White Paper

4 Use Cases for How EVS Helps Organizations Achieve Business Objectives

Combining cameras with video management and analytics tools opens a valuable set of new capabilities.
by: Matt Tourney |

Video surveillance systems have been an important component of many organizations’ physical security environment for decades. But video surveillance is undergoing an important evolution, as organizations realize that the cameras they have distributed throughout their facilities have tremendous untapped potential as sensors in the Internet of Things. Surveillance system deployments enable organizations to move beyond simple forensic investigations and use their cameras proactively to protect people, property and processes.

By combining surveillance systems with video management and analytics capabilities, organizations can enable capabilities that move far beyond security and help them to achieve important business objectives. 

Enhanced video surveillance platforms promise to improve physical security programs and realize new business value at organizations in almost every industry. This is particularly true for businesses engaged in retail sales, educational institutions, healthcare providers and energy and utility companies.


The percentage of educational institutions and hospitals that plan to upgrade their video surveillance solutions in the next three years

Source: Campus Safety, “2019 Video Surveillance Survey: Campus Cameras More Popular Than Ever,” April 2019

Retail Use Cases

The retail industry may be the industry that has already taken the greatest advantage of EVS technology. The physical security applications of video surveillance in retail operations are obvious. Retailers lose millions of dollars each year to inventory shrinkage, and video surveillance can help identify shoplifting and internal loss as it happens, enabling security personnel who can then intervene while the offender is still in the store.

Physical security applications are only the tip of the EVS iceberg in retail environments, however. Retailers can dramatically increase the return on their video surveillance investment by taking advantage of video analytics to build heat maps of customer traffic in retail locations, analyze customer dwell times in different parts of the store, and implement queue detection and line-busting procedures to make store operations more efficient. These uses of video surveillance technology improve the customer experience and streamline retail operations.

K-12 Education Use Cases

Student and faculty safety is paramount in today’s K-12 school environment. Both districts and individual schools are investing in technology to dramatically improve school security. EVS solutions are capable of monitoring school activity in real time, integrating with other environmental sensors to provide multiple streams of data that facilitate rapid threat detection.  For example, schools trying to enforce no-smoking policies on campus may deploy vape-detection sensors in bathrooms and locker rooms, which may integrate into their VMS system to include their environmental monitoring and alert processes with their physical security procedures.  

EVS platforms can also use facial and license plate recognition technology to automatically notify security personnel of the presence of threats or unwelcome individuals at the school. These could include estranged parents under restraining order, suspended or expelled students and known violent offenders. The system can notify relevant personnel the moment that an unauthorized individual is detected on school grounds.

Healthcare Use Cases

EVS platforms offer tremendous benefits in many healthcare settings. In a hospital environment, EVS can improve patient health outcomes. Fall detection technology can identify when a patient requires assistance and immediately dispatch emergency response personnel. Boundary detection capabilities can detect unauthorized individuals in sensitive areas of the hospital. Traffic management features can monitor traffic flow and alert security staff to anomalies that could affect operations, such as illegally parked vehicles or blocked ambulance lanes.

In the pharmacy setting, EVS platforms offer many of the same benefits as they do in other retail environments. Pharmacies can also use facial recognition to correlate image data from multiple locations to catch prescription fraud committed by criminals using different identities to illegally obtain opioids and other controlled prescription drugs.

Senior care institutions may also benefit from the deployment of EVS platforms where the technology can assist overworked staff in the monitoring of residents for safety and security issues. EVS technology can keep a close eye on entrances and exits and use facial recognition technology to identify memory care patients who are attempting to exit the facility alone, putting their safety at risk.

Energy/Utility Use Cases

Energy and utility operations must offer dependable and reliable service to their customers, and EVS platforms are able to improve the safety, efficiency and reliability of these facilities without adding staff.

For example, in older plants, visual inspection may still be the standard operating procedure for monitoring and recording the values on analog gauges and valves. Cameras can be used to monitor these valves remotely, sparing instrument technicians from having to trek across a facility for routine data collection. Video analytics can be used to monitor the position of a gauge needle with an alert when it crosses a given threshold.

Heat-detecting cameras can spot the early signs of equipment overheating before it is obvious to other sensors. This approach provides early warning of impending equipment failures, reducing downtime and extending the useful life of expensive equipment without requiring additional preventive maintenance staff.

EVS systems can provide visual confirmation of safety-critical situations, such as verifying that a breaker is open or closed before staff enter an operational area. Cameras with video analytics can monitor restricted areas and alert when a worker wanders into these areas, triggering both an audible alarm and notifying the safety officer on duty.

These examples are just a starting point for integrating EVS technology into virtually any environment. While retail, educational, healthcare and energy organizations are well positioned to benefit from EVS technology, the same is true of many other industries. Manufacturers can leverage video surveillance to quickly spot issues on a production line. Logistics firms can automatically detect the arrival of important shipments. Airport operations teams can track the flow of people in the terminal and aircraft on the tarmac. The potential applications of EVS technology are virtually limitless.

To learn more about how video analytics can help you achieve your business objectives, read the CDW white paper “Extending the Value of Physical Security Systems with Enhanced Video Surveillance.”