IP Surveillance: Watching over your customers

Opinion Dec 20, 2012

D-Link’s Andrew Mulholland talks about making money from IP Surveillance

2012 saw an increased interest in IP surveillance, a technology which presents business with lower complexity and higher quality security opportunities than ever before.

Research indicates that 2013 will be the tipping point when world network video surveillance equipment sales overtake analogue[1]. Furthermore, the penetration of IP surveillance within UK businesses has a forecasted growth rate of 30.1 percent between 2012 and 2016[2].

For IT resellers operating in the current challenging economic climate, finding new technology areas to extend a product line is a key strategy for maximising revenue streams and remaining competitive. IT resellers are gradually starting to seize this opportunity, with increasing numbers now offering IP CCTV solutions within their portfolios.

Networking or security resellers – who will win out?

For those businesses who want to take advantage of IP surveillance a divide has existed, similar to that which existed within the VoIP market initially with voice and data partners: customers found themselves having to approach separate resellers for their networking and their security needs. However, with cameras now primarily IP based there is a real opportunity for IT resellers to make money from surveillance. IP surveillance technologies are in demand within a wide range of market segments; from public to private, retail to utilities. With IP cameras easily added to existing LANs, traditional IT resellers who may already leverage IP infrastructure to sell networking solutions to businesses are in a prime position to take advantage of the upwards trend of IP surveillance solutions. 

Bridging the Gap: Why should resellers invest in IP surveillance?

Market share growth of IP surveillance is significant: resellers who already have a portfolio of networking products can benefit significantly from investment in IP surveillance to grow their customer base. Offering IP surveillance technologies will allow traditional networking resellers to appear more like specialists and appeal to new and extensive market sectors that they may not have approached before. To channel resellers who already offer a range of networking products, IP surveillance enables them to add another string to their bow. Offering an end-to-end range of networking products, from core switching to security, storage and IP surveillance, means that resellers can act as a one stop shop for a whole host of networking solutions. Furthermore, this can provide end users with greater reassurance, as IT managers will be working with resellers they are already familiar with, as opposed to needing to develop new relationships with specialist security resellers.

Upsell, Upsell, Upsell

Having a networking portfolio that encompasses IP surveillance presents resellers with the opportunity to upsell a whole range of additional equipment and services on an on-going basis, rather than just relying on one-off sales of IP surveillance cameras alone. When a business opts for IP surveillance, it also needs to ensure that its switching capabilities are up to the task.  For businesses looking at wireless cameras they need to ensure they have a robust and reliable wireless network in place.  At the same time video footage also needs to be stored effectively, meaning that resellers can also enter into further conversations about storage.  They can offer businesses the opportunity to expand their storage capabilities with Network Video Recorders (NVRs), in addition to supplying NAS and SAN devices for further expansion.  

Where do I sign?

Once you have decided to offer IP surveillance as part of your portfolio, training is the next step. The good news is, as it is IP based, this should be a fairly simple education process for resellers already familiar with installing and maintaining networks. Working with a vendor who is familiar with both networking and security can get partners up and running as quickly as possible. These vendors are able to provide the necessary tools and materials and offer the right training as standard, helping to address any concerns resellers may have around revenue generation vs. investment in training for a particular product set.  

The Bottom Line

IP surveillance is an emerging technology that is increasingly accessible, allowing resellers to meet the needs of organisations all the way from start-ups right through to multi-site operations. For resellers, the ability to offer IP surveillance acts as a ‘Trojan horse’: providing a way to offer potential customers something new, whilst also paving the way for expanded conversations regarding the entire network infrastructure. Investing in this technology sooner rather than later will help resellers to grow their businesses and reach more new customers than ever before.

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