Guest Column | November 18, 2013

6 Reasons Why SMBs Should Migrate To IP Video Surveillance

By Gadi Piran, President, OnSSI

Here are six reasons that could help convince your SMB customers to make the transition to IP video surveillance systems.

  1. IP infrastructure provides the means to integrate existing infrastructure/edge devices onto a single platform. Network infrastructure’s inherent ability to accommodate various edge devices at any point along the network greatly enhances system configuration versatility and improves cost efficiencies. Additionally, the proliferation of hybrid system solutions extends these benefits to include existing analog devices operating on legacy infrastructure. For example, the new fully integrated IP software/server video surveillance solutions appliances feature on-board encoders to accommodate both IP and analog cameras. So what does that mean in practical terms to SMB owners? It means they can potentially integrate previously disparate systems like analog and IP video surveillance, access control, point-of-sale (POS), and even HVAC and lighting systems, onto a single management and control platform. Software-driven IP control and management also greatly enhance overall functionality with the added benefits of infinite scalability for future growth or change, ease of upgrades, and advanced diagnostics to prevent downtime and reduce maintenance. All of these benefits provide lower TCO (total cost of ownership) while ensuring best-in-breed technical operations.
  1. IP systems help future-proof SMBs’ technology investment. There are several distinct advantages that IP systems provide that significantly contribute to increasing return on investment (ROI). IP systems offer the ability to implement highly efficient technologies that increase functionality and performance while reducing equipment, installation, and manpower costs. A perfect example is the deployment of best-in-breed video management software (VMS) solutions along with megapixel cameras and video analytics. The combination of these network-based technologies enables highly advanced video surveillance operations that deliver better area coverage, intelligent detection capabilities, and automated control and management — all with much greater accuracy and far less overall costs than to be added or removed from the network as needed. So as SMB businesses grow and/or change, they can modify their previous investment in technology solutions to fit their changing needs.
  2. IP systems improve overall surveillance control and functionality with VMS control and management. Unlike analog systems that are predominantly hardware driven, IP systems are generally software driven solutions. The benefits of this become clear when comparing matrix camera switching systems with newer VMS and control solutions. There simply is no comparison relative to features, functionality, ease of use, ease of implementation, and overall cost efficiency as a result of scalability, reduced manpower to monitor/control large numbers of cameras, and future integration.
  3. IP systems enable mobile applications. IP networks facilitate VMS solutions with mobile clients. The user can view live and recorded video at full frame rates in HD resolution from any PC with access to the Internet or from a tablet or phone in the field using standard broadband connections. This is simply not possible with analog video surveillance systems. Mobility opens up a whole new dimension for the use of video surveillance systems beyond conventional security such as process management, retail trafficking, student/crowd control, traffic control, and so many more areas where video can put users in front of the action they need to see — in different locations simultaneously.
  4. IP systems enable advanced analytics for better security and specialized applications. Video analytics provide a higher degree of intelligence to video surveillance systems. This trend emerged and continues to gain traction as a result of VMS systems that deliver powerful processing capabilities and advanced automated operations. Now, video analytics are being deployed increasingly for business operations beyond security. For example, analytics such as face recognition have growing potential in applications such as in nursery schools for observation, in airports to identify known criminals, and by retailers to identify core customers or shoplifters.
  5. IP systems enable enterprise level integration. Enterprise-level integration benefits businesses of all sizes. The ability to control and manage multiple systems on a single platform provides extreme efficiencies and long-term cost savings. Today’s best VMS solutions are leading the way to integrated operations by bridging the gap between previously disparate systems. Enterprise-level integration can only exist on a networked IP backbone.