Archive for August, 2009

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009
by Brian Baker

“Video analytics don’t work. “

I’m still tired of hearing this.

Video analytics, and software as a whole, require a different approach – regardless of the installation platform. Many in our industry correlate the need for trained users and the need to configure the analytics with the notion that analytics, as a whole, are immature and unreliable. Nothing could be further from the truth. This thinking highlights the resistance to change that exists within the security industry.

I suspect companies like SAP and Oracle have a different take on products that require training and configuration. These companies make complex and feature-rich software products, yet they wouldn’t imagine a customer deploying their stuff without key people taking product-specific configuration and user training. Don’t tell me SAP and Oracle are immature products that haven’t yet hit their sweet spot in the market. And what about Adobe products? People who are trained and certified to use the Adobe Creative Suite get paid big bucks!

Software is like that. It is made of bits and bytes. You can’t hold it in your hand and turn the dial or push the button. If you take the time necessary to learn how to configure and use it, the real value will show through the hype.

Monday, August 10th, 2009
by Ken Colley

I admit it.  I love retail.  In a former life I was a buyer for a sporting goods company and my passion for the industry has continued to this day.  I jump at the chance to talk video analytics and retail whenever I can, because analytics can help an organization improve their bottom line and gain valuable behavioral information to better serve their customers.

Why hasn’t video analytics penetrated the retail space to a greater degree up to this point? What buyer, planner or store manager wouldn’t want to know which aisles in a store location are most heavily traveled?  Who wouldn’t want to do a comparative scenario that measures how many people walk by an end cap vs. how many stayed and spent time looking at it?

What do you think?  I have my theories, and will follow with my thoughts and share a couple experiences in the next few posts.

Ken Colley is Senior Manager – Training and Customer Care for ObjectVideo.  He has worked in a direct customer and partner contact role for OV since 2004 and loves a good bargain.

Thursday, August 6th, 2009
by Brian Baker

“Video analytics don’t work.

I’m tired of hearing this.  As it relates to analytics, an ounce of prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure.  The success of a video analytics-enabled implementation is tied to the willingness of the seller/installer to:

- Plan system requirements with the end user
- Put the proper emphasis on camera selection and placement
- Consider environmental factors that can impact success.

I have learned from industry colleagues that the security value chain makes most of its margin on hardware.  I guess that’s no surprise given the industry is still driven at its core by physical products made of bent metal, stamped out silicon, cables and other physical components, with perhaps a bit of operating system software sprinkled in.  Also, I believe selling hardware is easier: Price it, install it, connect it, do some simple configuration, let it run, collect on maintenance contracts.

Video analytics, however, is not hardware.  The common denominator of unsuccessful deployments is the perfect storm of overselling the capabilities of the software and the lack of a trained expert when it comes time to install and configure.  Let’s first acknowledge that it’s software, and that it requires a different approach.  More next week in The Finest Whine, pt 2!