So you 've recognized the benefits of cloud video and are ready to migrate your video surveillance system. Before you make the switch there are some questions you should answer to understand what cloud video solution will work best for you. Not all cloud solutions are equal and although many offer similar benefits, there are also key differences that can dictate which one makes the most sense for you.
How many cameras do I need?
A cloud-managed system works well for locations that have higher camera counts. Each camera is connected to the on-site recorder but can be configured and accessed remotely over the internet. There is some additional upfront cost associated with installing an onsite appliance but over several years the total cost of ownership is much less than a direct cloud recording option. If you are installing only a few cameras at each location it could be a better fit for direct to cloud recording which works well for locations that need fewer than four cameras but the recurring costs rise as more cameras are added to the system.
How fast is my internet? Do I have access to high-speed internet? Is it affordable or in my budget?
Internet speeds vary in different parts of the United States and in many rural locations the only internet options are cellular or satellite connections. A cloud-managed system uses the internet to connect to the recorder and cameras for remote viewing and for remote configuration but not for camera recording. The cameras record over the local network, so internet speed or outages won't affect the quality or consistency of video. A direct cloud recording system sends all of the video over the internet to record on the cloud so it may have resolution limitations and the more cameras that are connected the more bandwidth is required. Find out what the internet options are where you are and include the monthly cost in your cost analysis.
Do I need to access video on site? Do I have a local PC?
Ask yourself how you plan to view the video that you are recording. Do you want to have a live video monitor to monitor the facility or spot monitors on-site? Do you have a computer on-site that you can use to access video? A cloud-managed system has a local recorder that can be used to view live video and to search or export video. A direct cloud recording system requires an additional local PC on-site to search or view video and a constant live display will be additional data transmitted over your internet connection which can affect the resolution and quality of both your live and recording video.
How frequently do I have to share clips?
Saving video clips and sharing them with colleagues or with law enforcement can be critical in investigating incidents and improving operations. Most video clips are much too large to attach to an email and there is a less secure audit trail if you export clips to external media like a USB drive and then physically deliver it to each individual that you want to share it with. If that person is in another city you might have to mail the video to them! A cloud-managed system allows you to export video clips to the cloud and then share them with anyone via a password protected link saving time and improving the security and chain of custody of the data.
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How many locations do I have?
If you only have one or two locations, and only a few users, you might not mind logging in to individual systems to manage users, update forgotten passwords or enter remote connection settings on every remote device that needs to connect to your video surveillance system. A cloud-managed system can simplify those tasks by allowing you to manage all of your recorders from a remote location, instantly update user permissions, create user groups that make updates to 100s of users with only a few mouse clicks, provide roaming user profiles and settings and single sign-on for all clients.
Do I need POS integration?
If you have a retail or food service business you might want to integrate your POS system with your video surveillance system to streamline investigations and gather valuable business intelligence for your business. A cloud-managed system can provide integrated video with your POS data making it easy to locate incidents faster, rapidly scan large periods of data for critical events, and provide video verification to investigate fraud and poor operations management. A direct cloud recording system doesn't offer any integration options and requires you to access multiple systems to match up video with transaction data.
Will my video and POS be on the same network?
If you have a POS system at your business will it be on the same network as your cameras? A cloud-managed system uses the local network to record video, only sending small amounts of data over the internet for alerts and health monitoring data, and can have dozens of cameras on the system before you need to be concerned about any conflict with your POS system. A direct cloud recording system is constantly streaming video over the internet to the cloud and can slow down or prevent your POS system from authorizing transactions.
Learn more about OpenEye cloud-managed video solutions can help your business save time and money by giving you the tools to generate valuable business intelligence, get a better return on your loss prevention efforts, and reduce the burden on IT and Operations.