Video analytics provides solution for Telkom South Africa

Pretoria, South Africa

Telkom, South Africa's largest integrated telecommunications company with over 400 stores, recently deployed the services of systems integrator Itec Digital to install Vi-System, Agent Vi's real-time video analytics software, integrated with IP cameras from Axis Communications.
Telkom sought a people counting solution with a comprehensive reporting structure to analyse footfall trends across the stores. They required accurate data regarding the number of people entering the stores across different time periods vs. revenue generated, to shed light on customer behaviour at the stores.

At each Telkom site, 1-2 cameras (depending on whether there is 1 or 2 store entrances) from Axis Communications were installed and enabled with Vi-System to undertake people counting. As people counting draws the most accurate results when undertaken by cameras with a tilt angle (between lens position and ground) of 90 degrees, Axis M3203 (fixed dome network) IP cameras were installed directly above the entrances / exits. The Vi-Agent software component was embedded in the cameras.

Itec Digital deployed Vi-System’s “People counting" rule as well as configuring automatic reports from Vi-System’s “Advanced Counting Reports" tool, to attain the requested data.

Agent Vi’s people counting solution provides valuable data to Telkom South Africa regarding the number of customers in each store. Using Agent Vi’s advanced reporting tool, a daily footfall report is generated in each store, with presentation of hourly statistics. All the reports are sent to the Marketing Department at Telkom’s headquarters, and such data is imported into Telkom’s ERP system. These automatic reports supply management with important information about customer numbers and trends, and are easily broken down for viewing per week, month, year and so on.

The Marketing Department monitors campaigns that cost significant amounts of money and uses the counting data to analyse the conversion ratio of such campaigns (by comparing trends of the in-store traffic). Through such analysis, Telkom measures the effectiveness of their monetary investment in different campaigns.

Furthermore, the footfall reports are sent to Store Managers for analysis, allowing them to determine whether there was a significant change in sales relative to the amount of consumers that entered the store. The Operations Department also reviews the reports regularly in order to gain a better understanding of customer behaviour and the flow of people into the Telkom stores and to make operational decisions based on these insights.

Certified systems integrator and member of Agent Vi’s Channel Partner Program, Itec Digital, specifically selected Agent Vi’s people counting solution for Telkom SA, citing Vi-System’s accuracy and ease of deployment, compared with competing products. “We needed a highly precise and efficient counting solution to ensure genuine results, and we found this in Agent Vi’s people counting application. A minimal investment at each Telkom SA store offers valuable insight to the Telkom management team," commented Johan Crause, Sales Director at Itec Digital.

“The ability of Agent Vi’s solution to dispatch reports to particular key players without human intervention is noteworthy. In an instant, the reports are sent to multiple key decision makers from within the Marketing Department and Operations Department, and even to Store Managers," commented the Project Manager at Telkom.

Crause added that “Though there are many people counting products on the market, the extended report functionality, and in particular the ability to configure, generate and email automatic reports, distinguishes Agent Vi’s people counter as one of the most promising pieces of analytics software available today."

Ariel Frischoff, VP Sales EMEA & APAC at Agent Vi, commented that “The Telkom project presents an interesting case, since the customer was not interested in a standalone solution for assessing people flow in a single store, but rather, sought a far-reaching solution to serve this national retail chain with over 400 stores throughout South Africa.

Agent Vi was asked to provide a solution that enables data to be aggregated from all stores automatically, and our Advanced Counting Reports tool delivers an efficient and effective solution which is already operating at a few dozen sites and will be rolled out at all 400 Telkom sites over the next two years. Agent Vi’s open API allowed the data to be integrated into Telkom’s ERP solution, enabling presentation of the exact output required by the Telkom team, in their native system." 

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