Selling the concept
Part of the challenge may also come in trying to explain or illustrate the benefits to the end-user, according to Scott Etess, general manager, Idesco Corp., New York City. Etess said that currently about 60 percent of the company’s camera installations are IP and the remaining analog.
“What we have found is that upon completion of the installation during the training phase is when the end-user sees the advantages of an IP system. We try to demonstrate the advantages during the sales process, however, when it is their system and we turn it over to them is when they truly ‘get it’. We are starting to see some monies being made available from the IT budget but these monies are typically limited to storage and not the system itself,” Etess added.
The challenges of IP installations come from every angle. Educating the end-user as to the advantages, benefits and reduced total cost of ownership is part of the battle. Another is educating sales staff on how to sell it. Knowing everything you can do with IP security and how it can extend to other parts of the business is another mountain to climb – but well worth it. Once you can extend IP camera security into the realm of business intelligence, management, control, automation and accountability, you’ve entered the next generation.
Choosing New Technology
5 tips for integrators
By Fredrik Nilsson
The real challenge for systems integrator in today’s market is how to sort through all the “noise” of new products and services and choose the right technology and the right company for your projects. At ISC West alone this year, there were more than 900 vendors touting their latest products and technology. So where do you begin in your vetting process? There are some simple steps to do the job right.
Consider these five factors to evaluate before making your decision:
1. Technology … Is the product based on open standards or is it proprietary? Proprietary products will limit your choices for other system components comprising your solution.
2. Real life performance…Can you field test the product before making a purchase? It’s hard to determine from a data sheet exactly how the product will operate in your particular environment.
3.Number of installs… How many products has the company installed total with this new technology? Talk to actual customers about the real pros and cons in a live environment and how responsive the vendor is to their needs.
4. Warranty and service… How long will the vendor back the product and what level of support will they provide? How large is the field support team and how quickly can it respond in your area?
5. Financial health of company… Especially in these economic times, make sure that the vendor is on a firm financial footing and will stay in business for years to come.
About the author: Fredrik Nilsson is General Manager of the Americas for Axis Communications and author of the book Intelligent Network Video. He is a regular expert contributor on topics of networked video surveillance systems and cameras.
The Stepping Stone Approach
Dr. Bob’s lessons on migration
Many in the industry know Dr. Bob Banerjee, product manager, IP Video, Bosch Security Systems, Lancaster, Pa. He’s a one-man ‘poster child’ for the adoption of IP systems, and he can tell integrators how to get there—from an analog and coaxial infrastructure and without ripping everything up and starting over. Banerjee educates integrators on how to use encoders, decoders and the network infrastructure to implement a hybrid solution that can migrate to full digital when the time is right.
He’s a proponent of a stepping-stone approach to the migration to IP cameras and transmission systems, and believes taking it one step at a time “can take the terror out of it.”
“You can incrementally learn what to do and deploy it at the same time,” Banerjee said. For example, using encoders (which can be attached to external storage or with storage built in), decoders, digital DVRs (recording at the edge) and hybrid NVRs/DVRs integrators can implement a solution that can include a mix of analog and digital IP, over coaxial.
He stresses that a key consideration is learning that bandwidth is limited. “That thinking results in more recording and storage at the edge of the IP device, rather than transmitting everything and clogging up the network,” he said.