Why Customization is Key in Surveillance

June 18, 2018
What is the greatest security threat to an organization? That’s a trick question

What is the greatest security threat to an organization? That’s a trick question. If there’s a surveillance company that pretends to know, they’re pulling your leg. How can they know? Every organization is different and faces distinct risks.

A jewelry store owner might stay up at night worried about burglaries or robberies, while the top concern for the general manager of a sports arena might be a terrorist attack or a riot. Government entities that are tasked with ensuring public safety have to worry about even more things –– crime, traffic accidents, natural disasters, etc.

What nearly every organization has in common is the ability to reduce risk through high-quality surveillance solutions. The good news is that every aspect of the technology has dramatically improved in recent years, and surveillance providers are now able to customize their products to address each organization’s unique challenges and priorities.

What Data Do You Need?

One of the driving forces behind customization is the integration of surveillance and IT operations. In the days of analog cameras, there was no need for the surveillance people to ever cross paths with their brethren on the IT team. Now that IP-based video cameras are increasingly the norm, forward-thinking organizations are bringing the two groups together as part of a unified operation that recognizes that security is about much more than video footage. Video is merely one of the many kinds of data that are key to security.

What other kind of data is important? That depends who you ask. Traffic managers are interested in knowing how many cars are moving through a given intersection. Casinos want real-time tracking of money being exchanged at their tables. Airports want immediate detection of unattended bags.

Pelco helps all kinds of different clients customize their solutions to provide them valuable information. One of the most common customization requests is to integrate a facility’s access control system into VideoXpert, our video management system. That means every time a person uses a key card to enter the building, there is a record of their entry in the access control system that is paired with video footage of the event taking place.

Another popular customization among customers is the integration an incident report program into VideoXpert. That allows surveillance personnel to quickly provide a written report of an incident alongside the video footage, all of which can be quickly exported into a single file that can be kept for internal records or provided to an appropriate investigative authority, such as a law enforcement agency or insurance company. Suffice it to say, that represents a major improvement over the days when incidents caught on video required both a physical tape and an accompanying incident report on paper. Both items could (and often did) get damaged or lost.

What Cameras Do You Need?

On the most basic level, many organizations need their cameras to look a certain way, perhaps to make them less conspicuous (and therefore harder to detect and evade) or perhaps because their site has a unique aesthetic that they don’t want compromised by weird-looking cameras. Any surveillance provider worth your time should take these concerns seriously. Indeed, we regularly provide custom paint jobs or wraps to equipment based on customer requests.

Then there are customers who have specific demands about what the cameras should be looking at. Notably, many of them don’t want the camera staring into empty space. They’d prefer it to detect and record activities that are most likely to be worthy of attention. That’s why many of our customers request that we install pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) IP cameras, which automatically focus on things that are moving, whether it’s people in a hallway or cars moving through a parking lot.

Just as important as our ability to customize your products is your ability to continually adapt your equipment to fit your organization’s evolving needs. One of the most classic challenges comes when a business outgrows its surveillance system, often prompting a costly overhaul. Increasingly, however, solution providers such as Pelco offer practically unlimited scalability. A Pelco customer could start out with 10 cameras and gradually expand its system to include thousands of cameras.

Similarly, the increased adaptability of modern surveillance solutions means that your decision to embrace a new, better system does not require you to do away with the existing equipment that you’ve sunk money into. Pelco’s VideoXpert system, for instance, connects to both newer IP-based cameras and older analog cameras, allowing organizations to update their system while leveraging their existing resources.

What System Do You Need?

If you’re in the market for a new surveillance solution, make sure you are opting for one that not only fits your current needs, but is able to accompany you through the inevitable changes that occur at your organization. Whether you anticipate your need growing or your needs changing, you need to know that the surveillance system you rely on to keep you and others safe will be able to accommodate you when those changes take place. More importantly, you need to know that the service provider is willing and able to provide you with customizations tailored to your unique needs.

To learn how Pelco can customize your surveillance solution, please feel free to fill out this form and someone will reach out to you accordingly.

About the Author:

Cristina Betanzo is the Marketing and Communications Director for Pelco by Schneider Electric. Cristina has over 15 years of marketing experience within the security and technology industry as well as the entertainment industry. She has held a variety of senior roles within Pelco and other technology-driven enterprises. Some of the activities she has managed include global marketing and communications, marketing automation and demand generation, digital experience marketing, and marketing for Latin America.