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CCTV and the Cloud

Monday, 18 January 2016

With 85% of vehicles now fitted with CCTV, the coach and bus sector is generating huge amounts of data. Ongoing trends towards more cameras per vehicle and higher quality images,  as well as the industry-wide transition from analogue to IP mean footage collected by operators is increasing exponentially. All this data, however, has to be stored somewhere.

Increased storage requirements represent a tangible physical cost – storing all of this on site will soon become cost-prohibitive even to the largest operators. 

Which is why cloud storage is becoming an attractive option for operators with complex CCTV fleets. Combining a management platform such as Synergy3 with the cloud, it delivers an immediate reduction in internal infrastructure and management requirements, replacing storage servers with a scalable service - at a comparatively smaller monthly cost.

But it’s not just infrastructure and storage savings that the cloud offers – it’s a useful tool in speeding up claims handling and protecting operators from fraudulent claims and scams such as crash for cash. 

When a vehicle returns to the depot in the evening, all footage collected can be uploaded directly to the cloud, offering immediate access to the stored data for multiple users from multiple devices – at the same time. 

In practice, this means significantly shorter processing times for claims and therefore greatly reduced claims handling costs. It also enables operators to settle quickly, before the intervention of a third party claims company.

The current process required to resolve a claim or investigation is laborious: footage has to be watched, marked, downloaded to disk, sent to the insurance team through the post, watched again and only then would a response be issued. This process is not only lengthy, it is also open to fraud, error and compliance issues.

As footage is uploaded and held behind high levels of encryption, cloud storage today offers increased security when dealing with sensitive data. Holding footage onsite or downloading and sending through unsecured mail (on and offline) presents a major risk from unauthorized access and physical damage – two things that are circumvented by holding off site.

To enable compliance with data protection legislation, pairing cloud storage with a back office management programme provides companies with a clear audit trail – imperative when presenting footage as evidence.

Cloud storage of CCTV has the potential to dramatically reduce costs, increase security, speed up claims and increase accessibility. Far from being a gimmick or passing trend, the cloud is here to stay and offers real business benefit to operators.