Managing customer expectations for VCA

I recently attended and spoke at IMS Conferences’ European VCA Conference where a common topic of conversation was how suppliers can do a better job of promoting the capabilities and success stories of VCA in security. My impression was of an industry with a communication problem: its products can deliver real value but it is struggling to demonstrate how to end-users.
By Jon Cropley, Principal Analyst, Video Surveillance and VCA, IMS Research July 6, 2011

IMS research: excellence in market intelligneceI recently attended and spoke at IMS Conferences’ European VCA Conference where a common topic of conversation was how suppliers can do a better job of promoting the capabilities and success stories of VCA in security. My impression was of an industry with a communication problem: its products can deliver real value but it is struggling to demonstrate how to end-users.

To be honest, VCA suppliers aren’t completely blameless for this situation. Many of them will admit that when VCA was first introduced, they were sometimes guilty of overselling its capabilities. This led to end-users becoming disillusioned.

Delegates at the conference I attended generally recognized they need to better manage customer expectations. VCA is not 100% accurate in all situations and false alarms are sometimes inevitable. However, this does not mean that VCA is not a useful aid to manned surveillance in these situations. It is still often a more effective solution than competing alternatives. This is a key point: when end-users compare VCA to their existing solution, the response is usually favourable.

The supply base for VCA remains fragmented and includes many small suppliers. Marketing messages from these companies often get lost. Suppliers need to better educate integrators and end-users about the benefits of VCA. More importantly, they need to show the benefits of VCA compared to other detection technologies.