Magazine article Security Management

Are We Being Misled?

Magazine article Security Management

Are We Being Misled?

Article excerpt

IS THE CLOSED-CIRCUIT video market ready to qualify as a mature industry?

CCTV has emerged from being viewed as a fascinating new medium into being considered an essential option for solving real security problems. In the early years, the CCTV industry was replete with examples of growing pains typical of a market trying to find itself. Manufacturers prospered simply because of the increasing demand for CCTV products. But, as the marketplace expanded, manufacturers failed to take time to devise sound policies that would serve the industry as a whole.

Simply put, in our efforts to keep up with rapidly changing technologies, those of us in the manufacturing side of security often forgot we were running businesses that must change as well. As a result, companies that should be prospering are finding it difficult to grow. Why? In my view, two factors come into play.

First, every company wants favorable publicity for its products. But the amount of what can only be called selfserving articles and books seems to have increased. When systems do not work as described or products cannot deliver what is promised, the whole industry suffers. Users become suspicious of technologies and the marketing strategies used to promote them.

The increasing number of publications in the CCTV field reflects the growth of CCTV as a viable industry and proven security technology. These periodicals serve as a window into our market for potential users. We should participate in the education of those who sell or use our products, but with that charge also comes a responsibility. We should not mislead people in our desire to promote ourselves. CCTV cannot be all things to all people. Company profiles that inflate capabilities in an attempt at promotion raise unrealistic expectations on the part of potential users. The industry's credibility must be based on the dissemination of accurate information, especially on matters of basic, general knowledge. Inaccuracies can lead to mistakes, and mistakes hurt the reputation of the industry as a whole.

Forums that encourage the expanded use of CCTV are healthy for the industry and productive for end users. Training, no matter what the form, should be encouraged. Informed users will directly affect the selection, application, and installation of the high-quality CCTV systems of the future.

A second factor has inhibited the CCTV industry's ability to mature: Marketing policies are confused. In the rush to compete for sales, relationships among distributors, dealers/installers, and end users have become unclear. When addressing the down-to-earth need for the orderly distribution of our products, we lacked the same resolve we showed when developing new product lines. …

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