This month Simon Banks talks to Darren Rewston, Creator of CheckMyCCTV™, a software solution that remotely performs maintenance checks for multi-brand, multi-location CCTV systems, to ensure they’re working and fit for purpose 24/7.
How has the demand for remote access to CCTV systems changed during the lockdown?
Over the past few months, many Installers have seen their traditional business models disrupted and have understandably spent time reviewing their estates. Many have used this time to upgrade and future-proof older connections by moving aspects of their maintenance onto a remote checking platform. When the lockdown started, no-one knew how to react! Installers had sites that couldn’t be attended by an engineer, where stock was being stored and end-users were obviously concerned. As the risk to premises and people grew, so did the demand for remote access to ensure systems were working correctly. This was reflected in a significant increase in the number of connections compared to the same period last year. Installers wanted to be able to prove to their customers that they were still offering them a great service, even if they couldn’t physically attend a site.
Has the way we monitor CCTV systems changed because of this?
In many instances, yes it has. Lots of ARCs have transitioned from their normal 12-hour monitoring set up, to 24 hours, whilst thousands of maintenance visits had to be done remotely instead of onsite. Going forward, I think this is part of the “new normal”, especially for multi-site estates, where huge savings in cost and workload reduction can be had by doing most of their service checks remotely, allowing the company to focus efforts on new business. However, simply moving these checks online does not solve the entire issue. For large multi-site retailers or critical infrastructure projects, sites are often under different management teams, and checking sites manually, even remotely, still takes a lot of time and resources. Having the ability to check thousands of sites automatically and autonomously, using an online checking platform, can save hours of time every single day. We also see instances where end-users need to complete daily checks of the CCTV systems. This can be replaced entirely with automated remote checking which also ensures they take place in a consistent format and issues are reported as they happen.
How can remote maintenance platforms benefit CCTV Installers and ARCs?
The need to be proactive, rather than reactive, is increasing all the time. With regular automated checks, issues can be identified and resolved before they become a problem. Remote maintenance checks allow Installers and ARCs to create a proactive service for their customers, reducing the need for the end-user to report faults and ensuring systems are working and fit for purpose. Onsite annual maintenance visits are still required to clean equipment and check the hardware isn’t damaged – but this only ensures the CCTV is working one day a year. For the other 364 days, it is the end-user who must spot issues on the system. Furthermore, any faults identified during a site visit may need parts to provide a fix, which could take days or weeks and could have been an issue for months. Remote access allows Installers to proactively check for and identify issues, allowing them to be prepared to fix an issue remotely, or arrange a maintenance visit if required.
YOU SAID IT!
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