There has never been a better time to start thinking about selling IP surveillance. According to iSuppli, global revenue from video surveillance systems may grow 13.2 per cent a year to about $9bn (£5.4bn) by 2011. IMS Research has shown that IP cameras will claim 42 per cent of the worldwide market by 2013.
Various factors make IP-based surveillance solutions a real alternative to analogue CCTV systems. Digital IP camera prices have come down, while image resolution and network connectivity have improved. In addition, network-attached storage (NAS) is cheaper.
You need plenty of reliable bandwidth across fixed and wireless networks, including cellular. You also need specialist software, which melds the functionality together and helps users manage cameras and footage.
Resellers often have to put all these elements together themselves, but
solutions are becoming available that incorporate them in a form that is easier
to take to market.
New products offer improved colour quality in reduced light, motion detection, an integrated microphone and the like.
Switches and networking infrastructure can provide a platform for integrating all these technologies.
Timing is crucial here. The IP surveillance market has not really taken off yet. But there are signs that the market is about to grow rapidly.
It is about customer mood. There is an appetite for surveillance solutions that are affordable and easy to deploy, cost-efficient and effective. This is particularly noticeable in warehousing, distribution, commercial sector transport and education.
In industries such as warehousing and transport, video surveillance is now essential to meet compliance regulations and insurance requirements. In education there is increasing concern for pupil safety on campus.
Also, many schools and colleges do not have the legacy of a network cobbled together and added to piecemeal over several years. They are starting with a clean sheet and can start to look at putting new services and applications across the network and driving higher return on investment.
About 100 resellers visited our recent partner roadshows and IP surveillance prompted the most questions and requests for further information.
Networking is a competitive market and it is getting harder to retain margin. IP surveillance is an opportunity to provide another layer of equipment – cameras, storage devices, management software and further requirements for integration, consultancy and management.
However, we cannot pretend that getting into IP surveillance will be easy. Having good networking skills and some knowledge of storage will help, as will working with the right vendors.
We see IP surveillance as a major opportunity over the coming year. We want to assist resellers in breaking into this market and building on their skills in preparation. We believe 2010 will be the year IP surveillance really takes off in the UK.
Chris Davies is UK general manager at D-Link
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