Retail is one of the markets that heavily rely on video surveillance for day-to-day operation. Due to budget restrictions, analog systems currently dominate retail applications, even as some begin to move towards IP surveillance. Since it is impossible for retailers to immediately discard these existing technology investments, the flexibility from IP offerings to be integrated with legacy video systems became one of the key factors when choosing vendors.
Video surveillance is an easy and discrete way to protect the people, products and property of a retail site. Shoppers who see cameras placed around a store will be notified that they are being watched, which can deter theft. Throughout a store, high-value items and attractive merchandise, such as makeup and perfume, could be carefully watched. "Suspicious behavior requires tracking, high-resolution cameras such as PTZ cameras cover large areas, allow security managers to see details and easily identify objects clearly," said Harrison Albert, Regional Sales Director at D-Link Middle East and Africa.
Another important place throughout a retail store which cameras usually monitor is POS terminals. Connecting high-resolution cameras to the POS can provide supporting evidence for conflict and disagreement management, for instance, when cashiers forget to scan the price tag for purchased items.
Event correlation for effective security management is important for retail. Motion detection recording with e-mail alert allows for instant notification in the event of a break-in or a crime committed. The alarm notice with snapshot will be sent to security managers and associated executives instantly. Retail stores with larger space would require more efficient methods to deal with accidents. Now, most network cameras support audio recording along with a video recording process.
"Built-in microphone and speaker port for two-way communication, security managers and IT administrators of the retail stores are able to do interactive conversation from remote to local areas when sudden accidents occur," Harrison said. Security can adopt one-to-one or one-to-multiple users for broadcasting to specific camera sites or group camera sites, depending on the situation.
Lighting presents a challenge. Cameras need to operate in daylight and at night to continue monitoring jobs. "A day and night network camera that provides automatic day/night functionality by adjusting the image from color during the day to monochrome at night or during very poor light conditions is very important," Harrison said.
DVR and Data Protection
More retailers are replacing malfunctioned DVRs with NVRs, as NVRs are easier to maintain. All cameras can be managed and accessed through a single source for video management, which is capable of scaling to theoretically an unlimited channel of cameras. These images can be easily stored, viewed off-site and easily backed up. NVRs can store almost unlimited images for playback or retrieve historical video clips under one single and simple interface. Flexibility for local and/or remote storage of video data that provides secured data protection for the use of post-event evidence.
"Since end customers can access real-time video via Internet browser or smart phone, retailers must carefully prevent unauthorized access to their store's information. Intrusion can be prevented with software that comes with profile and user options together with network firewalls, antivirus software and system updates," Harrison explained.
Network and Integration
The average retail chain uses multiple systems all with separate user interface. "Our SDK program is able to integrate with an existing system like POS, building automation, access control, intrusion detection and fire alarms," Harrison explained.
Retailers with multiple locations need to analyze data centrally, which then requires sufficient upstream capabilities from each store. The challenge is that many retailers do not know which network architecture and bandwidth requirements they need. The scalability and interoperability of future system deployment remains the uncertainty for retailers.
"We understand budget constraints. D-Link is able to provide integrated IP surveillance solutions by delivering worry-free product interoperability and future expansion. Our expertise and over twenty years of experience in network technology and development is the most unparalleled value that retailers could rely on. No matter if you are starting from scratch, extending an existing IP network or upgrading from a surveillance solution, D-Link's IP surveillance solutions can meet your business requirements and help you achieve maximum value with the minimum resources," Harrison continued.
There are many reasons to invest in a modern video surveillance system. With a network video solution, retailers can better manage inventory loss and fraud. All types of retail business from a single shop to a whole chain of malls can benefit from IP surveillance to truly enjoy the successful retail operation.