How to Reap RMR From the Cloud
Find out how managed/hosted access and Cloud-based video recording, retrieval and storage solutions are leading the charge for cultivating SaaS offerings and profits.
You are building your integration business but the security industry and the world continues to change underneath you, making it a bit harder.
The move from analog to digital cameras changed your business. Physical security information management (PSIM) systems did not change your business. Best-of-breed integrations vs. all-in-one systems allowed you to expand your business with additional value-add.
The product and competitive landscape will continue to change. Some changes impact your business and some changes won’t matter. The Cloud matters.
The Cloud will impact your business, providing advantages for fast moving integrators and hurting others that are slow to adopt. Tony Scott, the former federal CIO, once likened “the act of putting storage on your premise to the act of stashing cash in your mattress.”
It does not make economic sense or cybersecurity sense to put your video on premise any longer. The IT and security industries are already realizing substantial growth in Cloud applications over onsite systems.
Gartner recently reported 18% growth in adoption of Cloud services over all other types of IT systems.
Further, Cloud-based physical security systems are projected to grow at 23% while traditional security systems (onsite) are forecasted to rise 9%, according to IHS Markit, Smart integrators recognize the opportunity and are leveraging the Cloud to grow their business and shield themselves from cybersecurity threats.
Cloud systems enable integrators to focus their expertise on networking and operations as opposed to the cyber risks associated with operating systems, recorders and security cameras.
You should be a trusted advisor to your client, not the party held responsible for a customer’s cyber vulnerabilities. A good Cloud service provides cybersecurity for the integrator and the customer.
Defining the Ideal Customer
As new and sophisticated malware attacks such as Mirai and WannaCry continue to evolve, managing video system software and firmware has grown more important than ever.
Vulnerability is becoming less and less of an option. Customers must worry about the security, version and upgrades of the firmware on their cameras and recorders.
Enterprise-class customers need to manage servers and storage system software as well. It is hard to imagine a future where all these customers want to be responsible for and manage the cybersecurity of their physical security systems.
Cybersecurity is not the only benefit of using a Cloud solution for your video and access control systems. There are many advantages for you, the integrator, and for your customers.
These include cost, reliability, security and user experience. Before delving into some of these benefits, let’s examine today’s ultimate customer for Cloud-based physical security.
Ideal customer for Cloud video surveillance
The model customer for a Cloud-based video solution is one that has multiple sites and a modest number of cameras (two to 100) per site.
When the Cloud provider offers support for a wide range of IP and analog cameras, the conversion from an onsite legacy system is quite quick.
A Cloud provider’s onsite bridge device is installed in place of the existing DRV/NVR and can literally be up and running in a few minutes.
Larger sites with more than 100 cameras might require more bandwidth to the Cloud than is manageable over inexpensive Internet connections.
Locations that have good bandwidth to the Cloud can easily support thousands of cameras per location. “Up” bandwidth from locations is typically way underutilized and therefore available for the transmission of video.
One of the great advantages of Cloud-based systems is that all the cameras feed into a single Cloud service.
Therefore, they are all available for viewing regardless of the location. Integrators can easily merge geographically dispersed cameras without having to run wiring between them, provided you can get Internet connection to each camera.
Customers with distributed cameras over distant locations, therefore, are a good fit. In today’s world, Cloud surveillance systems for large, single sites (1,000+ cameras) are not as effective as traditional onsite systems due to the issues around bandwidth.
Instead, however, it can be very effective and impactful to use Cloud services as a means to extend recording on a per-camera basis for critical cameras requiring redundancy or disaster recovery.
In some cases, even just the need for extended retention periods on select cameras can be enough to justify per-camera Cloud recording. (See “Cloud Video Replication” sidebar.)
The benefits of a Cloud-based video system will still win out in a campus-style application eventually. The time will come when bandwidth is more widely available. Watch for Cloud systems to grow in this application.
Ideal customer for Cloud-based access control
The ideal customer for Cloud-based access control is a business with two or more doors and more than 20 employees.
Smaller customers with two to five doors are ideal for a Cloud-based system because no onsite PC is needed to operate the access control system.
Customers with more than one location with a desire to manage their access control centrally, regardless of size, are also ideal customers.
With a Cloud-based access control system there is no need for a PC at each location and the customer has a single database for all access control that is redundant, backed up and located securely in the Cloud.
This reduces the headaches of multisite management. Cloud access control systems are suitable for any location that has access control because there is no significant bandwidth requirement.
Furthermore, a good Cloud access control system will cache data at each location in case of loss of network connectivity.
The costs associated with deploying an access control system that offers full redundancy is extremely high compared to a Cloud-based system, which provides replication of data onsite and the Cloud for no incremental cost.
If high reliability is important the Cloud offers a significant cost advantage. Like video surveillance, a strong argument can be made that the deployment of a Cloud-based access control system is much easier than having to coordinate between the headquarters and new site locations in a typical server-based access control deployment.
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