Panasonic video surveillance

Q&A From the Top: Bill Taylor

Security and video surveillance technologies are changing at a rapid pace, which presents challenges for integrators, users and even suppliers like Panasonic, which has a strong presence in the security marketplace. We spoke with Bill Taylor, the president of Panasonic System Networks Co., about how a large company like Panasonic stays ahead of the curve.

Q. How do you see the industry changing, and what is the effect on users and integrators? What is on the horizon for end-user companies looking to install security and surveillance systems?

A. Security professionals are continuing to migrate system infrastructure to a networked platform, as it provides advanced integration and functionality capabilities that are simply not attainable with analog-based systems. From corporate management's perspective, networked video surveillance systems not only improve overall security operations while lowering total cost of ownership, they are also a valuable management tool that can be applied to many different aspects of daily operations, such as warehouse management, manufacturing process control and retail traffic management.

The new business environment for these systems is reshaping the mindset of system designers and integrators, as well as equipment and software suppliers. Justifying budgets for these systems is based on several new parameters with integration and scalability being big influencers as they hold the key to adapting systems for future business applications.

Q. How do Panasonic's product offerings reflect the changing needs of users and integrators?

A. With tens of thousands of products in Panasonic's comprehensive suite of products, our research and design teams have immediate access to technologies developed for previously unrelated products and systems.

For example, megapixel imaging is one of the current technology trends in the professional security industry—and a core technology in Panasonic's leading lines of broadcast and consumer cameras. We're leveraging this experience with our networking expertise from various communications, computer and business product groups to deliver the most advanced IP megapixel camera systems available for video surveillance applications. Another example is the integration of Panasonic's video surveillance technology and point-of-sale systems to create an integrated solution that enables retail businesses to manage multiplelocation sales and back-end operations with advanced reporting features. The system can help combat and discourage falsified charges at the cash register, fraudulent worker's compensation claims, liability lawsuits and more. These previously unrelated systems now provide a very powerful business solution on a common platform.

We are pursuing the integration of core technologies across all product categories to provide individual products with best-in-breed performance that can integrate with our vast portfolio of products. By continuing to increase the performance and integration capabilities of these individual products, we are moving closer to our goal of integrating the entire suite of Panasonic products on a common system platform.

Q. What is Panasonic's current position on open systems?

A. Panasonic is a big supporter of open-systems interoperability as evidenced through our Panasonic Solution Developer Network, which now has well over 120 global members. We provide PSDN members with our application programming interface to enable development partners to support a range of Panasonic products. We also support efforts such as the Open Network Video Interface Forum and the Physical Security Interoperability Alliance to encourage the adaptation of industry standards that will yield higher levels of integration on an industry level. It is vitally important that our industry works toward interoperability standards and protocols, especially as they relate to networked and IP-enabled security and video surveillance devices, so that manufacturers adhere to common practices while providing end users with greater options.

Q. Is the transition to IT-based systems a challenge for a company like Panasonic that has been so strong in the analog world?

A. We anticipated that the security industry's initial migration to an IP platform would be slow given the lack of infrastructure and related control software to fully capitalize on the inherent benefits networked systems offer. We will continue to leverage this extensive experience with networked products and systems that we are now incorporating into our IP video solutions.

Additionally, we are actively working with other thought leaders to establish truly open platforms for enterprise level applications. It is undoubtedly a challenge—one Panasonic is most aptly suited to resolve given our extensive expertise and experience in system solutions.

Q. How do industry changes affect Panasonic's role as a major player in the industry?

A. Panasonic is in the unique position to provide application-specific and/or enterprise-level systems solutions for virtually any size venue as a result of our extensive portfolio of video surveillance products and systems, as well as related lines of solutions, such as like point-of-sale, communications and business products. As networking continues to gain traction, we anticipate that specific product areas like megapixel cameras also will continue to grow as market demand increased for higher levels of system performance and integration.

In addition to offering new products and system technologies, it also is imperative that we work closely with both users and resellers to provide education on how to best implement these solutions. Unlike other milestones in the professional security industry, the move to a networked environment involves previously unrelated but established products and system technologies. This requires resellers in particular to seek education and has created another layer of competition as resellers in the IT, POS and business product categories now are looking at the traditional video surveillance market as a viable business solution and opportunity for new business development. Fortunately, Panasonic has a strong presence and established relationships in a wide spectrum of product categories and markets, which allows us to best align our reseller partners so they can collectively capitalize on their respective strengths.

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