Guest Column | May 21, 2013

5 Ways to Convince Retailers To Upgrade Their Analog Cameras To IP

BSM-IP Camera3

By Hedgie Bartol, Retail Business Development Manager, Axis Communications

When you compare IP vs. analog, IP video simply offers more. More resolution, functionality, scalability, flexibility – the list goes on. With IP video, retailers and small businesses are not only protecting their property, but also optimizing business efficiencies and reducing costs. Yet many of these additional IP video benefits aren’t discovered until after the system is installed. The best surveillance integrators out there know how to position these benefits as part of the sales cycle to prove that, with IP video, there’s much more value.

Here are 5 key benefits to help convince your customers to switch today:

  1. Improved Image Quality - IP cameras provide better resolution, which means you can either cover a much larger area in your store or get a highly detailed image to meet more demanding identification requirements. IP cameras with HDTV (720p/1080p) standard resolution offer a balance of color fidelity, frame rate, and visual acuity to provide highly detailed video. Different aspect ratios also allow retailers to focus their coverage where it is most needed. The standard 16:9 aspect ratio is ideal for a wide storefront, while Corridor Format with a flipped 9:16 aspect ratio will dedicate more pixels to usable video for a narrow aisle or high-racking environment.
  1. Ease of Installation - Save time and money by getting your system up and running faster when you switch to IP cameras. Before it could take hours to install just one camera, but today’s IP cameras are specifically designed to easily install within minutes. Since you can leverage your existing computer network, you don’t need to invest in a new cabling infrastructure, and just one cable per camera provides power, video and data. With Power over Ethernet (PoE) you don’t even need a power outlet in close proximity to your camera. And if your network switches are connected to redundant power, your cameras are too. Tools like remote zoom and focus eliminate the need for manual adjustments at the camera position, and widespread system upgrades can be done remotely without having to roll a truck to the site.
  1. Growing Without the Pains – Migration to an IP system doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Maximize initial investments by leveraging existing analog cameras with video encoders. Or implement small system edge recording and/or hosted video solutions for a scalable path to a full range of IP video benefits. Unlike analog systems that are tied to the ports on a DVR, customers can easily add as many or as few IP cameras as needed to grow their systems.
  1. Smarten Up – IP cameras are getting smarter, so why not put them to work? From basic analytics such as motion and cross line detection to advanced analytics including heat mapping and dwell time, IP systems can do more. In cross functional systems, IP cameras can interact with other network devices, such as POS information, shipping and receiving and even general systems like refrigeration to improve store operations, customer services and sales.
  1. Lower Total Cost - When your home computer dies, you don’t buy the same exact model you had before. You’d buy a more advanced system. which probably cost around the same as your initial investment. This same idea applies to IP surveillance. Even though analog cameras themselves can be less expensive to buy [when compared apples-to-apples with an IP camera], the accompanying labor costs and expensive DVR equipment tip the scales in favor of IP cameras. When the DVR fails, don’t replace it with the same old technology. Remember, the total cost of ownership is often lower for an IP-based system compared to an analog one – and additional IP benefits in retail provide far more bang for the buck.