Systems integrators looking to add revenue and extend offerings beyond physical security don’t have to look far. Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) helps contractors tap into new markets, users, applications and profitability.
Bolstered by widespread acceptance of cloud-hosting by such users as government facilities, critical infrastructure, retail, small and mid-sized businesses, transportation, hospitality, healthcare and more, systems integrators can deploy the latest IP networked cameras with analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and edge computing to tailor a complete solution. Leveraging the cloud, cameras create many possibilities for increased business—with inherent benefits of scalability and easy add-ons and upgrades.
VSaaS uses cloud services for storage, recording, event detection and remote viewing, while integrating more comprehensive cybersecurity processes naturally with automatic updates and other built-in safeguards. VSaaS removes the burden and cost of storing video feed data in on-site servers, saving it to the readily accessible cloud.
Remote monitoring and applications crossing over into business intelligence fuel surveillance installations. Research firm Gartner Inc., Stamford, Conn., predicts the public cloud service market to reach almost $400 billion in revenue by 2022, citing the pandemic as an accelerator for adoption.
As cities and municipalities began installing thousands of cameras to fight crime and violence, it quickly became evident that watching feeds 24/7 was nearly impossible due to operator fatigue, training, interruptions and other environmental and psychological factors. Analytics, through video management software or camera edge computing and onboard processing, helps alleviate those challenges.
Analytics use software to extract specific data from video footage, while machine learning lets cameras understand and make real-time image and activity assessments. In a typical deployment, an alarm occurs when the analysis detects preset parameters such as traffic violations, suspicious behavior, objects left behind or lines crossed. The video starts recording, generates an alarm or initiates two-way audio, automatically alerting the monitoring station or dispatch center for immediate action. Other common analytics to investigate include license plate recognition, traffic direction flow, people counting and point-of-sale monitoring.
The pandemic broadened video analytics use, incorporating cameras to track and count people, detect face masks, monitor crowds and assess worker and visitor temperatures at secured entrances. As employees re-enter workplaces, analytics rise to the challenge as a way to safely and accurately provide occupancy numbers and other data so businesses can adhere to COVID-19 protocols. Cameras also detect when an area is empty, advising management to begin cleaning and disinfecting.
In public transportation, analytics track passengers and alert staff of a breach in face covering regulations. Cameras and analytics can also be used in labor and safety, for helmet detection or to keep track of potentially unsafe working conditions or procedures.
Other benefits of VSaaS
Tap into business intelligence: Video cameras yield business intelligence around a protected premises. With a site survey, walk-through and consultation, show customers they can use cameras for greater efficiency and cost-savings, such as training new workers or providing the means to summon additional cashiers when cameras detect long checkout lines.
Solve customer problems: Position surveillance cameras as providing necessary metrics to boost the customer’s bottom line, above and beyond traditional security detection. This enhances the system’s value in the eyes of the customer. Video can solve several problems, making it extremely attractive as an investment and substantially lowering the total cost of ownership.
Integrate with other technologies: One critical key to VSaaS is the management software, which can often be readily integrated with other technologies, such as access control, intrusion sensors and perimeter security. As more devices become connected, video provides the visual evidence and qualifying parameters to accurately identity events for many customized alerts, while preventing false or nuisance alarms.
VSaaS sets a systems integration business up for success by focusing on future-ready solutions. Cameras represent a pathway to earning additional revenue from video services, a now indispensable multipurpose tool for intrusion detection, identity management, loss prevention, safety and enhanced business intelligence.