According to Grant Cowan, Director of National Accounts for Salient Systems, cross-departmental benefits for video surveillance are feasible in a number of verticals, and retail is an easy example: For a retail end user, a regional operations manager may have wanted to check each store in the territory to ensure that merchandise is properly placed, the store opened properly, the correct endcaps were set up, and everything was coordinated with the weekly circular or marketing efforts.
“Typically, in the past, you’d have a person from the company who would have to be on-site to verify these things” says Cowan. With a video management system, “you use your iPhone or your iPad and be able to look at video, and you can very quickly and cost-effectively use a traditional loss-prevention system for operational gains. Anything I’m looking for (marketing, end caps, procedures), I can verify those remotely and not have the costs of having a person in the field: travel costs, human resource cost of having a person out of the office… those types of things can be very easily accomplished by having a remote video system and video management software to log in and look at not only one building but hundreds of locations within a matter of minutes.”
So what has changed that allows businesses to get more out of their video surveillance systems than ever before? Cowan cites three main factors:
- The ability to have higher bandwidth – In the past, IT departments may not have invested capital or operating budget for higher bandwidth to non-essential locations like warehouses, retail branches or other facilities. Lower-cost bandwidth options now mean people can have more cameras looking at more sites.
- Megapixel cameras – The influx of megapixel cameras at lower costs means that enterprises can put in fewer cameras without sacrificing high-quality detail.
- Moving away from limited or site-specific video management solutions – “One thing that turns customers off existing DVR systems or entry-level NVR systems is the inability to have an enterprise feel for the system, where I have to log into each location. Our customers want to be able to log into one system and see hundreds of cameras and locations at a few clicks of a mouse.”
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