The January edition of SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION includes our annual industry forecast as a cornerstone of our special 2014 Industry Forecast Issue. For the piece, I interviewed 25 of the industry’s most knowledgeable market analysts, business experts, security dealers, systems integrators, supplier representatives and trade association directors. Some of their perspectives can be found in the magazine article, with the balance of their assessments appearing in separate Under Surveillance blog posts.
Featured in this installment: Scott Schafer, Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Service, Arecont Vision
What are the most substantial technology developments you envision for 2014?
Scott Schafer: The professional security market continues to migrate to networked video surveillance systems which represent a huge growth opportunity for megapixel cameras as well as VMSs and NVRs. This is especially true for panoramic and omni-view megapixel cameras with unparalleled resolution and coverage capabilities. Megapixel products provide excellent resolution, improve overall situational awareness, provide a way to reduce the number of cameras required and deliver an excellent ROI. The challenge is to educate both resellers/installers and users on the tremendous advantages that megapixel cameras deliver. Fortunately, there are thousands of megapixel deployments around the world that provide proof of performance. As we continue to get the word out on these installations, more and more industry professionals will continue to migrate to megapixel technology for mainstream video surveillance needs. We believe there are tremendous opportunities for continued growth in the professional security industry as systems continue to move to IP networked platforms. The trend toward integrated systems continues to gain traction which will further stimulate growth across core sectors of the industry including new technology development and manufacturing, systems design and implementation, and eventually monitoring and intrusion services. The top three areas of interest for security resellers are video, NVR/VMS and IP network video. Next on the list are monitoring and intrusion. This shows where market interest lies, and for good reason. New video security technology that has been delivered in the past several years and coming in the next year is very exciting!
What are the leading business and operations challenges for suppliers, installers and monitoring providers?
Schafer: For suppliers, more substantial partnerships are being formed among manufacturers to best fulfill the demand for open, integrated systems. This is and will continue to result in better solutions for customers that incorporate best-in-breed technologies and products from leading manufacturers. Professional security resellers face technological challenge of migrating from analog to network systems architecture and infrastructure. This requires that they take advantage of training programs offered by best-in-breed manufacturers like Arecont Vision, and that they cultivate and/or seek out new talent that specializes in IP networked system infrastructure. Both professional security dealers and distributors alike need to reduce their dependency on legacy technologies and look to the future. We see leading systems integrators evolving their businesses as they develop stronger service-oriented business models in an effort to generate higher recurring revenues. Their areas of focus are design, migration planning, installation, and lifecycle hardware and software maintenance services. On the monitoring side, network bandwidth management for high definition video systems is a challenge and opportunity. Delivering megapixel images is important to improving their offers to customers and improving service levels. Storage management is another big opportunity.
What is a top trend from an overall security industry perspective?
Schafer: Selling solutions has replaced selling of products. This is a dramatic shift in mindset that traditional resellers and manufacturers need to adopt to ensure growth. End users are demanding that security providers deliver more compelling value and ROI for the systems they are evaluating. As video surveillance and security systems become more mission-critical, we can expect many industries to adapt similar policies business operations like the gaming and transportation markets.
What type of year are you anticipating overall for the channel?
Schafer: We anticipate slight growth in the overall security market with strong growth coming from megapixel cameras, and moderate growth in standard definition IP networked systems. Sales of analog cameras and DVRs will to continue to decline across all market segments. We anticipate good growth in the overall monitoring market and the potential exists for accelerated growth later in the year as high definition video monitoring services gain more traction.
What is a pressing security industry issue you expect to remain unresolved?
Schafer: Perhaps the most pressing and persistent issue is the demand for open systems versus the reality of what manufacturers are doing to fulfill this goal. Open systems hold the key to higher levels of integration at the enterprise level. Many systems that claim to be open are often proprietary and not broadly compatible. This is an area that needs more focus and new thinking.
What is something that might surprise people in the New Year?
Schafer: Small to midsized integrators/dealers are embracing IP networked video security systems. Their efforts will have a strong impact on the market in 2014. The demand for high definition, networked, integrated video systems will continue to be driven by end users and their resellers looking to take advantage of new technologies that deliver greater performance. End users will drive more open, best-of-breed solutions from their “trusted advisors.” Those firms who understand the importance of IP network video security and can deliver a compelling ROI will win.