One very interesting innovation is the recently introduced wearable computer. I can see this technology possibly being embraced and implemented by first responders to provide them with video from a facility before and after they arrive on the scene. Another innovation that holds potential is large-scale, gesture-based controls that will enable end users to more quickly, simply and intuitively manage their video surveillance systems. These controls, using hand or other gestures, have the potential to make both a mouse and touch screen redundant.
Surveillance Success Strategies
Surfaro: Instead of being reactionary and following what other integrators do, choose a market where you have strong contact with multiple end-user departments and learn their processes. Then do your best to become a business partner by packaging video surveillance solutions for a wide variety of uses within that one vertical market. In other words, with IP video, you can look beyond typical security or surveillance and into operations, marketing, distance learning, etc.
Simple is better in many cases and end users need useful recommendations to legacy systems. Understand that the faster a user can acquire an upgraded system, even if not 100% new, the faster they will be improving their investigations and facility protection. Video encoders, coax-to-IP converters and similar technologies offer ways to “tighten up” solutions rather than proposing a completely clean, and often more costly, replacement. Along the same lines, be sure to leverage existing infrastructure where applicable. Ethernet over coaxial solutions are lower cost than ever and can get an HDTV camera in the hands of an end user. They will see immediate benefits not only to investigations but business intelligence.
Lastly, mobility is everywhere and, as long as the mobile platform and video source are secure, tablets and smartphones are all potential security action points. It might be as simple as sending a specific text message of a door forced alarm to a particular group or a periodic “check-in” at entry screening. With more personnel carrying more powerful platforms in the palms of their hands, the security information presentation opportunities are tremendous.
Poulin: Think outside the box. Surveillance technology can be used for much more than just security. For example, it can be used for employee training, or to provide valuable analytics and business intelligence. Imagine being able to customize digital advertising depending on the profile of the person walking by, so it is most relevant to each individual based on relative age and gender.
Know and communicate the difference between price and cost. Customers want the cheapest solution that meets their needs. However, if that system has a high failure rate and will only last a short amount of time, it will end up costing the customer much more in the long run — not just in replacement costs but also labor, lost productivity and the cost of potential theft or other activity that may occur while the system is down. Think in terms of total cost of ownership to help customers get the most for their money.
Upselling really comes down to fulfilling the basic function of any supplier — to serve the customer’s needs. Successful upselling is a function of a maximum understanding of those needs combined with product and market knowledge that equips installing security contractors to guide the customer to meet them.
Staying up with technologies is a challenge in the realm of video surveillance, but successfully answering that challenge also prepares you with an ever-expanding number of ways to earn, and to retain, satisfied customers. For your business, the measure of success will be a healthier bottom line.
Editor-in-Chief Scott Goldfine has spent nearly 15 years with SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION. He can be reached at (704) 663-7125 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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