cctv security systemsThe past few years have seen a sudden proliferation of CCTV security systems installed not only to protect business premises but private homes as well.  It makes some of us wonder whether all these security measures really work; and if not, what would make CCTV security systems installed in our homes effective.  To determine that we need ensure we have all the equipment to deal with perceived threats.  There’s loads of information about surveillance systems on this site.

What Options Are Available

Modern CCTV systems consist of three main parts:  The camera, the viewing monitor and recording equipment.  Other than in stand-alone systems, the software which provides surveillance system management through the internet may be considered the fourth component.

The camera can be of many different types with widely varying capabilities.  Some video cameras of the most passive type are oriented toward a specific direction.  The view from these types of video cameras is limited by what is known as viewing angle – these may range from a low of about 20 degrees to more than 90 degrees in some cases.  Wider viewing angles sometimes reduce image clarity to the point where features and faces become unrecognizable.  However, some video cameras sport lenses whose viewing angle can be varied by zooming in and out.  Pan tilt and zoom (PTZ) cameras are very popular these days, most of which feature dome type mounting.

There are pods which hold multiple cameras; units holding four video cameras are usually deployed to monitor four directions where corridors meet.  Some cameras are able to rotate 360 degrees to reduce the need to install more units.

One important consideration when choosing video cameras is the image resolution.  The higher the resolution, the more likely you will be able to make out the faces and features of any miscreants.  For regular monitoring requirements, such as for monitoring your child in his crib, you may not need HD video surveillance.  But in areas where you may need to identify facial features of intruders, an HD video surveillance camera is essential.  CCTV cameras monitoring areas outside the home may benefit from night vision capability, aside from obviously being weather proof.

Monitoring equipment can be any type of screen, but preferably an interactive touch screen.  The size really becomes relevant when the screen has to display video feed from multiple cameras.  The more cameras you need to monitor at the same time the bigger your screen needs to be.  An interactive screen just makes it that more convenient to use.

There are lots of recording options to choose from.  You can capture and record video surveillance footages on analog tapes using VCR tapes.  You also have the option to store video using digital video recorders.  Hard drives store a lot more than any VCR tape could. As they are now very affordable, digital video recording on hard drives is the preferred mode.

For 24/7 monitoring, software needs to be installed, an internet connection has to be present, and a security company usually provides monitoring services.

Whatever CCTV system you choose, it is most important to ensure fitness for purpose – that means the ability to handle perceived threats.

call center software comparison

There are so many websites making one call center software comparison after another that it is very hard to decide whom to believe. There always lingers a bit of doubt that the author of a call center software comparison may be leaning toward one software product to the detriment of the rest on his review list. Thus business people tend view a number of comparison articles before finally deciding on the software that best suit the needs of their call center.

The most logical first step in the search for the most appropriate call center software seems to be to list down all the features which will benefit your particular operation. From there you can narrow the field down by crossing out software offerings without your required key features.

If you want information fast, you can view the features of more than a hundred call center software through the website of VOIP-info. The site even has a filter which allows you to choose dozens of call center software features. The filter can give you a shortlist of software which contains the features you are looking for. But your search should not end there. There are a few basic features of good call center software, some of which may not necessarily be on the list of features. Here are some of them:

Your agents will appreciate a user-friendly layout. After all, call center software is meant to make life easier for your agents. A layout that is hard to understand increases the chances your agents will make a mistake; that is something that can adversely affect efficiency and even your relations with the client. A good layout means easy to understand and easily navigable.

Monitoring and assisting features are very important. Really good call center software allows you to monitor agents in real time. There are also some which allow you to assist the agent by providing information he needs on the screen or to actually coach the agent through whispers. In the worst case, there ought to be an option to take over calls the agent cannot handle properly.

The call center agent, his supervisors and managers will benefit from statistics provided in real time. These statistics can include but not be limited to name and details of the client, call duration, number of calls being fielded, number of calls waiting to be answered, and duration of time waiting.

An interactive voice response (IVR) feature helps qualify calls so you can make informed choices on the most appropriate agent to assign the call to, and its urgency. Qualifying calls also increase efficiency by reducing time which an agent spends asking questions.

An automatic call distribution system is indispensable to call centers especially those with a large number of agents. It is this feature which efficiently distributes calls based on caller location, agent availability, caller selection and other pre-programmed details.

The last feature is scalability. This ensures the software can handle the ups and downs in your demand – this is something inherent in cloud-based call center software solutions.

The time you spend choosing the call center software that best meet your requirements is an investment in operations efficiency. Take all the time you need to make the best choice.

touchscreen technology

You can see touchscreen technology displays at work everywhere you go. You can see people using them whenever they touch their smart phones, in elevator controls, in digital information kiosks, and many other new applications. Lately people have even started using touchscreen technology in new ways to improve retail performance.

One of the most recent uses of touch screens is as an electronic billboard. The intent here is to provide all types of information to the target market. The information can be as simple as directions on how to navigate the different stalls in a mall or collection of stalls in an open air market. It can also take the form of activity schedules, special offers and promotions. The most important information which can be provided through interactive touch screens are about particular products – their specifications, prices, acceptable modes of payment, etc. Touchscreen displays are gaining tremendous  popularity around the globe that people are always attune to any information they come to know about these.

What Makes Interactive Digital Signage Effective?

In retail, as in all business, all interactions with the target market start with enticement. Therefore interactive screens displaying retail items should have the wow factor. It is surprisingly easy to catch people’s attention; all of us are suckers for seeing our own images and movement.

Some innovative retail advertisers use cameras to capture and project a passing person’s image onto a touch screen that contains its message. When people see this, they are immediately drawn to the sign and the message can be more easily passed along. Some retailers even include games where the ‘prizes’ for winning are discounts for its products.

The message should also be presented in a clear and interesting manner. Special gestures can be programmed to elicit certain reactions which lead the consumer to the retailer’s message. Allow the client to discover your message using content that helps guide his actions.

Placement is also important. Some department stores lament that retail activity stops within a couple of dozen feet of the entrance. Strategically deploying interactive screens at retail dead spots can help solve the problem. People get attracted to the slow sections when they see other customers using touch screens.

Speaking of dead spots, any vacant wall space or display window can be turned into a point of interaction with and education of passing clients. It takes just one curious shopper to start a domino effect that sees people continuously learning more about products, services, and special promotional offers.

Where Is This Leading To?

The trend seems to lean toward increased used of touch screens for retail. There have been a few vending machines which feature touch screens to sell their wares. People appreciate the convenience of not having to deal with sometimes sticky old buttons to make their selection. Touch screens also provide a better image of the products they are choosing from.

Clothing and fashion displays in department stores can be replaced by interactive touch screens. This will save the retail outlet on display space and merchandiser salaries at least. Clients can ask for fitting items only after they have made a preliminary choice through digital display.

Organizations like the Computer and Communications Industry Association are always on the lookout for improvements and new applications for touch screens. There will be more innovative applications; the uses of touch screens for improving the efficiency or retail operations seem almost limited only by our imagination.