Vigilant eyes carrier partnership

Thursday, July 23, 2009

FOXBORO, Mass.—Though video management software maker Vigilant is committed to the systems integrator channel, the company is eyeing another route to market as well: A major partnership with a telecommunications company that would make video surveillance part of its commercial service offering.

“What we see is that local carriers are looking to differentiate themselves,” said Steven Curtis, senior vice president, sales and service, for Telco Systems, Vigilant’s parent company. “We’re banking on surveillance as a service. You already have the disaster recovery and storage as a service, the magic of cloud computing. The infrastructure is in place – so why not do surveillance, too?”

Potential carrier partners would white-label Vigilant’s solution, so the company would have no brand exposure to the end user market. Some carriers will carve out a portion of their central station to do the monitoring of the video themselves, others might actually contract out the monitoring to a traditional security monitoring operation, Curtis theorized.

Carriers have an advantage because they own the bandwidth, and don’t have to charge a margin on it, like traditional security providers do, he said. In addition, carriers already have a client base used to paying them a monthly fee and signing a long-term contract.

“The carriers can go in there and lock them in for five years,” Curtis said. “They’ll also lock them in for voice and data, but with surveillance the customers won’t jump to a competitor for five bucks less a month.”

But why Vigilant? Shahar Ze’evi, newly hired Vigilant corporate sales engineer and with a background at NICE, said its Vigilant’s back-end that makes the company attractive to the carriers. “When you look at the screens, they all look basically the same,” Ze’evi said of video management software providers. “The back-end is what makes Vigilant strong ... we have a solid solution that scales well, that can be used with different bandwidth scenarios, can be used regionally or nationally, and it’s very easy to drill down into all of the cameras.”

Also, Vigilant’s relationship with Telco Systems, a large networking firm, helps the company understand what “carrier-grade” means when it comes to reliability. 

“It’s a five-9s type mindset,” said Curtis. “When you look at tuning the network, we have the networking equipment to be able to look at each surveillance stream, that’s what large enterprises and carriers are expecting to see.”

Vigilant is hoping to announce its first major carrier partnership in the near future.