Articles by John Ballantyne
Ballantyne has created the "Three Vectors of Value" for video surveillance - Awareness, Evidence and Behaviiour The annual global expenditure in new video surveillance systems is currently estimated at about 20 billion USD and grows at a rate of better than 15% per year. To those of us in the business, these figures both encourage and validate. The expenditure is impressive, but only because commensurate value is delivered. That is, we expect expenditure and value to balance. But as someone who makes a living creating advanced video technology, I’ve wanted to answer a very important question: what are the fundamental reasons why customers pay for video surveillance systems? In other words, I wanted to articulate the value proposition. Value space To help answer my question, I created what I call the “Three Vectors of Value”. These correspond to the three most basic reasons I could imagine users would value video surveillance: Awareness, Evidence, and Behaviour. Taken together, these vectors form a value space. Video cameras extend a user’s awareness of large and potentially complex areas and thereby enhance their understanding of unfolding events. Video recordings provide accurate and objective evidence about incidents that can be used for investigation and prosecution after-the-fact. Finally, the perceived presence of video cameras affects the way people behave; “bad” behaviour is deterred, and “good” people feel more secure. To the extent that one or more of these vectors is amplified via technological enhancements, the value space will grow. For almost any example of a video surveillance installation, we can recognise value along one or more of these vectors. See bigger image With the idea of value space in mind, we can see how traditional CCTV created value. This diagram to the right shows how the basic building blocks of a CCTV system map to each of the value vectors The live-view monitor provides awareness, the recorder provides evidence, and the camera’s physical presence affects the behaviour of those who are under its watch. CCTV technology, based on the analogue video standards known as PAL and NTSC, incrementally and steadily improved during the decades from the early 1960s to the late 90s, and in fact, its legacy and momentum have continued to the present day. The technological improvements led to an increase in each of the value vectors, and hence, growth of the value space over time. Disruptive rise of IP security technology See bigger image More recently, a disruptive change occurred with the application of Internet Protocol (IP) technology to video surveillance. The potential impact of IP on each of the value vectors is enormous. The revised diagram shows how each and every functional element in the surveillance system has changed. IP paved the way for breakthroughs in image quality, system scalability, storage capacity, control, and accessibility – each pushing the value vectors well beyond the limits of CCTV. However, while IP-based surveillance technology opens up vast new value potential, the traditional security supply ecosystem of manufacturers, consultants, integrators and installers found it challenging to cope with the increased technological complexity that comes with IP. Why? The Information Technology world is filled with a bewildering array of communications and control protocols, data exchange mechanisms, file formats – and an alphabet soup of acronyms by which to label them. Security integrators and installers typically did not have strong IT skills. As a result, there was a somewhat slower uptake of IP-based surveillance than many were predicting a decade ago. ONVIF streamlines integration Fortunately, a few equipment manufacturers understood the need for more streamlined and effective ways of integrating devices and software into systems. They created the Open Network Video Interface Forum (ONVIF) in 2008. Their goal was to ensure interoperability between IP-based physical security products regardless of manufacturer. Soon thereafter, they were joined by developers from several other interested companies who volunteered countless hours through committees and working groups to collaborate on technical specifications and testing. The industry acceptance of ONVIF has been spectacular, with a current roster of over 500 member companies and thousands of conformant products listed. The market share growth for IP-based surveillance over traditional CCTV and other HD CCTV technologies recently is not merely coincidental – there is no doubt the existence of ONVIF has had a major influence in the market. We have entered the age of connectedness, when "the Cloud" and "the Internet of Things" offer fantastic opportunities for new value creation IP-video surveillance, helped by ONVIF standards, has created new value, but has only just begun to fulfil its potential. Not only has it overcome virtually all the technical limitations of traditional CCTV, it promises to reach beyond the sphere of security surveillance to many other applications, security and otherwise. This is because IP has emerged as the predominant means of interconnectivity in virtually every domain: Transportation and logistics, building automation, retail management, manufacturing, and e-commerce – to name a few. This is often referred to as “convergence”. We have entered the age of connectedness, when “the Cloud” and “the Internet of Things” offer fantastic opportunities for new value creation. But make no mistake; the challenges of integrating systems across domains will be staggering. And just as it took an industry-led organisation like ONVIF to emerge to tame the complexities of IP-based surveillance for the benefit of security industry practitioners, it will take similar leadership and collective will to create standards for those who will to create value on the new frontiers that exist beyond traditional security applications. The question is, will the security industry lead or follow?
On behalf of ONVIF Steering Committee, Per Björkdahl shared the goals and strategies for the upcoming year ONVIF, the leading global standardisation initiative for IP-based physical security products, hosted its annual membership meeting and elections in late October, providing an update to members on ONVIF activities and accomplishments over the past year. Attendees around the world heard presentations on such activities as the development and publication of two new profiles (release candidates) in 2015, the launch of a false conformance reporting tool on the ONVIF website and the organisation’s ongoing membership and growth in conformant products. Attendees in the annual meeting, held via webinar, were welcomed by ONVIF Steering Committee Chairman Per Björkdahl, who discussed how ONVIF had recently reached several milestones as an organisation by virtue of its 500 member companies and more than 5,000 ONVIF conformant products available in the physical security market today. ONVIF’s goals and strategies for upcoming year On behalf of the ONVIF Steering Committee, Björkdahl shared the goals and strategies for the upcoming year, asking member companies for increased involvement in ONVIF’s work and inviting members to share their ONVIF success stories. He also noted the growing acceptance by the industry at large. “ONVIF has made incredible strides since our formation in 2008,” Björkdahl said. “Together, we have developed five profiles, offered education and networking opportunities to thousands of people and have gained broad acceptance within the physical security industry. Above all, we a member-driven group, so we thank all of our members for their hard work and dedication,” said Björkdahl. "Together, we have developed five profiles, offered education and networking opportunities to thousands of people and have gained broad acceptance within the physical security industry" ONVIF’s committees The election results for ONVIF’s committees were announced as well. Mayur Salgar of Honeywell was named to the Steering Committee, along with Kim Loy of Pelco by Schneider Electric. For the Technical Committee, Honeywell’s Ramesh Subbaiah, Pelco by Schneider Electric’s Steve Wolf, Panasonic’s Hasan Ozdemir and Siemens’ Suresh Krishnamurthy were elected. Bob Dolan of Anixter was re-elected to the Technical Services Committee, joined by committee members Fen Chen of Hikvision and Andrew Downs of Pelco by Schneider Electric. ONVIF’s newly elected Communication Committee members are Mike Mao of Honeywell, Greg Alcorn of Oncam Grandeye, Jason Spielfogel of Pelco by Schneider Electric and John Ballantyne of VerifEye Technologies. Hans Busch of Bosch, ONVIF Technology Committee Chair, spoke to members about ONVIF’s newest set of network interface specifications and advised them of an upcoming specification release that will encompass video related features. Technical Services Committee Chair Andreas Schneider of Sony shared the timeline for upcoming profile releases through 2018 and spoke about the 13th Developers’ Plugfest, to be held November 11-13, 2015, in Hangzhou, China. ONVIF Communications Chair Stuart Rawling of Pelco by Schneider Electric closed the meeting with a recap of the ONVIF presence at various trade shows throughout 2015, the forum’s public relations and social media efforts and the findings of an ongoing market awareness survey about ONVIF and its various profiles. ONVIF Profile conformant products Founded in 2008, ONVIF now consists of more than 500 member companies in six continents and more than 5,000 Profile conformant products. With Profile S for streaming video; Profile G for recording and storage; Profile C for physical access control and the Release Candidates Profile A, for access control configuration, and Profile Q, for easy installation and advanced security features, ONVIF continues to work with its members to expand the number of IP interoperability solutions ONVIF conformant products can provide.