The theme of TEC 2016 is “Beyond the Edge.” We gave this phrase to several people who are involved in TEC in a variety of ways – from PSA employees to TEC attendees, speakers and exhibitors. They were asked to share a blog about what the phrase means to them.
By Dan Cremins, Global Leader, Product Management, March Networks
When I hear the words “Beyond the Edge” in a business context, it immediately brings to mind all the innovation we’re witnessing right now in the world of video security. It feels as if we’ve barely tapped video’s potential to help us in ways that we might have only imagined even a decade ago.
Video is finally getting its ‘big data’ moment in the sun, as businesses increasingly turn to video to help them better understand what’s happening in their organization.
This is definitely beyond the edge stuff when you consider video’s traditional role as a security tool. Organizations would install a surveillance system to make sure they could find the ‘bad guy’ after a crime had occurred or review an incident post-event – most often to verify a claim or dispute. They then started adding security analytics, and integrating their video with alarm panels, access control, point of sale (POS), ATM and other systems to tie it tightly to relevant data, which opened up a wide range of capabilities and efficiencies for more proactive security and loss / fraud investigations.
And while all of these security and loss prevention applications remain at the core of the video surveillance business, we’re starting to see a true evolution in how organizations are using – and thinking – about it. Video is finally getting its ‘big data’ moment in the sun, as businesses increasingly turn to video to help them better understand what’s happening in their organization.
Technology solutions that integrate video with analytics and other data systems are making it possible for organizations to improve areas of the business that go well beyond security and loss prevention.
Retail organizations, for quite some time, have been using similar video technologies integrated with POS data to track conversions rates and determine how many shoppers become buyers. Now it’s possible to do the same with a security camera equipped with onboard people counting analysis, and also install other cameras near the registers to track queue length and wait times. They can then use these integrated analytics to identify trends over time, and apply the information to optimize staffing levels and training needs so customers get service faster.
This is definitely beyond the edge stuff when you consider video’s traditional role as a security tool.
A bank that wants to roll out personal teller machines (PTMs) can use a dwell time video analytic to monitor customers’ interactions with the machines in a few trial locations. The resulting reports and ability to actually ‘see’ what’s happening at the machines can provide invaluable information on what needs to be improved, what seems to be working and even where to best position the PTMs in each branch.
Another great example of a ‘beyond’ security video use doesn’t actually require any analytics or integrations. Many organizations with warehouse and shipping facilities require their employees to wear safety helmets and vests, and they need a simple way to verify compliance. A video solution that can provide reports with snapshot images from each location on an hourly basis is a great way for these organizations to visually verify compliance and save time doing it.
These are just three examples of how organizations are now using video to help gather true business intelligence. The applications for customer service, compliance, marketing and other operations are almost endless. And the best part is that the information is coming from video and data systems most organizations already have in place. It might require a shift in thinking for some, and certainly broadens the number of groups within an organization that can benefit.
The great news? As more departments start using video to help them succeed, the more cost-sharing opportunities emerge. In the end, the surveillance video the organization deployed for security is transformed into a solution that can measurably improve overall performance across the organization.
Want to know more about March Networks? Get to know them at TEC as the event’s Platinum Level Sponsor and an exhibitor. For more information about TEC visit the website: http://www.psatec.com.