If you are expecting to read about the imminent demise of analog here, you’ve come to the wrong article. Nevertheless, with IP video sales rising dramatically, many security dealers find themselves in a hurried state to learn not only how to design and install an IP-based solution, but become skilled in the ways of selling IP video as well. If the latter is a challenge your company is facing up to, then you’ve come to the right spot.
SSI interviewed several market-leading providers to seek their insight and advice on how to most effectively sell end users on new and upgraded IP video systems.
Our experts detail how these solutions can greatly increase functionality and efficiencies for both security and business purposes. You’ll gain knowledge of how systems are easily scaled for future expansion, plus insight into discussing return on investment (ROI) and total cost of ownership (TCO).
Significant as well is advice on guiding reluctant or budget-sensitive clients through a gradual IP migration with partial or hybrid options.
Basic Strategies to Employ
The first order of business for an installing security contractor is to determine if migrating to IP video makes sense based on the customer’s needs and environment, according to Dr. Bob Banerjee, senior director, training and development, Security Americas, NICE Systems. If IP video can prove beneficial, but the customer is still not convinced, another approach may be in order.
“Try replacing a small set of cameras with a multichannel encoder and turnkey NVR, and add on a VMS [video management system or software] that can see and manage everything. As the customer begins to see the benefits, they’ll be more likely to self-advocate for a rapid replacement program,” Banerjee says. “If they don’t see any tangible benefit, you’re wasting your time anyway, because you’re not adding value, and the rollout will stop there.”
For most end users with a legacy solution, the migration to IP will take place gradually; analog and IP solutions will coexist, in some cases for many years to come, says Mark Wilson, vice president, marketing, Infinova. Dealers should instruct the end user not to let the technology define their needs, but let their needs define the technology to be used.
“There are many situations where analog cameras are still very acceptable. Using a coexistence strategy enables customers to operate both IP and analog technology side by side,” Wilson says. “This gives them a cost-managed way to migrate from analog to IP in small steps and allows them to extend the life of their existing equipment.”
Dealers can also introduce cost-conscious end users to IP gradually by directing them to low- to medium-priced hybrid DVRs. Oftentimes existing systems can be upgraded with hardware and/or software so the customer inherits the ability to record IP cameras, says Yvonne Schwemmer, product marketing manager, Pelco.
“As clients become comfortable with IP cameras, dealers can get the customer to consider the placement of fewer megapixel cameras to replace IP cameras,” she says. “They can then extend the placement of IP cameras, both standard and high definition, throughout the network.”
It can also be useful to illustrate “a lifetime perspective” of the system for the end user and to look at the overall cost of maintenance. Explain to end users network cameras have tampering detection and can be remotely focused, says Fredrik Nilsson, general manager, Axis Communications.
“Then, look at the cost of upgrading the system three-five years from now. With IP, your client can update on a step-by-step basis and at their own pace. Also look at what existing system components they can reuse,” Nilsson says. “Suggest tying in analog cameras using encoders or repurposing existing coax for network cameras using transceivers.”
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