What is the end user thinking about IP security solutions ?
We have been speaking to marketing departments and telesales personnel currently working very hard to promote their company and products. The reason being is that we have wanted to ask several pointed questions in order to gauge the current awareness about IP CCTV in the public domain.
They don’t Know!
The answer I get back every time is “no one seems to know anything about it“!. Strange when you consider that you cannot talk to manufacturer or distributor without IP security and CCTV integration being at the very top of his agenda.
IT departments are more switched on .
Going into more detail it appears that any mention of IP only raises the interest of IT departments. Interesting when you consider that really an IP camera is nothing more than a device on the network to an IP integrator. It does not phase them and is no big deal. So, how can the CCTV industry raise awareness to its end user about the way the industry is progressing towards IP and convince them that a security company is the way that they should upgrade their cameras and not go to an IT integrator such as CISCO.
Sell what you are good at!
Well one thing in a CCTV installers favour is that on going service costs traditionally are cheaper than field IT support. On investigation we found that IT service providers have a far higher hourly rate that that of a security installer add to that that IT integrators really know nothing about how to properly secure a premises. Further to this CCTV installers are very aware the implications of failures and down times and they are audited by the NSI or SSAIB to ensure they achieve the highest standards to the end user. These benefits must be maximised to secure contracts that could otherwise be awarded to an IT integrator.
The main issue.
But back to the main problem as to how we make our end users switch and upgrade. The real answer to this is the better images and flexibility that IP Cameras can offer. Remember the days when the crime watch video showed out of focus staggered CCTV footage that made even the most enthusiastic advocates of CCTV shudder and hang their heads in shame. Well now there is HD CCTV coming to the market that really will produce images to be proud of and this can only be provided on an IP platform. However the real weapon we have as security companies is legacy analogue equipment. There is quite simply too much value out there to be replaced overnight. So therefore by targeting customers and introducing hybrid CCTV solutions to them we should be first through the door. Many are already our customers after all.
So the answer is simple . Lower servicing costs, emphasis our expertise in security issues and by using legacy equipment out there as the bait to draw end users into the IP CCTV market place. Using this approach security providers can still win the battle. Panasonic, Honeywell, Pelco, Flir, Cisco, Norbain, 360 vision technology, it does not matter who. They will all be interested to know the answer as to who is going to win so they can all target their marketing strategies appropriately!