Research in the field of closed-circuit television (CCTV) shows that more than 200 000 new cameras are being installed in South Africa every month. Of these, the rate of cameras being monitored offsite is increasing at 500 percent per year. The CCTV industry is growing at a rapid rate, and this growth spurs competition, further aggravated by a low barrier to entry.
There are few regulatory or accreditation requirements in this field and the market is heavily biased toward widely-known hardware brands, therefore the same products are used across the sector, and by all suppliers.
The increase in competition in the CCTV sector begs the question of how installers can differentiate themselves in a saturated market. Rael Jaffe, general manager at Wholesale Monitoring Services (WMS), believes the answer lies in offering auxiliary or bolt-on options to customers. “CCTV installers’ core competencies are excellent sales and relationship keeping, and installing and maintaining equipment of a high quality. We feel that offering offsite monitoring via a rental option can add value to your customers and help bring ongoing monthly revenue to your business.”
All South African consumers have preferred suppliers with whom solid and often long-term relationships are maintained. “We want to empower our partners to offer these additional benefits to their new and existing client base,” Jaffe explains.
The trend in the market is to move away from manpower towards technology. “Human beings are simply not designed to stay awake all night patrolling a perimeter or stare at monitors onsite,” says Jaffe. “We believe that threat detection should be undertaken by the system, while the human element plays its role in effective access control and response services.”
Offsite CCTV monitoring is currently offered by companies who target the end-user, with a handful of companies attempting to educate the market about the many advantages of effective offsite monitoring services – often with poor results.
“Offsite monitoring is simply putting the video of interest (VOI) in front of a competent person in real time. We have found that the best way to achieve this is by using machine-learning software which self-learns any environment and prioritises VOI to a control room,” says Jaffe. “Our video analytics software is completely hardware agnostic so our partners can continue selling their preferred hardware brands and we simply bolt onto it.”
Of the benefits offered by WMS, the rental option is a game changer. Instead of a significant once-off installation fee, often out of reach for smaller clients, installers can offer a rental option as the ideal solution to clients without an available lump sum, who will likely be far more agreeable to a monthly fee.
Experts in their field, installers understand that ensuring a high standard of quality on installation work and building positive relationships is key. Partnering with WMS enables the installer’s customer to reduce their spending on security guarding and save money while home owners and business owners feel secure with an affordable monitoring solution at a fraction of the price.
The South African offsite monitoring market can only grow once trusted installers offer and support a solution which actually works. WMS combines technology with specialised monitoring systems at the forefront of modern-day safety advancements so that installers can offer their clients an effective, progressive CCTV package.
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