Video Surveillance: Finding the IP Video Sweet Spots

How to match the technology to the customer

Ah, that ever-so-special “sweet spot” — it is that loud crack from the bat that tells everyone you just crushed the baseball; or that satisfying ping you hear before the golf ball arcs hundreds of yards down the fairway. In business, it’s the feel of a firm handshake when both parties know they have closed a great deal.

The sweet spot is typically a small, yet perfect window. In the world of selling surveillance cameras, however, you will find that sweet spot for IP video is much bigger than you think.


IP Video Dovetails with Other IP Systems

Finding your sweet spot starts with IT infrastructure, the pipeline for collecting, transferring and storing data critical for daily operations. It affords integrators the ability to deliver robust IP-based solutions that both dwarf the limitations of previous analog CCTV solutions and deliver a wealth of cross-functional value in the form of operational intelligence gathering.

On a basic level, an IP camera is really a computer that sees. It lets your customers shed DVR equipment and free up operational time by leveraging edge-based applications and storage (through memory cards or attached storage) or use a cloud-based architecture to eliminate the need for onsite devices.

On a more advanced level, IP video solutions can incorporate applications to assist organizations — from individual small businesses and franchises to large national or global companies with satellite locations — in discovering ways to improve overall operational efficiencies and performance.

In the past, you might have recommended installing analog-based cameras and DVRs because they were (and still are) inexpensive. But DVRs eventually fail, and replacements every three to five years either raised the customer’s cost of ownership or eroded your profit margins. Plus, low image quality minimized the video’s forensic value.


Features Increase Attractiveness

Fast forward to today. As IP video revenue overtakes half the market for the first time, there are many “technology sweet spots” that make the solution increasingly attractive for integrator businesses and end-users alike:

Remote support: You can offer an IP-based solution that, in many cases, can be troubleshot and serviced remotely over the web. This expedites needed fixes should problems arise, and speeds up system upgrades with remote firmware patches and VMS updates.

Edge-based management: Recommending edge-based video management running directly in-camera saves customers the cost of supplemental onsite storage devices, ongoing maintenance and periodic replacement of DVRs. These edge-based configurations are fully functional for small system installations and easily managed by either the end-user or integrator.

Cloud-based architecture: A cloud-based solution makes system management even easier for the customer. The upside for an integrator is the potential recurring revenue stream generated by the services. A hosting provider can store the video in a cloud environment and provide customers access to it through a secure web portal branded with your organization’s GUI. If you are an integrator equipped to provide managed services, you can charge for storing video, providing video on request and managing the system’s overall health. This RMR model gives your customers peace of mind that they can count on you to handle everything from general maintenance and system upgrades to the occasional emergency.

Video verification of other IP-based systems: Integrating IP-based physical access control, intrusion, alarm and fire detection systems with IP video creates a single solution source that can visually verify who is using the card to enter the facility and whether burglar or fire alarms were triggered by an actual incident; thus avoiding potential fines from local law enforcement for responding to non-events.

Because IP video is scalable, you can offer these expanded applications to any sized customer — from a small business to a global operation with offices around the world.

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