Has the video surveillance industry ‘jumped the shark’?

The video surveillance industry has seen strong, sustained growth over the past decade due primarily to the continued adoption of high resolution IP cameras in greater and greater numbers; however, the mood of the market has become increasingly dreary of late as the trend of hardware commoditization has begun to eat into the profit margins of vendors and systems integrators alike. While many companies have begun slashing prices to stay competitive, the fact remains that trying to compete on price alone is simply not a viable, long-term strategy for organizations that want to experience growth or even remain relevant. The question then becomes how can a company differentiate itself and create value for customers beyond mere cost considerations?

According to Tim Palmquist, vice president for the Americas at Milestone Systems, one of the biggest reasons why the “race to the bottom” has been able to gain a foothold in the surveillance industry is due to complacency and a desire to continue with business as usual. Speaking to a crowd of attendees at the annual Milestone Integration Platform Symposium (MIPS) held this week in San Antonio, Texas, Palmquist compared current state of the industry to the now infamous episode of the TV show “Happy Days” in which Henry Winkler’s character, the “Fonz,” jumps over a shark while water skiing. The phrase, “jump the shark,” has subsequently become synonymous with things that have lost their authenticity and Palmquist believes this could be applied to some video surveillance firms.

Have you noticed, in our industry, some of the conversations that are going on and some of the words and phrases that are being used? The landscape in which we’re operating has shifted a little bit, there’s a new dynamic afoot. Some would even say, ‘well, the glory days of IP video are coming to an end.’ Has our industry jumped the shark? – Tim Palmquist, Milestone VP Americas

To the contrary, Kenneth Hune Petersen, chief sales and marketing officer for Milestone, feels the industry hasn’t lost its way, but rather innovation has become stagnant.

We have to decide whether we want to stay in the past or whether we want to jump on the train that takes us into the future. – Kenneth Hune Petersen, Milestone CSMO

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by JOEL GRIFFIN, Editor SecurityInfoWatch.com