In today’s connected world, the ability to integrate devices, systems, and data with ease is essential for both security and operations. Given the wide range of networked technologies on the market, these integrations can be deployed in new and creative ways to solve challenges as they emerge. The number and type of integrations available can help tick the boxes for facility managers who are often tasked with controlling costs, doing more with less, keeping accurate records, and more. However, overcoming these challenges, as well as others, are simply not possible if devices don’t properly integrate with each other or their surrounding environment.
“The only way you can be certain products and technologies will work together perfectly to deliver the full functionality of each is to deploy solutions from one manufacturer,” says Mitch Mershon, Medium Business Program Manager, Axis Communications, Inc.
An end-to-end solution brings together video, access control, storage, analytics, audio, and other products from a single manufacturer to create a complete system that takes advantage of the combined strength of each solution without sacrificing connectivity or functionality. The result is an overall system that can reduce costs, ensure greater stability, and provide relevant data that is easy to understand and act on.
Let’s discuss some of the challenges facility managers face today and how end-to-end solutions can help.
Reliability And Trust
In addition to doing more with less, facility managers face the challenge of extending the life of their current system. A hodgepodge of different products from different suppliers could handicap their ability to do this if devices begins to fail… which may lead to additional problems. If they already have a system in place, for example, the products may no longer be covered by warranty. The vendor may not provide support for devices if they’ve reached end of life. Repair costs may be high and impractical. These are all concerns to consider if managers are thinking about installing a new system or adding on to their existing infrastructure.
Reliability and trust are key. No matter what industry you’re in, knowing who is walking in and out of your facility is paramount to keeping employees and visitors safe. When you choose products from a single manufacturer like Axis, you can rest assured the solution’s components have been tireless tested—from the network surveillance cameras to the video management software—so they work seamlessly together out of the box.
Additionally, with a mix-and-match system, changes to any of the components can end up breaking integrations, eliminating the benefit of a fully connected system. When working with a single provider, you can take advantage of updates and innovations immediately and trust they’ll work alongside each other.
Pulling Data And Keeping Records
It can be a challenge to keep accurate records. Pulling data from multiple systems to maintain these records can be time-consuming and error prone. One of the primary benefits of a customized end-to-end solution is that it allows you to quickly and easily collect the data you need from multiple sources into a single stream, allowing you to make the best decisions for your facility and organization.
Adapting To Meet Changing Needs
Change is inevitable. It occurs constantly and often rapidly. This makes it all the more important for you to get the most out of your technology today and well into the future. As proof of this concept, we can look no further than the current health crisis and how it’s impacted businesses.
Retailers, for example, have worked tirelessly to adapt to regulations set forth by health experts and government officials by using plexiglass to protect workers, lining aisles with arrows to control traffic, and limiting the amount of people allowed in-store, to name a few. But they can also use network cameras coupled with analytics to enforce social distancing guidelines, keep occupancy levels down, and keep people safe and secure.
In healthcare, one provider recognized the need for increased security in mobile medical tents, which were used to handle the surge of patients diagnosed with COVID-19. They placed additional multi-sensor network cameras outside the emergency entrance and other locations. This gave security an overall view of the parking lot and premises. They also locked all of their card readers to funnel people to a single entrance to screen employees, visitors, and vendors before they entered.
The point is this: Adapting to change is crucial. But it’s made difficult when you don’t have the flexibility to do so because you’re hindered by your current system setup.
With an end-to-end solution, you can seamlessly add devices, systems, channels, or even sites as your business grows and your needs change. For example, if you deploy even a single camera, you can easily expand your solution by adding network door stations for audio and visual identification and remote access control, or by adding network speakers to remotely address people and deter undesirable activities. AXIS Camera Station video management software makes it easy to scale a solution, adding to the system either device by device or in a single, larger update, wherever and whenever changes are needed.
Streamlined Support For Your Facility
We briefly mentioned this earlier, but it’s worth emphasizing: When a system comprises devices from several manufacturers, technical support can be a challenge. You may have one contact for your video management software, another for cameras, another for access control, and so on. Often it’s not clear which component may be causing the problem, so you’ll have to track down each vendor—multiple times, in some cases—just to pinpoint the issue. Another unfortunate reality is that solving an issue with one component can create problems with others in the overall system, again rendering inoperable the integrations that enable strong security.
Managing and solving these challenges takes time, which isn’t helpful to your facility or its security, where every minute represents a potential real-time security or operational risk. And certainly if one problem leads to another, it can cause problems post-incident as well. Your system may fail to capture the necessary footage, or it may capture low-quality footage that can make it near impossible to use as evidence.
End-to-end solutions, on the other hand, streamline this process by providing a single point of contact for every device within the system. Rather than working with multiple vendors, you can get your questions answered and your issue resolved quickly and efficiently. When you call Axis, you’ll work closely with fully trained technical support representatives who are well-versed in each Axis product as well as specific partner platforms. This faster response time ensures maximum uptime for your vital security system and peace of mind
Easy To Use, Maintain, And Manage
Whether you own or operate one or multiple facilities, it can be a daunting task to keep all your technology up to date and performing as intended. Adding to the challenge is the need to make sure upgrading one solution doesn’t break integrations with all the other systems you need to secure your locations—a very real possibility that can bring security and other operations to a standstill until the problem is rectified. With an end-to-end solution, this is not a concern, as the manufacturer tests all integrations before releasing an update for one or more devices.
With AXIS Device Manager, you can manage and maintain all the devices in your end-to-end solution from a single location. For example, you can easily update firmware. If you don’t have the knowledge to do this in house, your security integrator can use the software to manage your system for you.
“In security, having all your video available is critical, so it’s imperative all cameras and other solutions are operating continuously. However, all too often, an organization only learns that a camera has been down for days, weeks or months when security staff goes to retrieve video of an incident,” explains Mershon.
For Axis devices, there is also a health monitoring feature that alerts you when a device stops working so your team or integrator can address the problem quickly, sometimes before it even occurs.
Pulling It All Together
While in the past, security systems comprising solutions from multiple vendors may have been an attractive option, today, end-to-end solutions from a single provider offer many benefits over that model. Most notable among these are guaranteed integration from installation through end of life and stronger end-to-end cybersecurity to protect networks and the valuable information they contain.
The combination of a robust video management solution and devices from Axis makes it easy to manage and monitor an entire solution from end to end. This allows you to address your needs today while offering ultimate flexibility and scalability to adapt as those needs change in the future without sacrificing connectivity or functionality.
Learn more about end-to-end solutions and how they can help you: www.axis.com/end-to-end-solutions.