The majority of security systems used to be stand-alone – which means to say they were built to work in an independent and self-contained way. This allowed them to perform specific functions, like recording CCTV footage, or securing a perimeter with intrusion alarms, yet complex system integrations have been the only way to bring these disparate solutions together to increase security as a whole.
The answer to this challenge is technological ‘convergence’, which essentially refers to the deliberate combination of several disparate or complementary technologies into a single product or solution. For example, convergence allows previously siloed functions, such as intercom and video surveillance systems, to create a unified view of an intrusion or other security breach. The result is a solution that improves situational awareness and, therefore, the safety of organizations and their people and assets.
Here, we overview 5 key ways that converged security can benefit your business and your customers:
Enhance your customers’ user experiences:
The first major benefit of convergence is an improved end-user experience, especially in terms of managing all the elements of your security solution more easily and efficiently. In this context, convergence works by providing a single platform and interface for managing disparate security infrastructure and devices, including video cameras, access control systems, intercom, and alarm systems. In this way, you can eliminate the need for your customers to access and manage multiple devices using different logins or apps, saving them time, reducing complexity, and reducing risks associated with managing and using multiple passwords.
Increase your installation efficiency for major cost savings:
With security systems that incorporate different systems and platforms, installation complexity is often dramatically increased, with multiple protocols to manage and even different cabling systems for different devices. Convergence helps hugely by providing a single platform and unified interface, allowing you to add devices quickly and easily in batches, and quickly configure device parameters.
All of this means you can reduce the time and effort associated with project management and installation, and deliver even better customer experiences. You can also save on technician’s hourly rates and installer rates, and you can also reduce the cost of deploying, maintaining, and rebuilding disparate systems for your customers. Finally, you can reduce software licensing costs, helping you increase your margins and deliver the best value for your customers.
Boost your customers’ security capabilities
With security solutions made up of diverse devices and platforms, it can be more difficult to achieve an instant view of a security breach and to respond quickly enough. An example would be an alarm sounding, but with no way to understand where the breach is taking place, and which camera it is being captured on. This challenge is addressed with converged systems, which can automatically link alerts and alarms to the output of a particular camera that is capturing the security breach. With converged systems, access control can be activated to close specified doors, and video clips streamed to customers via an integrated mobile app.
In this way, a converged solution delivers greater performance and value for your customers than traditional systems made up of disparate elements. As an additional benefit, integration of devices allows each customer to set parameters for alarms, such as the types of events that trigger them.
Scale easily to meet your customers’ growing needs
With converged security solutions, all security devices – from cameras to intercom – run on a single underlying infrastructure and software stack. With this common infrastructure in place, your customers can expand the system with new devices quickly and easily, with no need for additional hardware or software anywhere in the environment, and no need to re-invent the underlying infrastructure.
Generate new upsell revenues for your business
Many small and medium businesses would benefit hugely by adding more sophisticated security capabilities – such as access control – to their existing intrusion alarm and video solutions. However, many are deterred by the perceived complexity and cost of rolling out and integrating new types of security devices into their environments.
Convergence helps overcome this demand. You can not only help your customers innovate to improve overall security and management efficiency, this is also an excellent opportunity for you to upsell new security solutions such as access control, intercoms, and smart doorbells to your customers.
With convergent systems currently focusing on bringing different security capabilities together, integrating with Internet-of-Things (IoT) solutions is the next step. This will support alarms and alerts for all kinds of incidents, from intrusions and fire risks, right down to a light bulb or HVAC system failure. Hikvision is pioneering this vision for converged security with its forthcoming convergent security service solution. This brings together disparate security devices on the same, common, cost-effective, easy-to-manage platform and infrastructure.