Video surveillance is among the fastest-growing segments of the physical security industry, in part because it offers significant benefits to customers of all kinds and all sizes.
However, with today’s increasingly advanced surveillance technologies, there’s no doubt that a project can become complicated for even the most experienced value-added reseller (VAR). But when all of the elements work together, you set yourself—and your customer—up for success.
So today, we count down the five steps that will help you complete your best video surveillance project:
1. Start with the end goal in mind.
Before you do anything else, meet with your customer, visit the facility, and ensure that you fully understand the customer’s security challenges, budget, timeframe, and, most important, end goal.
What issues is the customer experiencing, and how does it expect video surveillance to solve them? Businesses invest in security cameras for a variety of reasons, from theft deterrence and crime detection to workforce monitoring and marketing optimization. Take the time to truly understand what your customer is seeking and then keep that goal in mind throughout the entire project.
2. Utilize appropriate camera technology.
Understanding a customer’s security goals will also help guide your camera choices. What level of resolution does the project require? Would the customer benefit from pan-tilt-zoom or panoramic cameras? Should you spend the money on advanced features like analytics?
For example, if your customer requires highly detailed video that may be used in criminal investigations or to identify individuals, the customer will need high-resolution, high-frame-rate cameras and reliable storage technology. On the other end of the spectrum, smaller customers may be relying on the presence of cameras as more of a deterrent. In these cases, lower-res devices will likely meet their needs. (However, most businesses will still benefit with IP over analog, because prices have fallen and the total cost of ownership has greatly improved.)
3. Remember ease of use.
No customer will ever feel satisfied with a surveillance system if it is too difficult to use. For any business to gain the full benefit of video surveillance, the technology must be as intuitive and easy to use as possible.
Seek out video management software that is user-friendly and suits your customer’s needs. Most customers won’t need all the latest capabilities, and extra feature sets may become confusing. Stick to technology that you know works as it is intended and your customer will be more likely to view the installation as a success.
4. Complement other security technologies.
As you work on the system design, make sure to take other security technologies into account. To achieve the most effective physical security program possible, the video surveillance devices should work well with your customer’s other platforms, such as access control, visitor management, and other relevant systems. When possible, make sure these disparate technologies are helping each other create a higher level of security overall.
5. Make training part of every project.
One of the best ways to ensure that a project is a success is to train your customer on how to best use it. This can usually be accomplished in one or two short sessions, depending on the size and nature of the business.
It is especially important that anyone using the system on a regular basis—including security guards and operators, front-desk personnel, and even facility maintenance—understands his or her role and responsibility with the technology. This will help ensure that reliable, usable video footage is captured during critical times and that all employees benefit from the new solution with a higher degree of overall safety and security.
How do you go about ensuring that a new video surveillance project will be a success? What tips would you share with VARs that are just starting out?