Rapid expansion of security technology creates a new world of vendor partnerships

April 25, 2014
Genetec and Bosch exemplify the growing environment of technology partnerships aimed at satisfying the needs of savvy end users

The rapid evolution of security technology, especially devices on the video surveillance side, along with an expanding set of expectations among end users towards the technology they are being offered, has created a paradigm shift in the way business is now done. While proprietary systems remain the elephant in the room from an end user’s perspective, the inevitable march towards open architecture solutions meant to meet the requirements of  myriad customized projects, has led to vendor partnerships that certainly provide a win-win for all parties.

An example of such a relationship is the cooperative partnership between Canadian software giant Genetec and its colleagues at Bosch. For more than a decade the software and hardware technology companies have forged a deep-rooted bond built on enterprise-level projects – the first being a major airport in France.

“If you talk to the pioneers, this was really one of the first true large-scale integration projects that occurred in the security industry. It was the first time we (Bosch) opened our technology to another partner because we saw the benefits each of us brought into the project,” says Markus Wierny, head of video product management at Bosch. “Here at Bosch we live technology, we love technology. And it is the technology spirit that binds our two companies together. We bring the latest in video technology and edge devices that can be combined with Genetec’s great vision of enterprise software and functionality.”

Wierny explains that as networks become burdened with more and more connected devices, the edge devices attached to the network must be highly efficient in their tasks to help reduce the strain. He adds that as companies like Bosch continue to increase the proficiency of those connected devices with more intelligent IP cameras, it also helps improve bandwidth and storage utilization. In the end, it is the customer who reaps the benefits of vendor collaboration.

“It is like normal live where customers prefer not to be locked into one provider for their services or technology. You want the ability to pick and choose the best things – in our case, the best technologies as well as the best customer benefits. We provide the low bandwidth camera technology and they (Genetec) provide the very best user management solutions. It is a perfect fit for our customers and what they are looking for.” Wierny says.

Both Wierny and Genetec’s director of product management, Francis LaChance, agree that listening to the needs of their end users ultimately shapes both their technology and customer service road maps.

“The market is moving in a direction that is driven by customer needs and wants – they want more definition, more pixels, and better resolution and video quality. This is why mega-pixel, HD and now 4K camera technologies are leading edge. The challenge for us, and the reason our integration strategies with Bosch are successful, are not as simple as just getting a video stream inside our software and reporting it, you need to be able to manage it efficiently,” stresses LaChance, who adds that because of the large scale of many of their cooperative projects, solutions need to be found that will work on any type of network or in any storage environment. “You need to be creative about the level of integration you are doing with the camera. We get a very deep level of integration, where we manage the multi-cast, the multi-stream, and the region of interest from the camera, which makes sure that from a customer’s perspective, they are getting the best possible effort from the camera. They are also getting the best possible picture quality without overloading their networks. And they have the ability to upload images to the mobile phones and mobile of devices as a bonus.”

This demand for higher resolution video is the main driver towards the next generation of imaging. The growing stock of 4K ultra HD resolution cameras have taken a cue from the consumer marketplace and figure to become even more prevalent as the need for state-of-the-art video forensics and intelligence increases among security users.

“The Bosch 4K camera has a lot of good fits for our clients, as it relates to city-wide, transportation and port video surveillance. These are the target markets that ultra-resolution 4K cameras are the most desirable right now,” says Andrew Elvish, VP of marketing for Genetec.

“One of the things to guard against when you talk about that sense of rapid obsolesce of technology – especially evolving video technology – is not playing in an open architecture environment,” Elvish continues. “If your needs in your VMS, camera or access control technology change over time, we (Genetec) make the software to help keep it current. But we also work with a lot of great partners and together we offer all sorts of customer options. You buy the platform and then the client controls those (end device) options. When Bosch comes out with new cameras, new analytics, new intrusion panels, the client can simply integrate them into thei platform.”

Genetec certifies support for edge recording, multi-streaming, and pan-tilt-zoom control for Bosch IP devices. Motion and tamper detection and Bosch’s Intelligent Video Analysis are also certified to provide joint customers with advanced notification of potential security risks. And, forensic search support enables easy investigation of recorded video for specific events.

Genetec’s Omnicast platform also supports Bosch’s Video Recording Manager (VRM) technology. VRM centrally manages direct-to-iSCSI recordings from Bosch IP cameras and encoders, distributing the load across available storage devices. The integration enables the Omnicast Archive Player to request and playback video from a Bosch camera configured on a VRM server.

“What we are talking about is a native integration. Genetec can take our cameras and change every bit and byte and make them totally suitable for the system they are designing. For premium partners like Genetec, we want them to take the Bosch camera and treat it as their own device,” Wierny says. “Bosch has made technical modifications on its cameras at the suggestion of Genetec engineers. That is  all in the spirit of true technology collaboration. This is a true partnership.”