It is common in the surveillance industry that customers think that once they have installed their CCTV cameras and connected them to a DVR, NVR or VMS, then the job is done. The reality is that in many cases, the only time they pay attention to their expensive installation is when someone notices that recorders or cameras are not doing what they are supposed to do.
Many installers and integrators offer a maintenance package which includes on-site maintenance on the system, perhaps once or twice a year to make sure cameras and recorders are working, or promises to be onsite within a certain time when they are notified of an outage. While this is certainly well worth the investment, the customer often only finds a faulty recorder or camera long after it goes on the blink, perhaps only after an incident has taken place, when it is too late; and then there is the waiting period until the device is replaced/fixed and back in operation.
Malcolm Laing from Avid SP Africa has formed a partnership with CheckMySystems in the UK to provide the CheckMyCCTV Remote CCTV Maintenance checking solution across Africa. CheckMyCCTV is a service that automatically checks the status of remote or multi-site CCTV installations 24/7 to ensure they are working, fit for purpose and compliant.
CheckMyCCTV performs a host of checks automatically, from ensuring cameras are working, to hard disk failures, recording problems, time accuracy and even network connection issues. CheckMyCCTV makes you aware of any issues on your customer’s surveillance installations as they happen, so you can proactively target systems which are leaving your customers at risk.
Apart from regular system checks, Laing mentions that the automated 24/7 checking will also ensure that any maintenance is done regularly and issues are taken care of with each DVR, NVR, VMS or camera.
Laing adds that the checks performed also cover more than technical issues. For example, it can alert someone if the camera has been tampered with, lost focus, or if the brightness levels have changed. Almost all ONVIF-compliant IP cameras and most major recorder brands can be monitored by CheckMyCCTV.
Although some high-end NVRs and cameras already have built-in health checks, CheckMyCCTV checks for many more issues and provides more information in the form of alerts and reports. CheckMyCCTV supports multiple CCTV brands on a single platform, taking away the difficulty that incompatibility presents when a mixture of systems are used. If a problem is detected, the system will email the appropriate person to let them know and get it resolved. As soon as the problem is resolved, the system will automatically clear the flag for that device.
Management reports can also be automatically emailed at regular intervals, offering information on the performance of cameras over a longer period of time. Apart from identifying potential problems before the recorder or camera fails completely, it will also allow customers to view the overall performance and reliability of the surveillance brands they are using. Reports can even be viewed on a user’s smartphone via a link to the system’s live web status page.
Another benefit is reduced maintenance costs and time. The system stipulates what the problem is, allowing the service provider to send the appropriate technician to deal with the issue. For example, if it is a network issue, an IT technician can be sent while if it is in the camera itself, someone trained in that brand can be sent to resolve the issue on the first visit.
Laing concludes by saying that CheckMyCCTV is user friendly and is simple to set up and there is a 14-day free trial available to allow users to experience it in their own environment.
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