Businesses of all sizes increasingly opt for Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS). It can put state-of-the-art video surveillance technology within reach of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) by reducing the upfront investment and allowing them to pay for the service as an operating expense. In addition, large corporations with multiple divisions can maximize VSaaS’s value across their organizations, leveraging it in applications such as time and attendance or eliminating the need for a dedicated attendant at every entry point. Additionally, all customers appreciate the ease of use of VSaaS and convenient access to the system via a web or mobile app.
Before you choose a VSaaS solution, you need to ask some questions to help determine whether it’s the right fit for your clients – and your business. Start by finding answers to these five questions:
1Is it a true cloud solution?
Some VSaaS solutions require on-site appliances; others are designed for video and data processing within the cameras. The solution you choose can dramatically impact the total cost of ownership (TCO), especially when you factor in ongoing service for on-site appliances. Therefore, look at the TCO, not just the initial purchase price.
2Who maintains the solution?
A VSaaS solution will require ongoing maintenance and services such as firmware updates, cybersecurity patches, and system health monitoring that alerts you if a device is offline. Determine whether this is your responsibility or the vendor’s and how it will impact your operation.
3What is the vendor’s reputation for support?
If the vendor provides service, you must know how reliable they are. Talk to other integrators or MSPs who partner with the vendor to get a clear picture of what you can expect.
4Which devices are supported?
It’s vital to understand whether your customer’s choice of camera will be limited to only certain types supported by the solution and whether they will have the functionality and image resolution they need. You should also investigate whether your client can use cameras now in service or they’ll have to invest in new devices.
5Who is watching from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.?
You should also research other services and capabilities that integrate with the VSaaS solution, such as alarm monitoring that can keep watch of the service at any hour of the day or night. This is a feature that end users often request.
Questions You Need to Ask Yourself About Your Business
In addition to evaluating VSaaS solutions and their vendors, you must add questions about your team’s skills and readiness to provide Video Surveillance as a Service. The answers to these two questions are pivotal in deciding whether your team is equipped and ready to support a successful transition to providing video surveillance under this model:
6Is your technical staff trained to implement VSaaS?
Training is essential for technicians implementing any IT solution, but techs new to providing VSaaS can make common mistakes, such as miscalculating bandwidth. “When you put video on a network, it takes quite a bit of bandwidth. So, in many cases, it makes sense to have a separate network for video to ensure a steady flow of data and prevent bottlenecks,” King says.
Your VSaaS vendor partner can provide the training and tools your team needs. For example, Axis’ onboarding process includes training, and with tools like the bitrate calculator in the AXIS Device Manager, your technical team can ensure the system is set up correctly and has ample bandwidth.
7Is your sales team ready to sell a Video Surveillance as a Service solution?
If you are a managed services provider, adding VSaaS to your portfolio may be easier for you than for an integrator whose primary business model is project work. An integrator’s sales team may find the transition to VSaaS difficult. A better approach may be to build a dedicated VSaaS sales team that integrates with your project sales team.
VSaaS is the Future, No Question
Experts point out that as-a-Service, including VSaaS, is the future. As with other as-a-Service offerings, VSaaS gives your customers more options in a cost-effective, easy-to-use format. It also provides integrators and MSPs with recurring monthly revenue that takes the guesswork out of covering expenses and builds value in your company.
Besides, if you choose the right vendor, they do the heavy lifting to maintain the solution, so you won’t need to dedicate substantial IT resources to your VSaaS offering. The vendor may even give you access to a test environment to try the solution and “kick the tires.”
Having the foresight to prepare to meet this demand can help you provide enormous value to your customers and employees. So, don’t be left behind.