Achieving value through technology

September 2011 Surveillance

(val·ue) – relative worth, merit, or importance.

How many times do we consider COST as a direct equivalent to VALUE? Almost always! It is South African and world culture as well as human nature caused through many centuries of breaking down the importance of actual value that makes us think this way and that affects the outcome of our decisions. The key to delivery of great systems, however, is delivering true price to value rather than just the lowest cost.

As a company that sells value by presenting our industry with solutions and support for these solutions, rather than just products, Sentronics has a responsibility towards itself, our channel partners, consultants and of course the end users of the solutions we promote, to always pro-actively ‘evaluate the value’ of the proposition we place on the table and how this maps back to the products that make up such solutions.

OPEN VMS combined with Smart Storage and Smart Edge devices, selected carefully for our market proposes and proves such value. The products included in these categories are:

* Milestone (open video management system).

* Direct Data Networks (smart storage devices).

* Sony and VIVOTEK (smart edge – camera devices).

So where do we begin to define value through the combination of these technologies? Value by definition of this solution is defined through the cost savings upfront in certain regards, but mostly after the initial spending takes place as well as the overall ability for the system to grow with the client requirement over time. One cannot define value by simply comparing one cost to the next.

Outside of the operational and/or capital expense that gets made on the initial installation and the hardware and software you purchase, what else carries costs and risk once you have a commissioned system in place and how is value added through the combination of the Milestone/DDN/Sony and VIVOTEK products as solution?

Loss of data

* Smart edge devices such as Sony and VIVOTEK offer an ability in combination with Milestone called ‘Edge Recording’. If your IP network link between the camera and recording devices go down, the recordings will be stored in the solid state memory card inside the camera.

* Another method deployed is the ability that Milestone has to not only retain data storage as it comes from the camera onto the recording server, but also to set predefined incremental archiving of footage by scaling down on the resolution and frame-rate of the originally recorded footage to ensure that important data is archived and retained for purposes of retrieval far beyond the initial storage retention (typically 30 days) specified.

* In the very essence of this solution therefore you have 3-step recording and archiving ability from the point of the camera, to recording server and additionally for archiving purposes, thereby ensuring data is always recorded, important data retained and reduction of risk presented to the client. A further cost advantage of archiving important data is that you do not have to invest in more expensive storage boxes because what is archived is stored in smaller bits and bytes than the originally recorded footage.

Energy consumption

* Direct Data Networks and Milestone have a partnership that ensures best of breed video recording and storage solutions. One of the key areas of spend when it comes to storage as far as the initial layout is the amount of rack space and air conditioning required to maintain healthy environment. The on-going costs are then of course the never ending energy consumption and associated electricity bills.

* DDN Storage allows for 60x – 3 TB hard disk drives to be mounted into a 4U chassis. This means a whopping 180 TB of storage space contained and managed inside a 4U chassis. In comparison to most other solutions available today this means that you are already saving in upfront spend on space and air-conditioning peripherals by around 7,5x factor.

* The real cost saving is in the amount of energy that one would consume running and cooling 7,5x the amount of hardware in comparison to the DDN solution. A quick calculation inside a data centre shows that a R30 000 bill reduces to around R9000 using DDN storage solutions. If you map this over the lifetime of the system the return on investment can be achieved under two years.

Service level and maintenance

* Milestone in combination with smart edge and storage devices such as Sony and VIVOTEK, DDN storage and Microsoft offer the ability to monitor health status of an entire system.

* Service level agreements are rarely measured.

* Milestone provides functionality that allows for SLA management by measuring the service provider against the SLA terms, automatically generating service tickets and ensuring reporting on performance of delivery back to the client. This will certainly up the game of the service provider.

Reduction of TCO, upfront costs and risk provides an overall ROI in comparison with systems where you have no measure and you cannot prove real return.

When considering what the combination of Milestone (VMS), DDN Smart Storage and Sony and VIVOTEK as edge devices provide the industry it proves and a true VALUE choice.

For more information contact Sentronics, +27 (0)11 312 4147,,

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