Leverage Your IT Relationships To Win IP Video Business
By Mike Monocello, editor-in-chief, Business Solutions magazine
The pages of Business Solutions have been loaded in recent months with articles about how IP surveillance could be a great addition to your line card. The bottom line is that IP surveillance has improved in every way possible in recent years — lower price, easier to setup, increased functionality, etc. Despite the awesome opportunity for you, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re still a little hesitant. If your mind automatically presents all the obstacles you’d face if you wanted to take on IP video, let me remove one — identifying the decision maker.
If you wanted to pitch surveillance to your existing customers, do you even know who to talk to? Years ago, surveillance was a loss prevention or security director’s job. While you’ll still find such roles out there, today, IP surveillance decisions almost always include the person in charge of IT. Isn’t that great news? That person is either you (because your customers entrust their network to you) or the person you already interact with (who views you as their trusted advisor). Either way, you’re in a great position to sell IP video surveillance.
Let’s look at this situation from an alternative perspective; that of the traditional security dealer. These are guys that made their living selling closed systems that sat on their own network of wire. They didn’t have to worry about an IP network. Now, to gain access to your customer’s network, they need to establish a relationship and trust with the IT person. Again, that’s either you or the person with which you already have a long-standing relationship.
All of this might vary a little by customer and market. In some cases, you might be even further entrenched. For instance, if you play in the retail space, you might already have relationships with the marketing folks for each of your customers. Did you know that people with marketing titles are also playing a part of the decision-making process when it comes to IP video? That’s because today’s IP cameras can be used for much more than just loss prevention. Using cameras for marketing initiatives in addition to LP can help reduce ROI and gain buy-in from your customers. Here, again, is a situation where YOU might have established relationships and trust while your security competition might be starting from square one.
With so many obstacles between your company and growth, you need to take advantage of opportunities while they exist. IP video is one technological opportunity you should be strongly considering before it's too late.