Stepping into the IP Video World

Oct. 27, 2008
ISC West proved to be a great meeting ground this year. While there I ran into industry veteran Carol Enman, former publisher of several security titles. She is now offering her knowledge to the security industry in various other capacities. Enman and I got on the subject of IP Video and what dealer integrators need to know about this technology. Her point is well taken: dealer integrators need to know what value IP Video can bring to customers. If there are any readers who still do not know what IP Video is then I would suggest you spend a little time getting up to speed. Security Dealer is a great source, as are video industry suppliers and distributors. We both agreed that video is an ever increasing tool that better enables your customers to assess and manage their risk. Not so very long ago, the black and white images that were the norm were grainy…and, well…black and white. Even when color came onboard many systems did not serve as a very good tool for determining who did what. Today digital cameras have more pixels thus better clarity, excellent color and back lighting, basically providing better quality images. As Enman pointed out, digital cameras can be easily installed on a network and networks can be or are connected to the Internet. The benefit of viewing a camera on the Internet is the video that it’s producing can be seen in real time, or as it’s being recorded, from anywhere and by anyone who is authorized to view these videos. Security professionals, risk managers, police, guards, monitoring stations, property owners, parents or anyone who is responsible or interested in protecting people, property, assets, or loved ones can keep an eye on them at all times, Enman went on to say. If there is an incident or alarm, video can be transmitted for immediate action. The Internet is prolific, ubiquitous, and profoundly available to communicate data over, according to Enman. Add to this, you now have high definition cameras, cameras that can see a full 360 degrees, intelligent video software products and security management software that allows for the management of all the video cameras within a facility, as well as access control systems to integrate with. Plus, there’s always new technology coming that is going to offer your customers even better information and intelligence. Increasing the amount of useful video, access data, or intelligent information that you bring to your customers makes their systems more valuable. Doing this efficiently means you will be designing custom security solutions that resolve “specific” problems for each of their individual buyers. Sure, there will be similarities between systems, Enman asserted, but each system may have its own unique properties. This means more detailed conversation with customers about their needs, interests, and plans both short and long-term. It will require thinking through what needs to be done. A different economic business model could emerge. The IT world makes smaller margins but moves more products. And we both questioned if this is where security is heading. Enman is currently providing business development strategies and sales and marketing plans that get companies visibility in their key market spaces. These include targeted events, public relations, forming strategic alliances, creating custom research or whatever needs to be done to get them to their goals. Our conversation ended with Enman concluding: It’s all about doing what’s best for your customer, based on the realities of the market and their needs.