Studies have shown that, when used in a well-targeted manner, CCTV cameras can be an effective crime prevention tool, especially in big cities like London. As physical security continues to be a critical component of information and asset security, companies throughout the UK rely on CCTV-based security systems more than ever.
Deploying and maintaining CCTV systems requires a great deal of niche-specific know-how, and sometimes entails dealing with legal as well as technical requirements. This leads many companies to rely on a London service provider for their CCTV systems. Managing this partnership is a major responsibility for business owners and managers, as CCTVs are a major component of a company’s security system.
Thus, it is not something that should be taken lightly. It may seem appealing to choose the London security solution provider that offers the best price for installing and maintaining your system, but this comes with a great deal of risk. Do you really want to leave your company’s security in the hands of anyone less than a top professional?
During our twenty year history of providing CCTV solutions in London and the surrounding areas, we have had the privilege of forging many such successful partnerships. The proverbial silver bullet that guarantees this outcome for every business case still eludes us, of course. There is no one ingredient to account for a success recipe in this field. However, a broader picture of a successful partnership strategy is an approachable subject.
There are three traits that we have found over and over again in our most successful partnerships: a mutual understanding of technical, legal and human factors, a shared willingness to assess quality together and as early as possible, and mutual understanding of long-term plans and expectations.
We think that a solid partnership is based on three important components:
But why does this strategy work? And, more importantly, how can it be implemented?
In terms of difficulty, CCTV projects are extremely diverse. Many small businesses need nothing more than a camera pointing at the door. At the other end of the difficulty spectrum, we have companies — some of them surprisingly small — which handle sensible data and need complex surveillance, access control and logging solutions, with features such as facial and number plate recognition.
Needless to say, the cost and complexity of CCTV deployments also range from “minimal” to “barely imaginable”. In order to propose a solution that fits your requirements, your London service provider will rely on understanding:
The quality of the solutions that they will propose will invariably depend on the quality of their understanding of these topics. Once again, this is why you should always work with CCTV professionals in London. You need someone who’s done this before, someone who can provide testimonials and customer references.
Building a good understanding of the first of these topics requires that you be completely upfront about what you need. In particular, you should never hide your expectations; for instance, if you need to install surveillance in order to monitor work efficiency, you should explain that to your provider, rather than try to use footage from CCTVs deployed for physical security.
Think about it this way: would you lie to your doctor, even if you are embarrassed about your symptoms? Well, if you care for your health, you shouldn’t!
The same goes for the safety of your business: be upfront about what you need so that your partners can come up with solutions that address your problems early on – before they turn into nightmares.
This is also where your understanding of your work environment is most critical. There are many factors that contribute to the efficiency of CCTV surveillance.
Some of them are purely technical, and you service provider should know them. Others are mostly environmental (lighting, temperature), and can be gathered based on observation alone. When it comes to human factors, though, such as your clients’ or staff’s requirements and preferences, no understanding is better than your own.
Building a good understanding of the other two topics — budget and existing infrastructure — is critical to getting the most cost-efficient solution. Existing infrastructure, in particular, is a double-edged sword.
Integration is rarely free; depending on what they need to be integrated with, some CCTV models just need to be plugged in, while others need additional interconnecting equipment, converters and cabling. On the other hand, depending on what you need, your service provider may be able to come up with a budget-friendly upgrade path that takes care of your every problem, instead of a budget-scorching, complete overhaul.
Building this level of mutual understanding requires disclosing sensible information. If you are concerned about this, it is often a good idea to discuss the legal implications with your legal department or counsel first, and enter the planning stages with a solid legal strategy already in place.
In order to be better protected, you can always sign an NDA with your London security solutions provider. Look for someone who understands the complexity of your business and does not hesitate to go above and beyond to guarantee your security on all levels.
The proverbial proof in the pudding may be in the eating, but with security equipment of any kind — including CCTVs — you should never wait until they’re first needed to see if they’re any good. The quality of any security installation needs to be verified as early as possible, and with great attention to detail.
Your London CCTV installation service provider should be able to explain to you not just where they plan to put the cameras and how, but also how they will test that they do what you need. It is not enough to see that your cameras work, what you need to check is that the image parameters match your requirements and that they work as expected within your security infrastructure.
That is, you want to make sure that:
Thorough testing spares you the costly iterations that are needed to bring a system to compliance in small steps. If you wait for every problem to manifest on its own, it can take months or years to eliminate every hidden flaw — and the associated patchwork costs time and money. Besides, there is always the risk that a burglar will find some of these flaws before you do.
It may seem like testing is an unnecessary nuisance, but as any good professional in the field will tell you, it can save you a lot of trouble and even a lot of money.
Just as with requirements and budget, it is important that you be upfront about testing. If you do not see how compliance with one of your requirements is tested, ask. At worst, it will only be met with an answer that is not immediately obvious to a non-technical person. At best, it will be an oversight caught at no cost whatsoever, or it may reveal additional requirements that you were not aware of.
Remember: it may turn out that you are not legally responsible for a breach, and insurance may eventually cover the losses, but your business will be the first to deal with the consequences of a failure. You should check that your system works before its efficiency ever gets tested against a real attacker.
When it comes to long-term usage of cabling and security infrastructure, there are two topics that routinely come up: maintenance and upgrading. Ideally, you want to discuss both with a service provider that you trust.
CCTV maintenance, while not trivial, is usually understood well enough that it can be at least partially performed in-house. However, an experienced service provider can draw on a wide pool of information to help you fine-tune your maintenance procedure.
Devising a long-term maintenance plan together will also help you ensure that any maintenance activities that you cannot perform in-house will have a minimum impact over your day-to-day business operations.
As for infrastructure development, while coming up with a solution that works today is hard enough, it’s a piece of cake compared to coming up with a system that will scale in the long run and that can be cleanly upgraded when you take your business to the next level. You and your security service provider should not work only based on your current requirements, but also based on your long-term development plans and priorities.
This is not to say that you should purchase equipment that you do not need today in the hope that you may need it tomorrow. You can rarely anticipate your requirements in so much detail. But if you know what trends you expect, your service provider will be able to match them with trends in the CCTV market and in the broader security services market.
This way, you will ensure that your investment is not only future-proof, but also perfectly scalable with minimal costs. This is the very definition of good practices in the field and it’s something that any good London CCTV system installer will tell you.
As we have shown so far, a solid partnership is built on three pillars:
What these three components have in common is *knowledge*. We think that in fields such as security, where accountability is key, the “why” is at least as important as the “how”. You should know why your partner recommends a solution; you should know why it is safe; in a word, you should know why your partner is to be trusted.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Be honest and open and try to understand as much as possible about your new system. This is how a durable relationship is forged.
Understanding your requirements, the context which shape them and the financial and infrastructure context in which they need to be met is key to providing a system that reliably meets them. Once the system is delivered, the results of a quality assessment are the only ones you should take into account when wondering how protected your business is. And an understanding of how your business will grow is key to devising a system that will support, rather than hinder this growth.
Need more help understanding your company’s security needs? We’re here for you! In fact, this is why we offer a completely FREE, no-obligations assessment.
Our team of skilled engineers and technicians can come to your London office at a time and date of your choosing and assess your current system and recommend adjustments. Or plan for a brand new system from scratch.
All of these is completely free, just like the detailed report you will receive after our visit. Claim your free assessment now!