Viakoo addresses the video uptime conundrum

April 15, 2015
Company’s SaaS offering streamlines IP network diagnostics

One of the most important, but sometimes overlooked aspects of any video installation is network uptime. However, if end users want to take a look under the hood of their IP video network, they currently have to cobble together different tools provided by their video management software or IT systems to be able to determine if all of their cameras are functioning properly. And they have no current way of knowing if video is being recorded at the quality and retention required. These tools are not comprehensive though and as a result, organizations and their systems integrators have still been forced to roll trucks to have technicians check out equipment in the field. Those days may be changing with the launch of a new industry startup called Viakoo.

Headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., Viakoo provides organizations around the globe with a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform to help ensure the uptime and performance of video surveillance networks. Viakoo first hit the market two years ago, but the company was involved in beta testing until its first production release late last spring. With more than 90 percent of its beta sites becoming customers, the company is now ready to take its technology to the mainstream security market.  

According to John Gallagher, vice president of marketing for Viakoo, the company’s technology is really targeted towards those organizations for which video surveillance uptime is mission critical such as critical infrastructure installations, casinos, prisons, healthcare, retail, education, etc.

“Those are places that you really can’t have tolerance for downtime or, increasingly in markets like retail – where our technology provides tremendous value – the stability and performance that is needed for video analytics,” said Gallagher. “We are not everything to everyone. There is definitely a sweet spot for our technology; as you get into hundreds of cameras, it becomes imperative to make sure you have the tools and technology to maintain that and do it in a way that’s affordable and scalable.”

Gallagher said that Viakoo provides a “single pane of glass view” to customers so that their IT or security personnel can proactively view and diagnose problems on their network.

“You need visibility into problems that are emerging. It’s too late once it has happened. You need to diagnose them quickly and fix them quickly,” explained Gallagher. “That’s essentially all we do. We go around that network and reveal hidden problems, we automate the diagnostics and ticketing, and we provide corrective actions.”   

Mark McCourt, Viakoo’s co-founder and vice president, said that the growth in the size and scope of today’s IP video networks has outpaced the ability of organizations’ personnel to be able to manually find, diagnose and correct issues on their video network.

“Video is critical part of life safety programs and has become too important to not be properly managed. They are coming too hard and too fast and video has become too important,” emphasized McCourt. “I think the elephant in the room is risk. The reliance on video is high and it has to be working, recording and available. That demands quality of service metrics be generated from the system. Managing risk, reducing costs, ensuring system resilience are not nice to have, they are becoming must have. This is why Viakoo’s solution is getting traction. By leveraging our technology and our expert engineers, customers gain visibility into the behavior of their video infrastructure for proactive management.  

While there are some diagnostic tools on the market, McCourt said they cannot pull all of the pieces of the puzzle together like Viakoo.

“There are VMS systems with health checks that look at some of the information. If there is a problem with the VMS they can tell you, but they don’t really go downstream to the storage or upstream to the endpoint as Viakoo does,” added McCourt. “We uniquely analyze the path of the video stream from camera device to recording media, and identify anything that interrupts, degrades or stops that stream from successfully completing its path. Viakoo is about best practices. We’re not automating a broken, inefficient, manual process. We are creating automation around the best practice to manage the process. That saves our customers money and time.  ”  

Gallagher said one systems integrator the company is working with for several large client installations is actually making customers sign waiver forms absolving them from liability if they don’t use Viakoo. “They do not want the liability of knowing that a tool like ours exists and they didn’t use it because, in some cases, that time is the difference in knowing something is wrong or not,” he said.

In fact, McCourt said that they have been able to reduce operations and maintenance costs at one university by between 50 to 60 percent. “We eliminate that informational truck roll process by creating a ticket, telling you what the problem is and how to fix it,” said McCourt.

Although the company works with both end users and systems integrators, McCourt said their initial strategy has been to go directly to the source of the problem – the networks of end users.

“They are the ones that own the systems and are writing the checks. It’s their brand, so they are the ones that have the risk of downtime and lack of visibility into quality of service metrics,” McCourt said. “But they do rely greatly on those partnerships with their integrators and the manufacturers. We are working with several integrators and leading manufacturers who are taking us into their customers.” 

About the Author

Joel Griffin | Editor-in-Chief,

Joel Griffin is the Editor-in-Chief of, a business-to-business news website published by Endeavor Business Media that covers all aspects of the physical security industry. Joel has covered the security industry since May 2008 when he first joined the site as assistant editor. Prior to SecurityInfoWatch, Joel worked as a staff reporter for two years at the Newton Citizen, a daily newspaper located in the suburban Atlanta city of Covington, Ga.