Don't Miss IP-Video Security Sales Opportunities
By Brian Albright, Business Solutions magazine.
Facility security has become increasingly important in a number of verticals over the past decade, with more and more organizations relying on video surveillance to help augment their physical security systems. Because of improvements in camera technology and the emergence of networkable, IP-based video security solutions, city and state governments, educational facilities, retailers, hotels, and other users are finding that it's much easier to use these systems than in the past.
With increased demand, new technology advancements, and increased need for end user education, resellers have an opportunity to expand their security portfolios while providing additional consulting services to clients that need guidance. "Despite being a mature technology, customers and security systems integrators in some areas of the country are still not fully embracing network video surveillance," says Edward Wassall, director of IP product and business development at Samsung. "Customers are worried about system reliability and cost, while security systems integrators are concerned about the expense and time needed for retraining."
The transition from analog to IP video has opened up new opportunities for video security solutions, along with high-resolution cameras that offer high image quality in combination with acceptable data rates and low bandwidth. "Generally, the transition from traditional analog to IP video is the driving force in this growth area," says Ron Van Tassel, business development manager in WYNIT Distribution's security division. "Specifically, IP cameras and VMS (video management system) software are replacing standalone DVRs in new project sales.
Another capability end users are looking for: remote access to video feeds via the Internet or on mobile devices. This is one area where IP technology has opened up new application possibilities, since users can securely log in to their video security solution from any computer to access images.
With IP-based video solutions and other security systems linked to the enterprise network, there has been an increase in integration of these previously disparate security components. "The need for higher levels of security is pushing organizations to follow a multilayered security approach to secure their buildings and physical resources," Wassall says. "This need has promoted the convergence of physical security with IP, resulting not only in technology convergence, but organizational and skill convergence as well. The market is currently witnessing a major technology transition with the rapid adoption of IP network-enabled solutions supporting the expansion of integrated security solutions."
Customers may also be interested in cloud-based video as a service (VaaS) solutions. While there can be cost savings with a hosted video security system, there are bandwidth issues that could make the performance suboptimal. VARs offering a hosted solution would also have to change their business model to ensure revenues and be prepared to address additional customer security concerns.
According to the vendors interviewed for this article, the key to success for resellers in the video security market will be a strong networking background, as well as a deep understanding of available technologies. "The network video surveillance market is really driven by new technology," Lachance says. "Customers can easily be overwhelmed by all this new technology, although it can provide a lot of benefits.