If you’re tasked with choosing a new video security system for your company, you’ve likely already done some research. You may have learned that today’s video systems aren’t what they used to be. They not only offer features such as Internet-based access to video, and integration with business systems such as point of sale (POS) systems, but they’ve also moved beyond basic video for security to actually helping you increase profits for your company through improved sales and reduced losses.
So, how do you make this new world of video technology a reality for your company? I have a few tips to help you.
9 Tips for Choosing a New Business Video Security System
1. Think about visibility into business insights for your company’s leaders. This requires thinking bigger than the way companies have traditionally thought about video systems. There are things that leaders across your company need to know: Are people stealing from the company? Are employees following company procedures? Are customer complaints valid? What techniques are the most successful sales people using? To answer these questions, leaders need visibility into what’s going on in the company’s stores.
Some things your next video system should have to support visibility:
- Access to video from anywhere via the Internet, reducing the need to visit individual stores, improving the value of store visits, and saving time and money
- Single log-in so users can quickly see all sites and all cameras that they manage in one unified platform
- Ability to add unlimited users to ensure the video system can grow with your company
- Ability to watch multiple live or recorded camera views to see a variety of store activities as they happen, or to review previous activity
- Motion search of recorded video to dramatically speed up searches for specific activities, such as whether or not a safe was opened on a specific day
- Audio, to not only see, but also hear what’s going on
2. Leverage your existing business systems. To be truly useful for business insights, your video system needs to integrate with your business systems, such as your POS system. This integration allows leaders from departments across your company to uncover the insights they’re looking for, and see actual video to learn the story behind the data without having to comb through hours and hours of footage.
Here are some activities this type of integration should support:
- POS receipt search to pinpoint specific transactions
- Links to transactions that allow a simple click from a receipt to see video of specific transactions
- Exception reports and email alerts that identify and notify when certain activities or transactions are happening in your stores
3. Consider the access needs across your company. Since leaders across your company will be using the system, the system should allow you to decide and control who’s using it and how. So, each user should save access only to the data and video that’s relevant (their store, region, district, or all of the above), and should have the ability to do only what your company wants them to be able to do in the system (such as save a video clip or run a report).
4. Allow users to collaborate more easily. One of the benefits of using an Internet-based video system is the ability to easily save and share data and video clips. This helps users of the system to collaborate on everything from loss prevention and security cases to sales team training and HR violations
Some important capabilities to look for include:
- Setting up groups of people who can share data and video
- Saving an unlimited number of video/audio clips to the cloud for permanent storage
- Sharing links to clips — with team members, the police, and others with an interest in a
- Case management functionality, allowing users to tag video clips and related data so it’s easier for everyone involved to locate everything related to a case or incident
5. Look for easy administration and flexible control. In addition to managing who’s using the system and how they can collaborate, you’ll need to be able to easily administer and control the system itself.
Some features to look for:
- Remote DVR, camera, and audio administration so you don’t have to physically travel to each location to modify equipment settings
- Ability to adjust multiple camera and audio settings, including camera-to-register mapping, picture quality, frames/per second and audio volume
- Ability to turn equipment on or off remotely
6. Keep your technology and data secure. With today’s potential threats of hacking, viruses and other IT security breaches, it’s vital to ensure your video system is connected to the Internet in a way that doesn’t compromise your business.
Your video system should have the following features:
- PCI compliance, allowing the system to be configurable to ensure no one is able to hack
- Ability to operate without additional network layers, tokens, or key fobs — the transactions are happening in your stores particular case or incident it’s easier for everyone involved to locate everything related to a case or incident to each location to modify equipment settings mapping, picture quality, frames/per second and audio volume into your system and pass into other areas of your network, putting cardholder data at risk system shouldn’t require these added costs to operate
- Web-based platform that runs on only outbound (vs in-bound) data to the DVR to avoid additional security threats
- Health check email alerts to let you know quickly if a camera or DVR is down
- User account termination, so you can ensure that employees who leave the organization can’t take critical company data or video with them
- An SSL tunnel for secure data transmission
7. Don’t forget about the video equipment. It may be toward the end of this list, but of course, the equipment itself is important to your overall system. In addition to selecting a system that offers analog and IP cameras, look for a system that can leverage your existing cameras, if desired, and for a vendor who can help you with a camera placement design that meets your needs.
8. Ensure proper training for your company. Employees come and go. They move to other jobs within the company. They resign. They’re terminated. Your video system provider should offer free and unlimited training for your employees as needed so you are always getting the most out of your system.
Some things to look for:
- A dedicated support team to help with troubleshooting and system expansion
- Quick response times built into your service level agreement
- Ongoing education based on best practices for your industry
9. Look for additional services.Today’s video system providers offer more than just equipment and software. Look for a vendor that can help you perform audits of your security, loss prevention, operations, and other business activities, as well as provide trend analysis and other data to help you make the most of your video data and your investment in the system.
Video technology has come a long way and offers so much more than the basic video security of yesterday. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to choosing a new video security system that will help your company take advantage of all that today’s video systems have to offer.