Magazine Article | June 25, 2012

VARs' Guide To IP Cameras

By Business Solutions magazine

Creative Uses Beyond Loss Prevention

Gather Sound Business Intelligence — “We’ve seen an explosive trend in retail over the last couple of years to use surveillance cameras not only for security, but also for marketing analysis, workforce optimization, and overall sales management. Typical analytic applications that leverage live and recorded video include anything from measuring how long customers ‘dwell’ around a certain retail display and queue lengths at checkout lines to people counting and staffing schedules. Leveraging this information, retailers can make real and predictive decisions regarding business operations.” Debjit Das, VP of global marketing, Verint Video Intelligence Solutions.

Improve Customer Service — “A car dealership can use a license plate recognition camera to capture the cars entering their lot to allow the service managers to personally greet anyone coming into the service center.” Yoav Stern, president and CEO, DVTEL.

Send Personalized Marketing Messages To Customers — “A store can leverage video surveillance, tied in with license plate recognition, to determine when this customer is onsite, and the store can then send sale notifications to the user’s smartphone based on loyaly card data, right before they enter the store. Retailers can then use this information to determine not only what attracts a customer to that store, but what sale items specifically interest them.” Allyn Pon, director of product development, MicroPower Technologies

Identify Age, Gender Of Customers — “Video systems are now also able to identify attributes of customers such as relative age and gender, suggesting a whole new future range of useful tools to identify customer patterns.” Robert Kramer, product manager/security products, Panasonic

Integrate With Other Systems — “Behind the scenes, retailers and restaurants are using IP cameras to make sure safety procedures are being implemented and followed. They can also sync video with RFID information to properly document the shipping and receiving of goods or to make sure that deliveries are not left unattended.” David Wedel, strategic business development manager, Sony Electronics

Measure Conversion Rates — “Video analytics can help determine conversion rates based on POS vs. store traffic and see how long people have to wait at checkout.” Jumbi Edulbehram, VP of business development, Next Level Security Systems

Pitfalls To Avoid

Get Your Networking Skills Above Par — “When networks are not properly provisioned for the implementation of IP camera system integration, with defined performance parameters, there is greater potential for failure.” Robert Kramer, product manager/security products, Panasonic

Use The Right Cameras For The Job — “Many people underestimate the number of cameras needed. The ability to see 100% of a retail floor requires the correct positioning of cameras — and often many cameras. HD and megapixel help to reduce the number of cameras. Be ready for lighting challenges. Cameras that are mounted inside, but look outside, require Wide Dynamic Range functionality.” Tony Sorrentino, president, ScanSource Security

Consumer-Grade Won’t Cut It — “Integrators tend to make the most mistakes when they deploy lower-cost, consumer-grade products in commercial applications or when they focus on the lowest price products rather than the total cost of ownership.” David Wedel, strategic business development manager, Sony Electronics

Sales Advice

Spread Expense Over Multiple Departments — “Adding video analytics turns video data into business intelligence and therefore, enables departments beyond security and loss prevention to benefit from a surveillance system. Taking that into account, the cost of a video surveillance system can be divided across multiple departments because multiple stakeholders, such as marketing and human resources, can tap into the value of video.” Steve Gorski, GM, Americas, MOBOTIX

Replace Many Low-Res Cameras With High-Res — “Higherresolution cameras can replace multiple standard-resolution cameras providing a saving in labor, material, and license costs. Whereas most traditional surveillance video is typically deemed unusable after the fact, both live and recorded megapixel video makes digital pan-tilt-zoom possible, yielding forensic-quality evidence such as recognizable faces and legible name tags.” Scott Schafer, Executive VP, Arecont Vision

Don’t Sell Camera Features — “Dealers tend to focus on the camera’s feature functions instead of the problem the customer is trying to solve. Retailers and restaurants want to run their businesses more efficiently and care about their return on investment when investing in technology.” Carlos Perez, VP of Product and Marketing, Envysion