Video Surveillance: State of the Market

Friday, January 13, 2006
Posted by Brawlin Melgar
by JoanEngebretson
January 8, 2006

Expectations are high for growth in video surveillance this year, as evidenced by installers, distributors and manufacturers who spoke with SDM for this first article in our four-part series on the health of the industry by product segment.

The video surveillance market is poised for a great 2006. That’s the consensus among a wide range of security dealer, manufacturer and distributor executives with whom SDM Magazine spoke recently. Rapid advances in video surveillance technology are bringing clearly demonstrable benefits to end users, but at the same time, the technology is mature enough that it can be appealingly priced and broadly sold to a wide range of markets. Annual growth rates in video surveillance revenues of 10 percent to 15 percent per year are common among the security dealers SDM interviewed.

A few dealers are seeing growth rates that far surpass the industry average. “We’ve doubled or tripled our video sales each year over the last three years,” notes Bruce Turry, president of Atlanta-based Ackerman Security Systems. The company has seen a significant increase in the complexity of systems that it sells and in the number of locations that each business customer is connecting, Turry adds. “Customers realize that video is a real tool for the prevention of incidents and keeps costs down,” he says. “They often see a reduction in security staff and operating costs.”

Heightened awareness of security concerns on the part of end users is also driving video sales. Secure Devices LLC of Ferryville, Wis., has noted a large number of inquiries about video surveillance since security cameras helped capture suspects in subway bombings in England in 2005. “Sales for the upcoming year should be excellent based on the number of calls we’ve been getting,” notes Secure Devices co-owner Ray Hubbard, adding that he could make even more sales if broadband connections to support remote monitoring were more widely available in his southwestern Wisconsin community.

Along with heightened awareness has come increased funding for security within many organizations, particularly those involving transportation, such as airports and transit authorities. Such organizations “have a mandate and have cash,” notes Joe Moore, vice president of marketing for Monmouth, N.J.-based manufacturer Infinova.

“Surveillance cameras have become an integral part of most commercial building budgets,” adds Nick LaBella, director of product management for security distributor ADI in Melville, N.Y. “The need to record and reproduce video images of employees and visitors is very important to a company’s insurance plan and personnel safety. Federal and state owned buildings require CCTV coverage.”

High-profile incidents such as the London subway bombings also have raised awareness about how sophisticated today’s video surveillance systems have become. MCM Integrated Systems, a Van Nuys, Calif.-based systems integrator that sells