EXPANDING REVENUE STREAMS and increasing profitability are never ending battles for security integrators. Adapting your offerings to capitalize on emerging technologies that serve critical needs — without falling for flash-in-the-pan trends that quickly fade — is one of the surest ways to boost your bottom line and ensure business survival for the long haul.

One of the promising new waves is the shift to cloud-based video surveillance solutions, which utilize IP cameras and a cloud VMS. Such systems are hosted predominantly in the cloud and are accessible via the internet through a web browser or mobile device. Tasks that typically require on-premise hardware — like processing footage, storing video and managing devices — are handled in the cloud, simplifying infrastructure and hardware requirements.

Cloud-based solutions differ from traditional options in numerous ways. On-premise systems require DVRs/NVRs, servers, hard drives and a local viewing station. These systems are siloed, lack native remote access and often require you to be on-site to view video, troubleshoot or perform maintenance. With a cloud solution, the only piece of hardware required is the camera, which drastically reduces complexity and maintenance. Remote access allows you to deploy unlimited devices, and the system continually gets smarter with automatic firmware updates.

Integrators hoping to tap this trend should choose technology partners carefully. LVC Companies has joined forces with Rhombus Systems, which offers stellar cloud solutions. Rhombus’ Director of Marketing Jordan Shou explains that Rhombus cameras can be set up via PoE and come online in minutes. “Once online, cameras record and store footage directly on the device for up to 180 days, depending on the model,” he said. “Our cameras consume hardly any bandwidth (as low as 10 Kbps), can operate on a cellular connection and continue operating during network outages.”

A cutting edge cloud-based system makes video surveillance easy and requires far less maintenance and hands-on management than traditional on-premise systems, helping customers save time and money throughout ownership. Cloud video solutions use AI and machine learning to help administrators review a day’s worth of footage in minutes, find and share specific footage in a few clicks and receive immediate notification for urgent events.

Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) solutions provide many benefits to integrators as well, offering additional and recurring revenue opportunities through license renewals, feature enablement and configuration and virtual system health and performance checks.

Naturally, your customers will have security questions. “Generally, the cloud is as safe, if not safer, than other systems,” Shou explained. Of course, this varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Another important consideration when selecting a cloud-based system is cybersecurity. It is important to vet vendor partners for cybersecurity hardness and ensure they are well versed and taking all necessary precautions.

The biggest challenge for integrators will be choosing the right partnership. The cloud-based movement is just beginning, so you need to ensure that your partner will be an industry leader and fulfill your needs in a partnership now and 10 years down the road. Due diligence is key: we interviewed 10 cloud companies and did a deep dive into their businesses before choosing our partners.

Cloud video solutions have experienced significant growth over the last few years. With more on-premise manufacturers announcing cloud initiatives, VSaaS continues to move toward becoming the dominant delivery method. We believe integrators who add cloud offerings to their portfolio now will reap increasing rewards as this exciting wave continues to gain momentum.