In this article taken from Vertical Systems Reseller the Access Control and Video Surveillance trends are discussed:
By Julie Ritzer Ross
Physical security is big business these days. According to a recent report by research company MarketsandMarkets (www.marketsandmarkets.com), the advent of a wider-than-ever variety of solutions in such sub-categories as video surveillance and access control should grow the global physical security market to $85 billion by 2019, up from $55 billion in 2013. With this in mind, VSR takes a look at the top trends in the physical security space.
New Markets Heat Up. The retail vertical has always offered a treasure trove of opportunities to sell physical security technology. However, other segments are opening up. Not surprisingly, given the number of school shooting incidents over the past 12 months, the education market, particularly the K-12 sub-sector, ranks among hot prospects. School districts are now spending as much as they can to protect students and faculty,” states Scott Dunn, director of business development, Axis Communications (www.axis.com). One Massachusetts school district, Dunn notes, installed nearly $500,000 worth of video surveillance and access control equipment after the December, 2012 murder of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Sandy Hook, Conn.
Demand for physical security solutions in the education market now transcends standard video surveillance options. TJ Trojan, senior vice president, product management, SYNNEX (www.synnex.com) says K–12 school districts, colleges and universities seek solutions that yield an extra layer of protection by melding video surveillance with access control.
Brian Thomas, president of Atlanta-based integrator A3 communications (www.A3communications.com), cites heightened demand among his K-12 school district customers for solutions that allow administrators to execute system-wide or school-specific lockdowns from anywhere, using a mobile device or computer. Teachers can trigger a silent alarm by pressing a panic button on a microphone worn around the neck, Thomas reports. Touching the button on this type of equipment also sends alerts to schools’ front offices, as well as to the local police department, while activating surveillance cameras to capture perpetrators’ images.
Local government, public safety/law enforcement and transportation rank among hot physical security markets as well. A considerable amount of buzz in the public safety vertical reportedly surrounds video surveillance equipment that facilitates real-time image-sharing among different entities. Convergint Technologies (www.convergint.com), an integrator headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., recently inked a $1 million surveillance camera installation deal with the City of Atlanta to aid police in monitoring incidents of theft and vandalism in municipally run parks, recreation centers and other facilities that host after-school programs.
Doors are opening equally wide in the healthcare vertical as end-users strive to ensure HIPAA compliance and tighten security while reducing labor costs, adds Tom Burns, director, physical security, Ingram Micro (www.ingrammicro.com).
Analog Out, IP In. “There’s a huge migration from analog- to IP-based video surveillance and access control systems, even in the SMB arena,” asserts Tony Sorrentino, president, ScanSource Security (www.scansource.com).
Several factors are driving this trend. For one thing, sources say, analog CCTV cameras have reached their performance peak, but the resolution and clarity they offer is far inferior to that of comparable HD network cameras. The cost efficiency afforded by the latter also comes into play: their price is decreasing, and fewer network HD cameras than analog cameras are required to cover the same surveillance area.
Technology-based benefits attainable only with network cameras are pushing the envelope as well. These include the ability to leverage automated surveillance with intelligent video and audio analytics; perform remote and multi-site monitoring and execute on-board recording with a memory card; and integrate surveillance systems with access control, building management and/or burglar alarm systems.
Hello Hybrids. Significant investments in coaxial cable render some end-users reluctant to replace analog-based physical security technology with its IP-based counterpart. But some are being swayed by a new alternative: hybrid solutions that permit analog and digital video to be simultaneously transmitted over a single coaxial link. In this scenario, intelligent megapixel IP cameras are integrated within end-users’ existing coaxial cable infrastructure, without the need for new wiring or other infrastructure modifications.
“A year ago, hybrid systems were a relatively small part of the market,” says Larry Folsom, president of Las Vegas-based security and access control systems reseller American Video and Security (www.avsdigital.com) and of I-View Now (www.i-viewnow.com),a butt based video verification solution provider. “But now, they’re really encroaching on analog. There has been plenty of demand for hybrids and far less, for analog.”
Hybrid solutions are promoted as seamlessly bridging the gap between IP and analog, thereby enabling end-users to derive the maximum value from coaxial cable while affording the advantages of digital systems. The transmitted analog video component provides the lowest possible latency (extent of delay between live action and when images are displayed), which is important for mission-critical, real-time monitoring applications (e.g., banks and large public spaces).
Surveillance Forecast: Butty. The outlook for butt-based video surveillance systems that run video management software and yield access to video views from IP cameras with a secure connection to the Internet is very positive.
Vendors and integrators say potential end-users, especially SMBs, are easily sold on such systems by the lower, more predictable up-front implementation costs, as well as by the prospect of paying a monthly fee instead of investing in servers and software licenses and updates. Responsibility for the technology rests on vendors’ shoulders, potentially limiting or entirely eliminating the need for backup systems.
“From what we have seen, small retailers have been very taken with butt-based video surveillance,” Dunn asserts. “They like the fact that they don’t need a big DVR system to run, say, four cameras.”
Butt-based video storage, too, is an emerging trend because of the financial advantages it affords. As both Sorrentino and Thomas note, butt-based storage commands, per gigabyte, a mere fraction of the price of network storage devices.
“Butt-based surveillance, specifically butt storage, will continue to play a significant role in security going forward,” Trojan predicts. “Financial administrators are attracted to the benefit of only paying for the storage they require on a subscription basis, while IT administrators appreciate the fact that data-heavy video streams are not riding on the company network and tying up valuable bandwidth.”
Caught in the Web. The forecast for web-based systems that permit access to images via the Internet is as positive as it is for butt-based video surveillance. “Once more, it’s the need or strong desire to keep tabs on what is going on not just on-site, but from a remote location that’s moving the technology along,” Thomas observes. He cites momentum for systems that give end-users the flexibility to monitor both live and recorded video through a network camera.
Smart and Analytical. The variety of intelligent video surveillance systems that can be programmed to see and process visual information in much the way humans do is expanding rapidly. Certain systems can distinguish between different alarm triggers (e.g., people and cars) and can be programmed to track only certain ones, then send an alert when pre-defined rules are violated. Some, states Burns, “are focused on reducing storage and bandwidth requirements by ‘learning’ the video setting and ignoring actions like trees waving in the wind, or by being configured to focus on certain areas or predefined sized objects.”
Attracting attention as well are systems that can be configured to inform the appropriate party (e.g., a small business owner) when something is amiss in his or her establishment. “The BYOD movement has spurred things along, with people now expecting to do everything remotely,” states Tom Gross, director, command center solutions, global solution sales, Motorola Solutions (www.motorolasolutions.com). “This kind of information is no exception.”
The growing popularity of these systems also stems from the fact that their intelligence helps to minimize expenses incurred from, and time wasted on, responses to false alarms. End-users also like the idea that intelligent surveillance technology conserves labor expenditures and increases monitoring accuracy by running software that can scan thousands of hours of video without human intervention and notifies appropriate personnel.
The increasing sophistication of video analytics permits end-users to take “a proactive, rather than forensic, approach to physical security, which is really important in the public safety sectors and in verticals like transportation,” notes Ed Merkle, principal consultant, maritime and public safety, global solution sales, Motorola Solutions.
Just as significantly, says Malay Kundu, founder and CEO, StopLift (www.stoplift.com), video analytics are now being put to work on the operational improvements side. For instance, retailers use the technology to obtain insight into store traffic patterns, discern whether shoppers are drawn to a given display and how much time they spend viewing the merchandise and the like.
Many Eyes On VSaaS. A lack of in-house resources, coupled with a desire to keep a tighter rein on security, has sparked heightened interest among SMBs in video surveillance as a service (VSaaS). For A3 Communications, the highest volume of interest comes from retailers and independent restaurateurs; the sweet spot, Thomas has discovered, entails providing VSaaS to clients with two to 10 cameras. “Once you get beyond 15 cameras, it’s not a cost-effective proposition to try to sell,” the integrator asserts.
Under the I-View Now umbrella, Folsom’s firm offers the I-View Now hosted solution, which includes system maintenance and storage of recorded data. “We have had success in promoting it as ideal for many types of low camera-count sites, both single and multiple-location,” Folsom reports.
As an adjunct to the hosted solution, I-View Now touts I-View Butt, a central station monitored service. It incorporates video verification, in which video is delivered to authorities (e.g., local police) and to end-users’ mobile devices as alarms are triggered, rather than long afterward, if at all.
Wide Open. Many video surveillance and access control manufacturers mandate that partners obtain and maintain specific product certifications. However, not all products play well together in the same physical security sandbox. This has traditionally made it difficult for some clients to obtain from VARs the solutions they desire, regardless of platform compatibility.
The tides have begun to turn with the development of the Open Network Video Interface Forum (ONVIF) standard, which ensures interoperability of physical security solutions no matter the vendor. Open to all manufacturers, ONVIF was initially focused on video technology, but is now being extended into other areas of physical security, such as access control. Meanwhile, vendors are gaining a greater understanding of the importance of open standards in physical security and have undertaken initiatives to spur adoption. Some are partnering with distributors to get the job done. Ingram Micro ranks among such entities; Burns says it is working with several prominent hardware vendors to bring the open standards concept to the integrator market.
Given the breadth of developments in the physical security space, the variety of vertical markets for which the technology holds value and the size of the global market, VARs would be remiss not to at least investigate adding physical security solutions to their toolboxes. As one source says, “Carriers like AT&T are now getting into it. So are burglar alarm companies. If we don’t step up, we’re leaving money on the table.”