Subscriber Discussion

Is The End User Responsible For The End Result? (Surveillance System Design)

I would be interested to know how many integrators, resellers, installers, and others invovled in the supply side of our industry would say that they spend sufficient time analysing client needs, particularly when the client is a small business.

When the client says "Yes" to the recommendations made, does that absolve everyone else?

I can name dozens of small businesses who felt that the system they purchased was inadequate or inferior to the one they "thought" they were buying. Be it the image quality, the features, or even how hard it is to operate. They AGREED to it didn't they?

For the purposes of this disussion I'll leave out the issue of shonky rip-off merchants who quote one type of camera but install another - and so on. But what if the design and / or the equipment is not up to the job? Many small businesses have this work financed over a few years or more. It's not easy to simply change the cameras over or get them repositioned.

With security footage playing an ever increasing role as evidence, particularly in things like Bar fights and other alcohol related offences, the authorities expectations with regard to the quality of footage is getting higher each day. Let's face it, the better the quality of image, the higher the chance of a conviction.

However, it is the clients who face the brunt of the law if the system didn't quite capture the bad guy stabbing the good guy, just as the glare from car headlights distorted the image. With the continual bombardment the idustry recieves from manufacturers about new products and new inventions, it would be impossible for everyone to keep up with all of that AND spend endless hours working out the ideal camera for every square foot of a premises.

However, does this mean an obligitory closer relationship with small business owners is inevitable as we extract more information from them, or should our lawyers be placed on speedial as the focus of blame begins to shfit?

Any comments?

That's a deep question and a good one!

To me, it depends on one's philosophy.

There's the legalistic approach, which is simply delivering what is in the contract. For example, the contract says a XYZ model camera in the front entrance and if I deliver that with working video, than the contract commitment is met.

But then there's the expectations set verbally. What did the vendor say in the sales process? Or was there unspoken assumption from the end user that "of course, this camera will always get license plates night and day, in the snow and during hurricanes"? Here is where I think it gets tough to know who is responsible. Thoughts?

As a Sales Engineer I did my best to present a "rosy picture of the facts". In other words I tried to set the proper expectation. "Oh you want LPR on the whole parking lot? Possible but here's what most people are doing yada yada" Low light/night performance was somethinjg I always stressed as well. IMO most of the burden should be on the Integrator to set the proper expectation and educate the customer on what they are receiving and to set the correct expectation. This doesn't absolve the customer 100% as they need to do their due diligience as well. Is the company respectable or do they have a bad rap? Ask questions about the system they are proposing.