New apps and remote access tools let you monitor your IP-based video cameras any where, any time.
Until recently, you had two options for 24-hour video surveillance of your business. You could install an on-site video surveillance solution and monitor the video in shifts, or you could hire a security company to provide surveillance around the clock from its facility. Neither of those options are particularly viable solutions for most small companies. Thanks to IP network cameras, the Internet and mobile devices, though, you now have a third option for continuous surveillance. With video cameras installed on site and connected to the Internet via your IP network, you can use remote access tools and mobile applications to easily monitor your business at any hour and from any location.
Because an IP-based video surveillance system puts your video cameras and monitoring software online on your network, the solution can deliver a variety of access capabilities, including real-time streaming video, email alerts, and remote control capabilities. For example, you can keep an eye on the cash register from your desktop while working in the back office. Or, you can receive email alerts to your smartphone if a camera captures someone walking into your server closet.
When considering IP-based video surveillance solutions, look for one with monitoring software that allows you to watch video remotely and monitor multiple cameras, and that offers an easy-to-use browser-based interface. If you can track your video streams through a browser, then you can also access them through the browser installed on your smartphone. For example, all of the Cisco Small Business Video Surveillance Cameras work with the comprehensive monitoring software, called Cisco Advanced Video Monitoring System (AVMS), which adds mobile capabilities to the basic SWVMS16 monitoring software included with these cameras.
For additional mobility, look for cameras with built-in intelligence. You want the ability to set triggers for a variety of events, which, when activated, send you an email alert. For instance, you can configure the software to notify you if anyone opens your building’s back door between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 am. You can also set triggers to send an alert to your phone for an incident that requires your immediate response, such as a phone call to the local police.
For even more on the go monitoring, you can download apps for your iPhone, iPad, or Android device that delivers real-time video feed to your mobile device. Most IP-based video cameras designed for small businesses, including the Cisco cameras, use the same industry standards for video so you can use the same app to see video streams from all the cameras installed on your network. Apps like the iOS-based IP Camera Viewer for iPhones and the IP Cam Viewer for Android devices natively understand the standard streaming protocol these cameras use.
Like any addition to your network, an IP-based video surveillance system will have an impact on performance. Video, particularly real-time streaming video, requires a Fast Ethernet or even Gigabit Ethernet network to operate smoothly. For remote access to your IP-based video surveillance system, it’s important that your router or other gateway to the Internet supports higher bandwidth, too.
A video surveillance system may not be on the short list of must-haves for every company, but it can be more important to your business’s bottom line than you might imagine. Whether you’re a retail outlet or a dental practice, video surveillance can not only help protect your business assets but also increase productivity and provide improved customer experiences. And with remote access capabilities you can geteven more value from an IP-based video surveillance system.
See how Larry’s Foreign & Domestic Car Service uses a Cisco small business video surveillance system to help improve their productivity.