Remote Video Catches ‘Em in the Act
Remote video offers security contractors an attractive service to sell to their clients and build recurring revenues. Taking it a step further, interactive surveillance is transforming the security dynamic from primarily deterrence to prevention and response.
The only way to build recurring revenue is to stay ahead of the curve — find new ways to lower losses, raise profits and decrease expenditures. One option for many security dealerships is to add services that include monthly maintenance fees. But, security is security — so what more can you offer your clients and will that service build recurring revenue? Anew remote video service could be just the answer.
Particularly in this economy, it is more important than ever to start thinking of innovative ways to increase and stabilize revenue. Let’s see how interactive remote surveillance, and remote video in general, can help your business achieve its revenue, profit and customer satisfaction goals.
How the Service Works
Interactive remote surveillance involves the detection of unauthorized activities — such as motion on the property after business hours — and response to the threat using video surveillance and remote interaction with the potential perpetrator via strategically placed microphones, audio receivers and loudspeakers.
With a variety of infrared, day/night, high-resolution, tamperproof, waterproof and hidden cameras, these services can go undetected, until, of course, there is a security breach. Once a threat is detected, live video and audio feed is sent directly to the control center where a security specialist analyzes and responds to the threat as efficiently and securely as possible. (This service can also easily be connected to existing electronic security systems.)
The video streams are connected to a company-supplied DVR, which is hooked-up to the client’s local area network (LAN) and then streamed over the Internet, using an existing T-1, DSL or cable modem. Interactive remote surveillance companies utilize proprietary technology to see and speak directly to any individual on the property. Business owners can even select specific times for which they need remote monitoring, allowing a customized approach.
Convenience and Peace of Mind
This technology is so specialized that even leading security companies and the military are contracting with interactive remote surveillance providers, either directly or through dealer programs, to obtain the 24/7 monitoring their employees are incapable of doing.
“Human intel [intelligence] is only one type of security. Interactive remote surveillance is a more sophisticated type of security that combines the best of video surveillance and human intelligence,” says Larry Adler, a managing partner of Annapolis, Md.-based Eyewitness Surveillance, a leading provider of interactive remote surveillance services.
The convenience and peace of mind these services offer holds great appeal for a wide range of clientele, including high-risk companies such as jewelry stores and car dealerships as well as government locations such as ports, post offices and border crossings. Even small businesses are showing great interest in this security solution.
“While we mainly work with high risk and maximum security establishments, we also have smaller clients like office and condominium buildings,” says Adler.
Video in the Palms of Users’ Hands
Interactive surveillance specialists, central stations and security personnel aren’t the only ones that can benefit from the latest remote monitoring technology on the market, however. Emerging technology is literally placing security into the palms of end users’ hands, and doing so using popular consumer electronics such as the Black-Berry, iPhone and other mobile devices. This allows home and business owners to stay better connected to their houses and offices while on the go.
Utilizing IP cameras, this technology can monitor for specific events such as a person approaching a front door or a child returning home from school, and alert end users via E-mail or text message. The IP cameras can be programmed, for example, to detect motion in a certain area such as a front doorstep. If the image pixels are disturbed within that area, an E-mail can alert the homeowner, who can then view the camera images remotely from a mobile device — even if the user is miles away. The system can also be programmed to E-mail consumers a picture, series of pictures or even streaming video when a specific event has occurred.
These enhanced solutions and value-added services pave the way for dealers to increase recurring revenue, close more sales and reduce attrition — all of which can increase the value of their businesses. And they do so by using devices that many home and business owners already own. This is critical because the ability to utilize these mobile devices appeals to a new generation of buyers who demand technologically advanced services for which they are willing to pay.
“With the demise of analog phone lines, digital communications that give a higher level of service, reliability and better value for customers are more important than ever,” says Gordon Hope, general manager of Honeywell’s Alarm-Net communications network. “Digital remote monitoring that utilizes mobile devices is the perfect example of this technology, and it can help dealers add and retain satisfied customers.”
Why Guards Can’t Compare
While advances in video technology are enabling many consumer-friendly applications, it is no substitute for the serious security inherent in interactive services. Comparing the two is similar to matching a basic burglar alarm system with a comprehensive, 24/7 monitored intrusion solution. Both have their place and meet different needs and budgets.
Interactive services are particularly viable for any business that deals mainly in cash, like a pawn shop. However, some business owners might think they don’t need interactive remote surveillance because they have a security guard. Not only do guards cost more, they are also less effective than an interactive service. In fact, this security system outwits and outperforms security guards in every conceivable category.
The system provides around-the clock, multiple location surveillance, meaning it will not sleep and can be in two places at once. No guard can do that. It can also provide an immediate connection with local authorities after a security breach — no need to wait for the guard to get to a phone to call for backup. And, obviously, guards do not have the ability to record every theft incident in the manner audio and video surveillance can.
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