IP Systems - Do You Have What It Takes?

Oct. 27, 2008
Interview with Ken Darby, CEO, Vicon

Industry experts are predicting that IP-based video transmission will become the dominant technology for video surveillance systems within the next decade. To help prepare you for the future, Vicon is making a large investment in training and educating dealer integrators. Vicon's CEO, Ken Darby, offers his thoughts on the company's new coast-to-coast training series, “Building Blocks of IP Video.”

Harlick: What types of issues must be addressed when educating the marketplace about IP solutions?

Darby: There are many misperceptions about IP. Some think that in order to make use of IP you need to rip out the entire legacy system that's in place. That is not the case at all. Other barriers include the lack of training and education, the cost factor, and the two most frequently mentioned technical issues: bandwidth and network reliability concerns.

Harlick: Why has Vicon taken on the challenge of launching this series?

Darby: One of Vicon's strengths lies in our Pre-Sales Support group. As a manufacturer you must always be listening to your customers and your salespeople. As an example, shortly after launching our IP solutions, we noticed that traditional dealers were struggling with the new technology and, as a result, our sales people were spending a good deal of time educating and training. They were mostly dealing with questions and issues related to design and network requirements. In response, we changed the parameters of our support staff and decided to make the investment to hire and train Microsoft and Cisco certified engineers who could best deal with network issues. Taking that training and education approach to the next level, we will be kicking off our face-to-face, IP Video seminars this month.

Harlick: What's different in today's buying process than, let's say, 10 years ago?

Darby: The difference today is that the decision making process is no longer a ‘product only' decision. You're buying a relationship with an organization; you are buying into their road map and vision. Don't buy Vicon because we have a better NVR, but because you believe ViconNet is the platform of the future for the next 10 to 15 years.

Harlick: Ken, as CEO of Vicon, what keeps you up at night?

Darby: Primarily my stock holders. The reality is the technology is changing the business model in this industry. The security industry has traditionally been a hardware-based business. As more and more IP products become available the paradigm shifts to software, where standard networked devices are produced by multimedia companies. Manufacturers have to think about how they will replace the loss of revenue from the loss of components. Additionally, we wrestle with questions like: What's the best and fastest route to market? What are the spheres of influence that will change how we do business? We are a systems and solutions provider; we are not wed exclusively to software. Therefore, we come to the market with an unbiased approach. IP is not for everybody. That's why we have a full range of analog and DVR based solutions as well.

To register for a free Vicon IP seminar, visit www.vicon-cctv.com/IPseminar.