I don’t think that anyone would disagree that the security industry has changed significantly over the last few years. In the intruder alarm business, the revenue focus has shifted from profit on the supply and installation of equipment to profit on the life of the contract or take overs. CCTV is heading down the same path so how can CCTV manufacturers help facilitate the “recurring revenue” business model?
The Key for me is the DVR. (The target market for this are End Users that would typically purchase an >4 camera system with a standalone DVR)
In this blog, I hope to describe how a DVR (if it were available) could not only help you generate additional recurring revenue but also protect your business from online sellers and part time security companies.
For the professional Security Installer:
Consider how the following would affect your business and sales approach of CCTV:
Upgradeable DVR: DVR is built to what the customer requires now, keeping initial costs to a minimum while future proofing the installation. Add additional channels and/or megapixel channels as required, add integration possibilities or other modules - the possibilities are endless.
Cloud Integrated DVR: Properly integrated with a cloud could allow for certain services to be performed off-site . Analytics, storage, till monitoring, etc. These could generate additional monthly revenue.
Integrated DVR: DVR can add value to existing security equipment, by associating cameras with sensors or control points for example. This point focuses on a key strength of a professional security installer which is their knowledge of Intruder, Access, Fire, etc and making use of that in a CCTV system. Something a part time security company is not likely to be able to offer.
Professional Services: Know before your customer when there is an issue (camera loss, hdd, etc), ability to show your customer “how to” remotely (think PC Anywhere functionality), speed up commissioning and setups by downloading your company specific configurations, logos, etc. directly to the DVR.
The above is just a snapshot of an overall system design (blog would be way too long), the above elements should describe how it may help retain customers and generate revenue from additional service offerings/upgrades but much can be done to help attract new customers in the first place.
For the End User:
The marketing people generally look for what they term USPs or Unique Selling Points, these are functions or services that will make a product or service stand out from the competition, consider the following if you were selling a DVR:
No more passwords – fingerprint reader maybe!
No more downloads – Even without off-site storage; this can be achieved through on-board removable storage and mirroring for example.
Tutorials – Ability to play either online or on-board tutorials for common functions.
Business tool – A DVR offers a Visual Record of what is going on in a business, through cloud analytics it would be possible to offer a customer a summary of the days operation based on their predefined requirements. A DVR that offers a report that’s worth reading??
More intuitive Interface – This is an area that can be greatly improved in my opinion, I have heard comments on various DVRs and which ones are easy to use but remember the time when Nokia was considered easy to use (excluding windows 8 ofcourse)? Consider the following:
A touch interface,
The beauty of a touch interface is that it generally only offers options relevant to the current function and hide set-up functions when the engineer is not logged in which can simplify its operation significantly, that in itself is not that unique but the difference is touch enabled operation versus touch optimised operation.
I have researched and watched many videos on touch operated DVRs but they completely miss the point in my opinion. Some have had nice sliders for adjusting the brightness, recording frame rates, etc but that’s touch setup not touch operation. Even LiLin’s recent release “NVR Touch”, which was built from first day to be a touch operated NVR but it too misses the point.
A touch optimised DVR interface would have no need for channel numbers, instead the user would “interact with images”.
To explain, consider your Android or Apple phone, each of the icons on the screen as camera image. You can move them around, duplicate or remove. To adjust a cameras settings, you simply select it and click the option, to playback/back-up a number of cameras, you select them, drag them and drop them either in the playback or back-up area. No need for channel numbers!
Besides the Android like operation, if it were based on Android (not suggesting this is a good idea), what apps could you think of for the customer to download that could benefit your business?
Ok, so you have read the blog and you have probably said to yourself on at least one of the points “my current DVR can do that” but you are missing a huge piece of the puzzle, how it’s implemented and this is much harder to explain, I ask you to think about the above and evolve it based on your own requirements. For example, although the CMS that comes with DVRs may offer some of the functionality but you wouldn't recommend it for a professional monitoring station. You also need to consider where it may lead; if implemented correctly, many of the above could lead to a profound effect on the professional security business, for example:
Off-site Storage: The ability to interrogate/download/analyse footage without leaving your desk has a massive appeal to others also. The police spend millions if not billions doing this manually, with the right promotion and politicians ear, only “connected” equipment could become the standard or even requirement for certain installations, installed by professional installers.
Business Tool: The more the client uses the system the more the possibility of using it as a communication tool. E.g. Advertising, call out requests, record keeping, etc.
Your definition of what a professional DVR may be completely different but the objective is to recognise that the business has changed for professional security companies and that manufacturers have their part to play in facilitating the business model.
I would sincerely like to hear your opinions………