Today’s video surveillance technology is growing more complex every day. For value-added resellers that work with these systems, a successful project might require weeks or even months of planning and installation work.
There’s no doubt that incorporating surveillance into a physical security plan makes it exceedingly more complicated. But luckily, the addition of surveillance will only improve your customer’s overall security. All it takes is a little planning to ensure that the security cameras are being used to their full potential.
Here, we count down eight top considerations for adding video surveillance to a physical security plan:
1. IP versus analog
Although the surveillance industry has gradually trended , some customers will still request analog devices. This may be for a variety of reasons, but it’s safe to say that many will be attracted to the lower price tag.
In today’s security industry, the default choice should be IP. After all, these cameras offer unmatched picture quality, greater flexibility, improved scalability, and advanced features such as analytics, all of which can actually lead to a lower total cost of ownership. As you work to add surveillance to your security plan, be sure to recommend IP devices when you can.
2. Number of cameras
How many surveillance cameras will your customer need? The answer depends on a range of factors—especially its security challenges and the physical layout of its facility. However, the type of cameras that you select will also impact the number required. High-resolution IP cameras and those with features such as pan/tilt/zoom and 180- or 360-degree view can cover larger areas, so your design can include fewer cameras.
3. Storage needs
Once you’ve determined the type and number of cameras that your customer needs, you’ll have to think about the amount of storage required. This takes many factors into consideration, including the resolution and frame rate of your cameras and the amount of time that video must be stored. There are a variety of storage-needs calculators online that can help make this an easy decision.
Another part of this decision is whether you’ll use a storage area network or network-attached storage. Both offer their own benefits, and each is better suited to very different environments. A little research will help you determine which is best for your current customer.
4. Compression techniques
Next, how will you compress the digital video to ensure it doesn’t overwhelm the customer’s storage capacity in the first month? There are proprietary compression techniques available, but today’s industry standard modes—including H.264, MJPEG, and even MPEG4—will likely be your best bet.
5. Existing security infrastructure
If your customer already has legacy cameras, consider how they will be incorporated into the new plan. If they are analog devices, you’ll require video servers to integrate them into the network system. However, in many cases, this simple addition can help save your customer money by cutting down on the number of new cameras that it will need.
6. Wireless solutions
Consider whether or not your customer will require any wireless networking solutions. These are often a cost-effective (and easy-to-install) answer to several difficult installation scenarios, such as a historic building, a wide-open exterior environment, or an all-concrete facility.
7. Network design
As you design the surveillance network, remember that it should be well-suited to the customer’s security needs and the facility itself. Consider factors such as transmission methods and bandwidth, IP addressing, and scalability. You want to ensure that the network not only works seamlessly today, but can be easily added to and upgraded in the future.
8. Security of networked devices
Of course, it’s important to make sure that all IP cameras and networked devices are fully secure. Password protection is no longer enough; today, you’ll also want to use a private network that is separate from the company’s other business systems. If necessary, be sure to also implement strong firewall protection to keep cyber breaches at bay.
Although the addition of video surveillance to a physical security plan creates a laundry list of new considerations, the additional security provided by a surveillance network is well worth the effort. For most of your customers, security cameras are one of the most reliable, cost-effective ways to deter, detect, and investigate crimes of all types.