The Importance of Video Surveillance

All businesses have unique needs, but some concerns are universal. Security is one of those. Security is of the utmost importance whether you have a Fortune 500 company or a local drugstore. Video surveillance can protect your business from a variety of malicious forces. Keeping video records of activity on your property can also aid in preventing bad things from happening again.

Neglecting video surveillance can have major consequences. Physical damage to your property can result in the loss of expensive equipment. In some cases your property could be deemed unsafe. If the personal property of your employees is damaged or stolen, it can negatively impact workplace culture. This may drive off new talent that you could otherwise put to work. The good news is that video surveillance systems are designed to deter crime and provide an objective account of the events on your property for law enforcement, insurance adjusters, and other interested parties.

Take a look at the various archetypes that surveillance solutions fit into. Make note of any that sound like they could work for your business.

Conventional Camera Systems

These are the systems that come to mind when you picture video surveillance systems. They’re usually mounted on ceilings and walls and are covered by a protective dome. These conventional systems are typically wired throughout a facility and provide great coverage, but their cost and technical complexity mean that they’re only the best option for larger companies that move large numbers of material goods, like warehouses and department stores.

Hidden Camera Systems

Hidden camera systems resemble their more obvious counterparts in most ways. However, they blend into their environment without disrupting day-to-day activities in any way. Guests on your premises must know that they may be under surveillance. Essentially, hidden cameras are functionally identical to others, but are able to be placed and activated without the general population taking notice.

Plug and Play Systems

Ideal for smaller businesses that can’t spend more than necessary on a large system. Plug and play systems typically consist of one or two cameras that wirelessly transmit footage to your personal computer or a designated URL address.  In contrast to the other systems, it’s simple to move your cameras around.

Hybrid Systems

These analog plug and play systems allow the addition of new cameras to the system.  This is a popular option among growing mid-sized businesses.  It’s more expensive than plug and play system, but it definitely pays off in the long run when you expand and add more floor space to your operation, since your surveillance system will be similarly scalable.

If any of these kinds of systems sound like they could be of use to your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch today. The team at Preferred Technology Solutions specializes in business security solutions, and our years of expertise and experience with varied clientele will help us find just the solution you’re looking for. Just reach out and say hello; we’d love to hear from you.

5 Things You Should Know About Modern Surveillance Hardware

Thanks to today’s technology, you can take your home and workplace security into your own hands. The number of American citizens paying for third party security service is dropping at a rapid rate. This is because smart cameras and security systems are now just as effective as their expensive predecessors. Handling your own security by purchasing surveillance hardware is an appealing idea since helps to eliminate recurring costs. Even though the popularity of these surveillance systems is on the rise, many purchasers aren’t fully aware of what their new hardware is capable of. The Preferred Technology Solutions team has put together a list of features that your surveillance technology might have.

1. Motion Detection

One of the myths that we have worked tirelessly to debunk for our customers is the belief that they need pricey high-resolution security cameras that run 24/7. That’s not the case; there are motion detection cameras that will turn on only when a sensor attached to the vision system senses movement in the field of view.  This saves you from having to comb through hours and hours of useless footage. Some systems are even able to send you a text or email when something activates them.

2. Live Look-in

Once a luxury, live look-in is now a commonplace feature of surveillance systems.  If you want your security cameras to broadcast to one of your devices, they should be able to do so. This allows you to check out a situation remotely from the comfort of your phone or laptop. Depending on your hardware a software, the specifics of this functionality can vary widely.

3. Night Vision

Night vision is becoming a standard-issue feature in most modern security cameras. Don’t expect hundreds of feet of crystal-clear footage with a commercial camera – it’s not military technology – but the visibility should provide an extra layer of security at night.

4. Footage Management

Commercially available surveillance systems often feature tools that allow you to snip and edit footage, a feature that can prove useful in many situations. Preferred Technology Solutions is well-versed in the current surveillance market and can provide insight on what systems offer the best content management solutions. You don’t have to be a wizard with editing software to piece together footage.

5. Synergy with Smart Devices

Thanks to the emergence of more smart devices than you ever thought you’d need (looking at you, SmartFridge), it’s possible to weave your surveillance system through your network.  For instance, if you’d like to turn your systems on or off using your Amazon Echo, you can. Want to let your security system know that the Roomba is about to turn on so it doesn’t record your clean floors? Easy.

If you’re curious about how surveillance solutions could help your business, or you’re interested in purchasing surveillance hardware from experienced professionals, the Preferred Technology Solutions team is here for you. We’ll get you set up with a security system and provide ongoing support. Don’t hesitate to drop us a line if you want to talk. One conversation could change your business’s approach to security.

What You Need to Know About Surveillance Technology

As a responsible business owner, you should be proactive about the security of your workplace. Surveillance technology is one high-tech way to protect your business and help you sleep better at night. In a world where internal and external threats lie around every corner, surveillance achieves both practical and ethical goals.

Surveillance can deter crime and protect your business from unnecessary risk – especially in high-risk sectors. When properly installed, surveillance technology can also assist authorities in solving crimes. In order to make the best use of surveillance technology, it’s important to be knowledgeable of the latest developments in the security field, so that your business can access the hardware and software it needs. Here’s an overview of what you need to know:

Wires Are a Thing of the Past

Like almost every other technology, surveillance is going wireless. The wireless trend has allowed surveillance technology to advance rapidly. It is also more logistically and financially viable than ever before.

In the past, security cameras were unwieldy devices. They needed a wired power source, and their video  feeds had to be carried back to a server through a coaxial cable. Unless the installer was a master at cable management, surveillance systems could get very messy, very quickly.

To complicate matters further, footage had to be stored on VHS tapes, DVDs, and external hard drives. Even with the arrival of the DVR, wired security systems had major drawbacks.

Wireless security systems fix most of the problems presented by traditional surveillance systems. In fact, wireless surveillance improves upon its predecessor in nearly every way. Wireless cameras can be installed in previously unreachable spots. There’s no messy cabling to muck up your infrastructure. Footage can be stored indefinitely in the cloud or compressed into more efficient storage devices. Most modern surveillance systems merge seamlessly with common hardware and software platforms.

What Surveillance Technology Can Do For Your Business

If you’re a naturally trusting person, investing in surveillance technology may not be the most comfortable choice in the world. While this is understandable, a measure of surveillance is actually one of the most ethical things your company can invest in.

If your business includes a significant amount of floor space, such as a warehouse, it’s important to keep an eye on things. Lost or stolen inventory adds up quickly on the balance sheet. Keeping footage of your business’s property can help deter theft and reduce losses, positively affecting your bottom line and leading to direct benefits for your employees. If you are the victim of a crime, surveillance technology helps ensure that you and your company get the justice you deserve.

In high-risk industries, surveillance technology also offers protection for both you and your employees. In the event of a workplace injury, footage can offer an objective account of events and guarantee a fair result.

If your business hasn’t invested in surveillance technology, or you’re realizing that your current surveillance systems are out of date, don’t worry. At Preferred Technology Solutions, we specialize in designing and installing business surveillance systems. Our work is unintrusive and professional, and we make you part of the conversation. To learn more about surveillance solutions or our other managed service offerings, don’t hesitate to get in touch today.

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Why Should You Care About Video Surveillance Software?

Video management software (VMS) solutions are becoming a vital part of enterprise security. The right software can be configured to provide flexibility by tailoring custom solutions to a variety of third-party devices and programs. Leading video surveillance software providers help optimize security by integrating video systems with business intelligence and other analytic programs that don’t come with simple record-and-archive hardware solutions. As “smart” approaches to security, and their value to organizations, become clearer, legacy systems fall out of disuse.

Managing Live and Recorded Footage

Video surveillance software can manage video from multiple cameras. This includes both IP systems and older analog cameras provided with an encoder. VMS allows monitoring of alarms at various points to record and observe events as they occur, or simply archive to network storage where files can be retrieved for investigative, data gathering, or forensic purposes. Because this is IP-based, even live digital video files from one or more sources can be shared with other locations throughout the enterprise or around the world in near real-time. VMS allows for all the flexibility and scope an IP network provides.

Integrating Video Analytics

As security hardware becomes more intelligent, so do VMS systems. A variety of security measures can be refined with video surveillance software. Features like automated number plate recognition can record a license plate faster and more reliably than human eyes while the right analytics can identify the owner and tell whether the car is stolen or associated with known threats. The same applies to facial recognition software that can be applied to a database of archived images or video. More cameras and better network storage mean a glut of information, and analytics makes sense of all the data and puts it to good use. Many video surveillance software solutions are developed with an open-source platform that allows for a continuous stream of plugins and updates to further enhance features and functionality.

Managing Access Controls

Controlled, electronic access is essential to managing security risks. A digital camera coupled with a VMS system can help in monitoring and recording traffic at multiple access points. Software integrated with sensors, alarms, cameras, and access card readers can assist security teams with managing events by showing them exactly what’s happening, and from multiple angles while automatically archiving and flagging footage for future use. Manufacturers of security hardware are increasingly engineering their products to be compatible with the latest in video surveillance software.

Remote Surveillance Benefits

Integrating cameras and software across a network is one of the many benefits VMS provides. Remote locations or access points can be monitored 24/7 without additional personnel. Local authorities can be summoned by security miles away while cameras continue to record and monitor events. Footage streamed to smart devices provides police or security teams with direct visual information on what is happening and what preparations to make to deal with the threat more effectively.

Here at Preferred, we equip you with the latest technology in video surveillance software to keep your business safe. For more information, please contact us for a free consultation!

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What You Can Do With Video Surveillance Software

Business owners have a lot on their plate these days, and security is one huge challenge that always takes the cake. Long ago, people relied on grainy footage from video surveillance software that operated on analog technology to monitor their business. This method, although considered a breakthrough at the time, is now outdated and unreliable. That’s why many consumers are making the switch to digital, and it’s important to be equipped with the right video surveillance software to gain unprecedented control of your surveillance systems. Whether you’re trying to prevent theft, engage in remote monitoring, or invest in scalable solutions, it’s important to know the advantages that come with the best video surveillance software. From optimized security to increased productivity, the possibilities are wide and varied.

Prevent Theft and Reduce Loss.

These are the obvious benefits of digital surveillance systems. Compared to analog, digital cameras can capture and store more video – and the quality and clarity of the video feed is far superior as well.

But choosing the right video surveillance software to decode and support your digital systems is a must! Here at Preferred, we use the best video management software to allow you to take advantage of the latest technologies and industry-leading assets such as 4K and UHD cameras to monitor your business. With video surveillance software solutions like Milestone, rendering video can be done quickly and efficiently – which translates into savings on your hardware investments.

Respond to Situations Immediately.

Knowing instantly when something happens is critical when it comes to your business security. Monitoring your video feed 24/7 is an impossible task. That’s why we provide video surveillance software that automatically notifies you when an alarm is triggered on your premises. You can gain peace of mind knowing that you’ll be notified whenever your cameras detect suspicious activity or potential danger.

Solutions like Milestone Mobile also empower control room operators to send out alarm notifications to patrolling guards and first responders on their mobile devices. This allows them to have every piece information needed to respond to the accident.

Remote Monitoring.

Top-notch video surveillance software should allow you to monitor your video feed whenever and wherever you need to. That way you can securely monitor both live and recorded footage in real time over any wireless network – whether it be from your smartphone, your computer, or some other device. Video management software like Video Insight allows you to review and access recorded video with a smart, graphical scrolling timeline and access bookmarked video with ease.

Boost Collaboration in Your OCC.

Nobody has time to watch every hour of recorded video footage. At Preferred, we use advanced video surveillance software to improve your response time from the operations control center (OCC). By allowing operators to focus on relevant information around an incident and quickly assess the situation to determine the necessary action, our video surveillance software can distribute intelligence swiftly and efficiently.

To learn more about how to optimize your security with the best video surveillance software, contact a licensed video systems provider like Preferred for a free consultation!

wireless surveillance systems

Wireless Surveillance Systems VS Conventional Video Surveillance Systems

When choosing a surveillance system for your business, it is important to know that you’ll be choosing between wireless surveillance systems and traditional analog video surveillance systems. Both systems have their strengths and weaknesses, and there is no one size fits all. Although wireless systems come with newer technology, there are still some businesses that prefer to use analog surveillance systems. We’ll compare the two so that you can make an educated decision on which system best fits the needs of your business.

Conventional Analog Surveillance Systems

Traditional analog CCTV security cameras capture an analog video signal, which is then transferred over to a digital video recorder by coax cable. The analog surveillance system must use video and power cables, and has to be plugged into a power supply to work. The digital video recorder takes the analog signal and compresses it, and then moves it to a hard drive after converting it to a digital. Once the CCTV video has been digitized and transferred to the DVR, the DVR can then complete tasks such as motion detection, zooming, and scheduling.
CCTV security systems began using DVR in the 1990s, but the original CCTV systems recorded video on video tapes. Neither the original CCTV systems or the newer DVR systems can transmit video in real time. Instead, you have to either retrieve the tapes or the DVR video on a hard drive and view it at a later date.

Wireless Surveillance Systems

Wireless surveillance systems record what their cameras are seeing, and transmits that data digitally via a LAN signal. This allows wireless surveillance systems to send their video in real time to a computer, smartphone, or tablet. Wireless systems allow for quicker analyzing and processing of security information. Power is provided to the cameras via Ethernet cable or power over Ethernet adapters. Since wireless surveillance systems do not have to use a DVR to convert video from analog to digital, the video tends to be significantly higher resolution and thus, clearer and higher quality.

Cost Effectiveness and Quality

Currently, analog systems with DVR are the most cost efficient. Wireless surveillance system cameras can cost as much as twice the amount of analog DVR cameras. Bandwidth is not much of a problem for analog camera systems because they transmit via coax cables. But for wireless networks, bandwidth can be significant, and that can be costly. Wireless surveillance systems provide significantly higher resolution, however, and this is of great importance to some businesses.

Installation

Wireless systems are easier to install, especially if a wireless network is already setup and in place. As the name states, wireless systems are not bogged down by space constricting wires. Analog surveillance systems use an abundance of wires, making it critical to know how much extra space you have in your office to accommodate them.

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3 Reasons Why You Should Integrate Video Surveillance Systems With Your IT Infrastructure

Video surveillance systems have the amazing ability to capture things that would otherwise go unnoticed, and ultimately keep people safe from harm. Police use them to track down armed burglars, concerned sons and daughters use them to keep tabs on their elderly parents, and video analysts use them to identify threat patterns. With all of these capabilities, it’s hard to imagine why a business wouldn’t invest in video surveillance systems for their own benefit.

These days, video surveillance systems have been upgraded with advanced video analytic software which eliminates the need for constant monitoring on multiple screens. This method often succumbs to human error, and important clues are often missed and security risks go unaddressed. In contrast, video analytics never wear out, can monitor thousands of streams at once, and can piece together any suspicious activity or insight with greater precision than a human observer.

There’s an abundance of reasons why you should integrate video surveillance systems into your enterprise facility – but we’ve narrowed it down to our top three.

  1. Helps You Stay in Business

Nowadays, every commercial enterprise, government agency, or small to large business relies on expensive IT hardware and servers to facilitate the smooth running of their operations. So what are the consequences when a criminal or intruder accesses your data center? Your IT facility harbors a vast array of business-sensitive data and personal information, and the last thing you’d want is for an unauthorized person to access those things due to negligence. Video surveillance systems with analytic capabilities allow the real-time alerting of suspicious activity – leading to significantly improved security. The safety of your data center means that your business can function the way it’s supposed to, and you can focus on more important things like growing revenue or gaining more clients.

  1. Optimize Your Operations

Video surveillance systems can help improve productivity in the workplace by monitoring the movement and activity of your employees. They not only help prevent external threats, but also prevent threats from within. WIth video analytics, users can review video data with reports which organizations can use to optimize their business operations – such as improving customer service, planning better for staffing requirements, or speeding up work processes.

  1. Decrease Labor Costs

With features like real-time reporting and alerting, as well as intelligent search, video surveillance systems with analytic software reduce the labor costs of monitoring personnel – providing a fast return on investment. You no longer to spend a large amount of money in hiring several workers to monitor your facility. Instead, you can proactively monitor your business with video surveillance systems that do the job of multiple people at once.

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Video Surveillance Systems In The Digital World

In the distant age of traditional video surveillance, it was required for somebody to be physically present in a monitoring room to watch endless hours of security video. This was the main way of detecting oncoming threat or danger on the spot. Nowadays, data-driven video surveillance systems are catching on, and they come with a variety of benefits for businesses. Built on the idea that you can use data for business insights with video support, data-driven video surveillance systems can help you increase sales, reduce loss, and proactively address risks that may harm your business.

Learn More About Your Business With Video Surveillance Systems

You may be asking yourself: “How can I use surveillance videos to learn more about my business and make it more profitable?” By expanding access to video data to various departments of your company (other than security), you can get more insight on things like workflow, collaboration, and sales techniques. Connecting your video surveillance systems to data is a game changer for any security sector of business. Instead of using video surveillance as a means to detect danger through recorded footage, it can be used to extract data that ultimately gives you more knowledge about the inner workings of your company. That way you may be able to predict potential threats before they occurs.

By monitoring your employees and how the day-to-day operations of your business are carried out, you can also analyze which areas are doing well and which may need improvement. Data-driven surveillance video systems provide visual intelligence that can ultimately support you when making important business decisions.

Benefits of Cloud-Base Video Surveillance

One of the most critical challenges to address when it comes to surveillance data is how to effectively store it in large quantities. One option that many businesses are turning to is cloud-based storage and services. The cloud makes accessing data on your smartphone, tablet, or computer easier and faster than ever before. It alleviates the need for onsite monitoring, which in turn can cut labor and travel costs.  A secure and strategic cloud-storage solution allows remote access to surveillance footage, scalability, and compatibility for multiple devices.

Another key aspect of cloud surveillance is getting immediate notifications if a camera is down at any location and being able to remotely upgrade and fix your systems as needed. If your business is experiencing the repercussions of change, such as new security threats or the need for updated systems, cloud-based video surveillance can accommodate your needs.

Nowadays, video-driven technology is less about watching endless hours of security videos and tapes on a monitor and more about utilizing data for business insights. These data-driven video surveillance systems can lead to increased profit and value for your business if carried out the right way. Relying on a trusted IT solutions provider to support your video surveillance needs is one step towards reaching your business goals.

Benefits of a Video Surveillance System

The term ‘surveillance’ has taken on an identity and a stigma of its own. When we hear the word, “cover-up,” monitoring and intrusion come to mind for many. Let’s take a look at a different side of video surveillance. Video surveillance provides businesses large and small with a plethora of benefits that can end up saving business owner’s time and money in the long run.

 

Video Surveillance by the Numbers

Video surveillance is a way for businesses to keep tabs on the office, improve security, and save money on insurance costs. Crime is a major concern for many business owners, whether it’s inside the organization or an external threat. In 2010, about 10 cameras were installed in a commercial business setting to combat the issue.

 

Benefits of Video Surveillance in the Office

Business owners invest a great deal of time and resources into establishing and running their businesses. For most, security and safety are the top priorities. Many are turning to video surveillance systems to achieve this peace of mind. Each year, about 275 million cases of theft are reported around the globe. One in 46 cases will result in an arrest. Of arrests made, roughly 1/6 of the criminals are employees. There are more to the cameras, though. Video surveillance provides business owners with unexpected benefits that improve daily operations as well.

 

  • Presence alone is a deterrent

The mere presence of a camera on site—or a few cameras—has the potential to turn thieves away from your place of business.

  • Reduces insurance premiums

Insurance companies are in the business of reducing loss and limiting exposure. One way of doing so is to offer discounts for proactive safety measures. Companies and business owners can save up to 10% off insurance premiums just by adding a security system.

  • Assists law enforcement

Cameras provide law enforcement and investigators with critical footage to be admitted into evidence. Video assists in making an arrest, providing proof, and documenting the loss.

  • Establishes a renewed sense of accountability

When businesses use surveillance systems, the managers and owners are better equipped with the tools they need to improve training and daily operations. As managers and other essential personnel notice habits, changes, or concerns, they can use the videos as training tools to correct the action or circumstances. Video cameras also put employees on alert that they need to be diligent with the daily activities. In turn, productivity and profits increase.

  • Helps control and monitor assets and inventory

Video surveillance assists with asset and inventory management by allowing owners and managers to look back at footage to determine where a discrepancy or illegal action may have occurred.

  • Flexible systems

A recent report stated the costs for a 10-camera system costs nearly $14,000. Video surveillance is flexible, allowing business owners to devise a system that works with both their budgets and security concerns.

  • Reduce incidents of workplace violence and sexual harassment

Workplace injuries, violence, and sexual harassment are incidents that have big impacts on a company professionally, publicly, and monetarily. Video surveillance curbs violence and sexual harassment, as well as provides authorities and investigators with any information about an incident between employees.

  • Peace of mind

Employees want to work somewhere they feel safe and secure. The threat of violence or criminal activity should not be a factor when they go to work each day. A video surveillance system allows employers to provide their employees and clients with a safe work space.

 

Deciding on a video surveillance system is not an easy task, but calling Preferred is! Our dedicated team of security experts take time to get to know you and your business so you can feel safe and secure when you are at the office.

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5 Unexpected Benefits of Video Surveillance

The term ‘surveillance’ has earned a bad rap lately. While Americans don’t like to see cameras on the streets, or they worry about surveillance on personal devices, video monitoring is a way to protect citizens and businesses. The presence of video surveillance devices has increased tenfold over the years, and it is having quite an impact on businesses and their bottom lines. We all know about surveillance to prevent thieves and to aid in prosecution if a crime does occur, but there are hidden benefits of video surveillance as well.

Benefits of Video Surveillance

1. Improves Employee Performance and Productivity

Video surveillance gives business owners eyes in the office when they are not around. Video surveillance helps monitor computer use, personal time, cell phone use, mingling, and use of company resources. Video surveillance also aids in employee training programs. Data collected with video monitoring helps business owners implement and enforce employee policies and it aids in training new employees. When policies are established an enforced, productivity soars and employee accountability surges.

2. Aids in Harassment Policies and Prevention

Harassment in the workplace is a costly epidemic in the workforce. Sometimes victims are afraid to come forward because it is a he-said she-said situation, which can be hard to prove and prosecute. When sexual harassment occurs, business owners can be sued for establishing an unsafe work environment. Video surveillance addresses both issues. Video surveillance gives victims a voice, it helps business owners identify sexual harassment and take action against the perpetrator, and it can protect business owners if they are faced with lawsuits regarding sexual harassment in the workplace.

3. Protects Business Assets

Your business is more likely to be victimized by an employee than by a criminal off the streets. Video surveillance assists business owners in identifying suspicious activity and it protects the company’s assets. As soon as appropriate action is taken, the company can take steps to minimize and recover from the loss.

4. Reduces Workplace Violence and Injuries

In 2011, 17% of work fatalities in the US were the result of workplace violence. That is nearly 1,000 deaths per year, and it does account for injuries associated with violence. Workplace violence and damage may be curbed by the presence of a video system. Video also provides law enforcement with a critical account of a dangerous situation.

Workplace injuries are common, and so are frivolous injury claims. Video surveillance helps insurance companies and employers identify dangerous situations to avoid further injuries or concerns, and it assist in identifying false work comp claims.

5. Saves Money In insurance Costs

All the aforesaid benefits can result in a deep discount on business insurance premiums. The presence of a video surveillance system reduces the likelihood the company will experience a loss, and if they do, swift prosecution with the help of video footage allows businesses and insurance companies to recoup losses.