By Doug Ringer, Manager of Fixed IP Cameras, Pelco by Schneider Electric
While IP video solutions have been on the market for close to a decade, there are still a large number of end users that utilize analog systems. The number of these users that choose to migrate to an IP-based system is on the rise, and manufacturers, integrators, and A&Es continue to educate these organizations about the benefits of switching from their legacy analog systems to state-of-the-art, IP-based solutions.
In a Transparency Market Research report, it is noted the video surveillance market is expected to reach $42.81 billion by 2019, up 19.1 percent from 2013 to 2019. More specifically, IP surveillance is forecasted to grow 24.2 percent within the same time frame, driven by the global need for surveillance cameras with better video quality.
But today’s customers may need more reasons than simply numbers to help convince them to make the switch to IP video: Following are 10 reasons you can use to convince them.
- Better picture quality. It’s no secret one of the top benefits of IP cameras is an increase in resolution and picture quality and, for some, this is a main selling point. In certain vertical markets, higher resolution could make all the difference, such as in Safe City, oil and gas, casinos and gaming, and airport and seaport applications. These critical markets call for cameras that have the ability to aid investigations by making subjects clearer.
- Remote access and mobility. Today’s enterprise customers face the challenge of managing global operations and multiple locations with varying needs, making centralized management of security challenging. When using IP devices, many are accessible over a secure, Web-based interface that allows for centralized management no matter where a security officer may be, which can help enable faster, more efficient response to alarms.
- Interoperability. As IP devices have replaced analog systems over the last decade, more and more manufacturers have developed products that follow open standards for interoperability. This makes it easier to mix-and-match IP cameras with various video management systems (VMS), network video recorders (NVRs), and data management and storage systems to build a cohesive, reliable and cost-effective overall solution for their safety and security needs. Often, this can become a huge selling point for end users who would like to replace equipment as needed to adhere to budget constraints.
- Analytics abilities. For customers such as those in retail, gaming or critical infrastructure, analytics capabilities can help improve customer service, provide insight into shopping habits and track how many people utilize a roadway in a single day — just to name a few. VMS can be combined with software to map traffic flow, count people, and integrate license plate recognition to gain better situational awareness. Customers that are looking to make an investment in more streamlined operations should be made aware of the outside applicability of today’s IP-based analytics.
- Hybrid opportunities. Many customers still cling to analog systems with the old adage, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” and hybrid solutions are helping these organizations bridge the gap between making the investment in a fully IP solution. High-end NVRs allow existing analog cameras to be incorporated into an IP system, which can greatly decrease the costs associated with the complete overhaul into the IP realm. Working with customers to slowly integrate network-enabled devices into existing systems may help make the transition a little easer — and cost-effective — down the road.
- Room for growth. Scalability is critical for enterprise organizations and most will not make an investment without first asking how easily cameras can be added to meet future needs. Transitioning to an IP-based solution streamlines this process.
- Risk management. If many of the other tactics for “selling” IP solutions don’t work, the idea of promoting risk management just might. For many critical infrastructure and Safe City sites, protection of data and the security of information are top-of-mind, and IP solutions offer these end users robust options for keeping data sage and secure from threats.
- Better infrastructure. Since IP has been on the market for quite some time now, those customers who are considering the switch can be reassured that the IP infrastructure has been tested and developed with end reliability and durability in mind.
- Ease-of-installation. A single cable that utilizes power over Ethernet (PoE) makes the IP camera installation process easy, unlike analog cameras, which require multiple cables for multiple functions. Since IP cameras are on a network, the cables only have to be run to the nearest network switch, which can save time and money on installation costs. Additionally, many of today’s IP cameras are plug-and-play, making them easier to program and install.
- Expanding features. Customers searching for cutting-edge technology and ways to incorporate the latest trends would do well to invest in IP solutions, as many companies have already shifted product roadmaps to encompass updates and add-ons to these IP-based solutions. Video surveillance features as a whole continue to expand as the security market embraces such trends as cloud-based storage and applications, remote video and mobile capabilities, and enhanced analytics. With an expanding portfolio, most manufacturers now offer IP solutions in a cost-effective manner, making them far more appealing to customers searching for updated video solutions.
The benefits of full IP, as opposed to analog or HD analog, are numerous, and as organizations start to slowly replace these legacy systems and move toward IP systems, businesses will start to see things a bit more clearly.
Doug Ringer currently leads the fixed IP camera business for Pelco by Schneider Electric. Doug has held global roles in marketing, R&D, and operations at General Electric, Ericsson, Honeywell, and Meritor where he helped them think strategically and compete successfully. Doug lives with his family in Fort Collins, CO.