For some time now, I’ve been advising IT integrators to add IP video surveillance technologies to their line cards. After all, you own the relationship with your customer, IP networking is old hat to you, and (more often than not nowadays) IP solutions require integration with the systems you’ve already put in place. That is, you’re going to be called in to help with the integration. So, why not rake in that money for yourself? If you’re still not sure, go back and read the many articles I’ve already devoted to the opportunity. But if you’re on board with the idea, great!
However, before you dive in, or if you’re still new to the technology, consider some of the following advice that I gathered from a variety of industry experts for an upcoming magazine article.
There’s More To Resolution Than Pixel Count — “Don’t confuse megapixel with resolution. More pixels will not translate to better resolution. The technology used for video compression will determine the viewing clarity of the video more than the number of pixels.” Shahar Ze’evi, senior product manager, Tyco Security Products
Some Pitfalls To Avoid — “IT integrators often assume that just because a solution is network-based, it’s easy to integrate. In the security and surveillance market, that is not the case. IT VARs also tend to underestimate the level of networking skills required. Another issue is that integrators are not giving their customers a good estimate of recurring costs. And lastly, VARs are often not clearly showing the ROI of deploying new technology. There are so many benefits to deploying new technologies, such as mobility, remote management, added intelligence, and the correlation of security data.” Jumbi Edulbehram, VP of business development, Next Level Security Systems
Set Expectations Properly — “When it comes to analytics, it’s important to set proper expectations with the customer and take the time to effectively calibrate the software. I can’t stress this enough. When setting proper customer expectations, the goal is to identify certain behavior and limit the false alarms triggered by the system. It’s unrealistic to preach 100% accuracy for a given analytic, but you still must show an effective value to the end customer. Proper planning, camera placement, and calibration of the analytic will increase the accuracy and reduce false positives.”Robert Muehlbauer, application development partner, business development manager, Axis Communications
Involve IT Stakeholders — “The most common mistakes are not involving all of the potential stakeholders and not involving IT from the very first meeting. IT can quickly become a very big advocate for a prospective system upgrade or expansion, especially when they are comfortable with their role in the project. Not involving them could totally derail the entire project altogether. The opportunity to demonstrate how powerful the system can be to as many department heads as possible exponentially increases the likelihood of success. Make their jobs easier, and they become your extended sale force, working internally to support the success of the project.” Mike Scirica, VP of sales and marketing, WavestoreUSA
Remote Viewing Is Key — “When integrators leave the deliverables of video analytics largely undefined, the customer’s expectations will always exceed what is actually delivered. Selling open-ended video analytics is a sure way to lose money on every project.” Dave Nieweg, GM/VP, 3xLOGIC
Don’t Dismiss The Cloud — “A mistake would be to immediately dismiss the viability of cloud-based VMS solutions, due to reservations about bandwidth. Many smaller installations can benefit from a cloud deployment, which would allow them to significantly reduce infrastructure costs and remove barriers which could have otherwise impacted their ability to adopt an IP solution. Through the use of hybrid storage, bandwidth can be significantly reduced by transferring only video of interest to the cloud, while the rest can be stored on board edge devices.” Erick Ceresato, product marketing manager, Genetec
Test The Power Of PoE — “Making sure the PoE [Power over Ethernet] switch you choose will provide enough power to all connected devices is key, yet something often overlooked. If there’s not enough power, then cameras will drop off or become unresponsive.” Vince Ricco, business development manager, technology partner program, Axis Communications