Security integration has become a much more competitive field over the last few years. One of the biggest reasons for this is the consumerization of security, which has been driven by out-of-the-box DIY solutions that advertise directly to end users with claims of cost savings and simplicity. The marketing and merchandising of these products have been relentless, building tremendous awareness of these brands with both consumers and business professionals.
Because of this, in addition to homeowners, many small- to medium-sized businesses and other organizations have been attracted by the claims made by these providers, potentially siphoning away security business from professional integrators. This is happening despite the fact that integrators have far greater technologies and skills to offer.
As the newer products gain traction, it is creating a widening gap between quality of service experienced by those businesses working with integrators and those implementing out-of-the-box solutions.
The best answer to address this growing gap is to build your business by placing a spotlight on the differences between your offering and the DIY products. Demonstrating the additional benefits of working with true security integrators will also make the shortfalls of big-brand products clear. To accomplish this, you need to put the services that only a professional partner can deliver right up front in all your messaging.
Yet even among integrators, there is a growing hurdle to retain and grow your customer base in a time of rapidly expanding technology options. For alarm monitoring service providers, the challenge is especially steep. Unless you keep moving ahead with trends and technology, you may find yourself left behind by your customer base.
The Proactive Advantage
DIY security products have one thing in common with many professional monitoring solutions: they can only react to a crime that is already in progress or provide information about one that has already happened.
Traditional video monitoring typically reacts to incidents in two ways. For crimes already in progress, monitoring personnel view and verify an action triggered by an alarm and alert authorities. After a crime has been discovered, monitoring companies provide recorded surveillance footage to help identify criminals, provide evidence for arrests and protect owners from liability. While these are all valuable services, none of them can actually prevent crimes from occurring.
It is true that passive security monitoring system technologies have advanced quite a bit just in recent years. The continued evolution of powerful software-driven video management, access control and alarm system technologies has resulted in new intelligent features and functions that provide outstanding event detection capabilities.
Advanced artificial neural networks continue to get faster and smarter while also being utilized to develop sophisticated security analytics that can be centrally deployed or embedded in end-point devices such as surveillance cameras, access readers and various types of sensors. These new software and hardware products have effectively become new “feelers” across most every facet of today’s more advanced physical security systems.
Still, there is not getting around the fact that detection is not prevention; legacy alarm monitoring is fundamentally a reactive solution. This is where the greatest business opportunity lies for professional integrators – to provide the proactive service of preventing crimes from occurring.
Proactive video monitoring is different. As the name says it is proactive — meaning that action is taken in advance of an incident, not during or after it occurs. Proactive video monitoring delivers superior protection to users in a wide array of industries. Here’s how it works:
Intelligent software detects a threat — Video surveillance cameras actively scan the premises searching for any unauthorized movement. As a criminal approaches a perimeter or another hostile activity emerges, the cameras use intelligent surveillance software to detect the movement and determine whether it represents a threat.
Smart technology filters out false alarms — Software built into the system uses intelligent video analytics to decipher between true threats and nuisance alarms. The software can intelligently interpret the difference between someone passing through an area vs. someone loitering. This is critical functionality for many businesses that can reduce false alarms more effectively than a traditional alarm tied to a video system. In seconds, an alert is sent to an intervention specialist at the monitoring center.
Experts assess the threat — Highly trained intervention specialists at a state-of-the-art communication hub swiftly evaluate the situation over a live video feed, determining the threat level.
Warning is given — An intervention specialist speaks directly to the intruder with a live audio warning advising they leave the premises immediately. Hearing this personalized warning makes it clear to the criminal that they are being watched and recorded on video. In most cases, a live warning like this stops the criminal from proceeding. In the small number of cases where they are not deterred, the intervention specialist escalates the response.
Policy-based response is executed — Following a set of pre-determined protocols, the intervention specialist will launch the proper response. Depending on the situation, this may be to notify law enforcement, alert the keyholders or take another action. With the corrective actions set into motion, the specialist will remain in video and audio contact with the incident until the site has been fully secured.
Recurring Revenue to Build Your Business
Proactive video monitoring is not like traditional monitoring. The intelligent detection software built into each camera transforms it into a 24/7, 365-day security guard. This reduces the need for hiring security officers, while improving the user’s ability to monitor and respond to threats.
For professional integrators, proactive video monitoring is the strongest business-builder you can add to your offerings right now. It enables you to provide a higher level of professional service and protection than any DIY or non-proactive solution. At the same time, it delivers a robust stream of recurring monthly revenue (RMR) that is secure and scalable.
Customers in a wide variety of industries can immediately benefit from proactive video monitoring to keep their staff, visitors and premises safer than with video surveillance or security guards. At the same time, alarm dealers and integrators can evolve and grow their business with this valuable new offering.
To stay competitive in the fast-moving security marketplace, it is essential to remain at the forefront when it comes to technology as well as the value you provide to your customer base. By adding a proactive video solution that leverages advanced intelligence to discover and neutralize threats, you can keep your business ahead of the competition.
Rochelle Thompson is Chief Marketing Officer for Netwatch System.
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