This post will detail how video surveillance as a service, or VSaaS, is an innovative solution to the challenges that Loss Prevention professionals face.
The Loss Prevention team is an integral part of any business. Loss prevention leaders face numerous challenges in all aspects of the job. In the past, the average LP leader focused almost entirely on shrink, safety, and physical security. However, risks have changed and LP professionals must address challenges that span the entire business. New high-level risks such as terrorism, evolved physical security threats, fraud, and the theft of proprietary information are now often considered the responsibility of the Loss Prevention team.
Loss Prevention professionals are often responsible for the organisation’s surveillance technology in order to deter crime and promote safety. When tasked with retrieving video from for example, LP teams find it tedious, requiring endless searching to find the required footage. Sharing and archiving footage is often cumbersome, wasting technical and management resources. Loss prevention leaders are busy; they’re pressed for the time it takes to thoroughly analyse and test solutions. And of course, there are constant budgetary pressures. Furthermore, as technology is constantly evolving, it is important to continuously adjust.
What is VSaaS?
Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) provides on demand network access to surveillance data. This data can then be quickly obtained and easily released with little service provider interaction or management effort. For the end user, the process is as follows; an on-site camera records the audio/video data, transmits it using an internet connection to the cloud, and the Video Management Software (VMS) delivers the footage on-demand to the end-user/client.
VSaaS was one of the first applications of cloud technology as it offers unparalleled benefits in cost, ease of implementation, maintenance, usage, scaling, and security. The best VSaaS providers offer open integration and low cost scalability. Such providers are built upon a price effective business model and are constantly evolving their technology.
The market for VSaaS is growing quickly; the value of the global VSaaS market is expected to reach £1.5 billion in 2020. The two driving factors of this market are due to the rising installation of surveillance technology for security purposes and the growing demand for IP cameras due to reduced cost and superior functionality. I’ve personally witnessed the increase in demand for this technology in the commercial vertical due to Loss Prevention teams’ desire to enhance security, reduce theft, and gather data in order to take a long-term view of risk.
It’s important to first carry out a well-reasoned, thoroughly researched financial justification for introducing new surveillance technology. This will promote “buy-in” for the project, and helps the LP team make the case to senior management.
Intelligent video services and analytics
VSaaS providers are continuously looking for ways to innovate. Many VSaaS solutions include Intelligent Video Analytics which provides LP teams with crucial data such as; audio detection, defocusing detection, face detection, fog detection, intrusion, loitering, motion detection, sound classification including; explosion, glass break, gunshot, scream, tampering detection, and virtual line crossing.
Storage on EDGE technology
Edge storage makes it possible for surveillance video recording to be flexible and reliable, ensures bandwidth usage is optimised, and lowers the cost for remote site recording. This technology offers remote site recording that is affordable wherever bandwidth is either absent or limited. Edge storage offers fail-over recording, meaning that in the case of a network failure, images can be temporarily stored on the camera’s SD card.
VSaaS is managed in the cloud, therefore users benefit from the ability to access data from anywhere at anytime via their desktop, laptop, or mobile device. This is beneficial to LP teams as they are frequently on the move, and this feature allows connected remote working that is secure.
Fraud Prevention and Asset Protection
Fraudulent slips, trips, and falls claims cost UK businesses more than half a billion a year. It is estimated that many organisations are losing around five per cent of their annual revenue to fraud.
Audit tracking, litigation and fraudulent claims have resulted in an increased requirement for businesses to store and retrieve security footage over longer periods of time. This is in order to help effectively defend against wrongful allegations.
Making an investment in upgrading your surveillance technology could realistically achieve ROI within a year through better prevention of theft and fraudulent claims in addition to improved operational oversight. Technological advances in digital IP video cameras and recorders has resulted in captured images are clearer, no matter what the lighting conditions are.
A VSaaS provider will work with you to ensure video data is easily retrievable, ensuring collection of surveillance video evidence doesn’t take up extra time or resources. This also enables your team to ensure the swift collection of compensation when any store property is damaged or stolen. Your team will be able to work from anywhere, as storing data in the cloud will allow them to efficiently monitor any store location from anywhere with an internet connection.
Choosing a VSaaS Provider
When selecting a VSaaS provider, it’s advised to choose a provider that goes beyond simply submitting a standardised proposal. The best client/provider relationship is typically one where the provider can create a bespoke commercial solution that reflects the client’s unique requirements and challenges. Look for a provider that will first gain a deep understanding of the unique nature of your challenges. They should then explore how their solution can add value to your bottom line.
If your business deals with any amount of fraudulent claims or wrongful allegations, explore solutions that provide the flexibility to store uncapped amounts of data for as long as required. This revolutionises the way in which businesses defend against fraud. It will allow for greater post-recording video analytics that will ultimately generate significant security and business insights.
A VSaaS solution should be hassle-free. Look for a completely turnkey solution; the provider should liaise with your incumbent IT and communications suppliers, and provision and manage new internet connectivity. The solution should be completely off network – not interfering with any of your existing CCTV hardware. The right provider should be willing to work with open systems – they won’t be tied to a particular brand and will be happy to recommend best-in-class products and services.