Closing in on the future

Video management software—An important product offering with a future to watch

“At first glance, it may appear complicated; looking at all the specifications, as each may appear to perform similar functions. The checklist to determine a best fit, includes: IP camera compatibility; does it support needed functions?; Is there long-term reliability? A good approach could be to ask someone with a wide range of product experience in many different environments. TRENDS Installation and set up will become easier along with video analytics incorporating better performance. VIRTUALIZATION There’s been a debate about using more edge intelligence but that gets complicated and there’s a problem because the potential is there to get locked into hardware that makes the system less expandable in the future.” —Bob Mesnik, president, Kintronics

“The perceived complexity of VMS products and the need to protect existing video surveillance investments is an industry challenge. There are key considerations: determine which video management product is best suited; consider whether or not your organization has the resources to market, sell, install and support multiple vendor products; and find a product that will increase market share. TRENDS The trend continues for VMS systems gradually shifting within many organizations to the IT department. High expectations remain when it comes to communications and networking equipment. In the near future, it is likely that VMS manufacturers will be driven to develop applications focused on device topology management, which can manage and identify critical issues on large unified communication networks from a single application. An area that will transform video surveillance software applications is the use of policy-based content management. These content management applications are separate from the core video surveillance management software. This creates additional tools that administrators and users must manage and which increase the total cost of ownership over the life of the system.” —Jesse Frye, product marketing manager, March Networks.

“A good starting point for the VMS vendor is the need to offer a true open platform. Doing so will secure long-term partners that are able to sustain growth. Vendors that deliver an end-to-end solution and who do not open up for integration to third party products and applications tend to lock their customers into a sole supplier – history has proven that this is a very expensive route. TRENDS Video is becoming the high-value element in physical security, driven by a large degree by IP. This means end-users are now expecting their integrated security implementations be used through the video client GUI, instead of through the access control or HVAC GUIs. This is driving customer integrations where the VMS GUI is now becoming the preferred GUI. The industry is in a GUI war between the different players in the security market. VIRTUALIZATION I do feel the jury is still out on the topic of virtualization.” —Eric Fullerton, chief sales and marketing officer, Milestone Systems

“The decision-making process can be varied and complex when considering video management software solutions. These include: ease of use, integration, features, format, price and intelligence. TRENDS Network-based video management systems will predominate as opposed to DVR-based VMS solutions. One of the reasons the IP market will continue to grow is because the prices of IP-based products will keep falling. VMS applications will be bundled with other appliances or subsystems, such as access control, that will make them easy-to-deploy, configure and manage. VMS systems will be able to seamlessly integrate with functionality available over the Internet. VIRTUALIZATION For a certain segment of the market the Software as a Service model works well. That segment is characterized by small facilities that need up to 16 cameras (since bandwidth is still an issue); no security personnel on site to monitor the system; and no IT resources to manage the systems. It is important to keep in mind the difference between remote hosting (where the video is hosted on the Internet) versus remote monitoring.” —Jumbi Edulbehram, vice president of Business Development, Next Level Security Systems

“Important considerations to keep in mind when selecting a video management software provider are: is the company stable and secure? Do they have a proven track record and a future plan? Will parts or support be available? Look for a solution that is open and expandable, important for integrating peripherals, such as IP video cameras. TRENDS As the industry moves toward IP, video, along with access control, smart building sensors, audio communications and other security information sources will all migrate to a common transport layer—IP networks. This convergence will bring with it a fundamental shift toward the IT domain. Another area of change is in analytics—poised for a big comeback. VIRTUALIZATION I’ve seen virtualization in some environments; it’s definitely increasing. The requirement for software virtualization in video management is usually driven by the corporate policy of the end-user.”—John Rennie, vice president of Solutions Engineering, NICE Systems