Video Add-Ons Boost the Bottom Line

Thanks to plentiful hardware and software upgrades, dealers/integrators have much opportunity to upsell video clients.

Walk the exhibit floor at any electronic security industry conference and it’s readily apparent the video surveillance market is humming with a constant churn of new products and services.

With so many offerings available, both of the hardware and software type, dealers and integrators are presented with abundant opportunity to increase the total value of each sale – from initial installation, migration to a networked solution, recurring revenue services and much more.

SSI interviewed several market-leading providers to seek their insight and advice on the best strategies for upselling video clients.

These experts discuss the significance of serving as a mentor to the uneducated or reluctant customer and the role education plays in helping the client understand the value of additional system features.

You’ll also learn a practical way to demo high definition (HD) imagery, how video systems sales can include access control applications and what benefits video management systems provide beyond security.

MIGRATION PATH TO NETWORKED VIDEO
The opportunity for installing security contractors to sell many of the powerful video surveillance applications available today will oftentimes begin with transitioning a customer’s legacy analog system to an IP-based or hybrid solution.

Here, it will be imperative for dealers/integrators to be well-informed sellers by understanding the pros and cons of IP video vs. DVRs and analog matrix switchers. Accordingly, the sales team must be up to speed on the compelling features that only networked video can provide and be able to translate those benefits to an interested customer.

There are two fundamental options for upgrading an analog solution to a hybrid system. One example is for the dealer/integrator to upgrade the customer to a hybrid DVR that will accept both analog and IP camera/encoder inputs. This will effectively allow each signal type to be displayed side-by-side on one monitor.

“With this type of future-proof technology, the end user benefits from a system that will adapt if they choose to add on IP cameras in the future,” says Chris Johnston, product marketing manager, Bosch Security Systems.

A hybrid recorder that provides H.264 compression can also benefit the end user by reducing the amount of storage required for recorded video.

“You can also choose to expand the DVR’s capacity and centralize storage by attaching an external iSCSI storage array,” Johnston says. “This gives end users greater flexibility for recording at a higher resolution and frame rate or for retaining recordings for a long period. It can also provide greater resiliency.”

Another option for upgrading an analog solution to a hybrid system is to install IP video encoders to convert analog video signals to digital. Encoders that stream directly to an iSCSI RAID (redundant array of independent disks), for instance, allow end users to avoid using any intervening hardware or software, such as a network video recorder (NVR).

“Multiple encoders can share the iSCSI RAID on a local recording network, while the main local area network or wide area network remains without any recording load,” Johnston says. “This design ensures video continues to be recorded even during a network outage.”

IP cameras provide a vast amount of upselling opportunities for dealers/integrators, depending on the end user’s specific requirements and security needs. One scenario would be when offsite cameras are desired to be viewed and recorded at an existing remote facility. Another possibility would be installing an IP camera into a distant part of a facility where no coaxial cables exist but a network is available.

“In both cases, by upgrading the existing DVR to a hybrid solution you will be able to integrate the existing legacy cameras and infrastructure with the newer networked equipment,” says Gary Perlin, vice president of video products for Speco Technologies.

Still, although IP commands the lion’s share of industry buzz in the CCTV realm, 85 percent of all products bought today are analog, according to Tom Galvin, vice president of product development for GVI Security Solutions, a master distributor of Samsung Techwin video surveillance wares.

“While it is true that analog camera sales will decrease over time, analog will never completely disappear. For example, as IP lines continue to grow there are new generations of analog video solutions that provide many of the benefits of digital IP cameras.”

Galvin references Samsung’s A1 Series, which takes camera resolution to 600 TV lines (TVL). End users can also benefit from such advances as wide dynamic range (WDR) and extended dynamic range (XDR) as standard features. The analog camera line also offers built-in analytics for intelligent video.

HIGH DEF IMAGES AS A SELLING POINT
Increased image resolution offered by megapixel and other HD camera technologies are opening new revenue streams for dealers/integrators. Namely, the significantly improved resolution over standard VGA produces imagery of far greater forensic value, providing a clear and tangible upgrade path from analog.

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