Security Dealer & Integrator

OCT 2018

Find news and information for the executive corporate security director, CSO, facility manager and assets protection manager on issues of policy, products, incidents, risk management, threat assessments and preparedness.

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44 Security Dealer & Integrator / www.SecurityInfoWatch.com October 2018 Central Station Monitoring Resource Guide $300 million and $1 billion. More troubling is that these numbers do not include the theft of tools or building materials, or any damage to equipment and premises caused during a theft. Also not included in these estimates is loss from business interruption, such as rentals, project-delay penalties and wasted workforce and man- agement time. In light of these realities, it is clear that tremendous opportunities are available for integrators in the video surveillance services market. The broad base of mon- itoring customers, coupled with continu- ally increasing demand for video surveil- lance offer potential for increasing RMR with video monitoring services. By partnering with a strong wholesale monitoring company, integrators can seize on the advantage these services offer as they seek to raise the valuation of their companies in the face of lower equipment margins. The key is to find the right partner and nurture that rela- tionship to get the fullest benefit. Finding the Right Partner When looking for a monitoring provider to partner with, there are a few factors that should be considered to ensure the best fit. The first is the potential partner's overall experience with handling video verification. Compared to traditional monitor- ing, video monitoring is generally more interactive, requiring operators to make a greater number of higher-level deci- sions; therefore, regardless of a company's monitoring experience, if that experience does not include handling video-enabled events, you should look elsewhere. A second important factor to consider is a monitoring company's experience working with events initiated by video analytics. Rather than a traditional sensor that generates an alarm signal and asso- ciates video from the closest camera with that signal, cameras or analytics serve as the source of the alarm. As such, analyt- ics can be more "tunable" to ensure the appropriate alarms are generated under the correct conditions. Optimizing perfor- mance relies on identifying the right set- tings and properly configuring analytics, and many advanced monitoring centers that are comfortable with analytics sys- tems are in the best position to recom- mend or even make the changes neces- sary to get the most out of video analytics. The software a potential monitoring center partner uses is another consider- ation, especially its compatibility – or lack thereof – with your preferred video prod- ucts. Most monitoring centers run auto- mation software that offers integrations with common alarm and video platforms; thus, it is important to be sure your cho- sen partner is capable of monitoring the specific equipment you plan to use for your installations. You should also look for a partner with a solid redundancy plan. Larger opera- tions tend to have secondary and tertiary backup sites, disaster recovery locations or agreements with other monitoring centers to transfer incoming signals to an alternate site in the event of an outage of some type at their facility that could pre- vent them from performing their duties. Finally, consider the company's loca- tion. Although this is not a strict require- ment, if a monitoring partner is physically close, this can offer the benefit of bringing select customers to the facility for a tour, which enables them to understand what the operation looks like. Some integrators who do wholesale monitoring may prefer not to let on that the central station is a separate entity, but often it can be beneficial to describe to customers that monitoring is the center's single task; thus, enabling integrators to focus on the elements they do best. Expanding the Partnership Forging a relationship is an important first step in generating greater RMR with video services, but it is just that – a first step. Once that partnership has been cre- ated, it is equally vital to nurture that relationship, which will pay increasing and continued dividends for both parties. While each partnership is unique, there are a few common strategies integrators can employ to ensure continued growth from monitoring services. When evaluating new products or ser- vices, work closely with the monitoring company. Many providers welcome the opportunity to expand their offerings into new areas integrators may bring to them. This works both ways, as the monitoring company may be in the process of eval- Compared to traditional monitoring, video monitoring is generally more interactive, requiring operators to make a greater number of higher-level decisions. Photo: National Monitoring Center, part of the Netwatch Group

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