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Smart Surveillance: Data from Security Cameras Tells an Important Story

By applying analytics software to camera footage, organizations can achieve benefits far beyond security.

Government agencies, retailers, manufacturers, banks, enterprises — organizations across industries can benefit from IP-based camera systems. That’s because the technology enables them to keep an eye on their premises in real time and review recorded images to better understand security incidents and other past events.

But many organizations find that their camera systems provide new capabilities that go far beyond simple security. By treating cameras as data sources and applying analytics capabilities to this data, organizations open a wide variety of use cases that can improve safety, efficiency and productivity as well as security.

Explore essential considerations for deploying an enhanced video surveillance system.

The analysis of video data can also help organization get a better understanding of what happened in the past, and spot and address problems in real time — without requiring a human to monitor cameras. Analytics capabilities can even enable predictive approaches to problem-solving.

Introducing Enhanced Video Surveillance

Enhanced video surveillance (EVS) — how we describe the next generation of video technology — is really all about the data. After all, many organizations have some sort of traditional video surveillance equipment in operation. Enhancing those systems by layering on business analytics software makes it possible for organizations to derive more insights from the data their systems are already capturing. It begins to tell a story.

So what comprises an EVS system? The first component is the camera. Today, cameras are really intelligent. They have a lot of computing power, which enables organizations to gather a lot of different types of data beyond simple video images.

The second component is a video management system, which acts as the brains of the operation. Management software provides a central point of orchestration, management and analysis for an EVS system. This enables an IT team to manage cameras deployed throughout an organization (including remote locations), manage data storage and connect with other systems to enhance functions such as access control and security notification.

Video management solutions integrate with data analytics components to provide the real value of EVS. Analytics solutions tap artificial intelligence and machine learning to enable capabilities such as motion detection, object movement detection, boundary-crossing detection, facial recognition, object or person counting, case management and customizable dashboards. Analytics solutions can even be integrated with business systems.

How EVS Delivers Fresh Insights

At CDW, we look at EVS as a way to provide hindsight, insight and foresight.

Hindsight is the ability to see what has happened. Any camera system can do this, but today’s technology makes this capability easier and more powerful. For example, if you want to get a better understanding of an incident that occurred overnight in a retail store, EVS can analyze hours of video from multiple cameras in a matter of minutes, which would take a human hours to accomplish. If you know you’re looking for a male in a red shirt and blue pants, the system will examine all of the video from the time period for those characteristics. This helps pinpoint what you need to see without having to scour hours of video that’s not relevant.

Insight is what’s happening now. What are your customers doing now? What is the safety and security status of your building? EVS lets organizations take advantage of immediate automated analysis of what is actually happening. The EVS system can alert organizational staff to an incident such as a person crossing a line into an unauthorized area or offer a deeper understanding of how a shopper feels about a display she’s looking at, based on facial recognition.

Finally, foresight is the most powerful of these capabilities. It enables organizations to predict what is going to happen next. By applying analytics to video footage and other data, EVS can help organizations to see into the future. This is really the exciting part of EVS — gathering data via video and turning it into actionable business outcomes. For example, heat data collected from infrared cameras can help organizations predict when machinery is overheating and may need maintenance, enabling them to bring technicians in before hardware breaks down.

Have additional questions or comments about EVS? Email to reach our team of experts.

Chris  Black

Chris Black

CDW Expert
CDW Expert