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Choose your surveillance technology partners wisely
November 2018, This Week's Editor's Pick, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Integrated Solutions

Surveillance is a necessary part of security and with the realities of crime in mind, it is the norm rather than the exception these days. Thanks to the wide availability of attractively priced equipment for consumer use, surveillance setups have become increasingly common in homes too.

Laurence Smith.
Laurence Smith.

Businesses and consumers alike are spoiled for choice and as with everything else in life, you get what you pay for. When planning or upgrading a security surveillance system, it’s tempting to let price alone be the deciding factor, but this is can be short-sighted.

When shopping for surveillance components, one of the best decision’s buyers can make is to stick with a single product range from a trusted brand, rather than purchasing multiple components from various security technology brands purely on price. Specs on paper might look identical, but where the only disparity is price, it’s certain that this difference will be made up in the experience of quality, convenience, ease of use and compatibility. Knowing what to look for is half the decision made, and finding the best balance of price, functionality and experience will ensure that the financial outlay for surveillance technology was money well spent.

One brand or any brand?

The biggest advantage that comes with purchasing everything from a single manufacturing brand is compatibility. Compatibility isn’t an issue when the products are designed to work together. This includes everything from the cameras to the video management system and various endpoints, and that is worth paying for.

Everything comes at a price, and that price, as businesses buying multiple components from different manufacturers have often discovered, is paid for in compatibility headaches. For example, it is often discovered only after installation that certain features on the camera do not work with the video management system (VMS) and vice versa. Finding work-arounds to these problems is time-consuming, and when time is money, someone lands up paying more than expected.

When cobbling together multiple technologies, this creates the perfect circumstances for service provider denial of accountability. Vendor ‘A’ points fingers at Vendor ‘B’, claiming that the cameras they supplied aren’t working because of something Vendor ‘B’ has done; and the client is stuck with a problem no one wants to solve. In such a case where uptime and reliability are critically important in a surveillance setup, it’s worthwhile choosing a solution from a single vendor. There’s one point of accountability for troubleshooting and breakdowns, which means that service levels are higher, contributing to the enhanced performance of the system overall. With a single brand setup, things work the way they’re meant to and when they don’t, there’s no finger pointing, only problem solving.

Mix and match wisely

This is not to say that businesses and consumers should never have multiple technologies from different security brands. It would be unavoidable where, for example, a certain manufacturer does not produce a component or technology that a business might want to use. Most of the trusted surveillance brands have compatibility matrixes with competitors’ or other suppliers’ products in the ranges that they do not offer. In this case, compatibility is just as good, but buyers should be clear on who they need to turn to for product and service support.

Just as important as it is to choose surveillance products wisely, it’s also important to choose the supplier thereof carefully. Getting the best price on surveillance components means nothing if the company that supplied and maintains them closes their doors due to bankruptcy or if their products are regularly replaced by newer models. Many of the ’cheaper’ brands do not fix the problems on the existing models forcing you to upgrade your products instead of fixing the issues with your existing installation.

Choose the best experience

To avoid buyer’s remorse and being ‘ghosted’ by suppliers, it is advisable for consumers and businesses to choose brands that have evidenced their staying power through constant growth and innovation. By avoiding fly-by-night companies and opting instead to use accredited suppliers and installers, businesses can be assured that the money they’ve invested in their surveillance system delivers a return through performance, uptime and reliability.

What it all boils down to is the fact that there’s so much more at play than just the price of surveillance products. It’s the whole experience and that is what makes a slightly higher price tag on a single, matching solution backed by the support of a reliable service provider worth every cent, every time.

For more information contact Graphic Image Technologies, +27 11 483 0333,,

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Further reading:

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