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Understanding and Navigating the Ecosystem of Good Surveillance Software Solutions

Searching for a better way to monitor your stores? Learn why you need an integrated ecosystem and what features to look for in surveillance software.

Those who oversee multiple retail, restaurant, or convenience store locations can’t be everywhere at once. At least, not without a little help. Implementing an omnipresent surveillance ecosystem allows you to keep an eye on everything that goes on in your stores all the time. Old-school surveillance was limited to recording footage, but modern monitoring ecosystems have much more to offer.

Advanced systems not only capture and review incidents with customers and employees alike, but they also link with your point of sale (POS) system to capture performance metrics you can view from your phone. You can also receive real-time data on individual employees to reward and retain your highest earners. In addition, your ecosystem can give you video audits of high-risk transactions for an added layer of security and transparency.

Modern surveillance software encompasses so much more than it used to. With it, you’ll be able to increase efficiency, improve employee performance, heighten security, capture everything, and review what you need—all from your phone. Why leave anything up to chance? When it comes to your business, you’re in the dark until you have a surveillance ecosystem set up.

surveillance ecosystem
Source: Shutterstock

The Need for Modern Surveillance Ecosystem

It’s easy to fall behind the rapid pace of technological innovation. Running outdated systems not only creates more work for you but also reduces your capacity to manage your employees and serve your customers.

Competitors that adopt new systems will quickly outpace you with greater efficiency, security, and oversight. However, to fully understand what a surveillance system can do for your locations, you must first study the makeup of a modern surveillance ecosystem.

1. Cameras

Cameras come in two basic forms: analog and Internet protocol (IP)/digital.

Analog cameras are old technology. They cover less ground than their digital counterparts and produce lower-quality footage. Despite this, they can be a good option if you’re trying to get a basic system running on a tight budget.

IP/digital cameras tend to be pricier than analog options, but the added costs confer many long-term benefits for your business—especially if you have multiple locations. For one thing, digital cameras produce clearer images with higher resolutions. They have a broad field of vision, and they allow you to zoom in on images. Digital cameras can also upload footage, giving you remote access to recordings and live feeds. Additionally, some come with smart features like motion recognition recording.

Special Features

There’s always room for customization, and every business has a unique setup that creates specific challenges you may want to target. Different cameras come with a host of additional features designed to cater to specific needs:

  • Dome cameras can be a deterrent because they don’t show where they’re pointing.
  • Infrared cameras can pick up images without any light, making them a good option for those who require advanced security measures.
  • Discreet cameras capture images and audio from a hidden vantage point. However, check your local laws before installing this type of camera.
  • Movable cameras allow you to zoom in and out, reframe, and tilt images to capture detailed footage.
  • High-definition cameras provide crystal clear, detailed images for in-depth monitoring.

Every business has different surveillance needs, so choose camera types and placements based on your specific requirements. For instance, do you want your cameras to be out in the open to deter bad actors, or do you want discreet equipment? How do you need the footage to be? Figure out what your ideal setup looks like and go from there.

business security metrics
Source: Shutterstock

2. Recording

Storage has long been an issue when recording hours of footage. However, recent advancements in video compression have significantly reduced costs. Plus, with the introduction of motion-activated recording, you can save even more on storage. The system only stores footage when activity triggers the camera. Low-traffic areas are a good use case for motion-activated recording, as you don’t want to pay to store days’ worth of empty footage.

3. Analytics

This is one of the most helpful advancements in surveillance technology for owners and managers. Smart surveillance ecosystems can track employee sales metrics to give you detailed data on performance. Implement a system with a real-time reporting dashboard to capture irregularities, discover revenue-driving behavior, and spot containable losses. Surveillance analytics can run on cameras or computers, meaning you can track behavioral data visually, auditorily, and through your POS.

4. Interaction

Don’t discount the importance of integrating an intuitive user interface into your surveillance ecosystem. You might have all the tools to capture anomalies, but it’s essentially useless without an easy way to access and make sense of this information. Smart interfaces don’t require in-depth technical knowledge; they package the data and footage you collect and present it in a way that makes sense.

Finding an Easier Way With Savi’s Surveillance Ecosystem

Mo Bettah’s director of operations, Zach, was struggling to navigate the outdated, obsolete effectively, and complicated surveillance software interfaces he was encountering. He needed an easy way to investigate events like customer complaints and thefts but found it difficult and time-consuming to parse through hours of blurry, unintelligible footage. Luckily, Zach found that modernizing with a technologically advanced surveillance ecosystem made all the difference.

Savi’s easily searchable user interface made it simple for Zach to find and review flagged incidents from his phone or laptop. Issues with distorted audio and fuzzy videos stopped interfering with Zach’s ability to get to the bottom of situations. Clear audio and video also made it much easier for him to manage operations.

As Mo Bettah’s experience shows, it’s important to have the right tools for the job. Your ability to oversee operations is contingent on your knowledge of the inner workings of each location. A modern surveillance ecosystem makes it easy for you to watch and learn.

Savi User Interface (Surveillance Ecosystem)
Savi’s User Interface

POS and Surveillance Data in One Ecosystem

Employees in retail and service environments know working with the public can be difficult. Voided, discounted, and refunded transactions are normal and necessary when providing customer service.

Hopefully, most of your employees are working their hardest to maintain accuracy and follow your policies regarding voided transactions. However, your profitability is a direct function of how well employees are carrying out transactions. Regardless of whether errors result from innocent mistakes or intentional subversions of your guidelines, you need to know about it.

For instance, theft is a serious issue that can greatly impact the health of your business. If you don’t have a strong surveillance infrastructure, likely, nefarious actors are already taking advantage of your lax security.

Theft can cut deeply into your bottom line, but it isn’t the only threat you face. Employee mistakes are inevitable, and they can add up. Catching errors allows you to provide better training to improve overall efficiency and performance.

Don’t leave profits up to chance. Sophisticated surveillance ecosystems like Savi combine visual and POS data to give you the full picture of what’s driving profits and losses. Take a look at some of Savi’s surveillance ecosystem’s key features.

Video Management System (VMS) and POS Integration

If you’re monitoring employees solely through video, you’re missing half the picture. Savi designed its system to go through the massive amounts of data your locations generate. It then alerts you to unusual events and presents meaningful data on your sales.

The combination of POS data and video surveillance allows you to review every transaction’s service times, audio, and sales data for a comprehensive review of incidents. If you’ve ever wondered why one location is performing better or worse than another or generating more profits or costs, Savi’s surveillance ecosystem has the answer.

Behavioral Analytics

Catching theft and errors is critical for any business owner, but it’s not the only reason you should invest in a surveillance ecosystem. How well your locations run daily will largely determine your revenue. Savi compiles your aggregate transaction data so you can see how customer trends and employee behaviors are affecting profitability.

Perhaps wait times are too long at one location during busy times, driving people away. Or employees are missing upselling opportunities that increase profits at another location. Your data will show you where you’re leaving money on the table.

Business Intelligence Dashboards

Busy business owners and managers don’t have time to comb through unorganized data or learn to use complicated technical software. Savi designs software for practical use. Overly complicated solutions don’t help your industry, so Savi got input from hundreds of successful operators to develop its platform. Its optimized system best suits your needs, making real-world data-based monitoring easy and efficient.

Loss Prevention and Event Management

Savi serves the retail and service industry. It makes it easy for you to implement data-driven oversight by tracking individual employee metrics and catching suspicious incidents, both internally and customer-based. In addition, Savi has incorporated data-tracking solutions that are for specific services like drive-thrus and curbside pickups. Ultimately, Savi will reduce the time and resource waste at your locations, allowing you to enforce revenue-driving behaviors.

cloud-based surveillance ecosystem
Source: Shutterstock

Cloud Video Is Safer and More Convenient

Before the introduction of cloud infrastructure, monitoring surveillance footage was typically done onsite. Think back to when cameras fed footage directly to a monitor in the back of a store or restaurant. While these setups are antiquated, many small businesses still implement them. The problem with these traditional setups is they come at a high cost and offer little-to-no returns.

Onsite systems present several problems in terms of accessibility and scalability. Cloud video storage is the modern solution to these problems, and it’s quickly taking over as the premier storage method for big and small businesses alike. Old systems store your surveillance data on one server, whereas cloud video uploads your data to a secure network of dispersed servers, enabling you to access your content online.

Cloud-based ecosystems are the future of surveillance technology. Implementing the latest digital advancements in competitive retail, restaurant, and convenience store markets will help you stay ahead. If your competitors take advantage of cloud surveillance to optimize customer experiences and you don’t, you risk falling behind. Considering that, it’s important to understand how the cloud can help your ecosystem streamline your operations.

The Benefits of a Cloud-Based Surveillance Ecosystem

  1. Accessibility: You will have access to your stored data from anywhere: your laptop, phone, or tablet. If you often travel or struggle to monitor multiple locations, cloud-based surveillance infrastructure is incredibly convenient. Additionally, the cloud allows you to outsource data and footage management to a remote or centralized worker.
  2. Scalability: Whether you run one or multiple locations, you always want to plan for growth. Your surveillance system is no exception. Cloud-based storage is instantly scalable, meaning you can seamlessly integrate new store locations into your ecosystem.
  3. Reliability: If you rely on a limited number of internal servers to store your data, you run a greater risk of total system failure. But when you store in the cloud, you can access an entire network of servers. If one server goes down, your data streams automatically switch to another.
  4. Security: It’s reasonable to have security concerns when uploading sensitive data online, but cloud storage is exceptionally secure. Providers implement state-of-the-art features like encryption, authentication, and access controls. Your data is safe in the cloud, and only authorized users can access it.
  5. Ease of Use: Traditional setups are generally non-intuitive. It’s hard to find specific video footage or isolate the data you need. This isn’t an issue for businesses that link their ecosystems to the cloud. With an easy user interface, you’ll be able to cut back on the time it takes to use your data and review your footage.

Savi’s Cloud-Based Architecture

Savi’s architecture is cloud-based, so you get the convenient, secure, and mobile access you need to track and monitor your visual, auditory, and sales data down to the last detail. Accessing your stored information through its user-friendly interface making navigating your data easy.

Savi’s software is designed to be searchable, so you won’t have to fast-forward through hours of footage anymore. Ultimately, tapping into the cloud with Savi allows you to centralize your surveillance ecosystem across all your locations to your devices.

secure point of sale
Source: Shutterstock

The Ecosystem Now Has More Useful Tools

The Savi ecosystem is built to free you from manually going through surveillance footage. Its automated features offer increased efficiency and provide intelligent data analysis. Putting Savi’s algorithms at the center of your ecosystem allows you to respond to incidents quickly and increase your surveillance capabilities.

Savi’s algorithms are specially designed for service and retail environments. Its features and capabilities are customized to address the specific requirements of a customer service environment. The observational potential that’s built into Savi’s software is truly remarkable. Understanding how it works can show you in detail just how much potential for improvement there is when you integrate intelligent algorithms into your system.

Intelligent Flagging

Savi’s algorithms will flag high-risk events and report them to you, meaning you’re notified of and can easily review suspicious activity. This is done through automatic image detection. Savi is a tireless, intelligent, and alert security guard. Imagine how much you miss without a dedicated watcher to alert you to potential errors or nefarious activity. With Savi, you won’t miss a thing.

Video Monitoring

You might wonder how Savi’s software keeps an eye on your employees. It’s done through automated digital image processing. Advanced ecosystems like Savi can use machine learning to detect people through digital images, allowing the system to watch employees just as a person would. Although, unlike a person, computers have an unfailing memory, allowing you to take human error out of the surveillance process.

Video Analytics

Video monitoring systems can perform smart analytics on recorded footage to synthesize mass amounts of footage into actionable data. Features like people counting, service timing, object detection, and facial recognition all work in the background to collect information that would otherwise be impossible to compile.

Business Intelligence Dashboards

Savi uses dashboards to categorize and present its analytical data to you. Depending on the needs of your individual locations, you’ll have access to dashboards built directly for your business model. These dashboards harness the power of Savi’s analytics, video monitoring, and machine learning to bring you up-to-date information. Let’s take a look at some of these dashboards and their uses.

  • Loss Prevention: In the service and retail industries, voids, discounts, and refunds can have a major impact on a location’s profits. Your loss prevention dashboard will track these categories to show you if there are unaccounted-for losses that are potentially the result of internal theft or a lack of training.
  • Employee Performance: There are high and low performers in any industry, but you must know who’s who. You want to reward employees who score highly to retain people, increasing your profitability. You should also use your performance dashboard data to isolate the revenue-driving behavior of your best employees and change your policies accordingly. This way, you can bring up the overall team performance.
  • Store Performance: Your profitability likely varies from store to store. You might have some ideas about why certain locations perform better than others, but you can’t know without the data. Your store performance dashboard will uncover the differences between locations to provide answers.
  • Drive-Thru: If you’re running fast food locations, your drive-thru is a major part of your service. Ensuring that wait times are reasonable and people are satisfied with your service is crucial. Savi’s drive-thru dashboard is designed to monitor your metrics to see if you’re understaffed at certain times or overstaffed at others.
surveillance ecosystem
Source: Shutterstock

Gear Your Ecosystem Toward Employee Safety and Recognition

Savi’s powerful algorithms offer a plethora of benefits to business owners and managers, but employees have a lot to gain as well. It’s hard to identify which workers are excelling, making progress, and working hard from a distance. Some of your best people might begin to feel their work is going unnoticed. Monitoring performance allows you to reward and recognize those who go above and beyond in their duties.

In addition, working with the public can, and likely will, put some of your employees in precarious situations—particularly night shift workers. Implementing smart and accessible surveillance technology protects workers from false customer accusations, physically threatening situations, and harassment.

Explore the Ecosystem of Surveillance Software with Savi Solutions

Encountering bad actors is a reality in the business world, especially when you’re running multiple brick-and-mortar locations. Protecting your interests from theft and fraud is an essential component of reaching your long-term goals. If you fail to do so, it’s easy for others to take advantage of you. Investing in a good surveillance system can pay for itself in loss prevention while increasing your profitability with data analytics.

A surveillance ecosystem will spot and prevent potentially harmful incidents. Whether you’re concerned about vandalism, theft, or overall unwanted behavior, you can protect yourself with an interconnected monitoring network. Simply having a surveillance system in place will deter such behavior. However, these events will inevitably occur anyway, and your system will prove invaluable when they do. When the time comes, conducting an investigation and reaching a balanced resolution is much easier when you have all the facts and details stored in the cloud.

Savi’s software will detect and alert you to fraud. It developed its ecosystem with the help of hundreds of industry experts just like yourself. The platform is tried, tested, and proven to work in real-world situations.

Protecting your employees, improving performance, preventing theft, and providing excellent customer service are all within reach when you implement Savi’s software. Reach out today to expand your surveillance ecosystem.

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