Genetec to deliver security innovation through the cloud

Feb. 12, 2015
Company's CEO discusses market strategy, industry trends at press summit

Video management software firm Genetec held a summit with members of the media earlier this week at its headquarters in Montreal to discuss their market strategy and product roadmap moving into 2015 and beyond. Perhaps the most significant take away from the event was that the company is staunchly committed to delivering not just a bevy of new products to their channel and end user partners throughout the industry, but rather truly innovative solutions that will shape how they interact with security systems in the future. One of Genetec’s primary methodologies for accomplishing this goal, according to Pierre Racz, the company’s president, CEO and founder, is by leveraging the opportunities presented by the cloud to their full potential.

“First of all, we have a hybrid cloud, cloud first strategy. The cloud is coming,” said Racz. “Just imagine yourself a hundred years ago and a hundred years ago every company had a whole group of technical people to run the electricity manufacturing plant that was used to run their facilities. That has all gone away today. We have all outsourced that to the utilities. You have no idea how much technology is behind that simple wall socket or light switch that gives you very high availability, reliable, clean power. And when I say clean, I mean clean of electrical glitches on the power line. In general, our electric distribution grid has been a huge success. The same thing is happening to computing.”

Racz said that the economies of scale offered by the cloud today are extremely important as it provides large organizations with cost savings that they could not otherwise achieve by having a solution that is operated and maintained completely on their premises. For example, Racz said that while an individual doesn’t calculate how much it costs to cool computers in use in their home, enterprise businesses do as it adds up to a lot of money each year.

“That’s almost half the bill of your computers - to cool them down. All of these economies are the driving force behind the cloud,” he explained. “Very large corporations are moving as much of their stuff to the cloud as possible and they are achieving these savings. Eventually, this is going to apply to smaller scale (businesses). Smaller security users may not realize yet that the cloud is practical, but we have created something where people can start testing the cloud.”

As it pertains to Genetec specifically, Racz said they are focused on offering a hybrid cloud solution with their software, which means that customers can use as much or as little of the cloud as they want for their security infrastructure. Of course, the option of making the transition to the cloud is completely up the user as Genetec will continue to support all customers, regardless of whether or not they want to put their entire system in the cloud, part of it or none of it. 

“Out of the box, you can install it and have zero cloud if you want, it’s all on-premises, knock yourself out. If you want an all cloud solution, we have that but, unique in the industry, we have anywhere in the middle,” added Racz. “One of the things we’ve been shipping since November is the hybrid cloud storage and what you can do is say, ‘ok, I will keep my first 30 days on-premises and the next 720 days I will put in the cloud.’ There are now, especially after the Ferguson situation, a lot of requests from customers who want to keep the video not for 30 days, but for 300 days and managing such a large storage array, when you have multiple Frigidaire’s of storage plus multiple Frigidaire’s to cool that storage, it’s a big problem. It is stuff that they record and probably will never even see, but they have to keep it for regulatory purposes. So, what are they going to do, they are going to put it in the cloud.”

For others, using the cloud is not as much about cost savings, but redundancy.

“As many people are using the cloud for total cost of computing, there are also smaller companies that find (the cloud) interesting. We’ve had great success in South America because small shop owners, although they keep 30 days (of recording) on premise, the last 24 hours they send to the cloud. If someone breaks into their store and steals the recording device, they can benefit from the cloud. For them, it’s not so much the cost savings, it’s the protection against disasters, so in areas that are prone to earthquakes or other natural disasters, moving this information far away from the recording device is of value to them and this is what hybrid cloud gives them.”  

Other Highlights from the Summit

In addition to leveraging the cloud, Racz said that the company is also intensely focused on high-performance computing. For example, Racz said that Genetec is leveraging “hardware accelerated decoding” that enables their VMS software to decode four 4K cameras per graphic card within a given computer. The company has also started to publish reference architectures to help their channel partners more easily move or transfer large amounts of data.      

Genetec is also placing an increased emphasis on helping customers unify their security systems through their Security Center software. Racz said one feature that the company recently released provides a “decision support system” to operators on how to manage each step in the aftermath of security incident. He was quick to point out, however, that this is not a PSIM offering.

“This type of functionality is something that we want. We are always using software to automate human thoughts and actions to speed things up and be able to do more with less. The desire to achieve that goal is a good desire, but you must choose a path that is sustainable and, out of desperation, people have chosen a path that is not sustainable,” said Racz. “We’re democratizing this technology, whereas before it was only the very wealthy, large organizations that could have their own Rube Goldberg system.”

The second feature that Genetec has added to its Security Center software is a new voice-over-IP offering called Sipelia, which allows users to integrate voice intercoms in their facilities into the video management interface.

“For the security industry, it is really a private Skype and what it lets you do is it lets you Skype to your intercoms, Skype to your security radios, Skype out to your in-house phone system, and it actually lets you Skype out to Skype,” said Racz.

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.