Yasin Miah, Small Business Account Manager at Axis Communications, discusses why advances in IP-enabled technology are opening up new possibilities for IT resellers looking to expand their offering
Small business security is an ongoing challenge. According to the Home Office, an average of 22% of businesses spanning sectors such as retail and construction have experienced crime such as theft in the past year.
The findings are echoed by a recent Axis Communications survey2 of small business owners responsible for procuring surveillance equipment, demonstrating that 38% have suffered a break in or theft at their premises. It is clear these businesses are proactively seeking to improve their security practices, however, with two thirds stating that video surveillance would make their premises more secure. As a result, the need for support from the channel in helping these organisations select and maintain a solution has never been greater.
Embracing IP technology to meet security challenges
There is a clear desire for new video surveillance technology which demonstrates that analogue solutions are increasingly being eclipsed by their IP counterparts. Small business owners are becoming aware that video surveillance is no longer restricted to a standalone device, and increasingly forming a part of an organisation's existing IT infrastructure. As part of the survey results, it is perhaps surprising to hear that 38% of small businesses do not have video surveillance in place, although this is balanced by the fact over a third are seeking to implement it in the next two years. Of course, a significant number of small businesses do have a solution in place, and the key issue here will be those looking to replace legacy systems, with 82% seeking to implement new technology.
Network camera technology is certainly transforming security for small businesses, providing opportunities for enhanced surveillance, ease of access, and greater peace of mind as owners come to expect the quality and functionality they experience at home with other consumer devices. The research found that drivers for purchasing a new solution include the desire for remote monitoring and a strong support service as over 50% of small businesses cited these as key. It was also apparent that a robust solution that stands the test of time is important for small businesses, as time poor owners look for something that is easily maintained. Finally, but importantly, high-quality images are cited as crucial to improve the safety of small business premises.
Seeking expert guidance from the channel
The appetite for new technology that plugs into a business' wider IT network provides a growing opportunity for IT resellers. Over 75% of small business owners cited speaking to a local IT or security reseller as their preferred route to purchase. Small business owners are increasingly savvy to the availability of high-level technology but without access to dedicated IT security personnel, and as the technology becomes more intricate, they will increasingly require guidance from the channel.
Indeed, the network camera is a logical progression for IT resellers looking to capitalise on the converging market of networked communications. This forms a natural extension to existing elements of the IT infrastructure such as telecommunications, broadband and software services which address all mainstream business technology needs. A union of historically disparate security solutions such as access control, video surveillance and alarm systems is becoming apparent as small businesses seek a single point of contact for IP network connected technology.
As the challenge of securing small business premises continues and advancements in technology arrive to the market, a golden opportunity for resellers is emerging. Building a competitive advantage is important and those with a strong portfolio of IT products and services will of course be best placed for the provision of network camera solutions. Organisations increasingly need guidance and education as to how these systems can form part of the wider IT infrastructure, a role already very familiar to the IT reseller.