‘Cloudy’ Skies Ahead for Security Industry?

A new product release crossed my desk this week that particularly caught my attention as it touted “the world’s first cloud platform security solution.” For those unfamiliar, cloud computing, according to Wikipedia, is Internet-based computing, whereby shared resources, software and information are provided to computers and other devices on-demand, like a public utility. It is a paradigm shift following the shift from mainframe to client-server that preceded it in the early 1980s. Details are abstracted from the users who no longer have need of, expertise in, or control over the technology infrastructure “in the cloud” that supports them.

Ever since I became aware of this technology I pondered how it might be applied to security, in particular video surveillance and access control. The former applies to the release in question, which promotes the Cloud NVR. It certainly seems like it has potential to be quite appealing to end users growing evermore accustomed to pure, Web-delivered services. It also falls in line with the recent push toward the security/software as a service model that has been creating a stir due to its recurring revenue possibilities. So I believe this is something we will be seeing more of, but I was curious what others I respect thought about it. So I forwarded the release to SSI contributors Bob Grossman and Steve Payne.

“This isn’t something my clients would look at; remoting the NVR is already pretty easy to do and it’s likely cheaper to buy a computer than pay a monthly fee,” Grossman told me. “So this, in my opinion, leaves the lower end market as the potential customer for this product. And if that’s the case, you have to question whether the intended audience has upload bandwidth sufficient to support such a product, or the appetite for a monthly subscription. Now if the cable company offered something like this and added it to your bill, there would be a compelling product.”

Payne contributed, “I’ve been looking at this concept for a while now. I wasn’t aware of this company but have been observing another vendor for some time. I think the concept is good for the lower end of the market, as Bob said. It will need to be priced right for that market. Bandwidth is somewhat of an issue today, but it’s only going to get better from here. I feel that it will be a major shift in our industry, and I think it demonstrates one aspect of true convergence. Bob’s take on it becoming a cable/ISP provider service is interesting. I think there is some room for smaller, local integrators to establish a market before that happens. One application could be a local alarm company using systems such as this to offer video verification without investing in a lot of infrastructure.”

It will be very interesting to see how this develops. You can read the actual release that stimulated this discussion below.

As always, thanks for reading ….

Scott Goldfine

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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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