How Salient Maintains Independence in the Consolidated VMS Sector

Salient Systems Executive Vice President Tom Chamard explains how the company is sustaining success, what differentiates it from its competitors and more.

Founded in 1995, Salient Systems is a provider of open architecture video management systems. The company’s executive vice president, Tom Chamard, joins the conversation to discuss Salient’s work and the VMS marketplace.

Salient has remained independent since its founding while so many other VMS providers have been routinely acquired. Should that fact be considered compelling?

Absolutely. Salient was established in 1995 and has illustrated sustained success over a long time-frame. This reflects not only our financial stability but also our technological viability. Our core competency is VMS. We’ve seen that many VMS platforms, having been acquired, are then associated with or have developed wholly additional applications around access control or analytics or PISM.

In so doing, we’ve seen market dynamics shift and new alliances form throughout industry channels at large. Having a singular focus around VMS enables us to remain agnostic relative to technology, be they camera or access control partnerships for example.

Ultimately, our open architecture enables Salient to integrate with a broad spectrum of technology. We believe it not only allows us visibility into a broad range of projects, it keeps our business lines clean as well.

Our expertise is well-defined and mitigates the risks associated with channel conflict or being perceived as a proprietary technology which can present additional challenges. Being unencumbered in terms of engineering priorities or the politics often associated with a change in ownership plays well in the best of breed equation preferred by many integrators and end users.

What differentiates Salient in the marketplace?

There is significant historical context here in that we have been around for over 20 years. In the VMS world that could be considered a lifetime. Our background was founded in the medical imaging business back in the mid 1990s when the CCTV industry was still changing VCR tapes.

We were managing higher resolution, high frame rate video in the context of medical imaging. That gave us a leg up in terms of an understanding of where the IP revolution was going relative to the demand for higher performance both with cameras and with having the ability to resourcefully process streaming video.

One of the things that make us unique is our centralized management modules, which are high functioning and enable centralized and decentralized environments to be administered extremely efficiently. In addition, the manner in which we process live and recorded video translates to our platform being exceedingly network friendly in terms of minimizing bandwidth consumption.

This is a very meaningful value proposition. Many higher resolution cameras have become incredibly affordable and are therefore widely distributed in a broad range of deployments.

In many ways, these aspects of the IP camera evolution play into our sweet spot.This combination of strengths is quite unique in terms of enterprise class VMS platforms. It enables Salient to render images, manage video and perform forensics, across a variety of applications with exceptional speed and clarity.

Which market niches do you see your integrator partners having successes?

Any application with a high-density camera footprint that requires centralized management and administration of the system is typically where our integrators have great opportunities for success. For example, we’ve been installed in a multitude of campus environments associated with higher education and healthcare.

In addition, large banking and financial institutions with multiple locations lever-age our integrators to deploy Salient as a global VMS standard. We have integrators that focus on multilocation retail applications in traditional brick and mortar store-fronts and/or in very large distribution centers that stock and distribute goods out of 1 million-square-foot facilities or more.

How can a local dealer or integrator have success in enterprise organizations?

Service, transparency and solid project management capabilities are all key essentials for success. From our perspective, enterprise organizations are keenly interested in not only a given dealer’s capacity to install, but they are clearly interested in what life after the sale looks like in terms of support and maintenance.

Dealers that have well-defined service level agreements [SLAs] can achieve high rates of success in enterprise-class deployments. In addition to what we believe is a given — which is a tight collaboration among the dealer, the VMS manufacturer and the end user — an SLA helps to establish customer expectations.

These entail the service provider’s availability, performance and all elements of the combination of those things as it pertains to the administration and/or the maintenance of software, cameras and servers and all the things that encompass a video solution set.

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