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How AI video surveillance changed the security integration business

How AI video surveillance changed the security integration business
Though AI helps security companies provide more efficient systems to customers, integrators are forced to catch up with a fast-changing algorithmic world.
AI is integral to video surveillance now, but how prepared are the systems integrators to provide its full value to customers? Are traditional physical security integrators skilled and knowledgeable enough to meet the new challenges that algorithms bring in?
The arrival of intelligent software has definitely changed so much in physical security. Perhaps the most noticeable change is that integrators who had to deal with hardware primarily must now deal with software and the nuances that come with it. No longer can they remain focused on the cameras, access control systems, alarms, etc. but have to think of the bigger picture where tons of data is generated, processed, and used for various purposes.
How do they keep up with this change? Some integrators increasingly look for employees who are proficient in software along with hardware. Others may also want to ensure employees upskill, reskill, and cross-skill to keep themselves relevant. We recently spoke to some leading industry professionals to get a better understanding of the situation.

Early days for the industry

Although AI is being thrown around as the buzz word, it is early days for the industry. Developers continue to come up with new updates and features that can provide more value for money. Some experts feel that more integrators will adopt AI as a necessary part of their skill as the technology matures.
“AI’s impact on video analytics in the systems integration business is only beginning,” said Dan Berg, Integrations Product Manager at Salient Systems. “Once AI matures, and revenue opportunities develop, we can expect more adoption. Ideally, an integration organization would have an AI champion on their technical team who can deploy it and a salesperson who can help the end user understand how and where to use AI analytics.”
Once customers can identify those uses, they can benefit from the treasure trove of data that AI can provide, particularly patterns that the human eye doesn’t notice, like suspicious behavior that occurs over time.

What’s different with AI

The use of AI in physical security requires integrators to think beyond the conventional concepts. This means video is not just about footage but metadata as well. Security is not just about cameras and access control, but numerous sensors and the data that they gather.
“Thanks to AI, cameras produce not only video footage that needs to be transported, stored, managed, and searched, but also metadata that is used for video analysis by sophisticated algorithms and AI models,” explains Fabio Marti, VP of Marketing at Azena. “As such, modern video systems require integrations into a wider landscape of systems than ever before to maximize the full value of this metadata.”
Whereas video projects have traditionally been infrastructure-heavy, there is a new emphasis on the mining, processing, and aggregation of data to enable customers to get the most out of the information collected by the cameras.
“This transition is requiring integrators to have knowledge of other ancillary platforms in order to realize the full benefits of these new data-driven, end-to-end solutions for their customers,” Marti added. “These integrations can include tying in smart cameras with AI-enabled analytics with digital signage to redirect traffic in the event of an accident.”
Integrating video data into an Enterprise Resource Planning or other business intelligence platform can guide organizations with new efficiencies in their logistics or manufacturing operations. Adding video data to building management systems can drive automation in environmental controls for reduced energy and building operating costs.

Labor shortage and AI

One of the most significant issues that continue to plague the systems integration industry is the lack of talent. This became even worse during COVID-19, when physical restrictions limited people’s movement. Sam Joseph, Founder and CEO of Hakimo, pointed out that AI helps in this regard.
“With the recent staffing shortages in the security guard industry, adoption of AI has become a necessity,” Joseph said. “This is a great opportunity for integrators to be proactive and offer AI products and solutions to their end users.”

Cybersecurity challenges 

Cybersecurity has become a serious problem for the physical security industry. Integrators have to remain updated about the latest cybersecurity challenges, zero-day vulnerabilities, and exploits. This may not be easy for many physical security integrators who have been in the industry for years and have become more accustomed to the hardware side of things.
Integration companies may have to hire people who are skilled in both cyber as well as physical security now, but this is not easy as the formal education programs in this field are limited.


The arrival of software and AI is a turning point for physical security. Though they help security companies provide more efficient systems to customers, integrators are forced to catch up with a fast-changing algorithmic world while being equally proficient in the hardware side of things.
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