Video: More than Security–Grow with an Open Platform

May 18, 2012
Video management systems that are open add value for integrators and customers.

Over the past five years, Video Management Software (VMS) has emerged as a business-enabling technology where an open platform allows the integration of other value-adding system combinations. The decoupling of software and hardware has increased the speed of innovation for camera manufacturers and software developers.

Certain camera manufacturers have been successful in hardware innovation and video analytics have come of age, adding real value rather than just hope. These solutions are now affordable and on the cutting edge. Today the ease of use, improved algorithms (both at the edge and server levels) and data libraries are reducing false alarms and improving reliability across the board. The result is that the value of video is increased both in real time and when viewing recorded video.

Milestone also sees a number of vertical applications that have developed strong focus on business process optimization, such as RFID integration for manufacturing, shipping overview and control, integration with Point-of-Sale (POS) transaction systems and people counting for retail.

All of these illustrate how IP video is still driving the convergence of digital systems across multiple areas. It has improved the speed of innovation across diverse applications such as access control, HR, finance, production and logistics. Open platform IP video is enabling business optimizations on a larger scale, handling more than just security and adding measurable long-term returns on investments (ROI) and lowering total costs of ownership (TCO).

Influential market drivers

Countless circumstances around the globe contribute to growth and innovation and even the smallest upgrade in technology or thinking becomes a catalyst for change.

The economy: With budget cuts across the board, customers are under pressure. Defense budgets are scrutinized as demands for a safer environment and affordable security constantly battle for priority.  

Politics: Political changes on the horizon can influence degrees of global regulatory requirements. Changing requirements can also be driven by large public events like the Olympics, or impromptu ones like demonstrations or natural disasters.

The environment: Another perspective deals with the increased emphasis on climate change, from monitoring and tracking severe storms, hurricanes and flooding, to improving protection of energy supplies and natural resources.

Technology: Technical advances influence new degrees of necessity for surveillance and monitoring: biometrics, high-resolution cameras, cloud computing and video analytics require the most up-to-date hardware and software.

There is still going to be price pressure on surveillance system margins due to strong competition, but in moving to the next levels for business optimization there’s more profit margin possible as partners deliver more value for the end users. The newest release of Milestone XProtect Corporate (5) provides easy-to-produce reports on the VMS system specifications, cameras, setups, storage use, sites, users and license numbers on devices.

Depending on the complexity of the customer’s solution, these reports could be as detailed as needed. The value is clearly visible: being able to just click for the listed components or elements of the system, or its service, to produce a report for an invoice or for troubleshooting. That’s a huge time saver and expertise differential for partners who want to deliver top-flight service to end users.

Value-adding integrations continue to be a huge growth factor for partners to offer efficiency advantages to customers: Access control or license plate recognition, for example, with interoperability to the video interface, show people or vehicles on the move. These solutions are becoming more commonplace, benefiting customers and partners who can lift their implementations to new levels of professionalism and sophistication.

While growth in the sector has a bright future, it cannot simply happen without careful consideration, planning and adoption by all parties. Adapting to change through openness—both today and with the future in mind—will have a much more positive result, effectively growing solutions parallel to the necessities of our world as they happen.

Such opportunities underscore the fact that IP VMS with an open platform is more than security and prove that open architecture is absolutely the best way to go for sustainable value in a customer installation base. The technology adds more value than customers or partners may initially expect before installation because no one is locked into one set solution for the future. It can deliver ongoing flexibility to respond to changing needs, challenges and innovations.