Video Analytics Delivers ROI in Belt-Tightening Model

Making a case to top management for a new or upgraded security system can be challenging even in the best of times, but throw into the mix a tough economic climate when budgets are being slashed and the task becomes even harder.

Companies are reviewing their spending, especially scrutinizing personnel costs, while cutting back on or remaining stagnant with investment in systems. A recent survey of security decision-makers by CSO magazine showed nearly half of respondents planned to decrease spending on staff, with nearly 60 percent in or considering a hiring freeze.

In reality, however, certain security models, such as the addition of video analytics to an existing surveillance system, can have a quick and positive impact on a company’s bottom line.

Intelligent video is able to pinpoint potential threat situations based on computer vision that sees objects in three dimensions and recognizes a pattern of behavior. By employing the intelligence of video analytics, companies are able to eliminate or reduce the number of security employees on site, such as guards used to patrol a corporate facility or those who monitor on-site control centers. Instead of relying on a person on-site to report on an activity, security systems operators are alerted to a potential threat and can take the appropriate action.

Some companies will outsource their monitoring to a remote monitoring company, but even these operations are limited in how effectively they can monitor the cameras, unless they have some additional tools on which to rely, such as video analytics.

Remote monitoring companies offer a cost effective solution to small organizations and residential users by monitoring when and where they cannot.

Still, a company with four to eight cameras is only getting a fraction of that video fully monitored by the center, and without analytics it is subject to judgment calls from the individuals doing the monitoring. But with the addition of video analytics, end users are essentially getting the equivalent of 24/7 monitoring, minus the human error factor. And these days, most large remote monitoring companies are equipped to integrate with the latest video analytics systems. 

Detection Frequency and Accuracy
Through the use of intelligent video, companies are able to increase the accuracy and frequency of detection, reduce the false alarm rate, provide visual verification if an event does occur, reduce information overload on those doing the monitoring while relieving fatigue on the job and helping them focus, and provide video documentation of pre- and post-alarm activity for forensic purposes. Video analytics turns what is typically a reactive response by guards into a proactive one by automating security tasks.

In many communities, false alarms incur charges that can add up significantly over time. Within the analytics algorithms, intrusion detection can be linked to specific sizes or movement patterns that most closely match those of people or vehicles, while taking into account movement from other objects such as animals, trees and plants. This ability to sort out likely intruders from natural occurrences can significantly reduce the number of false alarms.

Being able to detect and prevent a criminal act, vandalism, theft or some other event obviously translates into a cost-saving benefit for a company deploying video analytics.

Car dealerships are an example of businesses with huge investments in inventory of both vehicles and parts that are frequent targets for theft and vandalism. Depending on the type of vehicle and the theft or vandalism taking place, losses can range from $5,000 to $50,000 per incident.

At a Volvo, Honda and Jaguar dealership in Rishon Lezion, Israel, a video surveillance system built with intelligent surveillance cameras and analytics-based encoders allowed the owners to increase the size of the operation threefold, while reducing guard coverage by 40 percent to just six people from 10.

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