Envysion's Managed Video Offering Examined

By: John Honovich, Published on Jul 21, 2008

Envysion is optimizing a solution for small box retailers. This is good news because small box retailers (e.g., quick serve restaurants and retail stores) are clearly an under served market. With so much focus on building mega IP video networks, innovation for small box retailers is low. Envysion is making enterprise functionalities easy and affordable for small box retailers. Indeed, in a little over a year, Envysion is already managing thousands of recorders across 80 customers from 30+ multi-unit brands. Watch a demonstration of Envysion [link no longer available].

Envysion has optimized a solution for the small-box retailer providing:

  • The features and functionalities historically only available in premium priced video management systems (built-in exception based reporting, POS search and centralized management).
  • Novel simplicity of installation, maintenance and client access (through a managed, software as a service approach).
  • A price point significantly less than premium solutions and close to the budget dvrs that most small box retailers usually choose.

By contrast, today's offerings place small box retailers in a precarious situation. They can choose from (1) budget boxes or (2) premium solutions focused on big box retailers or corporate users. The problem is that budget boxes (like Geovision or Dedicated Micros) offer very limited features. As such, management and problem solving are tough. Now, premium solutions (like Verint's Nextiva or American Dynamic's Intellex) can provide advanced features but at a cost and complexity that is not attractive to most small box retailers.

The sad state of affairs is that most small box retailers choose the budget box. Envysion is helping to eliminate this problem by enabling these retailers to obtain the features they need at a cost and simplicity that they can manage.

Small Box Retailers Specific Problems

Small box retailers have a specific set of problems that are different from bigger box retailers or general corporate customers:

  • Don't need lots of cameras: unlike big box retailers, 16 cameras or less is usually more than enough
  • Don't have big IT teams that can support everything: unlike investment banks, small box retailers do not want to be technology companies, they want simple to use and maintain solutions that do not impact their main business objectives
  • Challenges managing employees in remote locations: because they have so many remote locations with so few people per location, it can be hard to provide an optimal level of supervision and training
  • Problems with internal theft: while internal theft is not unique to small box retailers, they usually are reluctant to spend significant sums in expensive exception based reporting systems

Envysion's Solution for Small Box Retailers

Enyvision offers a purpose built solution to address those needs:

  • Their DVR works with your existing analog cameras. No need for encoders or switching to IP cameras, as is the growing trend today.
  • The appliance is simple to install and maintain. All of the appliances are managed by Envysion's central facilities. Much like your cable modem, Envysion's DVR “phones home” upon setup and can be remotely upgraded or troubleshooted. This reduces the need for IT personnel of the retailer to be involved.
  • Integrated Point of Sale recording and searching: Budget DVRs simply overlay text on the video, making searching by text or amount impossible. This is not unique to Envysion but is consistent with best in class, higher priced premium solutions.
  • Integrated Exception Based Reporting (EBR): PoS integration helps for individual transactions but exception based reporting is critical to identify costly and hard to identify illicit trends. Envysion integrates Exception Based Reporting directly into its service. While EBR is a well accepted tool of retail security management, buying a dedicated EBR system can be quite expensive. Integrating it with your DVR can be quite time consuming and suffer limitations. Envysion makes EBR easy and inexpensive for small box retailers who often cannot otherwise afford it.
  • PCI Compliance: To store sensitive information such as credit card information or account numbers, systems must be PCI compliant. Linking such information to video can identify and solve high value crimes. Unfortunately, almost no DVR system is PCI compliant. Exception Based Reporting Systems generally are PCI compliant and they can be linked to a DVR. However, most small box retailers do not use this because of the cost and complexity involved. Envysion offers PCI compliance built right into the DVR [link no longer available], making it both low cost and simple to use.
  • Global Management offered with no set-up: Since most small box retailers operate multiple stores in remote locations, the ability to globally administer, upgrade and maintain those systems is critical. While this functionality is common in enterprise video systems, this requires start-up costs and on-site setups. By contrast, Envysion offers global management built-in with no server setup required and no additional cost.

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