Managed service providers looking for lucrative products or services to add their portfolio may need to look no further than video surveillance. As we learned in Casey’s recent interview with MSP Guy Baroan, this field not only has virtually untapped potential for the MSP market, it can be a natural extension of the existing network. Guy’s positive outlook on video surveillance is supported by experts with firsthand insights.
Last year, HaaS provider and StorageCraft Alliance partner, CharTec made waves on the MSP scene by announcing an upcoming offering called “Video Surveillance as as Service”, or VSaaS. The service is being developed through a partnership with wireless solutions distributor Moonblink and will give MSPs an opportunity to profit as more companies make the move to beef up their security. According to executives from both partners, VSaaS is an ideal fit for the MSP business model and the clients who seek out such services.
Innovations in network and digital recording technology have put video surveillance in easy reach. By sending data over the internet, IP cameras give users the ability to view feeds anywhere a connection is available. Whether it’s from a desktop or mobile phone, business owners literally have a bird’s eye view of what’s going on in and around their facility. The ideal surveillance system provides an extra layer of security while offering the peace of mind that comes from knowing everything is safe and sound.
Selling Managed Video Surveillance to Customers
For MSPs, the benefit of adopting video surveillance is obvious – more recurring revenue. But of course, clients want to know what’s in it for them. Here are some specific selling points of adopting this technology in a managed format:
Simplified management. The MSP shoulders the burden of maintaining all the technical aspects of the surveillance system. Meanwhile, the client has the ability to view multiple locations, capture and retrieve video footage, control alarms, monitoring functions, and other aspects from a web-based interface.
Cost savings. The actual price a customer pays will vary from one MSP to the next. However, the use of IP network technology and in the case of CharTec, the cloud, typically means they will end up paying substantially less than they would when deploying a traditional surveillance system on their own.
Exceptional video quality. The ability to offer high definition video footage alone is a huge selling point for MSPs. This will go over well with businesses who understand the role HD plays in delivering accurate identification of potential suspects and crystal clear images of moving objects.
Seamless scalability. The ideal surveillance system allows businesses to easily upgrade when they need to monitor different locations. But instead of buying and installing new cameras, they simply put in an order for their MSP to incorporate whatever is required.
Tackling the Surveillance Challenge
With so little activity in the market, right now is the perfect time for MSPs to add video surveillance to their offerings. There will be challenges, though, so let’s take a look at some of the most important factors that need to be considered before making the move.
Surveillance functionality. Today’s surveillance systems offer features ranging from wireless access to encryption and advanced analytics. What functionality will your customer base demand?
Coverage for all. One business may simply need to monitor a small office space, while another may need to monitor several areas inside and outside of the facility. MSPs will need to make sure they’re equipped to support the diverse monitoring demands of their customer base.
Image quality. Let’s say a thief in the night stole property from a client’s place of business and thanks to your surveillance system, the whole act was caught on camera. Unfortunately, the image quality is so bad that identifying the perpetrator will prove next to impossible. Understanding how camera resolutions impact image quality will go a long way in providing a service clients can count on for superior forensic capabilities in their time of need.
Bandwidth and storage. These two resources are vital to the success of a network-based surveillance system. The amount of bandwidth and storage you require will depend on a number of factors, including the number of cameras deployed, how long they’ll be running throughout the day, what image resolution you’re using, and how long data needs to be stored. Keep in mind that a SAN, NAS, or other storage device may also be needed for additional capacity and flexibility.
Technology infrastructure. If you’re starting from scratch, creating a video surveillance infrastructure may be your biggest challenge. Even an IP-based system will present management challenges that stem beyond the reins of IT. MSPs must determine if they’re equipped to go at it alone, or require the support of a third party with an infrastructure they can leverage for operational purposes.
According to a survey by Eagle Eye Networks, 68 percent of 500 respondents said they plan to use video surveillance to improve their business operations. The potential is there for organizations across numerous sectors. Will MSPs step up and seize the moment?
Photo Credit: Jonathan McIntosh via Flickr