Most of us that sell IP PBX systems today started off as “the computer guy” somewhere. Many of us had our own IT businesses where we fixed workstations, removed viruses, managed Exchange servers, etc. With the advent of IP PBX systems we were able to use a lot of that core competency to start to sell phone systems, thus adding “the phone guy” to ourselves. While it may be a little late to make new year’s resolutions, this year looks to be an excellent year for you to also look at IP video surveillance systems and add “the security guy” label. Even if you were never “The Computer Guy”, IP video surveillance is a perfect way to expand your product and service offerings to the folks you already sell to!
Why should you be the security guy?
Just like with IP PBX systems, the answer is “do what you know”. IP surveillance cameras work over IP, use the existing data network, are usually powered via Power-Over-Ethernet switches, and the recording software can run on an existing Windows-based system. This clearly makes IP surveillance fit into the domain of the IT professional and not the legacy CCTV guys. Again, you can offer these solutions to the folks you already sell to!
Since, as the IT guy, you already have control over all of the components from the networking, power, servers, etc. this puts you in an excellent position to offer these products to your customers.
Why should you sell security systems?
Everyone is concerned about security these days, employee safety concerns, retail theft, burglary, and vandalism concerns all top the list of concerns. With video cameras dropping below the $300, even some below $200 now, and often including all the software you need for motion detection and recording, the price point is now at affordable levels for almost any sized company.
Adding security devices and systems to your product portfolio gives you an entire product line and services that you can offer your customers. In terms of on-going service and support you can also offer backup solutions, system monitoring, software updates as well as other traditional service and support options.
Why IP based solutions?
As you have seen with IP PBX systems, having a standard method of wiring and powering devices makes them much easier to deploy and manage. Older legacy CCTV systems needed proprietary wiring that most IT guys do not have the tools to work with. These CCTV systems then needed expensive control systems, custom recording solutions, piles of video tapes (hard drives do come with more modern units) and dedicated monitors.
An IP-based solution, on the other hand, uses existing infrastructure, uses standard PC components, uses standard operating systems, and can be monitored remotely. In fact, most of the current camera on the market can be viewed on Android devices and iPhones. Imaging explaining to a potential customer that their system can detect motion after hours, send them an email telling them that motion has been detected, and instantly they can pull out their smartphone and see live video from their office. Based on what they see, they can then take the appropriate action. This is far better than coming in the next day and finding the place looted and hoping that the video tapes weren’t taken as well.
You can easily offer a complete turn-key solution with a dedicated server and several cameras that just needs to be plugged into a network and with very little additional configuration, provide state-of-the-art video monitoring and recording.
Choosing IP Surveillance Products
There are quickly becoming dozens of devices to choose from by the name brand companies such as D-Link, Grandstream, and Cisco with more and more coming this year. Features to look for include:
Pan/Tilt/Zoom (PTZ) control
Built-in or external Microphones
Built-in or external speakers
Interfaces to alarm or door control systems
backup storage to flash cards
Bundled software packages
New object alerts
Abandoned object alerts
Motion detection alerts sent to SIP phones (including video)
and much more
Take some time and browse through the different offerings from our vendor partners and see just how easy it is to take on the role of “security guy” and book additional sales this year.