’s Expert Panel covered a lot of ground in 2016 about a variety of topics in our Roundtable discussions.

The very most-clicked-on Roundtable discussion in 2016 was about how to choose between a cloud-based system and a server-based system. Other hot topics that made the Top-10 list of Roundtable discussions included edge-based video storage, the challenges of commoditisation, and mistakes customers make when buying and installing security systems.

Here is a listing of the Top 10 Expert Panel Roundtable discussions posted in 2016 at, along with a “sound bite” from each discussion, and links back to the full articles.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to Expert Panel Roundtable in 2016, including the quotable panelists named below!

1. What factors should a customer consider when choosing between a cloud-based system and a server-based security system?

"Invariably the choices will be driven by security processes in place within the corporate environment and by ensuring the remote system is as impenetrable as the corporate network. Both options potentially leave the corporate network vulnerable to a determined cyber attacker, so the systems and access points to the network need to be sufficiently hardened to deter or prevent attacks.” [John Davies]

2. What is the most unusual application of surveillance cameras you have seen recently?

"The most unusual application I’ve seen is the use of 360-degree fisheye cameras mounted on mobile poles for security along a marathon route. The poles were mounted on mobile units that contained power and communications infrastructure. Multiple mobile units were driven and placed along the route so that the entire route was constantly under surveillance. " [Jumbi Edulbehram]

3. What is the biggest mistake you see your customers make when it comes to buying or installing security or surveillance systems?

"Too many businesses fail to take full advantage of the breadth of services available for maximising tools like remote diagnostic services, for example, which allow customer service teams to regularly and proactively check equipment quality and make repairs remotely." [Joe Oliveri]

A number of major security companies are offering cloud video surveillance solutions apart from the traditional server-based systems, but which is best for the customer?
A number of major security companies are offering cloud video surveillance solutions apart from the traditional server-based systems, but which is best for the customer?

4. How many megapixels are enough? At what point does additional resolution not matter, or not make economic sense?

"The industry commonly holds that 20 pixels/foot is enough for general surveillance, 40 pixels/foot is the minimum for facial recognition and licence plate identification, and 80 pixels/foot is used for higher detail like reading logos, names embroidered on a shirt, etc. " [Jason Spielfogel]

5. What is the value of edge-based storage and in what specific applications?

"Recording at the edge frees up network bandwidth and PC processing power, allowing users to view and manage video feeds and store applicable images for later use or transfer to the network when necessary. " [Dave Poulin]

6. How can security integrators replace revenue in the age of commoditisation?

"The integrator community needs to learn to embrace what hundreds of other contractor businesses have. They need to improve their predictable cash flow and margin by offering contracted services. Call it what you like – RMR, managed services, monitoring – the description makes no difference. The integrator community simply needs to get off their butt and make it happen. " [Bill Bozeman]

7. How successful was ISC West 2016? Did it meet your expectations?

"It was unanimous that 2016 ISC West was the best show we have participated in Arecont Vision history! Activity on the first two days was especially strong with Systems Integrators, Dealers, Distributors, End Users, and A&E/Consultants. These people all came to see our new product line and were especially interested to see the product performance improvements and ease of installation and setup." [Scott Schafer]

More of us are depending on social media smart phone apps as a source of information, providing new levels of immediacy that dovetail well into security, specifically in areas of emergency notification
More of us are depending on social media smart phone apps as a source of information, providing new levels of immediacy that dovetail well into security, specifically in areas of emergency notification

8. What are the physical security challenges of "safe cities" applications, and how is the market meeting those challenges?

"One of the challenges is, of course, to make systems from different manufacturers work together. Interoperability is important not only from an operator’s point of view, but also in how cities and their internal divisions should respond to incidents reported by the security systems. " [Per Björkdahl]

9. How should integrators/installers differentiate themselves or make themselves stand out in today’s market?

"In today's market, it's all about customer service. Almost every integrator has good product – and most of these products do a lot of the same things – but what sets integrators/installers apart is the level of value-added support they are providing to their accounts. Increased support through training, follow-up, open communication and keeping them informed on emerging technologies can really speak to the needs that end users have and why they will remain loyal.” [Mitchell Kane]

10. What role can social media play in the security marketplace and/or as a tool to promote better security in general?

"Social media has weaved its way into our daily lives and is an integral part of our interaction with customers in the marketplace. Social media outlets bring the human element to interfacing with our communities and customers. This humanization allows us to address sensitive topics like the recent events in Orlando and how to take preventative measures in the future." [Melissa Stenger]

See the full coverage of 2016/2017 Review and Forecast articles hereSave


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Larry Anderson Editor, &

An experienced journalist and long-time presence in the US security industry, Larry is's eyes and ears in the fast-changing security marketplace, attending industry and corporate events, interviewing security leaders and contributing original editorial content to the site. He leads's team of dedicated editorial and content professionals, guiding the "editorial roadmap" to ensure the site provides the most relevant content for security professionals.

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What are the latest trends in perimeter security technology?
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Secure access control is helping to shape the post-pandemic world
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