Video Surveillance-as-a-Service: Opportunities in the Loss Prevention Sector

Gary Trotter

Gary Trotter

Video Surveillance-as-a-Service (VSaaS) is an innovative solution for many of the security and surveillance monitoring challenges facing today’s loss prevention professionals. The global market for VSaaS is growing rapidly and is expected to reach £1.5 billion in 2020 and, as Gary Trotter explains, loss prevention teams are now using in order to enhance security, reduce theft and gather valuable data.

Loss prevention is an integral part of many businesses. It’s fair to state that the industry has changed dramatically over the past two decades. In the past, the average loss prevention team focused almost entirely on tackling theft, safety and physical security. Today, those responsibilities have grown to include new high-level risks facing the entire business including terrorism, evolved physical security threats, fraud and the theft of proprietary information.

Often, loss prevention professionals are also responsible for surveillance technology. Retrieving footage from standard surveillance systems is both time-consuming and arduous, wasting valuable technical and management resources trawling through footage to locate, share and archive the material required.

Loss prevention leaders are busy. They’re pressed for time and lack the resources needed to analyse and test solutions effectively. They’re also under constant budgetary pressures. This is where VSaaS comes into its own.

VSaaS provides network access to surveillance data on demand. This data can then be obtained and released quickly and directly with little management involvement or service provider interaction.

How it works… 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 using cloud technology. It offers unrivalled benefits in terms of cost, ease of implementation, maintenance, usage, scaling and security.

The global market for VSaaS is growing rapidly, fuelled as it is by a rise in installations of surveillance technology for security purposes and the growing demand for IP cameras due to reduced cost and superior functionality.

The best VSaaS providers offer open integration and low-cost scalability.

Fraud prevention and asset protection

Fraudulent slips, trips and falls claims cost UK businesses more than half a billion pounds every year. It’s estimated that many organisations lose around 5% of their annual revenue to fraud.

Audit tracking, litigation and fraudulent claims have resulted in businesses needing to store and retrieve security footage for longer periods of time to help defend against spurious allegations.

Investing in surveillance technology upgrades could achieve a Return on Investment within a year through improved theft and fraudulent claim prevention as well as enhanced operational oversight.

VSaaS will ensure video data is easily retrievable and also that video evidence can be quickly collated, allowing the loss prevention team to focus on the swift collection of compensation when property is damaged or stolen or to deal with audit tracking, litigation and fraudulent claims.

With data stored in the cloud the loss prevention team will be able to work from anywhere with an Internet connection, efficiently monitoring any store or business location.

VSaaS providers are continuously looking to innovate. Many VSaaS solutions include intelligent video analytics which provides loss prevention teams with crucial data including audio detection, de-focusing detection, face detection, fog detection, intrusion, loitering, motion detection, sound classification (encompassing explosions, glass breaking, gunshots and screams), 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, even where 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 memory card.

VSaaS is managed in the cloud, allowing end users to access data from anywhere and at any time via a desktop, laptop or mobile device. This is crucial for loss prevention teams who are frequently on the move and need secure and connected remote working.

When selecting a VSaaS provider, choose one that tailors solutions to the needs of your business. The best client/provider relationships are forged on understanding the issues facing a business and delivering a bespoke solution that addresses these unique challenges. One that adds value to the bottom line.

Businesses facing fraudulent claims or wrongful allegations should choose a solution that provides the flexibility to store unlimited amounts of data for as long as required. This will help tackle fraud with greater post-recording video analytics and significant security and business insights.

A VSaaS solution should be hassle-free. The solution provider should liaise with existing IT and communications suppliers and look at Internet connectivity. The solution should be off-network and not interfere with existing CCTV hardware. The right provider should be willing to work with open systems and not be tied to a specific brand. Importantly, they should also be happy to recommend Best-in-Class products and services.

Gary Trotter is Co-Founder of Ocucon

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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