DTT Surveillance Solution Examined

By: John Honovich, Published on Jan 14, 2011

In this note, we overview the products and market positioning of DTT Surveillance, a US company providing an end to end surveillance/POS solution focused on the restaurant and hospitality industry.

DTT Surveillance is a 12 year old company reporting deployments at about 26,000 total locations and having raised approximately $22 Million since launch. Their focus is primarily restaurant franchise owners, offering a suite of services designed to leverage their core surveillance product with POS integration to achieve a type of customer/employee/surveillance management offering.

The company uses a subscription based model. The minimum term is 36 months and the approximate ongoing cost is $300 per month for an 8 camera system - over a 3 year term the total cost is approximately $11,000. DTT only support their only PC based DVRs and almost always deploy their own analog surveillance cameras. In addition, integrating with the customer's PoS system and ongoing maintenance is included in the cost.

Perhaps the most compelling aspect of their service is their provision of a reporting and alerting service called SmartAudit. This is an exceptions-based reporting tool that attempts to provide a holistic overview of daily customer/employee interactions and store operations, focused specifically on adherence to procedures. Using surveillance footage, audio (where legally allowed) and POS data, DTT compiles reports showing deviations from SOP such as employee theft, cashiers not up- selling, restaurant cleanliness issues, etc. Two reports per week are included in the monthly service cost. In addition, customers are provided daily POS exception reports and even immediate alerts for issues like chiller temperature changes or a back door open after hours.

DTT sells direct to end users and does not support 3rd party recorders. As such they are essentially in competition with both security integrators and surveillance manufacturers.

DTT services the entire US through numerous regional offices and provide 24/7 customer phone support with a 24hr dispatch SOP for onsite replacement/repairs. Unlike others we see in this space, DTT uses only their own employees on-site. With their national coverage, and chain restaurants with locations literally everywhere, the logistics of this business model appear to be quite challenging. We recommend users to carefully review and ensure that DTT can properly provide service in the customer's region.

DTT reports approximately 26,000 installs, steady growth patterns and 'preferred vendor' status with major brand chain restaurants like Subway and Dairy Queen.

Potential customers must weigh the value of DTTs additional services versus total costs over the lifetime of the subscription plan. DTT's service costs more than traditional on-site surveillance systems. Over a 3 year period, the cost is somewhere between 2 and 4 times traditional. For example, an 8 channel DTT system runs about $11,000 over 3 years while the all-in cost for a traditional system may be $3,000 to $6,000 (depending on the sophistication of the system selected, etc.). We suspect the highest value potential is in the monitoring / auditing services they provide that may cut costs significantly by uncovering errors, losses and inefficiencies.

Compare to Agilence, Envysion and Westec for other companies providing a service focused solution for restaurants/retailers.

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