Technology Roundtable: VMS

Six manufacturers discuss Video Management System advances, creating RMR and more

Karahashi: Security dealers can offer cloud storage for a recurring fee in addition to their yearly contracts normally offered for maintaining the customers’ security systems. 3VR is bringing cloud extensions to our VMS solution so customers will no longer be limited by how much disk is available in the appliance. Integrators can also increase RMR by tapping into health monitoring capabilities typically offered with VMS software. 

Fullerton: The “Internet of things” is where there is a potential for RMR. With the internet of things, everything is being connected and can be accessed remotely. You now have the key to supply value-adding services that can be billed on a monthly basis – this doesn’t mean that all video should be moved into the cloud but that the connectivity can be used to supply services/functions over the internet that can have a billable value that in turn can lead to significant RMR.

Payne: A robust, enterprise-class VMS platform should be able to monitor the health status of all recording platforms and proactively alert operators so that they can intervene before the issue becomes critical. This health monitoring should cover all system components, including processors, disk and fan temperatures, camera disconnections and potential network issues, and also include the tools needed to generate informative reports on system health status. There’s a definite RMR opportunity for security dealers and integrators with VMS health monitoring.


What is the biggest challenge for dealers/integrators who want to deploy a VMS for a client?

Shahmoon: Working with the organization’s IT department is a key to ensuring the network, security and infrastructure — like servers and storage devices — not only meet these policies, but fully support the deployment requirements. Integrators must have network expertise and work with these organizations to ensure infrastructure is in place before deploying cameras, sensors and the VMS.     

Payne: The primary challenge will likely come down to the integrator’s ability to properly size, scale and configure an IP system. IP video is a huge opportunity in terms of quality, scalability and flexibility, however the technology is not quite plug-and-play yet and still requires a unique set of technical skills.

Karahashi: One of the biggest challenges for dealers/integrators is the key decision on whether to use a VMS or appliances in the solution to deliver to their customers. Should they leverage the open, scalable nature of the VMS, or the simplicity of an appliance? The trade-off between the two solutions can be subtle, yet it is a very important decision and the answer will heavily depend on each solution.

Piran: In order to be sure all users get exactly the features they need, integrators should become familiar with the business and security needs of every installation, making certain that all necessary third-party physical security integrations are in place before making a specific VMS recommendation.

Fullerton: All too often we see that an integrator or VAR sells whatever they are comfortable selling. We also see that the convergence to true open platform VMS/IP video systems is taking too long because there are still many resellers out there that keep selling obsolete technology to their installed base. Future proof your customers’ installations by selling them an open platform VMS that does what they need today and can be upgraded to higher feature levels as the customer evolves.


Does camera selection have a major impact on VMS deployment?

Fullerton: It’s the other way around — you need to select an open-platform VMS that will enable customers to choose the cameras they want today and in the future.

Payne: Not as much as it used to. VMS manufacturers are maintaining good lists of integration partners that have gone a long way toward eliminating many of the past interoperability issues. At the same time, good progress is being made on supporting high resolution, 360° and multi-sensor IP cameras.

Piran: The continuing presence of analog cameras in the field is driving a need for hybrid systems to incorporate them on the network and to enable easier, more cost-efficient migration to IP. These plug-and-play devices will make it easier for the next generation of adopters to incorporate video management systems into their security and risk management programs, with the added bonus of simplified migration from analog to IP.