Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may not be as large as companies in the enterprise market, but they are equally important in contributing revenue to the economy. According to World Bank, formal SMEs contribute up to 40% of national income (GDP) in emerging economies. They represent about 90% of businesses and more than 50% of employment worldwide.
SMEs grapple with tight budgets, fewer administrative resources, and lack of in-house IT talent, particularly in the face of the unique challenges brought on by the pandemic. However, in truth, with the technology being matured and more products available in the marketplace resulting in cost reductions, the security goals of SMEs are evolving and getting more advanced.
Gaining a proactive approach with AI
Security installers around the world have been asked for optimal solutions that can help SMEs balance budget and security needs. With a lack of administrative resources, it is less likely for SME customers to have dedicated security personnel to look after daily security operation and management. Sometimes when a security breach occurs and loss suffered, there could be a gap in security for a considerable amount of time until they have noticed it.
Today, technology has taken video intelligence to the next level with increased accuracy and performance, thanks to AI development and Deep Learning algorithms. There are many industries and markets where AI already is making an impact in significant ways, including SMEs who used to be faced with thousands of recorded videos finding evidence of an event. Now, they can enjoy real-time and accurate alerts with fewer distractions. They also gain a proactive approach by identifying potential hazards before they happen. And all this at only a small incremental cost to their business.
One example is use of Hikvision’s security devices with AcuSense technology powered by AI. AcuSense works to distinguish between human, vehicle and other objects using its smart algorithms. This means it can filter out security alerts associated with human (and/or vehicle) only triggered those for further attention and action. This greatly helps SME customers save on the overall labor cost that could otherwise be used for business improvement.
Seeing with clarity and color
Video systems have embraced the evolution of resolution for some time – from 480 pixels, 720 pixels, to 1080 pixels and now 4K. People want to see more and see more detail when they are needed. For SME customers, this is not an area they would risk compromising in a security system. Why? Imagine if they found a video clip containing key evidence of an event, but the video images were grainy and unclear. This would make it difficult to see a face, or to distinguish the color of clothing or of an automobile. All efforts would be in vain.
Research shows that color is important to aid clarity, improving object recognition. It also shows us that in the CCTV world, there is a ‘strong correlation’ between camera performance and color fidelity. The ability to see detail and color in the dark is one of the most important aspects of a security camera and there are many technical factors that influence this ability. For example, the sensitivity of the image sensor, the lens aperture, and applied image processing.
Today’s new technologies have empowered modern video cameras to see better in any light and in high resolution. Hikvision’s security cameras with its signature ColorVu technology are a great example of this. They guarantee video with colorful details even in extremely dark scenarios. A next-generation series of the cameras goes even further, using 4K Ultra high definition (UHD) to deliver crisp images that provide richer detail.
Checking in remotely and respond promptly
The enhanced ease of connectivity and scalable bandwidth made possible by Cloud technology is stimulating more companies, including SMEs, to connect a lot more video security cameras to their networks.
Having all the security systems and data tucked away in an IT closet is no longer in the best interests of many SMEs. Push notifications, remote viewing of video, and cloud services are now mainstream for SME customers and their security solutions must support these capabilities.
Among others, Hikvision’s Hik-Connect app offers seamless connection with all its security devices, allowing SME customers to view real-time videos, playback, and receive event notifications remotely wherever they are. This means they can monitor remotely, or even open a door with audio communication for example. This really saves SME customers some time as they go about their busy day.
Looking to the future
Beyond security and monitoring use cases, SME companies are taking advantage of a raft of new technologies like AI, cloud service, technological convergence to undertake a range of tasks. Whether it is by utilizing a proactive security approach to look after their people and assets, or by upgrading their standard security system to high definition to look clearer and act precisely. Or expanding the system with audio, intercom and access control to automate processes. Or keeping a watchful eye on their day-to-day business operations remotely.
All in all, they are quick to seize on the possibilities offered by today’s next-generation video systems to maximize return on investment (ROI) with the lowest cost of ownership. With international organizations such as the World Bank lending more services and improving their access to finance, SMEs will continue to grow and embrace more possibilities.