If you've been keeping current with your copies of Business Solutions magazine, you know we've been covering the trends in IP (i.e. network) video surveillance a lot over the past 12 months. The reason why is simple: as camera technology has shifted from analog to IP, the technical difficulty has increased. Our network-savvy readers now have a very important skill set that's integral to installing the latest security solutions.
In the months we've been covering this space, I've learned a lot. Initially, I thought our retail-focused readers (those who sell point of sale equipment hardware, software, and services) would be the segment of our readership best positioned to sell IP video surveillance. While time has taught me that I wasn't exactly wrong about our retailer readers being in great shape to have success in this market, there's another segment of our audience which is not only technically capable of selling IP surveillance solutions, they already have proven they're capable of seizing market opportunities. That segment? VoIP integrators.
The fact is, VoIP integrators have already gone through a technology transition which mirrors what's happening in the security world. What took place in the phone industry years ago — a switch from analog/TDM (time-division multiplexing) systems to IP-based systems — is happening now in security. During a recent call with Fredrik Nilsson, GM of AXIS Communications, I was introduced to AXIS' term for this reality: Déjà VoIP.
Many VoIP integrators were around when analog phone dealers were struggling to keep pace with changing IP-based phone technology. Today, there's a new opportunity with IP-based camera solutions that's a solid fit for these integrators. If you're a VoIP integrator, you know all about managed switches, creating virtual LANs, and segmenting and throttling/shaping network traffic. These same principles can be applied to IP video surveillance.
Why would you want to move into this space? The readers we've spoken to have given us a couple great reasons:
1. Margins -- Better in video security than with other technologies.
2. Upsell -- You are already a trusted advisor to your existing customers. Leverage that fact!
3. Ease -- Don't take my word for it. Check out this article with a VoIP integrator to see how easy he found the transition.
I encourage you to consider this technology as a potential revenue generator for your business. If you've any comments or advice to give, feel free to comment below.