Audio/Visual Integrators Moving into Video Surveillance

Published Oct 08, 2009 00:00 AM
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IT integrators are not the only ones interested in a piece of the video surveillance market. Given that Audio/Visual integrator's projects tend to use similar technologies to video surveillance, the interest is natural.

A/V projects frequently include digital signage, videoconferencing, and command-and-control facilities. At least one analyst estimates the North American AV Market alone to be $25 Billion USD [link no longer available] (though it sounds high to me).

A recent survey article from an AV magazine examined the issues in AV integrators moving into video surveillance [link no longer available]. Key points mentioned include:

  • Nearly 2/3rds of AV integrators offer security products.
  • An estimated 18.3% of AV integrators revenue comes from video surveillance projects
  • Almost 25% of AV integrators are concerned about too much local competition from security integrators
  • Over 50% of reported video surveillance projects by A/V integrators were in schools, hospitals and government facilities
From this article and my own experience, it seems that A/V integrators success in video surveillance mainly comes from leveraging their existing clients (similar to the approach of IT).
One interesting point not raised by the AV magazine is that AV integrator's IT skills tend to be inferior even to the average security integrator (both segments are migrating to IP but are usually significantly behind IT integrators). Given AV integrator's common deficiencies in both IT and security skills, making significant in-roads will likely be challenging.
[Update 2012: No significant trend of A/V integrators entering video surveillance has occured.]