New technologies swirl around security integrators today like bees swarming around a hive. Making sense of it all can be overwhelming. And whether to be evermore cautious or take greater risks adopting “unproven” technologies is an installing company conundrum further confounded by the stagnant business climate. How do you get the honey without being stung?
To answer that question and take a deep, penetrating look at the most exciting and promising technologies the physical security world has to offer, SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION interviewed a half-dozen of the industry’s most learned authorities. Participants were selected to represent every link of the manufacturer-distributor-integrator supply chain.
Taking part were Bill Bozeman, president and CEO, PSA Security Network; Peter Boriskin, senior product manger, GE Security; Steve Collen, director of business development, Cisco, Physical Security Business Unit; Paul Constantine, vice president of merchandising, ScanSource Security; Robert Grossman, president and founder, R. Grossman & Associates; and Doug Marman, CTO and vice president of products, VideoIQ. Together, they generously share their wisdom and keen insight. (For more exclusive coverage and additional responses from these leading technology experts, click here.)
Which new security technologies will have the most significant impact in the marketplace?
Bill Bozeman: Video analytics, video business intelligence and hosted video applications. Video analytics is becoming more prevalent now that the concept of monitoring video to enhance security is being accepted and implemented throughout the industry. Along with that, video is a tremendous resource for gathering data. Now using intelligence to gather business or marketing type data is possible, but still in the very early stages. Hosted video applications are also going to have an impact on the market as purchasing dollars shift from investments in DVRs to monthly fees for offsite video storage.
Peter Boriskin: Business intelligence and business workflow. Especially with the economy we are in, we see people very much trying to squeeze every ounce of value out of the systems they have deployed. They have security management deployed; now how else can they take advantage and how else can they glean some value out of that infrastructure? They are trying to leverage this very unique set of data that’s in the security management system and make use of that in the enterprise.
For example, there is a customer out there who is trying to make a determination on their real estate — they have a number of different offices — that might be somewhat geographically close to one another and they are trying to determine whether or not to keep all these offices open. Are people parking at all the spots they pay for on a month-to-month basis? In one case there was a customer who closed a $26 million location because the access control system told them they really didn’t have the amount of traffic and people that they expected there.
There is some real benefit and really unique data to be gleaned from the security management system that isn’t kept in any other system. It is that kind of integrating security with the business intelligence side of the business. There is a huge push for that now and we are going to see a lot more of it, especially in the next 18 months.
Steve Collen: High definition [HD] in the camera space. We’re seeing a proliferation of cameras that offer both high definition — meaning 1,080p — combined with full-frame rate video and H.264 compression. I think coupling HD with these additional technologies is why we’re seeing it more widely deployed in the industry. HD coupled with more effective compression coupled with the kind of frame rate that our customers are expecting.
The most significant implication from a technology perspective of high definition is that you have to have a network that is ready for high definition. So, connecting a single high definition camera can generate an awful lot of video going across the network, particularly when you’re doing things like fast-forwarding video. Literally, you can be talking about a stream that is 40 megabits per second from a single camera. So, the implication is very, very careful network design and network assessment as part of the high definition deployment process.
Paul Constantine: Software as a Service [SaaS] is an emerging segment in the video space. It’s a different model. It’s got a lot of potential to change the way end users buy and utilize their video surveillance solutions. Less money up front, but it becomes more of a returning revenue stream now for the dealer. Now that we’re moving to an IP network-based architecture, software as a service becomes a much greater possibility. It’s going to take time for the evolution to happen, and it’s going to be like software as a service in general IT. It’s found its niche. Some companies like it, some companies don’t but it definitely has changed, to a degree, the marketplace and in the general IT and general application software market.
Robert Grossman: IP video accessories are finally coming to market that will make it easier — even possible in some cases — for integrators to deploy IP cameras in retrofit applications. From modules that allow you to send IP video over legacy coaxial cable, to power over Ethernet [PoE] adaptors that let you plug in a computer at the camera to test it without breaking the network circuit, these are tools that make analog video easier to install, updated for an IP future.
IP access control systems are becoming more prevalent too, including some wireless products that have the power to drive down installation costs. In a future far, far away, electronic security has the potential to replace the physical metal key ring we all carry around. You already see it on some car models and as the cost of infrastructure and installation start to come down we get closer to that new paradigm every year.
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