18 Oct 2017

Editor Introduction

Video systems today offer more capabilities than ever. Consequently, the systems can be used in new ways. For a variety of reasons, however, many customers don’t take full advantage of the capabilities of their video systems and therefore are leaving value on the table. Education and training are tools to alleviate the situation, but the first step is to identify the new ways that video can be used. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How do customers under-utilise their video systems, and what should they do differently?

Michael Sherwood Milestone Systems

When looking to save money on the deployment of a video solution people often target the “soft” costs such as engineering, project management and training services. The consequence is a system that performs only the most basic of tasks. This would be equivalent to implementing a video system that records and only provides capabilities for live, playback and evidence export. The impact to the end user is in the form of unrealised productivity potential. Such a solution is a compromise between manufacturer, integrator and end user where additional services and training are needed to realise this potential. Milestone offers online training services to educate customers so they can leverage the vast set of our software features available to them. What an end user should do differently than they are today is highly individual to their business and can only be recognised once the system capabilities are fully understood.

Many businesses look to video only to protect assets and people. However, video can go much farther in adding business value to a number of vertical markets. In the hospitality industry, captured video is now being used as a customer service tool. Coupled with advanced analytics, management can set triggers that alert managers when lines become too long at check-in counters. This can also be used in retail environments to alert management of an overcrowded area of a store where additional help may be needed. Additionally, security managers in casinos or retail establishments can take live video and pair it with facial recognition software to pinpoint a person of interest for suspicious activity, or instead for enhancing customer service. Analytics, such as people-counting software or heat-mapping, can give visual insight into customer traffic patterns, which can be used by marketing departments to target advertisements or by business operations teams.

Charlie Erickson 3xLOGIC, Inc.

There are myriad ways in which users don’t use their video systems to maximum effect. In our experience, here are some of the bigger wasted opportunities:

  • Ensuring that any part of the organisation has access to video—marketing, HR, facilities, and other departments – can leverage the intelligence in existing video to do more and to perform tasks more effectively.
  • Proactively finding potential security issues. For example, doing a search after the warehouse was “empty” over the weekend, or when you know people have access to the building after-hours or on weekends. Do they really need to be there?
  • Utilising video for verification for any intrusion, delivery, attendance, payroll, etc. There is a huge amount of actionable data in your existing video that is not being exploited.
  • Integration with access control. The technology for seamless, integrated access and video is now more available and more affordable than ever before.
Jim Murray AMAG Technology, Inc.

Most installed video systems are underutilised on site. A video system can add value in many different areas (i.e., security, business analytics, building automation). Integrators or manufacturers can add value not only as product experts, but as problem solvers to help ensure the customer is getting the most out of their video system. In addition, observe how the customer is using their video system. Follow-up product training may be needed as the old way of doing something may not be the best method today.

Customers underutilise their video systems when they do not employ video analytics, which provide effective predictive analysis. Surveillance systems combined with video analytics create a powerful tool that focuses security staff on information and activities that are important to their core mission. For example, motion detection analytics identify when there are individuals present in areas where there should be no motion. Advanced facial recognition technology coordinates with watch lists or blacklists to see if there is a match, potentially enabling an arrest. Other analytics detect when an object is left behind. Video analytics are designed to be a force multiplier and detect when pre-defined conditions warrant closer inspection. Empowered by video analytics, a security professional can improve security, lower risk, reduce fraud and transform traditional security operations from a reactive to a proactive function. 

Editor Summary

Systems that can do more provide additional value to customers. However, the customer must first leverage a system’s full capabilities. Our Expert Panel Roundtable point out a range of possibilities to do just that, most involving taking greater advantage of the intelligent features of new video systems. Given that new systems can be expensive, identifying and leveraging the full range of a system’s capabilities is an important first step to cost-justifying a system and achieving true return on investment (ROI).