Application-specific features of VMS
Editor / Provider: The Editorial Department, a&s International | Updated: 11/1/2013 | Article type: Tech Corner
Vertical markets often have very specific needs to ensure a secure environment. Although some features and functions are seen across industries, it is important to understand the environment and business processes of verticals to ensure a VMS can meet the potential unique needs of organizations working in these sectors.
To meet the unique requirements of verticals, Dvtel offers solutions that can be easily customized to customer needs. “We provide solutions with many features and capabilities that, in the majority of cases, provide what the customer is looking for and doesn't require further dedicated software development. Our software infrastructure is built in such a way that writing a new integration and even customizing the UI is easy. The advantage of this approach is that many applications and integrations that were developed to meet a specific customer's needs, are also relevant to others,” said Ilan Krugliak, Product Manager at Dvtel.
An open platform, user-friendly interface, and easy to integrate are definitely factors for VMS providers to increase market share. “To serve diverse vertical markets, such as city-wide surveillance, education, transportation, retail, gaming, parking-and-law enforcement, and more, we built systems with an open API, that allows customers to ‘connect' and ‘integrate' both legacy hardware (cameras and access control devices) and a vast list of hardware from vendors and partners who manufacture cameras, access control devices, intercom devices, and more,” said Jimmy Palatsoukas, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Genetec.
There is plenty of technology that will challenge VMS: analytics, HD cameras, biometrics, access control, and more. As VMS develops, customers will expect more than the basics, and will look to see how usable different VMSs are.
Retailers today are using security solutions for asset protection, loss prevention, and business intelligence to stay competitive. Like many industries, the retail industry faces challenges such as tense competition, decreasing margins, and external/internal losses caused by shrinkage.
Comprehensive and user-friendly VMS solutions enable users to be one step ahead by facilitating seamless integration with POS, RFID, video analytics, time and attendance, access control, and other data systems. Through the integration of POS and VMS, the centralized reports allow the company to search, identify, and eliminate theft across the entire organization. The integrated POS data can be further adopted for immediate inventory checks, markdown management, cause of shrinkage, and employee training which saves time and cost in counting, calculating, ordering, and checking cash-register accuracy.
“We offer seamless integration with POS devices. Store owners can track transaction data in real-time with live view or review later in playback mode,” said Shawn Ho, Product Director at NUUO. “Certain event keywords can also be set to alert when suspicious transactions occur. There are also central management functions like alarms, trigger location display, and video wall display options making monitoring multiple sites effortless. For larger chains, our VMS solution offers additional benefits like megapixel recording for clear images and unlimited video wall displays.”
Conditions in today's economy attract more unwanted attention to vaults and ATM transactions. Billions of dollars are lost each year to ATM skimming, cash trapping, cash harvesting, and fraudulent crimes.
Financial institutions are certainly in dire need for more up-to-date security solutions. March Networks has developed and offered specific applications for the banking market for years, and has deep expertise as a result. “Our VMS supports that strategy and provides tools that allow our customers to efficiently investigate, cut losses and save time,” said Ely Maspero, VMS Product Line Manager at March Networks. “The intelligent software helps banks reduce time and investigation, detect fraudulent activity faster, strengthen case evidence, and reduce losses from fraud. In the banking vertical, our solutions include intelligent video software applications that enable banks to search on correlated video, ATM or teller transaction data, license plate numbers, facial images, and colors to conduct investigations quickly and efficiently. It also allows banks to use advanced search and case management software to gather all case evidence and export it easily to a DVD or USB memory stick and searches on all that data across any number of banking branches and other sites from a central location.”
Campus safety continues to be top of the mind following the devastating Sandy Hook shooting. Video surveillance and mass notification are the most commonly funded and deployed systems. However, one of the challenges is the education market does not always have full control over its own funding. Therefore, it is essential for manufacturers and system integrators to address the unique requirements of each school. Offering flexible and robust solutions to adapt to different requirements while making the most out of existing infrastructure is the practical and efficient approach.
Alerting an entire campus in an emergency situation is also a challenge. Being able to receive instant alerts on mobile phones when loitering, intrusion, or other definable events occur is very crucial. “Our VMS solution allows users to set up zone boundaries and track up to hundreds of people and objects. The image fusion technology can stitch up multiple cameras from different angles into one unified single view with angle corrections, making monitoring hallways or courtyards ideal,” Ho said.
Besides the effectiveness of a mass notification system, communication between campus security and law enforcement is crucial as well so that in case a critical incident occurs, first responders are able to deal with it quickly and effectively. “We power numerous schools, school districts, and college campuses in the U.S. and worldwide,” said Gadi Piran, President of OnSSI. “Our VMS add-on enables sharing of video and alerts from the school or school district with local police and public safety agencies, adding a layer of security; in addition, the VMS, at every given price point and version, provides a high value, which is a major consideration in cash-strapped schools and colleges.”
As requirements vary greatly from different regions to vertical segments, it is never an easy feat to develop features and apply them to various regions and verticals. Some of our interviewees shared with us how they seek out the opportunities and challenges they face. “As always, time to market is of the essence — we need to keep up with the competition, we need to be aligned with new technologies and provide a quality product in short development cycles,” said Krugliak. “An additional challenge is keeping the product simple. Many times, at the expense of including more features, the product becomes complicated. The installation and setup process that comprises the overall deployment experience must remain simple, and the user experience that is often tied to the user interface, must also remain simple.”
Finding strong channel partners or established branch offices is one of the approaches that drives VMS adoption internationally. VMS providers benefit from regional branches interacting with local integrators not only for language benefits, but also for cultural understanding. “We plan on setting up branch offices in different regions in order to foster a deeper connection with our local customers,” Ho said. “As a VMS solution provider, the ability to integrate with different third party solutions and form alliances with other global partners is the key to worldwide visibility. We are also focusing on gaining visibility through training programs. Customers can receive official NUUO training and certification through our own education managers or NUUO Certified Trainers worldwide.”
Dvtel will continue its POS focus to expand its footprint in the retail market. “We will explore going after and develop POS integrations to be able to penetrate the retail market. We also plan to further develop our monitoring application,” said Krugliak. “In addition, we will focus on enhancing our search capabilities in order to ease up the process of ‘finding what the customer is really looking for.' That is providing information and insight rather than simple data.”
Whether through solid channel partnership, vertical-specific approaches, or instant support, a good starting point for VMS vendors to increase their visibility worldwide is the need to offer a true open platform. Customers, as well as partners, prefer ease of use, flexible offerings with upgrade paths, scalability, and timely support for different camera brands and models. An open platform is a sure way to secure long-term partners that are able to sustain growth.