SMB Market Video Surveillance Guide

By Brian Rhodes, Published on Aug 20, 2015

This 13-page guide explains the key uses, design factors, and players in the small-medium business surveillance market.

A global group of 90 integrators responded, each offering insights in selling, implementing, and maintaining video surveillance systems in one of the most common, yet diverse market segments.

Note: this report is a companion to our Favorite SMB Video Surveillance Manufacturers report that details which camera types and recorders are commonly proposed to these customers. For more survey results, see our School Video Surveillance GuideHospital Video Surveillance Guide, and City Video Surveillance Guides for similar vertical reports.

Questions Answered

We share these core insights on SMB surveillance systems:

(1) What Is The Typical Customer Profile?

(2) What Percentage of All Projects are SMB?

(3) Who are Your Primary Competitors?

(4) What types of Niche Security Technologies are popular with SMB customers?

(5) How Crucial is Remote Viewing?

(6) How Often are Sales Closed on the Quotes You Give?

(7) How big is the Internet Price-Checking Threat?

*** **** ***** ********** the *** ******* *** patterns *****:

  • ******** ***** *******: *** SMB ****** ** *******, and ***** ** ** 'typical ********'. *********** *** installers ****** * ***** mix ** **********, **** many ** *** ******* having ** ********** ****** gross ****** ***** **** others.
  • **** ****** ********: *** projects *** *** **** common ******** ** ********** for **** ********** *** integrators ********** ** *********.
  • ******* ***********: ***** ************ companies *** ***** ** the **** ****** ********** type ********** ** ******, however ***** ****** ********* include ************, ** *****, and ***** *********.
  • ******** ********* ********: *** ******** ** techologies **** ****** *****, analytics, *** *********** **** ****** control, ******** ********* ******* are * ******* ********.
  • ****** ******* **** ****: The ******** ** ********* say **** ** * 'must-have' ******* *** ******* SMB *********.
  • ***** ******* ********** ****: While ******* ***** ***** are ****, ********* ********* this ** ****** ****-**-***** rather **** *********** *** business, *** **** **** that *** ***** ** typically *** ** *******.
  • ******** *****-******** ***: *******, prospects ******** ****** ** the ******** ****** *******, with **** **** ********* service *** ****** ***** skill * *** ******.

*** ******** ****** ********* are ******** ** ***** below:

******** *****

********: **** *** *** **** common ***** ** ********** or ************* **** *** install ** ******* ** less ** * ****** site?

*******: ******* ********, *** SMB ******* ** ***** varied includes ******** *** ********** including: ****** *********, *********, Doctor *******, *************, ********, Restaurants, ********* *********, *** small ************** ************. 

** *** *** ******* types, ******* ****** *** described ** *** ******* below:

  • "** ** **** ** these ** *** *****.  ****** **********, ***** ********** schools (** *** * district *******), ***/***** ****. Some, *** *** ****, residential. *** ***** ** a ********** ******* *** 2-8 ****** ******** *** the * - ** camera ********. ***** * is ** ****** ****** about *** *****. **** 8 ** **** ***** the ******* ****** ****** and *******. ******* **** more ** **** *** large **+ ****** ********."
  • "********** ********* **** * single ***** ** ********, so ***** ** ** need ** ******* ******** locations **** * ****** camera ******. ****, **** larger ********* **** ***** with * ******* ****** system *** ** ***** of ********* ***** ***** system ** *****. **** installed, ** ******* ***** another **** ** ** before **** **** **** money *** ********** *******. Most ** ***** ************ are *** ******** ******* and ******** ********* ************. Not ***** *** **** inside *** ******** ** the ****** ****** ***** going *** **."
  • "***** ** *** ****(***** 25,000 ****** **** ****) of *** ******** ******* which ***** ** * retail, *************, **********, ********** units ***** ******** ************ for **** ****** & Outdoor *****."
  • "******* ********* ********* *** mainly *** ***** ******** them ** * ***** to ****** ***** ********."
  • "***** *****, ***** ********* complexes, ******, ***********"
  • "*********** ****** *** ***** Small ****** ** ***"
  • "********, ********, *** ***** 'soft ******' ********** **** aftercare **********."
  • "*****-****** ****** ********, ****** stores, ****** ****** ****** buildings, ******, *****"
  • "** ******* * ** 20 ****** ******* **** commonly ** ********* (**********) centers, ***** ************/********* **********, transit **** & **** facilities, ***** **********, *** power ******* *** ********/**-*** sites."
  • "** ******* * ** 20 ****** ******* **** commonly ** ********* (**********) centers, ***** ************/********* **********, transit **** & **** facilities, ***** **********, *** power ******* *** ********/**-*** sites."
  • "******* ******, *** ********, Small *********/****, **********, ******, Apartments"
  • "********** ******** (******* ********* office *****), **** *******, Middle *******, ********** *******, Oil & *** *****, Retail, *** ******* *********** (not ** *** ******** residential ******)."
  • "***** *******, **** **********, Typical ***** ******** ********** facilitys"

*** ****** *** ***** Projects?

********: ** *** **** ******** what ********** *** ***** 20 *******, ****** **** ones? *** *** ***** more, **** ** *** same ** ***** ***** of ******** **** * years ***?

*******:  ** *******, *** ***** prices ** ***** ************ systems **** ********* ***** use ** *** *** segment ** ******* *** more ********** ** **** justifyable ***** ******** ** 5 ***** ***.  ***** most ********* ********* * general ********, **** ********** noted **** *** ***** less *** **** ** a ****** ** ***** own ******** ******* ******** to ****** ******* ** increased ********** ** *** low-end ******** ****.

******* ******** ** ****

  • "**** **** **% ** our ******** ** ***** 20 ****** ********. ** are ***** ****."
  • "** *** **** *** years ** **** **** installing ******* **** *****, before *** ***** *** we **** ********** * each ****. **% ** projects *** **-** *******. We **** **** *** or ***** **** **** over ** *******, **** few **** ** ***** we **** **** ** business."
  • "**% ** *** ******* are ***** ** *******. We ** **** ** this ******** **** * years ***. * ******* Project ** *********** ** about ** *******.."
  • "***** **% *** ***** 20 *******. * ** doing **** ***** **** in *** **** * years ******* **** ****** are ********* ** ********** the ********** ** ************ system."
  • "**% *** ** *** under, *** ** *** doing **** **** * years *** *** ****. I ***** ***** **** grew ** ****** ***%"

***** ******* ******* *****

**** ****** *** ******* has *****, *** ******* is *** ********* ******:

  • "**%. ** *** ***** a *** **** ** these, ******** ******* *** end-user ****** **** ******** so **** ** ****** years."
  • "** *** ***** **** smaller ********. ** ***** that ***** ************ ** no ****** * **** item, *** ****** * requirement."
  • "* ***** *** ~**%. We *** ***** **** more ** ***** **** 5 ***** ***."
  • "***** **% *** **** than **. ** ** more *** *** ** have ********* *** ******* to **** **** *** install **** ***."
  • "* ***** *** **% of *** ******** *** 20 ******* ** ****. We **** ** ** doing **** ** ***** each ****"

*** *** **** *** Everyone

*******, ******* ********** ***** that **** **** ******* seen * ******* ** SMB ******** ***** ** reduced ****** ******* *** increased ***********.

  • "** *** ***** **** than * ***** ***. We *** ******* ** larger ********."
  • "******* ****, ******* ** does *** *** *** same ** ** **** to, ** ** ***** on *** ********."
  • "****. **** ****** ******* mergers, *** *** ** smaller **** ** **** to **."
  • "**** ** ***** ******** since ** ***** **** K-12 ******** ***** **** 30~75 ******* ** * time. ** **** ***** a *** ** ***** jobs ****** *** ***** Recession *** ** ***** like ****** ******** *** the **** *** ***** now."
  • "**'* * ********** **********, but ** *** ****** been **** **** **% of *** ***** ********. The ******** ** ************ to *** **** **** there *** ** **** vendors *** *** *** shelf **** *** **** piece ** *** ******."

******* ***********

********: *** *** *** **** common ***** ** *********** for ***** ** ******, single **** ********? **** do **** ***** / lead ****?

*******:  ***** ******* ****** by ******, *** **** common *********** *** *** projects *** *****, *** overhead, ****-******* ********** ******** (irreverantly) ****** '*************'. ***** small *** ***** *** providers *** ***** ** the ******* ****** *** are ***** ******* ** take **** ******* ** gain * ******** ** business:

*************

  • "***** ***** ********* (***** 30 *********). ******* **** offer *********** ****** (*** to ***** *** ******** cost), *** **** *********** with *** ******."
  • "**** ** *** *********** are ***** ********. ** usually *** *** ******** because **** ** *** people *** **** ** us *** ********* **** trusting * *** ** two *** *********."
  • "****** *********** *** ***** security **********. **** *** offering ***** ******* *******."
  • "****** *** *** ****, similar ******** *** **** use ****** ***** ** their ******."
  • "********* ****** ***** ******* one *** **** ***** or *********** **** **** at ***** **** * different ***** (*.*. ***** system ****). ***** ******** used ** **** ***** analogue *** *** *** pushing ** ***/*** ***. Still *****, **** ****** resolution. ***** ****** **** typically **** ** *** tey ** ****** ** worth *** ***** ****** or ******* ****. * lot ** ***** ***** use ****."

*******, ***** ****** *********** include ********** *****, ** companies, *** ********* ***** companies ********* ***** ********* firms:

************

  • "***** ***********, **** ***** most ******. **** ****** electrician ******** ******* ** cameras. *** ******* **** how ** *** *******."
  • "** ******* **** ******* electrical *********** ** *** or ******* ********."
  • "********** ***********. ********* **** offer ******* *** **** at *** *** ******."
  • "**** ** ***** ******** just **** *********** *** look ** ******** ***** analogue ****** **** ****."

** ******* *** *********

  • "******** ***** ** ******* IT ********* *** ***** competitors ** **** *******."
  • "*** ***** ** *** from **** ****** *** corner, *** ***** ** offer **** * ***/***."
  • "** ********* ******** ******** on *** **** *** and ********** ******/***'* **** kits ** *** *** end."
  • "***** ******* ********** ****** he *** ** **** work, *** ** *** tons ** *** **** this ***."
  • "******** ********* *** ***** salesmen *** ** **** into *** **** **********."

***** *********

  • "** *** ***** ******* **** **** with ****** ******** *******."
  • "*********, ****** ***** ***** company *** *'* ***** up ******* *** ***'***."
  • "***** *********, *** **** lead **** ***** ****** dvr/nvr. **** ******* *** to *** *** ********* excited ***** ****** * live **** ******* ** his/her ****."
  • "***** ***** ******* **** typically ***** * *********, Costco, ******** **** ** have **** ****** * big **** **** *** Flir *******."
  • "****** - ********* **** dont **** **** ***** Video ************."

***** ******** **********

********: ** *** ************ ***** any ******* ************ ** services, **** ** ****** video, ***** *********, ********* cameras, ****** ******* ***********, etc. ** ***** ** camera, ****** **** ********? Why ** *** ***?

*******: *** **** ****** ****** is '****', **** ********* generally ****** **** ** interest ** ** ******* as *** ******. **** answered *** ******** ******* to **** ***:

"* **** ******* *** not ************ **** *** special ********. *** ******** is *** **** *** here *** ****** *****. I **** **** * limited ******** ** ********* cameras *** ****** *******. There **** *** **** to ** * ****** for **."

** ******* ***** *********, panoramics *** ********* ***** hosted *****, ***** *********, and ****** ******* *********** is ****.

****** '***** *******' ************ Only

  • "** ** ***** ******* cameras **** **** ** time *** **'* ********* meat *** ****** ****** 24/7 **** * ******* IR *******"
  • "**. ***** ** *** much ******** ** **** project *****."
  • "***** ********* **** ** interest *** **** ***** as ***** ** ********."
  • "* **** ******* *** not ************ **** *** special ********. *** ******** is *** **** *** here *** ****** *****. I **** **** * limited ******** ** ********* cameras *** ****** *******. There **** *** **** to ** * ****** for **."
  • "**** ** *** ********* don't ******* ** **** the **** *** * lot ** ******* ******** though. * *** ** our ******* ******** *** a ******** ** * break ** ** ********* bad ********* **** ********* the **** *** * surveillance ******, ** * lot ** ***** ********* just **** * ****** system ****'* *********."
  • "**. **** **** ******* it *** ***** ** a *** ********* ** this *****"
  • "*** *********. **** ** these ***-***** ** *** need **** ***** ** sophistication. ****, * ******* of ***** ******** **** through *** *** ****** where *** ***** ** still *** **** ********* feature."
  • "*********, **. ***** **** tend ** ** ******* on ****** ** *********** extras ******** ***'* **** into **."

********** ******

  • "** **** ***** *** cameras *** ****'* ***** it. "
  • "** **** *** ********* installed ** * ******* and **** **** **. It ** ****** ** overview ** *** ****** sales *****. ** ************ with ****** **** ***** needed."
  • "** ** ***** ********* and ****** **** *****. In **** ***** ** can *** ********* ********** to ****** *** ****** of ******* ********."
  • "*** ********* ******* *** successful."
  • "**** ********* **** *** wide ***** *** ***** camera ****** **** ********** offer."

******/***** ***** ****

  • "*** ** **** ****** video *** **** ********(******* under * *******)"
  • "** ***** ****** ***** for *** ***** *****, some ********** ***** ***** be * ******* *** them *** **** **."
  • "***. ****** ***** ** still *** ** ******** as ** **** **."
  • "** ** ***** ****** but ****** **** **. "
  • "** ****** **** ***** eye *** *** ******** at *** ********* ********* offered ** * *** of *********."
  • "** *** ** ****** video, ***** ****** ***** to ** **** ******** until **** **** ***** the ******* *** ********* requirements."
  • "** ***** ****** *** have * **** **** selling **. ***** ** often, * ******** ***** it, *** *** ****."

****** ******* ****

  • "** ****** ******* ** present ** *** **** or ***** ** ** deployed ** ***** **** a **** ** ********* the *** ************"
  • "**, ****** ** ***** only **** ****** *** banks *** *** ******** there ** **** *********** mostly **** ********* *** access ******* *******."
  • " * **** **** * limited ******** ** ********* cameras *** ****** *******. There **** *** **** to ** * ****** for **."
  • "****** **** * ***** project ******* *** ** ACS ***********."

****** *******

********: *** ********* ** providing ********** ** ****** remote ****** *** ***** 20 ******, ****** **** video ************ *******? ***?

*******:  ** *******, ****** visibility ** ******* ******* smartphones, *******, ** *** browsers ** * ******** feature *** *** *********.  Several ********** ******** **** visibility *** ** **** operational ********* *** ********** benefit ** **** ******** *****:

***** / ****-****

  • "**.**% ** ********* ******* remote ****** *** ********** or ******. ******** ***** big ******* *** ***** business ***** ***** ** be *** *******. * would *** **% ** our ******** *** **** will ***** *** **, when * ******** **** them * *** ***** later **** **** ** they're ** ***** ****** system ******** *** **** love **. **** ****** in **** ** *********."
  • "** ** ******* *** almost ****** *** ***** thing **** ** *********. Everyone ****** ***** ** see ***** **** **** they *** *** *****. At ***** * ***** its **** ******* ** them *** **** **** they ** ** **** see **** ****** *** really ***** (** *** doing) **** *** **** is ****."
  • "**** ********* ** ******** wants ****** **** ** their *****"
  • "**** ******* ****** **."
  • "*******, *** ********** *********"
  • "** ***** ** ** one ** *** **** important ******** *** *********. Owners **** ** ** able ** *** **** is ***** ** ** their ******** (**** ** business). **** **** *** this ******* ** * means ** ****** ***** verification. ** **** *** quickly ******** ** ** alarm ** **** ** false."
  • "**** ** ****** ****** requested, ********** *** ******** installations *** **** *** businesses **** ******** ******** where *** ***** *** want ** '***** **' at ******** **** ******** they ****** ** ** at *** ****."
  • "****** ************ *** *** a **** **** *** just *** ********, *** for ********** ** *** as * ******** ********** tool. ********** ***** ** all ***** *** **** the *********** ** * remote ******, ***** *** be ******** **** ********* any ******** ** *** time."
  • "*******! ****** ****** ******* monitoring *** **** **/* easy ****** **** ********."
  • "**** *********. **** ** our ******* *** ****** or ****** **** **** "skin ** *** ****". The ******* ** **** what's ***** ** ** their ******** ** *** time ***** **** * sense ** *******."

* **** ******, *** Not ********

** ********, *** ******* reports ****** ******* ** indispensible *** *** *********, rather ********** **** *** novelty ********* *** ********* value *** ****:

  • "*** **** *********, *** helps ** **** *** demo ** *******."
  • "** ** * **** to **** *** * must ****. **** ********* have ***** *** ********** or ****** ***** ** us ****** ** ***** so ** ********* ** is *** * ***********."
  • "**** ******** ***** ** be **** ** *** their ******* ********. *** the ***** *** ******, at *****..."
  • "********* ** **** ********* than **** ****** *******. Smaller ******* ***'* **** a ***** ****** ** the ******* ****** *** day *** ***** *** way *** ****** ******* do. *** ******** ***** or *** ** ****** checks ** ****** *********."
  • "********* *********. ** *** experience **** ******* ** requested *** *** ******* wears *** ****** * week. ** ************ ***** the ******* ** *** who ** ******* ** with *** ****** ******. Rarely ** ** *** anyone **** ****** ****** in."
  • "** ***** **** ********* to *** ********* *******, I ***** ** ** just *** "**** ******" many ***** *** *** an ****** ****."

Sales ******* **********

********: **** ********** ** ********* with ***** ** ****** ** a ****** **** ** *** win / *****? ***?

*******: ******* ***** ***** are ****, **** ***** one ***** ** ********** reporting * ******* **** of **% ** ******. Many ***** ****** ******* business ** *** *** element ** **** *******. Others ********* **** ********** percentages ******* ***** ********* are ********* **** *********, premium ********* ******** ** the ***-*** **** **** is ********** ******.

**% - **%+ ****** 

  • "**** **% ******* ** have *** ***** *********** of ***** *** *********** for ****. ** ******* equal ** **** ***********' pricing **** ***% ****** offerings."
  • "** *** ** ***** 80%, ****** ******* ** can ****** ** ** very ****** ** **** we ***. **** ** lose ****'* ****** ** a **********, ******. **** times *** ******** **** loses ******** *** *** reason ** *******."
  • "***** **%. *** **** rate ** ******* ** due ** *** **** that *** ******** ** mainly ********* ******* **** of *****. ****, ** rarely **** ****** ***********. "
  • "**** **%. **** ** because * **** ** word ** ***** ********* vs **** ****."
  • "**% ** *** **** damn ****. :) * would *** *** * camera *** ***** **** have ******* **** **** due *** *** ******/******. But * *** ***** have ******. *****'* **** a ******* ****** ***** the *** **** ***** us ** **** **** out."
  • "**%. ******* *** **** fits **** ***** ****** and *** ***** *************** are ********."
  • "**% *** **** **** out ** *% ** competitors. ** ****** ** provide * **** ****** value **** *** ***** local *****."

***

  • "**%. ** ***'* ************ chase **** **** ** low *******. ** ** are ***** ** *** it, ** **** ** sure ** **** ****** money ** **."
  • "** *** ********** ***** 25% ** *** ****."
  • "**-**%. **** *********** ** this *****."
  • "** ** **%. *** competition ** **** ****** is **** ****, *** usually *** ***** ****** integrators ****** *** ** compete **** *** ******* pricing ******."
  • "** *** **** **** 20% ****** ******* ** to **** ***** *** our *******."
  • "**%. ** ***'* ***** very ***** *********."

*** ***** ** ***

  • "** *** **** **** 20% ****** ******* ** to **** ***** *** our *******."
  • "****** **%. ******* ******* are ********."
  • "**%. ** ***** *** directly **********, ** *** 75%. ** ******* * GC, * ** ** and ** **** *** if **** **** ** they **** * ******. Otherwise, ** ******* ** too ********* ** *** most ***-*** *************."

******** *****-********

********: *** ***** ** ********* with ***** ** ******* for * ****** **** price ***** **** ***** on *** ******** ** compare **** ******** ** Big *** / ****** offerings?

*******: ** ******** ** ***** market ********* (*-**, ****, Hospitals), ******** ***** ******** in *** *** ****** is ******** ** **********, with **** ********* ****** a ***** ** ******* or **** ** ************* details ** ******* ** barrier ****** ** ******* the ********:

*** *****

  • "*** *****. *** ******* understand **** *** ******* is *** *** ******** but ** ** *** the **** *********. **** need ** ***** ** the ********* ******* ******* the ******** ***** ** "checking" *******. ***** *** savings *** ********** **** a **** ** *** on ***** ****. ** they *** ********** **** they **** ************** *** warranty ******* & ******* etc. *** **** ******** see **** **** *** greater ***** ********* ***** time ** ******** ******** their ******** ****** **** trying ** *** ****** than ** **** **."
  • "** ** ****!"
  • "*** *********** ** *****, but **** ** *** have **** ** ********** things **** ****** ** shop ******."
  • "**% ** ****** * send *** *** ***** checked. **% ***'* *** because **** ***** **** can ** ** **********, the ***** **% *** sold ** *** ************ installation *** **** ***** support."
  • "* ** **** ** happens *** ** **** never *** ******** **** the ******** ********* ***** checking."
  • "******. **'* *** ***** trust ** **** *******. Those *** **, **'** be ***** ** *** have ** * ******** because ****'** **** ******* customers *******."
  • "**'** **** **** **** aware ** ** ****, that *** ******** ***** buy *** **** ******* online *** *** **** more **** ** **** purchasing **** ******* ************."
  • "*** *** ********** **%, but ***** ** ** increasing."
  • "*** *****, ** * warn **** ** ***** I **** ** **** than **** *** **** surveillance ********* *** **** on-line. ** **** ** their ******, * **** still **** **** *********** on *** ***** ***** I'm ***** *** * don't ***** * ****** if **** ** ** competition."

**** ********** 

*******, **** ********* ******* disagreed ** ********* ***** customers ****** ****** ***** prices ****** ****** ******:

  • "*'* ***** ****** ******. Luckily *** **** ** that ***** ** ***** SD ******."
  • "****** **% ** *** time."
  • "**% ** *** ****. However, ** **** ** eliminate ******* **** *** highly ***** ********* **** our ***** ******** ** this ** ********* *** a **** *** *** us."
  • "***** ***** ** ***** jobs. *'* *** ***% for * ******* ** less."
  • "**** ***** ****** ***** in ***** **% ** cases."

Comments (4)

"However, we work to eliminate clients that are highly price sensitive from our sales pipeline as this is generally not a good fit for us."

How?

IMHO: By quoting an "artificial" higher price to the customer, you "naturally" eliminate said customer. If said customer still purchases from you, it will be your gain (a higher margin on this particular sale); as simple as that ; )

Thanks to IPVM. It is an interesting read. I do wonder one thing I did not see covered. Do most installers have one preferred system for all of these markets? I realize you can't have a one size fits all for every job, but do most of you have one "go to" product that can allow you to be competitive in 70 - 80 percent of the circumstances, regardless of size or market, albeit different models?

Maybe this version of the question is better: Can you satisfy the majority of your customers with Milestone, ONSSI, Avigilon, etc? Some customes will have to purchase software to meet their expectation, some will be fine with a free version.

Mark, this is covered in our companion guide: Favorite SMB Video Surveillance Manufacturers

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