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A marriage of video surveillance and business intelligence

February 28, 2017

Solution providers selling IP cameras for video surveillance alone could be missing out on a physical security love connection. There’s an important and exciting aspect of these powerful devices—the ability to collect valuable business intelligence that can have a monumental impact on your customers.

Today’s cameras have improved in nearly every way imaginable. Resolution has increased with the proliferation of 4k cameras; codecs have improved, providing for higher-quality video with lower bandwidth usage; and on-board processing has improved, placing powerful computing capabilities within the cameras themselves.

At the same time, video management software has continued to evolve to the point that analytics functionality is now baked in or available as an affordable add-on. Finally, local and wide area network infrastructures have improved to allow massive amounts of data to flow effortlessly from cameras to the vertical management system where analytical processing takes place.

These factors combined have led to affordable and very powerful business and security intelligence. And a great way to differentiate, add revenue and build stickier customer relationships.

Let’s take a look at a few benefits:

People counting. Within the retail vertical, counting people can provide extremely valuable data. A strategically placed camera can help retailers understand their foot traffic at any given time. This can be beneficial when building staff schedules or understanding the results of advertisements.

Heat mapping. The retail vertical can also benefit from this type of intelligence, which essentially uses camera data to provide a graphical representation of where customers move within a store. Data can also be used to measure customer dwell time to see where they’re spending the most time—which displays and products are of interest and which are not.

License plate recognition (LPR). Municipalities, college campuses and law enforcement agencies are finding unique ways to leverage LPR. For example, the University of Southern California deployed an LPR solution that uses analytics to record plate numbers, time, speed and direction of cars. This data is useful in predicting criminal behavior. For example, a criminal looking for a victim might circle a block repeatedly at a slow speed. The LPR system alerts law enforcement to enter the area to act as a deterrent before crime happens.

Situational alerts. Any place where there’s critical infrastructure you’ll usually find large sprawling complexes. In many cases, these complexes are unmanned. Video and access control systems can be integrated to deliver alerts and video as doors are accessed. Additionally, video analytics can be used to intelligently monitor perimeter areas, distinguishing between a human walking the grounds and an animal.

Video analytics and business intelligence solutions can be scaled up for large and government customers or tailored to small to midsize businesses. And the investment quickly pays for itself when the system is well implemented and your customers are trained how to properly use the solutions. Ingram Micro and your vendor partners can help you by bringing their expertise to the sales process so that you can provide your customers with a seamless and strong system.