Pre-packaging network video surveillance

Touring the show floor at ISC West 2008, I headed by to see the crew at Verint Systems. While catching a company update from Verint's Mariann McDonagh, we started talking about adoption rates of IP video surveillance.

The adoption of such technologies, said McDonagh, is sometimes complicated and slowed, she said, by the fact that specifying IP video surveillance isn't as simple as specifying a classic analog camera and DVR type of solution. The difference, notes McDonagh, is that when you start to deal with IP video, you get a lot more functionality (scalability, remote access, added functionality like analytics, integrated alarms, etc.), but you also have to deal with a more complex product line – it's not simply cameras and recorders anymore, she said.

The complexity of that specifying is underscored by the fact that the user needs the cameras, the storage devices, plus the cables, the network components, video management software and more. Delays in trying to determine product and vendor choices for such solutions can sometimes lead to a lost job, which is why Verint has started offering pre-packaged solutions.

The idea from Verint is that if they can deliver to the integrator/VAR a core system with everything the VAR needs to get the project moving, then projects can getting going faster and are less likely to land in some vicious cycle of specifying and reviewing. The pre-packaged solutions kits from Verint are primarily aimed at smaller, non-enterprise solutions, and are packaged by number of cameras. The company is offering 36-, 64- and 100-camera kits that come with everything the VAR would need: cables, the licensed video management software, connectors, storage hardware and more. There's even an "implementation guide" that contains the vital information for setting up such a system.

McDonagh is quick to point out that they're not trying to force these kits on anyone, and the company has been well known for allowing its solutions to work with other camera companies and video surveillance technology providers. Users, specifying engineers and consultants are still free to work through a variety of vendors and channels to select the best-of-breed solutions that are needed by the end-user; these kits aren't particularly designed to compete against projects that have in-depth specs and unique needs. Rather, says McDonagh, the idea is to create a kit that an organization can start with to get the process of IP video surveillance moving. Verint may be onto something here; new technologies sometimes need a little nudge to really get the adoption process rolling.