Digitalization and the New Frontier
According to a recent IMS Research forecast, the network video surveillance market grew by more than 18 percent in 2009, while analog sales slipped by more than 5 percent. Various factors, not the least of which is the recovery from the global recession, are affecting the pace at which the migration to IP-based solutions is transpiring. Still, there is no argument that networked solutions have opened vast opportunities for installing security contractors to meet end-user needs in new and compelling ways.
“What the digitalization of the cameras and digital video management has done is basically decouple the software from the hardware,” Fullerton says.
The significance of that “decoupling” Fullerton explains, is that it enables a best of breed solution. Now systems integrators can mix and match among vendors when designing a solution for a customer.
“End users now get out from what I refer to as ‘proprietary jail.’ The old technology would lock you into that one vendor for the life of your solution,” Fullerton says. “At the end of the lifespan you would have to do a forklift upgrade, which means a write-off of most of what you bought and buying new.”
Digitalization has also ushered in the era of future-proofing.
“From hardware to software, you can download the newest revisions or the latest feature sets without having to replace an entire box or get up on a ladder and take the camera down,” says Jeff Stout, network solutions manager, Tri-Ed/Northern Video Distribution.
Innovations in digital video surveillance allow system obsolescence - or the prevention thereof - to be a convincing component of a sales pitch, Stout says. “The fact that we can update these devices makes it very appealing to end users. That is something you have to sell - the ability to future-proof a system,” he says.
The greatly increased resolution offered by megapixel and HD cameras, as well as the HDcctv specification, is providing integrators newfound firepower during sales conversations as well. Increasingly, end users have come to expect nothing less than viewing high definition images in their personal lives. And therefore, Jones says, it’s only natural their workplace expectations for quality video surveillance will be equally demanding.
“So many people today have HD-quality televisions and they watch television in high definition,” Jones says. “These same expectations are transferring into IP video surveillance.”
Where once traditional analog video often suffered from poor quality playback on standard DVRs, now customers are able to take advantage of HD images that offer security as well as operational benefits. On a sales call, don’t lose sight of the fact that HD images in fact provide user efficiencies that were not technologically possible with standard analog video.
“If I’m a dealer I am going to bring in a clip of video from a traditional analog system and a megapixel system and I am going to let the customer see the difference between the two,” Stout says.
Rodney Bosch is Managing Editor for SSI. He can be reached at (310) 533-2426 of email@example.com.
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