drone with video camera

Somebody’s Watching You: An Update on Video Surveillance

If you’ve been feeling watched when you’re out and about, you probably are. And it’s not just by the little camera on the ceiling at the corner convenience store, the department store, the bank, the coffee shop, the airport, or the hospital. Video surveillance is practically ubiquitous these days, and if you’re one of the good guys, that’s a good thing. It’s the bad guys who should be worried. Video surveillance is just one more layer in your security plan.

One of the most quickly growing segments of the video surveillance industry is, you guessed it, video surveillance as-a-service (VSaaS). VSaaS systems – also known as hosted or managed video surveillance – intelligently store and manage video content from IP and analog cameras and efficiently deliver content to WAN or internet-connected devices. Rather than having a basement full of guys monitoring a direct feed from cameras 24/7, many companies are choosing to stream the video to a website where it is remotely monitored.

VSaaS providers have found an enthusiastic customer base in the restaurant and hospitality businesses, retail chains, apartment complexes, and small businesses. As the cloud technology matures, healthcare organizations, telecommunications firms, manufacturers, banks, pharmaceutical companies, and the public sector are getting on board.

One of the most attractive benefits is the reduced need for security guards. When security is monitored remotely, a larger area can be covered at a lower cost. Security breaches are sometimes managed more effectively because the intruder assumes nobody is watching. According to an IDG whitepaper, “With budgets being squeezed, the ROI of remote guarding is fantastic. When you see that people are reducing costs by half, it’s kind of hard to see why everyone isn’t taking it up.”

Like almost all managed IT services, there are a variety of service models:

  • Hosted video takes the video generated onsite and transfers it via the provider’s cloud or WAN for storage and management.
  • Managed video stores the video at the customer’s site, where it is remotely managed by the provider.
  • Hybrid solutions stream the video to the provider’s site, but also store it on the customer’s premises on a camera, appliance, or attached storage device.

For businesses considering VSaaS, there are several important considerations.

  • Hosted systems deliver general surveillance in normal resolution. Advanced features like hi-definition and analytics are not typically included.
  • VSaaS systems are for those that don’t require high-quality video: five to fifteen frames per second.
  • For higher quality, store mission-critical video onsite. Streamed video will have a significantly lower maximum frame rate and resolution, high enough to make out a face but not a credit card.
  • Plug-and-play systems can be installed without a network expert, but not all systems are plug-and-play. Some systems require IP addresses to be set up, DNS information, and other configurations.

Video surveillance systems are just one of the many services Infinity provides to Savannah area SMBs. If you would like to talk to an expert about your VSaaS options, contact us today.