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars. "Viewpoint is screening and processing visitors at our building entrances, and at one Fortune 100 company, effectively replaced the client's own command center personnel to not only provide dramatic savings, but a client endorsed 'overall improvement,'" according to Eric Caruso, sales manager, Team AVS, Boston.