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Management Software Makes Strides Into Security

Management Software Makes Strides Into Security

As technology becomes more IP-based, more integration between systems is possible. Stimulated by new technology, security software platforms are now more comprehensive and complete. A&S looks at how management software has matured and its current/future developments.

"The development of management software allows the security system to become more intelligent. The introduction of IP allows security systems to include more advanced functionalities," said Catherine Gason, Corporate Communication at SYAC.

There are two groups of management software. The first software controls one to two security systems. The second central management software (CMS) integrates all security and building automation systems. The market for management software is growing rapidly, with IMS Research expecting it to reach US$728 million by 2011.

One type of CMS is the physical security information management software system (PSIM), handling the conversions between physical security devices and information management devices. Market for PSIM is estimated to reach $10 billion by 2012, said David Fowler, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Development at VidSys.

For video management software (VMS), the global market grew by more than 40 percent to reach $230.2 million in 2007. In 2008, the expected growth rate is around 35 percent, said Simon Harris, Senior Research Director at IMS Research. However, the outlook for next year is less encouraging. "The U.S. and European markets will be hardest hit, but we expect strong growth in countries like Russia and China," said Harris.

Market Potential
Popular applications of CMS are for large sites with distributed assets. Critical infrastructure, health care, public transportation, government, military and public venues are the top verticals, with education and finance being next. Private enterprise, gaming, retail and the chemical markets are also potential verticals for management systems. Cost hinders adoption in retail, and delayed facility regulations slowed down deployment in the chemical vertical.

Verticals for VMS include critical infrastructure, military, retail, gaming and education. "During the last few years, critical infrastructure industries have increased the budget for expenditure into security more than other industries," said Frank Calipari, European Union Sales and Account Manager at LuxRiot.

In retail, video is used to increase profits. "In order to maximize revenue, retailers need to attain flexibility and cost effectiveness in adapting video surveillance solutions to meet frequently changing business demands without disruptions," said Oren Feldmann, Vice President of Marketing and Sales at EVT. The ability to integrate with a variety of devices traditional analog cameras, IP solutions and video analytics is the key. The integration with RFID system can prevent theft in retail.

Technique Facets
Currently, management software can integrate with alerting technology, such as biometrics, access control, video and different sensors. It enables the exchange of personnel information between access control, human resources, visitor management, time and attendance, and other systems.

Most security solutions enabled security personnel to become more proactive as procedures taken were being recorded and analyzed, Fowler said.

"CMS is not just a product. It is a platform that allows all alerting technology to coordinate and execute the work flow," said Eli Gorovici, President and CEO at DVTel. Internet alerts, other IT systems or manual procedures can be received by the management software. Preprogrammed rules and response plans can manage different events automatically or on command, making security procedures more efficient and user-friendly.

PSIM platforms become more open, said Fowler. Spatial recognition for the geo-location of devices, situation mapping and video management applications were developed. Event and policy information from multiple sources can be analyzed for decision-making. In response, communications infrastructure is integrated to initiate external transmission of messages, data and commands. Some platforms also allow the system to be run remotely. A solution for situational awareness was thus created to effectively managing any security, business or emergency situations in real time.

The most advanced VMS must manage real-time video recordings, said Udi Segall, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Nice Systems. A powerful video solution should include analytics and integration with relevant systems, such as panic buttons. It should also automate the standard operating procedure manual, enabling more efficient security procedures.

Other CMS features include integration with color filtering detection, alerts on line crossings, smart and fast forensic search, object trajectories and changes in object attributes, said Jan-Bart Mul, Product Marketing Manager for Digital Recording at Bosch Security Systems. Features of the latest management solutions include automated video installation tasks, such as automated discovery and configuration of hardware, Calipari said. VMS needs high performance and easy adaption to diverse scenarios, such as environmental and operational challenges. It must have a proven record for reliable, versatile, live and recorded video management.

Challenges and Solutions
Most CMS suppliers are small local companies, making it difficult to meet worldwide market demand. "Since the security market for integrated systems is still immature and highly fragmented in companies and technologies, few operators have the ability to offer cross-border solutions," Gason said.

Lack of user education hinders the deployment of CMS. Many users are unaware of CMS and leave off their initial budgets, resulting in a lack of funds when they realize its benefits. "This difficulty should be resolved over time, as more people know about CMS," Bhonker said.

Communication between different departments of a facility is a challenge. "No two users or organizations have the same command and control needs," said Brandon Arcement, Manager for Global Security Technology at Johnson Controls.

Interests between departments in a facility differ, with privacy being a concern. "For some verticals, different departments do not want to share certain information with other departments," said Nicolay Moulin, CEO at Lenco Systems. "Challenges in security market always exist; however, over time it will be resolved."

Having a versatile support team is crucial. "Our engineering service teams provide professional services from different fields of security to assist our integrators and end users," said Gorovici. "They are the engineer, the developer and the consultant, who are stationed in various locations around the world, ready to help."

The flexible nature of CMS can fulfill the needs of numerous vertical markets, said Adlan Hussain, Marketing Communications Manager at CNL. However, marketing becomes a nightmare, as each sector requires specific marketing messages.

To provide a more comprehensive service to customers, manufacturers and system integrators are cooperating with security professionals. "Currently we have two sales teams the technical sales professionals, who specialize in specific offerings, such as security or building automation; and the solutions account managers, who are aligned with specific vertical markets," Arcement said.

More effort needs to be made for physical security standards, allowing different systems to work together. Some vendors tend to be protective of their installed base, Bhonker said. With their systems being more exclusive, it creates a challenge for interoperability.

Several bodies have formed to address the lack of CMS standards. The Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA), led by Cisco Systems, formed in February 2008 to promote the interoperability of IP-enabled security devices. "Members of the PSIA are working together to identify existing and emerging standards relevant to the physical security industry, work to enhance them to support industry requirements and encourage their adoption by member companies and the industry," Fowler said. The PSIA will review and vet specifications that are submitted for consideration as open standards.

Other organizations include the Security Industry Authority (SIA), which has been around for the longest time. The most recent body was the Open Network Video Interface Forum (ONVIF), formed by Axis Communications, Bosch Security systems and Sony Corporation in May 2008. As long as there is a standard, it provides more opportunities for systems to be open for integration,〃 Bhonker said.

For VMS, the main challenge is keeping up with market trends, while delivering innovative solutions and incorporating third-party integration, Feldmann said. The resiliency and stability of a system is a challenge. When hardware is integrated with a management system, the controlling software has to provide unified access to a range of components and allow for execution of commands.

As more hardware can be integrated into a system, the technologies that lie behind the products become more complicated. A truly open and resilient system should provide the functionality requested by the market and keep the system deployable in a growing number of locations, said Calipari. To solve this issue, market standards for video streaming and analytics need to be developed for providers to integrate third-party hardware into a proprietary system.

Selection Criteria
When choosing a CMS software system, one should look for a system that is truly open to integrate all security devices and customized non security sensors. "Interoperability with existing and future security applications is crucial to getting a long-term solution," Hussain said. To be truly cost-effective, the systems should integrate with technologies from adjacent industries, backward compatible with older systems and suited for future expansions.

It is important for users to select experienced system integrator to execute the deployment plan, Gorovici said. All phases of the security projects, from the design and development to post-implementation, should be followed through by a professional security provider who takes total system responsibility. Buyers need to ensure their supplier is not tied to specific manufacturers.

For VMS selection, one should make sure the system is reliable, designed for future expansion and have at least five years backward compatibility with existing analog systems. "User-friendliness , flexibility and scalability are among the most important deciding factors when choosing software," said Hechtbauer.
A proactive system can better assist operators when responding to security breaches. "Solutions should be tailored to each and every vertical, with customized features," Segall said. One should consider all possible technical and operational issues related to the system, such as the physical positioning of the cameras within the site and the available bandwidth of the network.

Having an experienced installer can ensure smooth operation. "Over the past years, as user education increased, customers are gaining in-depth security know-how, and they are asking for modular and scalable solutions that are tailored to their needs," Gason said.

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