Don’t Overlook the Value of Remote Monitored Video

The service opens up additional business management tools and can take advantage of the trend toward mobile apps.

IT’S been quite some since I have written about remote managed video, an offering that deserves revisiting in this column and with your customer base. Although adoption and progress in the channel continues to grow as most expected, the category is still relatively fragmented. With this growth we also continue to see new players and some consolidation.

I’ve noted before and maintain that technology is not the reason why adoption has not accelerated any faster than it has. We have our fair share of quality technology and we all know that the need for security and managed services exists. An element that creates some misunderstanding is the sheer variety of solutions embodied within the proposition of remote managed services. If you asked 10 people to describe remote managed video, you might receive 10 different answers – and they could all be correct to one extent or another.

Besides the obvious value in providing some primary or additional security to a subscriber’s location, enterprise or campus, a huge and sometimes overlooked value of remote managed/monitored video is the additional business management tools platform it can provide.

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Certain business segments have higher adoption of remote managed video services than others. For example, fast-food restaurants as well as full-service restaurants have leveraged remote managed video for years. Aspects such as integration with point of sales (POS) systems to periodic announced video tours and check-ins – in which the monitoring provider will check-in via video and have the manager look up at the camera and let them know everything’s OK – have produced great returns for owners and managers. Other well-known and early adopters of remote managed video are car dealerships, which have engaged services to handle activities such as monitoring their 24/7 open lots for all manner of theft, to spotting after-hours passersby in the video stream and announcing over a PA system that the dealership is closed and they are welcome to come back in the morning.

Let’s face it: Security is necessary and is no longer an option. Remote managed video not only provides this necessity, it also provides a platform that delivers a measurable return on investment in addition to addressing the requirement of security and mitigating losses.

A significant element that has enhanced the value and services that come along with remote managed video is the increased functionality and robust features that accompany the mobile apps offered with many platforms. We have without a doubt become a society that demands immediate satisfaction and information in real-time. The combination of high-speed connectivity, high-resolution video, high-definition mobile devices and world-class automation delivers real-time results to both the monitoring professionals and end users simultaneously.

As analytics continues to evolve on a daily basis, the raw video that traditionally existed as a bunch of disconnected data now presents valuable information that can be reviewed in seconds to determine an emergency situation or management issue that requires attention.

Previous Problems No Longer an Issue
History sometimes inhibits growth of this channel as well. Some of the early adopters of video systems often had disappointing results. The early days of time-lapse recorders and even DVRs would sometimes create situations that left users frustrated. Situations would arise when a business owner or manager would need to access recorded video only to find that they had a bad tape, corrupt hard drive, malfunctioning camera, etc. That type of poor experience was amplified by taking into consideration the higher cost of adoption back then, and that on occasions when they finally needed to leverage their big investment it failed to deliver but rather highlighted the risks of early adoption.

Well, none of these factors that have previously frustrated owners and managers are an issue anymore with a comprehensive, remote managed video system. Besides being a great value, these systems are always supervised and monitored, catching essential elements such as an out-of-focus camera, hard drive errors, DVR/NVR or camera losing network connectivity, hard drive approaching capacity, etc. Major aspects affecting the heart and soul of any video system will alert your monitoring center and/or premises manager or owner. This comes along with whatever main security reasons the system was acquired, and notifies all required contacts when an emergency event or other attention is necessary.

As you can tell, I am very passionate about remote video monitoring. I was among the very early adopters of this in the early 1990s at what was then King Central (later Criticom Int’l), when we accomplished all that we could over dial-up video modems. The industry and the remote managed and monitored video space has come a long way and I am more bullish on its value proposition for future growth than ever.

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About the Author


Peter Giacalone is President of Giacalone Associates, an independent security consulting firm.

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