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As competition in residential and commercial security/automation intensifies, the ability to bring up customized solutions to suit clients’ need will be the game changer. We examine some of the latest residential and commercial solutions, potentials and challenges of video verification service and prindples to follow when OEM partnering with security service providers (SSP) and remote monitoring providers.

The integration of the video and alarm services allows an entry for alarm monitoringCompanies into the video market. As the integration brings video andalarms together, video verificationcan make bigger margins on remote video services compared to merely alarm monitoring.

Video verification can be a cost effective solution to some customers. According to a study conducted by Simon Hakim, Professor of Economics at Temple University, US police responds to 35 million alarms in any given year and about 95 percent are false alarms and there goes US$2 billion down the drain. “Many businesses that have numerous false alarms even have budgeted money for false alarm costs. Alarm companies pass this cost to police departments and taxpayers,” said David Ly, President and CEO of Iveda Solutions. “Thus, there have been many city ordinances throughout the U.S. charging home owners and business owners for false alarms. Some police departments simply don’t respond to unverified alarms.” Verification requirements for police response vary widely across the U.S. and even from one city to another. Integrators can become involved with the different state associations to stay up to date on new and existing ordinances and policies.

Cutting down on false alarms with video verification service (VVS) is a big cost saver for SSP as it helps reduce the number of false alarms, allowing more efficient dispatch operations and cost-savings for end users without real guard patrolling fees. “The integration of video and alarm enables central station operators to receive both the alarm signal and the corresponding video clips to verify whether it’s a crime in progress and dispatch law enforcement,” said Robert Lien, Assistant VP of R&D Department for Taiwan, Secom. ”Operators can now view multiple alarm clips, trigger remote relays, establish a two way call and send arm/disarm commands, which saves time and money from an operator’s viewpoint.”

Video verification has huge potential in verifying response locales. “Commercial users are beginning to adopt video verification more rapidly in these cities in order to protect their assets,” said Lisa Ciappetta, Senior Director of Marketing, Protection1. “We offer video verification and remote guard tour services to commercial customers. With verified response becoming more prevalent, video verification makes sense to many users that need to keep their business protected.”

Video guard service offers a cost-effective alternative to physical guards. It allows customers to reduce the cost of 24-hour security guards. According to ADT, video guard service can provide immediate return on investment -as much as four to one – when compared to physical guard expense.

Video guard tours have been around the commercial market for some time. “End user adoption is rapidly increasing due to the economic realities faced by today’s corporations,” Ciappetta said. “Remote video services can allow them to augment or replace physical guards at a fraction of the cost, and associated video quality and tour reporting capabilities have increased to the point where users are more comfortable with supplementing physical security with technology.” Video guard service may also include two-way audio feature so that operator can make pre-scripted announcements when suspicious persons are viewed at a location.

Besides offering a sense of safety and security, there was an even bigger market for remote video technology in businesses that have multiple locations in multiple markets. More new applications driven by effective business operations than by security surfaced. For example, remote video technology can be used by a retail store manager/retaurant owner to see if the store/restaurant is clean, if staff levels are sufficient to handle customer load, and if the staff is in proper uniform. With remote monitoring, employees’ habits and customers’ behavior I preference can be improved and better served.

Commercial real estate market continues its slow recovery due to economic uncertainty. SSP no longer enjoys the benefits of installing systems for the builders at time of construction. The good news is that IP technologies offer a whole new opportunity to connect with current customers and sell upgraded systems to existing households. “For VVS, we predict larger demands from residential and SMB as they typically employ alarm monitoring to meet their security needs,” Ly said. ”With the growing false alarm issues and the high cost associated with it, more and more alarm companies will want to partner with us to make alarm monitoring more useful, less strain on police departments, and virtually no added cost burden on their customers.”

As IP technology is emerging and increasing interest from consumers, different markets and different levels of consumer spend will decide the pace of adoption. “For residential customers, the concerns of consumer privacy and the potential for huge amounts of activity received by the monitoring station must be overcome in order for it to take off residentially,” Ciappetta advised. Alarm companies must address the privacy concerns first when an operator accesses remote cameras to verify or dismiss an alarm activation.

OPERATOR TRAINING

Video verification is quite new that most companies and even police departments are still trying to figure out how to effectively use video verification. In terms of how law enforcement is dealing with it and using video verification, it is still relatively new.

The industry also needs monitoring center standards for video verification as this feature is new to alarm station operators/dispatcher as well. Since video verification is new to dispatchers, operators will have to “explain” what they are seeing from video. For instance, operators have to be fully descriptive about the alarm, what they saw from the alarm-triggered video and how they interacted with police dispatch. Therefore, operator training is crucial for alarm companies or SSP.

THE CAUTIOUS LEAP

Despite new opportunities and integrations, video is not something to jump into lightly. “Local alarm companies and dealers need to make a clear plan and consider how it will affect their operations and infrastructure before they make the Leap,” cautioned Lien. For instance, adding video means that review “time” spent on incident also increases which reflects increased video services accordingly.

The way and time alarm monitoring operators respond must also be equally efficient to pace with video verification. A regular intrusion alarm incident might take a total of 90 seconds of an operator’s time; however, with video, operators might not able to receive the video dips until 90 seconds later, due to the lag time of the system sending the video over a cellular network. SSP or alarm companies must first harness the transmission issue along with operator response time before fully taking advantage of video verification without latency.

While plenty of SSP and alarm companies are eager to make the most out of VVS, video surveillance as a service (VSaaS) seems to be not as intriguing as VVS. Despite IMS Research’s rosy prediction, the market is still quite immature and it is still unclear who makes money. Large partnerships might be seen in the future as a cost/risk share strategy and to roll out at a national level.

SELECTING THE RIGHT PARTNERS

New opportunities draw new faces as well. While telcos have the advantage of bandwidth directly to end users, SSP and alarm companies might re-examine their cancellation rate. As consumers have become more tech savvy and are interested in add-on solutions like wireless capability, remote access and video verification that integrate with smartphones and handheld devices.

Selecting hardware for alarm stations means the solutions have to run reliably around the clock. Suppliers have to demonstrate that their products meet the standards required by the market. “When picking our OEM partners as we request greatest standard in reliability to lower the related maintenance costs,” Lien said. “OEM partners need to adjust their box-moving and minimum-spec-meeting selling strategies to a more customized­ support base. Besides reliability and minimum spec requirement, those who are willing to put the need of operators into consideration and production are those we like to work with.”

Manufacturers also need to avoid price competition to win orders. “Provide good quality and value to customers, do not rat race and miss out on long term,” said Sri Palasamudram, CEO of Mobideos. “Customers won’t like it if you support part of their infrastructure and try and trick them. When you are selecting VSaaS option, make sure you partner with someone who knows how to scale and provide good quality video streams for large number of users concurrently.”

Systems should be easy to integrate instead of one-time customizations. “Software should head into the direction of being more open, flexible, and allow for more interoperability rather than be brand or make specific to a device,” Ly said.

The IP migration in security brings more integrations and opportunities. The integration of video and alarms requires SSP and alarm companies to branch out of their comfort zone. As competition heats up, the challenge to stay on top of market is to create more comprehensive products and solutions, and the connection through network and mobile devices. The hardware and software are available and affordable and the market is asking for such solutions. As. an old saying goes, “Opportunity only favors the prepared mind.”

Source: A&S International Magazine

Author:
Tevin Wang

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