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Top 5 VMS for smart/safe cities in 2021 : a test of scale

Top 5 VMS for smart/safe cities in 2021 : a test of scale
Safe and smart cities are a popular theme now. Here we ask readers to suggest their favorite video management systems (VMS) software for this vertical.
Safe and smart cities are popular terms these days. Governments worldwide are investing in turning many of their towns into smarter versions with the help of technology that optimizes operations, management, and several other factors. VMS solution providers have also jumped on the bandwagon, promoting their products as an integral part of smart cities. With this survey, we try to understand which VMS brands are the most popular among smart/safe city customers. 

In many ways, this is a test of which VMS can stand the test of scale. Cities are large, diverse, and require several different solutions to become smart. VMSes in this vertical need to scale up and integrate with these solutions without glitches. 

Who won the smart/safe city race? 

Milestone Systems is at the top with 20 percent votes. Genetec is at the second spot with 17 percent, and Hikvision Digital Technology is at the third with 14 percent. Bosch Video Management Systems is at the fourth with 12 percent votes, followed by Axxonsoft with 8 percent supporters. 
Milestone lists safe cities as one of its focus industries but not smart cities, although both these segments overlap at various points.

One of the primary aims of a smart city is to increase the safety and security of citizens. The runner-up, Genetec, lists cities as a target industry, with a stronger focus on safety over other “smart” features. 

What do the readers say?

One of the most popular features for customers in this vertical is ALPR. Others include traffic management, facial recognition, and behavior analytics. But beyond individual features like ALPR and facial recognition, what the customers appear to be looking for is the ease of scalability. Obviously, smart/safe city projects are large-scale and require VMSes that seamlessly support expansion to add more cameras and sensors. 

Here are some of the critical comments from respondents: 
  • “They are simple to deploy and manage.”
  • “Good ANPR, facial recognition, bandwidth management.”
  • “Prevention of emergencies and accidents, terrorist attacks, serious crimes, and disorderly conduct.”
  • “Improved coordination between city services.”
  • “Archiving of video and audio.”
  • “License plate capture feature.”
  • “Genetec - ability to work smarter by providing enhanced situational awareness, improved operational efficiency, and increased productivity.”
  • “Vehicle LPR and transportation behavior analytics are key features of the product.”
  • “Distributed servers and workstations provide flexible solutions.”
  • “Traffic management, density control.” 

Conclusion from 

Customers continue to give importance to features such as license plate recognition and traffic management. This could mean that smart and safe city customers are still focused mainly on these areas despite there being several other aspects to this vertical. Also, security continues to remain the primary focus. This is evident from comments for features like “prevention of emergencies and accidents, terrorist attacks, serious crimes, and disorderly conduct.”

The popularity of Milestone and Genetec, both software-focused companies, may also indicate the need to integrate several different kinds of devices and brands in this vertical. Of course, other requirements such as “ease of deployment” and “reliability” are similar to other verticals. 

About the respondents

A total of 485 people responded to the survey. These included systems integrators, distributors, consultants, and end users from across different regions. Over ten popular VMS options were given to the candidates and asked to select those they preferred to work with, along with comments on what they liked/wanted from them.
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