Nick Paterson-Jones, Head of Marketing, Cloudview explains how the company is evolving and addressing on-premises surveillance challenges.
When Cloudview began making its presence known in the surveillance and cloud-based solutions markets, it focussed on why it was necessary to adapt to take advantage of cloud security capabilities not offered in traditional CCTV systems. It is safe to say that people have listened.
An emerging business with an innovative offering, Cloudview seeks to address problems on an individual customer-basis and explain to prospective clients how cloud capabilities can solve existing problems and, in the process, create an infrastructure for the future. Though this remains a core message, the company is continuing its growth by forming key partnerships with system integrators, installers and surveillance manufacturers to support end users and achieve a common goal – affordable, reliable, effective security.
“Previously, we were purely talking about cloud-based event video recording,” explained Nick Paterson-Jones, the company’s Head of Marketing. “At first, we went to market largely as an alternative to on-premises surveillance. The slight change in our marketing now, however, is that it doesn’t have to be a replacement – instead, it can be a complement to on-premises recording.”
Many of Cloudview’s clients wanted the flexibility of video stored in the cloud along with event definition (motion, cars and/or vehicles) and the proactive near real time nature that cloud access brings – so that they could gain access to desired video clips from anywhere with the right authorisation levels – but still wanted to retain the local recording. “The company has listened to its clients and changed its messaging,” continued Paterson-Jones.
“In doing so, we have uncovered a massive opportunity where customers with existing CCTV installations who want the advantages that cloud surveillance offers can migrate to the cloud with minimal disruption by using existing camera and cabling infrastructure. This removes a significant cost barrier to cloud migration by reusing the cameras and NVR recorders they already have in place – we can work alongside these.
“There is no doubt that this change of approach creates significant value for end users who have secure infrastructure and are trying to leverage value from their existing equipment particularly when budgets are already tight.”
Offering support in a variety of ways
Since the company’s inception, Cloudview has looked to create social value and support local communities as well as the wider range of end users that have adopted its solution. As it looks to evolve further, residential housing, local authorities, storage and logistics companies and construction sites are some of the sectors that are at the fore of the company’s planning.
Paterson-Jones expanded on this: “For residential installations – if the hardware which is being fitted follows a traditional model – cameras and NVR will typically be supplied and then, many a time when the job is finished, those who have been contracted will naturally move on to the next customer straight away.
“However, if they can instead go back to their existing customer base and say that, for a nominal fee, they are able to provide cloud backup so that the user can access footage from anywhere, it gives them another revenue stream for them to talk to customers about – this is a concept we are really trying to push in 2022 and beyond. In addition to this cloud storage, the installation can become more powerful in the future with the addition of other cloud-based analytical features.
“Ultimately, we are brand agnostic. There are many different camera manufacturers and whatever a customer’s preference is, it is fine with us! We don’t want to be tied to one camera brand because that limits us to interacting with a select pool of customers. We want to be able to support everyone in any way we can and, by taking this approach, we can really make strides in both innovation and customer service.”
Another major objective for Cloudview is related to legally admissible footage. When thinking about video surveillance from a responsible and ethical perspective, the primary objective of a camera is to collect evidence of an event and capture it for charging and prosecution. With major developments taking place in the world of surveillance analytics, for example, it is vital that, particularly in environments where the protection of people comes into play, footage can still be accurately captured, stored, quickly accessed and then used in a judicial environment or police investigation.
“We are in a position to provide video evidence that is legally admissible in a court of law,” said Paterson-Jones. “We want our clients to know that. When we are talking to housing associations, it’s imperative that they have footage that could be used to prove cases of criminal damage, violence or theft. As a result, they can be reassured that legally admissible footage comes as standard with our solution.
“Providing CCTV evidence post-incident has a significant impact within a court of law. You must provide the prosecution with that evidence and that’s what the Cloudview platform does. By having rigorous processes in place, audit trails and having the footage locked down and made inaccessible to those that do not have authorisation, you can then present this information should it ever be contested. Clients can rest assured that if they do capture the footage, it can be used.”
A cloud-based approach
Cloudview has recognised the key issues that consistently crop up when it is engaging with clients who use an on-premises approach as their primary form of video surveillance. In many instances, it can be as simple as the end user not knowing whether or not a camera is recording until after an incident takes place.
To avoid the shock of going to a site to retrieve footage and then finding out that it hasn’t been working the whole time, the company is addressing these key problems in a methodical way and encouraging those working in surveillance to adopt a cloud approach. “If there has been criminal damage, antisocial behaviour or somebody has claimed that they have been injured on a construction site or retail premises, if that footage hasn’t been recorded, then there is no leg to stand on,” added Paterson-Jones.
“Another issue is that the majority of the time, cameras are recording 24/7. This means that if you come to investigate an event that has taken place, but you don’t know when it happened, trying to find that information buried in 30 days of footage will likely be an archaeological dig. It’s very time-consuming and resource intensive. Even if you know what day the event took place, you’ve still got hours’ worth of footage to scroll through.”
As well as the inconvenience of having to dig through captured footage, one of the major risks of relying on on-premises surveillance is the potential theft of equipment. Not only is this rife on industrial sites, it is also a common problem facing housing associations and local authorities.
“By adopting a cloud surveillance model, though theft is still an inconvenience from a cost perspective, at least the footage has been recorded and the evidence of the crime is available. Another bugbear for many people, particularly given the impacts of COVID-19, is having to go to sites to pick up footage. With a cloud-based solution you’d have got that footage remotely just by logging in and downloading it.
“In many commercial and residential environments, CCTV is a necessity. It is, however, a necessity shrouded in reluctance. A cloud-based approach solves a massive capital expenditure because you will only be paying a small nominal fee per month as opposed to a large upfront cost. At shows like The Security Event, one of the things we want to get in front of people is the benefits of having cloud alongside their security equipment.”
Paterson-Jones concluded: “In our webinar which we are producing with Security Journal UK, we will be delving into five key problems related to traditional on-premises surveillance in great detail. Moreover, we will be discussing the ways in which Cloudview can solve these problems and will review a case study, at a London Riverside apartment, where some of these situations arose in a real life setting.”
To find out more information about Cloudview, visit: cloudview.co.uk
This article was originally published in the April edition of Security Journal UK. To read your FREE digital edition, click here.