Wednesday, August 27, 2014

6 Benefits of Deploying IP Surveillance System

IP-based surveillance has a lot of advantages and is gaining popularity all over. Some of the major advantages are listed below:

Optional Info. An IP based surveillance requires an IP Camera. Wikipedia defines An Internet protocol camera, or IP camera, is a type of digital video camera commonly employed for surveillance, and which unlike analog closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras can send and receive data via a computer network and the Internet. Although most cameras that do this are webcams, the term "IP camera" or "netcam" is usually applied only to those used for surveillance.

Remote accessibility

As the surveillance system is installed over an IP network, it can be configured to provide remote access. IP-based surveillance system facilitates remote access by which a user can log into an authorized system without being physically present at the location. Remote access is very handy when it comes to a third party monitoring and also for personal access and monitoring when the person is away.

Users can also login to a server remotely by using a web-based interface in order to view real time video footage on PCs as well as mobile phones. The captured video can be stored at remote locations for convenience as well as security purpose, and the data can be transmitted over the optical fiber or LAN cable or Internet. Also, remote support and end user training is also possible in an IP surveillance system.


High Image quality

Image quality has always been considered as one of the most important features for a surveillance system. Normally an analog camera is about 0.5 mega pixel, whereas, an IP camera can range from 2 mega pixels to some 20 mega pixels. With a high quality camera, you get crisp images, and it becomes easier to view and identify any individual or event, which is the prime purpose of the surveillance system. In IP surveillance system, images and videos captured from camera are digitized and these can be shared over a secured network. There is no loss in quality of the images or videos even when they are transmitted over long distances.

Easy, future-proof integration

In an IP system, there is no limitation as to where an IP camera can be installed. Additionally, they can provide higher level of integration with other equipment, which helps in the continuous development of the system. An integrated IP system enables multiple applications simultaneously such as access control, point of sales system etc. Moreover, further installation of security cameras with the existing system is also possible whenever necessary. IP surveillance system provides open interface for easy integration with other applications and systems.

Scalable and Flexible

IP based systems provide applications and products to be shared through wired or wireless network for communication of data. Video, audio, I/O commands, power as well as data can be transmitted over the same cable and a large number of surveillance equipment can be added to the existing system. IP based surveillance cameras can be placed anywhere as per the user’s requirement.

Cost Effective

In IP based surveillance system, infrastructure requirement is very less. Also, and IP camera can be installed using the existing network infrastructure. This reduces implementation costs significantly. Again these systems can operate irrespective of the size of network and it is only necessary to purchase as many cameras as you need. These systems are based on open standards and use standard PC and server hardware. This, in turn, reduces the management, maintenance and equipment cost, especially for large systems where storage and servers form a major chunk of the total cost of implementation.

Event management and intelligent video

Video data can be easily accessed and viewed as many times as wanted. Any real time data or recorded data can be viewed from any location. Whenever there is large volume of data to be reviewed, intelligent software with built-in analytics is available. The intelligent system responds to pre-programmed commands like motion detection, tampering alarms, audio detection as well as event management. Specific event can be programmed for which the system will respond. All the data can be recorded and organized in a very efficient and effective manner.

About The Author

Michelle Patterson is an avid technology blogger and writes extensively about IP/VoIP and Unified Communication. She works with some leading companies to understand the trends of these modern communication technologies.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Can a Call Center Be Taken To The Cloud?

--Guest Post

So many business applications are being taken to the cloud these days. You might even wonder if a large call center can be treated that way, and if so, then what some of the pros and cons of such a thing might be.

Cloud Call Center

In at least one way, it is possible to take a large call center to the cloud: You can re-task some of your qualified agents to answer customer questions via SMS text message. This will allow your customers to feel as if they have more control, and can get their answers quickly, rather than being on endless hold, listening to the same looped music.

SMS messaging is actually a preferred mode of communications for many people, simply due to its immediacy, ease-of-use, and convenience. Over 275,000 SMS messages a second are sent worldwide — that's over a billion a minute. It only makes sense, then, for a business to leverage that power to communicate with their customers. By doing so, they will be rewarded with better response rates. Reports show that more than 90 percent of SMS messages are opened, most of them within three minutes of receipt.

Pros of SMS systems:

  • Automatic responses can be configured for certain situations or questions
  • Text conversations can transition easily to a live agent
  • History of an SMS conversation can be viewed, giving an agent context
  • One trained agent can handle multiple conversations simultaneously, thereby lowering customer frustration levels and wait times.

Cons of SMS systems:

  • SMS messages are prone to delivery failure. Your messages might not get through, thereby angering the customer.
  • Space must be allocated in the SMS message for user to opt-out at any time.
  • SMS messages are just that — short. 160 characters is all that will send at any one time; anything longer will have to be broken up, which can often be clunky and difficult to read.

Is there Another Way of Taking the Call Center to the Cloud?

Yes, there, is. The savvy business owner doesn't have to invest in a brick and mortar building any more, along with all the overhead associated with it. Nor do they have to limit themselves to hiring the talent available in only that one geographical area, because let's face it — people will travel only so far for a job, no matter how good it is.

Another way of taking your Call Center to the Cloud is by making it virtual — in other words, having a central piece of hardware that can exist anywhere; your geographically dispersed agents (who typically work from home) call into it using their own phones, Web connections, and computers. This central hardware acts as a connection point that routes incoming calls with available remote agents.

So what are some of the benefits of doing business this way?

  • Dramatically reduced overhead can be repurposed for other corporate uses
  • The Virtual Call Center (VCC) model offers a company a greater pool of talent, across the country or even internationally
  • This model also allows a company to build a better skilled team
  • Agents who work at home are less prone to stress and frustration, therefore are more satisfied with their jobs. Thus there is usually less turnover in these positions.
  • VCCs also offer greater availability and continuity of service. Agents can be hired to break barriers to work that couldn't be broken before, such as language, time zone, or cultural differences.

There are a few cons, however:

  • Monitoring, management and evaluation of agent performance can be quite a challenge when staff is scattered across multiple locations, and may not be there at the same time.
  • Ongoing training on new products and services, policies, campaigns and promotions, etc., is difficult to provide.

The bottom line is that a business must decide, based on a candid evaluation of its needs, which model of call center is suited best to their way of working.

Author’s Bio

Michelle Patterson is an avid technology blogger and writes extensively about IP/VoIP and Unified Communication. She works with some leading companies to understand the trends of these modern communication technologies.