Video surveillance continues to be a hot topic for those in the security space as well as consumers in general.  Consumers recognize the power of security surveillance – we watch the local news with criminals being busted by video surveillance cameras and we’re all aware of the cameras monitoring us at, convenience stores, retail outlets, airports, schools, universities and other public places.  For those in the security space, video surveillance technologies dominate the conversation as the trends have moved from DVRs to IP video and to cloud and managed services.

Speaking of the latest video surveillance news, ADT Commercial Security (soon to be Tyco Integrated Security, one of the biggest brands in the video security space) recently released preliminary findings from The National Retail Security survey.  The preliminary findings found that U.S. retailers lost more than $34 billion to theft in 2011.  While this sounds like an inordinate amount, this report shows a $2.6 billion decreasewhen compared to the $37.1 billion loss reported the year prior.  The decrease in retail theft can be attributed to the widespread investment in technologies and integrated solutions by retailers, including video security surveillance.

 We recently caught up with Shahar Ze’evi, product manager, Tyco Security Productsto get his take on the video security market, including new trends in the space, as well as their work with Dell OEM Solutions.

Tell us about your company and what makes you distinct in the video security market.

Tyco Security Products and its portfolio of brands form one of the largest security portfolios in the world.   We have engineers specializing in video security, access control, intrusion security and location based security and retail specific group.  American Dynamics, the group I work in, helps companies protect their assets, information and people through our line of video-based security and integration solutions.

We are one of the very few companies that provide a complete, end-to-end offering.  All of our products work together as one.  I like to compare us to the Internet, cable and phone providers.  Five years ago, you received these services from three different providers, wrote three different checks and required to worked with three different customer service centers and when your IP phone did not work they send you the your internet provider for support, because their service is working “its your internet service problem!”

While most people today write one check to one provider.  That’s the same way we operate – we have unified the video access control and security offerings into one. Feature and functionality is unified for enhanced user experience and all support calls are resolved under one roof.

What main problem were you trying to solve by engaging with Dell OEM?

First, it’s important to understand that we wanted to design a video security solution that delivers high-performance and high-availability of HD video, all in a single appliance.   That being said, we’re a security software company – not a computer hardware company – and  there is no need to develop server technology where supply chain capabilities that Dell offers to build us our own purpose built  appliance.  We also didn’t want to just randomly buy what was available on the market today, because those appliances might not all have the same hard drive, memory, CPU, etc.  By working with Dell OEM Solutions, we know that every appliance we ship to customers is the same as what we originally qualified.  Consistency in the components allows us to provide a better quality product to our customer—and that’s our number one priority.

Why is a single appliance important?  What are the benefits to Tyco and your customers?

Let’s talk about the customer first as that’s what really matters.  Our customers are increasingly moving to high-definition video for their surveillance systems, and they’re looking for a single appliance without the need for additional storage.  By building our appliance on Dell’s PowerEdge servers, we are helping customers streamline appliance ordering, reduce their infrastructure footprint and minimize operating costs.  In addition, customers receive better support.  There’s a single 1-800 number for customers to call when they need support from us and they aren’t bounced around between hardware and software companies when something isn’t working.  There’s a single point of responsibility and this goes a long way.

For us, as a global provider, the benefit is being able to leverage Dell’s global manufacturing muscle and supply chain capabilities providing localized access to spare parts and support.  We know customers will get the advertised performance and this provides peace of mind.   Additionally, the Dell OEM XL program enables us to continue to offer and support previous generation servers as part of our video security appliances even after the release of new servers.  As a result, we can launch new products based on the new Dell PowerEdge 12th generation servers, synchronizing the integration of new hardware with the next version of our software.   Having advance notice of changes in server technology is critical for planning updates to our video security appliances, and that’s exactly what the Dell OEM XL program provides.

We recently saw the preliminary security report from The National Retail Security Survey showing a $2.6 billion decrease in U.S. retailer theft.  What role do you think video security surveillance played in this decrease?

We see the decrease in retail theft as a direct result of the widespread investment in technologies and integrated solutions by retailers.  Security solutions are proving to be a solid investment and have saved retailers billions of dollars in losses every year.  There are a number of technologies and services available today to help retailers prevent theft, decrease shrinkage and track merchandise effectively, and we believe video surveillance is one of those key technologies.

What new trends are you seeing in the video security market?  Which new technology is the most exciting for Tyco?

The big trend in the market right now is, like with your cell phone, advanced technology.  Three years ago your cell phone had a three megapixel camera and today it is an eight megapixel camera.  These high-quality, high-resolution cameras are entering the security industry as well.  That being said, we need solutions that can manage and store all that data.  Storage is something that is constantly changing – to maintain the same number of cameras and same settings you need more storage.   We can now get higher capacity of storage in our appliance than ever before.