Offering appropriate integrated surveillance and security solutions requires resellers to be familiar with a growing list of technologies. With today’s advanced VMS solutions being implemented as the primary control platform in many integrated solutions, it is imperative that installing security contractors build relationships with preferred VMS partners. To help establish selection criteria when choosing a VMS partner, following are 15 important factors for security dealers and systems integrators to consider:
1) Integrator Authorization: Evaluating a potential partner is a two-way street; VMS providers must carefully evaluate integration partners before they are authorized to sell a solution. This process must be thorough to ensure that authorized integrators meet the VMS provider’s criteria, understand the product offering, add value to the sale and understand the ongoing benefits of maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship with the VMS provider.
2) Limiting the Number of Authorized Integrators: It is preferable for a VMS provider to have fewer, more qualified integrator partners. This helps assure there is adequate value in the integrators’ sale and adequate resources to support pre- and post-sales requirements.
3) Loyalty Programs: A good VMS partner offers loyalty programs at various levels and support capabilities. This incentivizes integrators to earn more profits by enhancing service to customers.
4) Network and Video Security: Integrators should select a VMS provider that supports full encryption between clients and servers, and supports HTTPS between cameras and servers to ensure end-to-end encryption of all data. Additionally, look for a VMS that randomizes the recorded video database so that recorded information cannot be manipulated by anyone, including IT personnel.
5) Smart Camera Drivers: Choose a VMS partner that provides the technology necessary to immediately deploy new cameras with all features.
6) Project Registration: Ideally, integrators should select a VMS partner that offers a project registration program and product discount structure based on the value provided by the integrator.
7) Cost-Effective Licensing: Seek a VMS partner whose licensing scheme enables mixing and matching of camera licenses without additional fees, allows I/O devices to be added at no cost, and licenses encoders based upon the number of IP streams, not the number of analog cameras. This helps maximize savings, and enables scalability.
8) Hardware Efficiencies and Scalability: Equipment costs drive up the cost of installations. Consider the number of cameras a solution accommodates per server, and the ability to use less expensive SATA drives and enable direct NAS recording anywhere on the network eliminating local storage while maintaining the integrity of recorded video.
9) Ease of Installation: The less time required to install a VMS, the greater the profits. Features that speed up installation include those that remove the need for MAC addressing and/or hard drive mapping, and an automatic camera finder for faster configuration.
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