The future of video management systems

The industry buzz and intelligence from the field

Approach, State and Effect: The market is a growth market. IT is becoming more aware because video can run in H.264 across the corporate pipe. The market is headed in the same direction as the computer space had headed and the same direction as the software/hardware market went. Open and Integrating: This is a necessary component if you want to be an enterprise class VMS system, you have to be open and able to integrate the access, fire and alarms. In some cases this also involves integrating with retailers' databases and back office warehouses. If you are not open you will have a difficult challenge buying solutions. ONVIF and PSIA Standards and VMS Providers: We are waiting to see who wins this race. Investing in VMS: There are performance expectations that need to be met so you will need to have an open standards-based platform that is IP and user friendly. Teaming with Video Analytics Providers: We sell our own analytics and we team up with analytic providers on our open platform. There are certain analytics that are unique and we look at analytics as a feature.-Stephen Foley, general manager and senior vice president

VidSys, Marlborough, Mass.

Approach, State and Effect: New multi-vendor video management solutions allow an organization to mix products from multiple vendors. Two approaches are coming to market: Video Management Centric integration where a VMS solution does integration with a select number of devices to drive selecting cameras to review, and Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) software which is a software only solution that integrates all the disparate physical security devices. Open and Integrating: When vendor A's video management system has an open interface to allow vendor B to manage their video system (both cameras and recording) then they are truly "OPEN." ONVIF and PSIA Standards and VMS Providers: A growing number of vendors have implemented the camera standards of both groups and with the recent release of the PSIA Version 1.1 of the Recording and Content Management Video Management (RACM) there are now a number of implementations of the recording side as well. Investing in VMS: When selecting a VMS look for a system that enables the connection of any number and type of video devices or systems, a plug-and-play approach with robust SDKs and APIs that makes adding access to a new device (e.g., video system, camera, NVR etc.) quick and seamless. Teaming with Video Analytics Providers: While video analytics are useful not all analytics software solutions are a best fit for all situations.-David Fowler, senior vice president of Marketing and Product Development

The Hallmark 'Touch' of a True Open Platform
By Eric Fullerton

In a market where it is an absolute faux pas to admit a proprietary solution it is important for customers to be able to decipher between a true open platform and a vendor claiming to have an open platform.
Milestone Systems recently embarked on a road show with Arecont Vision and Pivot3 preaching the advantages of IP. At each location we have faced some form of the question, 'how do I determine the difference between an open platform and what you (Milestone) calls true open platform?'

Here are five hallmarks that any customer should ask to determine if the investment they are about to make is truly an open platform.

Common external programming interfaces-The characteristic of this hallmark is having a common Application Programming Interface (API) that can be used easily by the partners and end-user.

Published documentation-This one is extremely important because it often weeds out solutions that claim to be open because you can integrate a third party solution even though they do not offer a truly open and published Software Development Kit (SDK). Milestone offers published API's through our SDK that is powerful and easy to use.

Training-This hallmark can be the ultimate differentiator between a true open platform and a one with aspects of an open platform. If a manufacturer's open platform offers published API's, and an SDK you are heading in the right direction but it only begins there. The next step is to train third party programmers on how to write to those API's and use the SDK. Training a company to integrate seamlessly to published API's and getting the fullest out of an SDK is the true value-add for the parties involved and passed on to the end-user.

Project Consulting-This means that the manufacturer takes the necessary steps to make sure that the integration to the open platform is a smooth and seamless transition. Having a series of skillful engineers who can either help integrate the solution by aiding in the process. Or alternatively, the manufacturer's engineers can take ownership of doing the integration and putting it through an intensive quality assurance upon the third party's request.

"Walk the Talk" -Even with the aforementioned hallmarks the list would not be complete if we did not say that a company actually has to conduct its business according to the hallmarks. This is at the core of the problem with today's vendors, everyone is talking the talk but who is walking the walk? Put them up to the five hallmarks to find out.