As an increasing number of security industry so-called ‘box shifters’ go to the wall, Viseum UK controversially speaks out against the whole concept of CCTV security box shifting, saying “anyone’s CCTV security has never been a box shifting exercise so good riddance to it.” The Viseum boss points out that a technological sector is “no place for novices looking to make a quick buck by simply moving items from A to B and charging a mark-up, with no concept of quality or the needs of customers – this has gone on long enough and the industry’s reputation can only be enhanced as a result of their demise.”
The economic downturn has forced many buyers to look more closely at budgets and how their security systems are performing, with many concluding that some legacy systems bought from box shifters in the past were simply not fit-for-purpose. Fortunately high tech consultancy and real solutions companies like Viseum UK have stepped in to fill the void that CCTV ‘cowboys’ have left – helping CCTV operators and schemes left in the lurch to source cost-effective solutions that actually are fit-for-purpose.
“Sadly, for many years people did come into our industry to jump on the bandwagon of maximising sales and profit with scant regard for quality or their customers’ actual needs. Sticking up CCTV cameras everywhere willy-nilly, these firms may refer to this as ‘the good old days’ but were selling what in my opinion was a ‘lot of old tat’; this type of activity was I believe responsible for the many reports that only a fraction of cameras ever deliver results. The box shifter gave security solution firms a bad name,” said Stuart Thompson, Managing Director of Viseum UK. “This tarring of everyone with the same brush was grossly unfair and fortunately, their number is now up. I cannot say anyone will miss them.
The security industry is far more sophisticated in the 21st century and you must understand the demands of each project and the unique challenges your customers face, then deliver a system that meets their budget constraints – and that actually works,” Stuart added. Together with other specialists in the sector, Viseum is working hard to repair the damage the box shifters have done and is itself boxing clever with genuine ROI illustrations for specific urban scheme scenarios, which will be familiar to those at the sharp end.
“Best-of-breed specialists like ourselves have to undersell and over deliver when it comes to people and asset security, and we have no problem with that. But when any such CCTV camera scheme by the box shifters actually manages to capture a crime (for once) it makes headline news; a bizarre situation, when the headlines should focus on why they don’t capture more. The recession has forced people to examine more closely what their systems are actually delivering, and not before time – particularly when overselling by the trade costs clients so much money in both loss and criminal damage – both unacceptable at any time but especially in such challenging economic times,” added Stuart.
The economic downturn has affected many industries and the security sector has not been immune. However, Viseum is enjoying their best year ever in terms of bottom line, proving that business can still succeed in difficult times. “Fiscal constraints have shone a harsh light on those with poor customer service whose products don’t deliver,” explained Stuart. “Bad news for them, but good news for Viseum and other genuine solutions specialists. The economic squeeze has adversely affected the box shifters business, leading to a sharp decline in their orders and a sharp rise in ours.”
“It’s always sad when any business suffers, but there is no longer any hiding place in the security industry for sub-standard products, service and after-care. We have a positive outlook on the economy and the recession is at least separating the wheat from the chaff with the best UK companies rising from the ashes.” One example from Viseum’s case files is that of business owners in Cumbria being asked to contribute financially to maintain CCTV monitoring in town centres, after budget cuts and the borough council’s scheme to save £80,000 a year. These kinds of cuts are by no means uncommon and in the face of such retrenchment measures, Viseum has stood ready to fill the void. Viseum’s CCTV systems work on built-in intelligent software, allowing the camera to make its own decisions based on what surveillance instructions the CCTV operator has given it.
Viseum recognise it’s no good offering a fantastic system that no one can afford, so with unrivalled ‘virtual gigapixel’ camera performance, it is capable of covering with just four cameras an area of over 46,750 sq m that would require at least 40 “industry leading” megapixel cameras to try to match. It is this level of performance that is boxing allegedly shifty operators into a difficult corner.