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What are business security camera and surveillance systems?

Today, it is commonplace to find businesses and facilities using a commercial security camera system to enhance safety and protect their staff, assets and buildings.

Put simply, a commercial security camera system, or a business surveillance system, is a set-up of video security cameras, video recorders and software that enables commercial video and building security systems teams to view and capture video.

These building security camera systems can operate 24/7, day and night, and provide security operators with enhanced situational awareness that they otherwise would not have. The video footage captured by the business security cameras is transmitted to a central station where the security team can monitor it in real-time or view recorded footage. 

There are many reasons for the adoption of commercial security camera systems, often referred to as commercial surveillance systems, business surveillance systems and CCTV systems for business. See the different types of commercial security cameras and how they integrate with existing business security systems.

The evolution of business security cameras systems

Business security camera systems and CCTV monitoring systems have come a long way since the infancy of CCTV systems for business, which were first available in 1942. Back then, they were known as CCTV surveillance systems, sometimes referred to as closed circuit camera systems. A CCTV system for business included analog commercial CCTV cameras which would provide a video feed to specific viewing stations via cables.

Giant strides have since been made in the advancement of CCTV systems for business. The introduction of commercial wireless security cameras, also known as IP or cloud IP cameras, and cloud-based technologies has revolutionized traditional commercial CCTV systems for business. This means that business video and security camera technology has evolved over the years and has become more accessible but, more importantly, affordable for small businesses, large corporations, various organizations and other commercial uses like large venue and stadium security.

Why commercial security camera systems are important

Commercial security camera systems are now a need-to-have rather than a nice-to-have. They are a crucial element of an effective security plan and provide camera system operators for business with the bigger picture of what is taking place on their site or across multiple locations.

Similar to the use of video security systems and cameras in schools and government facilities, commercial camera systems play a key role in helping commercial video surveillance teams to identify potential threats or unfolding incidents. Once a threat or incident is seen by the security team via the camera systems for business, they can respond quickly and stop the event from becoming critical.

The speed of the security team’s response can be further improved with the aid of video analytics that automatically alerts the operator to potential incidents captured on the commercial security camera system.

According to the University of North Carolina, the display and use of business security cameras help to deter 60% of burglaries. This finding reaffirms the need for a commercial video security system to stop these incidents from happening and/​or capture evidentiary footage of such events in order to prosecute those carrying out the burglary

The leader in commercial video security

  • Superior coverage and situational awareness

  • AI-powered video analytics to spot incidents

  • Smart search to find items of interest fast 

  • Easy integration with ONVIF® compliant platforms

Components of commercial video surveillance systems

As stated earlier in this guide, commercial security camera systems are composed of three pieces of technology; security cameras for business, video recorders and commercial video security system software.

Camera systems for business

Security cameras for business help capture the scene of a monitored space. These cameras are the eyes of the business video security team, helping them to see the activities taking place around their facility. The footage captured is recorded by the commercial CCTV cameras and then saved in a commercial video surveillance storage system. A business security camera system may also offer on-device storage for certain cameras as a fail-safe for short-term recovery or auditing.

Commercial video security system storage

Commercial video security storage systems, also known as video recorder systems or CCTV storage systems for business, store the video footage captured by business security cameras. There are three different types available; network video recorders (NVR), digital video recorders (DVR) and a hybrid storage system

Commercial video security system software

Commercial video security system software, also referred to as a video management system or video management software, allows your business video surveillance team to view live and recorded video captured by the business security cameras.

The software also enables your team to manage the entire commercial security camera system from one interface. This includes being alerted to potential incidents, managing access via an integrated access control system for users, checking health reports for business security cameras and more.

Business security cameras: Types and use cases

Wired vs. wireless security cameras for business

Security cameras for business come in many shapes and sizes and possess different features depending on the security camera companies offering these solutions. First and foremost, it is important to outline the types of commercial security camera systems. 

There are two types of camera systems for business. The first and more traditional option is wired commercial CCTV systems. This commercial CCTV system connects analog security cameras for business to monitors and video recorders via cables which help to both power the cameras and transmit and store any footage captured. 

The second, more modern solution, is the wireless security camera system for business. This building security camera system transmits footage over an internet connection to the commercial video security system operator. These wireless IP security cameras are normally connected to a power supply in order for them to operate, but some solutions can be run on standard batteries. 

Now that the types of commercial security camera systems have been outlined, this guide will move on to explaining the key benefits and drawbacks of each system. 

Wired security camera systems for business

Benefit: As the business security cameras are connected to the power supply, video recorders and viewing stations by cables and wires, businesses can be reassured that their commercial CCTV cameras will reliably provide coverage as long as the power is on. This makes wired security cameras for small businesses, as well as large businesses, a good choice.

Benefit: More commercial CCTV cameras can be installed within a wired CCTV system for business. This makes a wired business CCTV system a viable option for companies who are planning to carry out a large commercial CCTV system deployment.

Drawback: These wired commercial CCTV cameras can be costly to install. The additional wiring and cabling required can significantly increase the outlay for a large commercial CCTV system deployment.

Wireless security camera systems for business

Benefit: With commercial camera installation for small and large businesses, the commercial video surveillance team has the flexibility to remotely monitor their sites.

Benefit: IP commercial cameras usually possess more advanced features compared to wired analog business security cameras. From enhanced camera control to AI-powered analytic capabilities, a wireless security camera surveillance system can make the job of the security team easier with better coverage and incident alerts.

Drawback: The effectiveness of a wireless building security camera system depends upon the reliability of the internet connection. The business video surveillance team may lose their camera feeds during periods of an unreliable or weak internet connection, which could hamper any monitoring activities and potentially put the business at risk of incidents taking place without the team’s knowledge.

The best commercial security cameras for various scenarios

Although there are numerous business security camera types, these are the main three types commonly seen utilized within office buildings, retail stores, hospitals and more.

Dome and bullet commercial security cameras

Bullet and dome security cameras are commonly mounted to the ceiling or a wall and are positioned to capture the scene of a particular area. Both cameras can be installed for use indoors or outdoors and are ideal for monitoring small to medium-sized spaces. These commercial indoor and outdoor dome and bullet security cameras provide a decent level of weather protection and possess good zoom and low-light capabilities.

Fisheye business security cameras

Ideal for monitoring indoor spaces such as lobby areas, hallways and rooms, 360-degree security cameras provide comprehensive, wide coverage from a single vantage point. The fisheye camera is known for being unobtrusive so many customer-facing businesses prefer this camera

Pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) business security cameras

PTZ cameras are a particular favorite of business surveillance system operators as the camera type can be controlled to move in any direction and provides great zoom capabilities. PTZ commercial outdoor security cameras provide wide area coverage, for example, in parking lots. Built to withstand tough weather conditions, PTZ cameras provide reliable choices for parking lot security cameras, complete coverage in many different outdoor conditions.

Video management systems (VMS)

A VMS is a crucial component of commercial video surveillance systems. It enables security teams to view live and recorded footage as well as manage the overall building security camera system. 

When choosing security cameras for your business, it is important to consider that the VMS integrates fully with your business security cameras. This helps to ensure that all the components within your business surveillance system work seamlessly together to provide your security team with the tools they need to enhance safety and security.

The day-to-day duties of business video surveillance teams can become overwhelming at times, so it is essential that the VMS is easy to use and provides a user experience that even novice operators can be comfortable with.

Multiple security camera companies now provide a VMS that offers more functionality and features in keeping with the advancements made in video security. These include AI-powered video analytics, integration capabilities with third-party cameras and cloud video surveillance capabilities. These advancements help business surveillance systems teams manage the safety and security of their facilities as well as expedite incident response times.

Explore Avigilon video management systems

  • AI-powered video analytics focus your attention on potential threats

  • Accelerated video search helps reduce investigation time from hours to minutes

  • Intuitive video management that extends across any number of sites

  • Cloud-based and on-premise offerings provide solutions for any environment

Commercial security camera systems: On-premise vs. cloud

Whether your business chooses to manage the commercial security camera system in the cloud or on-premise, there are some key things you need to be aware of.

For on-premise commercial security camera systems, the solution will need to be managed by the on-site security team. This includes maintaining the commercial video security system’s hardware as well as carrying out any software updates. On-premise solutions also result in a large upfront investment when installing the commercial security camera system.

With a cloud-hosted camera system for business, one of the key benefits is that the building surveillance system can be managed from anywhere, anytime. A cloud-hosted solution is more scalable but, as the solution grows, users will need to account for higher subscription fees and a stronger internet connection to ensure that the building surveillance system can function properly on the cloud.

Commercial camera systems for different industries

Depending on the industry your business operates in, your requirements and reasons for procuring a business surveillance system will differ. So, what are the requirements for your business and why do you need to install a commercial video security system?

Reduces violence

For commercial business sites such as retail stores, casinos and company office buildings, commercial security camera systems are a necessity. For many sites, including government buildings and hospitals, the main reason for adopting business security camera systems is to enhance safety and security by reducing criminal activities.

Prevents theft

CCTV security systems for business can also help to prevent theft. According to a University of Florida National Retail Security Survey, small businesses lose between $25,000 to $33,000 every minute to shoplifters. However, it’s not only small businesses suffering.

It is essential that sites such as retail stores and office buildings do what they can to eradicate theft, whether that is from a member of the public or an employee. Using retail store security cameras or an office building video security system would go a long way in reducing theft as the simple presence of business and office building camera solutions can help to dissuade a person from committing theft or another illegal activity. 

Should theft occur, the facility’s commercial video surveillance system or office building video security system team can easily record the incident while responding to it, store the footage recorded and share it with the appropriate authorities via the VMS to prosecute those responsible.

Ensure high productivity

Aside from the safety and security reasons for installing commercial security camera systems there is another key motivation﹣to improve operational efficiency. For many retail outlets, warehouses and manufacturing facilities, it’s important to ensure that processes are optimized.

Whether it is using business security cameras to highlight potential machinery malfunctions or identify inefficient stages within the manufacturing chain, business surveillance systems help to ensure productivity is high and the business can continue to operate without a hitch.

Monitor dangerous locations

For oil and gas sites, utility businesses, and ports, commercial surveillance systems do much more than provide enhanced safety and security. They provide an extra pair of eyes in potentially dangerous locations to monitor the oil and gas site for operational efficiencies, provide video security teams with awareness of malfunctioning equipment at an electric substation and help the port team address any shipping incidents and queries by checking the recorded footage from the business surveillance systems.

How do commercial surveillance camera systems differ?

As you can imagine, the larger the facility, the more spaces that require video security monitoring. This means more security cameras for business and, in turn, the need for more video recorders and footage storage appliances or CCTV cloud storage space.

Examples of these vast business surveillance systems can be found within shopping malls, hotels, and transportation hubs, such as airports and train stations. A significant number of business security cameras will be required to monitor spaces both open to the public and employees only.

The security team will require more features and capabilities from their business surveillance system such as video analytics, IR and enhanced VMS user management. All of these features will enable the business video surveillance operators or commercial CCTV systems teams to have better situational awareness to proactively respond to incidents and seamlessly grant new users access to the CCTV security systems for business.

For small facilities, such as corner retail stores, bank branches or even a small office building camera security setup, the size of the commercial CCTV system is much smaller. With fewer spaces that require video monitoring, these smaller facilities do not need to install a vast CCTV system for business.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that these business surveillance systems are lacking advanced technology features. Video analytics can still help alert commercial surveillance systems users to incidents. IR capabilities built into surveillance systems for businesses allow teams to see what’s happening in the dark.

Key considerations when buying a business video surveillance system

What will you use it for?

Do you plan to use your commercial video security system to monitor the safety and security of your facility? Do you intend to use the business security cameras to improve business operations and detect any issues with machinery? Security camera companies will ask you these questions to determine the best business security camera systems for you.

Features required for the business security cameras

Does your commercial video surveillance system require features such as video analytics, IR capabilities in low light, a wide field-of-view, or resistance to weather and/​or tampering? The answer to this will determine the best commercial security cameras for your business.

Installation

If you’re planning to do a large commercial security camera installation, it is recommended that you hire a professional to ensure the solution is set up properly. 

Video storage

Depending on the number of cameras you install around your facility and how long your cameras will operate, you will need to work with your business CCTV system provider to calculate the video storage that you will require, either on-premise or on the cloud. 

Integration capabilities

Does your site already have an access control system or an alarm solution installed? Although not a necessity, it is beneficial to have the possibility to integrate analog or IP cameras with your commercial video surveillance solution to improve decision-making and incident response times.

Budget

This, of course, could be the major deciding factor when procuring a CCTV system for your business. Does your budget extend to your being able to purchase the security cameras, video storage and VMS you require? Does it allow you to spend a little bit more to get the best business security camera systems with AI-powered video analytics and other features?

Buyer’s guide to security cameras and commercial surveillance systems for business

Having delved deep into what commercial security camera systems, also known as commercial CCTV systems and business surveillance systems, are and what they can offer to your business, you can move on to researching some of the best commercial security camera brands and the solutions they provide. 

Avigilon, a Motorola Solutions company, is your one-stop shop for all your end-to-end security solution needs. Avigilon provides an extensive range of security cameras for business, with powerful management software and integrated access control systems﹣whether your commercial security camera system needs to be operated on-premise or in the cloud.

Avigilon Unity Video

Bringing together video security, access control and cloud management under one centralized platform, Avigilon Unity provides businesses with a flexible on-premise access and video solution for commercial surveillance.

What sets Avigilon Unity Video apart from other commercial CCTV camera systems providers is its advanced AI-powered video analytics that help business security camera systems teams focus on what matters most. With these analytics, operators can take advantage of effective object classification, with the ability to detect up to 50 objects within a scene, and be alerted to incidents automatically.

Alongside cutting-edge technologies such as Avigilon Appearance Search™ and full unification with Avigilon Unity Access, this solution also offers cloud-managed software that enable security teams to monitor their facilities and operations via their security cameras for business from anywhere, anytime.

Highlights of the Avigilon Unity Video on-premise commercial video security solution include: 

  • Full range of powerful video security cameras designed to solve the unique challenges of commercial buildings and properties.

  • AI-powered analytics for real-time alerts with object, people and vehicle detection. 

  • Advanced camera features for superior image quality, even in challenging lighting conditions and harsh environments.

  • 100% browser-based software for streamlined management of your entire facility.

  • Cloud-managed options for anywhere access to live and recorded footage. 

  • ONVIF compliant and FIPS 140 – 2 certified for high-security on-premise deployments.

Avigilon Alta


As a cloud-based security solution for commercial uses and beyond, Avigilon Alta provides a scalable and intelligent solution for organizations looking to move their security operations to the cloud. Combining both cloud-based video security and access control, Avigilon Alta extends real-time anomaly detection and enables smart search capabilities across your entire deployment, even existing third-party cameras. 

Alta Aware is a cloud-based VMS that allows operators to connect existing infrastructure to the cloud via the Avigilon Ava Cloud Connector. Choose from the full range of AI-enabled smart Avigilon ava security cameras for commercial deployments, with easy-to-install models that provide crystal-clear imagery details with integrated video and audio analytics. 

For commercial video security systems, the Avigilon Alta Aware video management software enables a fully cloud-native control panel accessible from any device via secure login. The powerful Alta Aware VMS is equipped with advanced analytics that empower security operators with live heat mapping, occupancy tracking and smart maps for better decision making and improved response.

Highlights of the Avigilon Alta cloud-based video security solution include: 

  • AI-powered commercial video cameras for enhanced visibility and detection.

  • Ability to make existing security cameras smart with cloud-connected capabilities.

  • Find what you’re looking for fast with intuitive Smart Search™ and Spotlight features.

  • Easy-to-use mobile app to view live footage and triage security incidents. 

  • Fully open architecture supports integrations with third-party systems and devices.

  • Native integration with Avigilon Alta cloud-based access control.

Have questions? We can help

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