5 Reasons to Take a Fresh Look at Advanced VMS Solutions
Learn how recent video management system advances can help installing security contractors gain new business or add to existing services.
As video management systems and other physical surveillance and security technologies continue to evolve, it’s easy for installing security contractors to simply carry on with what they are most familiar with versus what the best available solution may be.
This is unfortunate for many reasons, not the least of which: Whereas a VMS was once simply a head-end video management tool, today’s advanced solutions with open architecture are enterprise-level solutions that expand surveillance well beyond traditional security operations. This represents a tremendous opportunity for new end customers and sales opportunities for security dealers and systems integrators.
New user features, increased integration capabilities, higher reliability, improved network security, automatic updates and remote monitoring are just some recent VMS advances that can help dealers and integrators gain new business and/or add to existing services.
It is more important than ever to offer VMS solutions that not only scale in size but also in functionality to accommodate emerging and future technology trends and customer needs. Here are five advanced functionalities that security dealers and systems integrators should look for when evaluating VMS solutions.
#1 Open Architecture
Increasingly, VMS solutions are functioning as the core platform for integrated surveillance and security systems. They are managing vast amounts of data from video, access control and other security and non-security systems to deliver higher levels of situational awareness, predictive analysis and overall protection.
VMS solutions based on an open architecture platform can integrate with a variety of other systems such as license plate recognition (LPR) systems, access control, visitor management and various types of analytics, providing integrators with additional opportunities to deliver best-in-breed, end-to-end solutions with full backup and support and potential service/maintenance contracts capable of increasing recurring monthly revenue (RMR).
Additionally, new analytics and artificial intelligence are proving to deliver massive amounts of business intelligence data. This is most evident in logistics operations, retail environments, casinos, mass transit terminals and more, all of which represent new growth opportunities.
#2 Auto Updating
Keeping VMS software up to date is vital to both physical and network security. However, no number of updates will be effective unless they are installed regularly. New VMS solutions are available that include auto-update capabilities to ensure that users will always be running the most current, and most secure, version.
There are now solutions available that offer auto-update in conjunction with other features designed to expedite system updates, deliver more efficient recording, and help protect systems from cyberattacks.
For the integrator, VMS solutions with auto-updating capabilities also allow them to offer software updating as a value-added service along with traditional maintenance contracts. Additionally, because the updates are performed automatically, technicians are not required to be on-site to manage the update, adding to the potential profitability of a contract.
By choosing and deploying a VMS solution with built-in, end-to-end encryption, integrators can provide customers with higher levels of network security protection while reducing overall costs and the inconvenience of installing third-party encryption software. Additionally, VMS solutions that randomize their video database prevents recorded information from being manipulated by anyone, including external intruders or internally by IT personnel, which provides greater system integrity.
#4 Hardware and Installation
Hardware and the associated installation costs can significantly run up the overall price tag of any security installation. The more labor-intensive the installation, the more time it requires, and the more it will cost. VMS solutions that eliminate costly manual configurations can save time and money for both the integrator and the user.
For instance, some solutions don’t require MAC addressing, do not require cameras to be mapped to hard drives and, include a fast and easy way to use camera locating tools. VMS solutions that allow more cameras to be connected to each server provides for the buffer video can use low cost SATA hard drives, and allow for direct network attached storage (NAS) recording that can reside remotely, anywhere on the network.
#5 Remote Troubleshooting
Like installation, maintenance costs can vary depending on the amount of time required for a technician to address an issue. Often there is a minimum charge associated with on-site maintenance, so if a technician has to be physically at the customer site to address a problem, even the simplest fix can be expensive.
Advanced VMS solutions offer the ability for technicians to remotely access systems to diagnose or even fix an issue without the need to dispatch personnel. Should the problem be significant enough to require a site visit, a technician can be dispatched to a location knowing exactly what is wrong and how to fix it before they arrive.
Integrators who take the time to research and understand new VMS solution functionalities and capabilities, and who proactively strive to help resolve their customers’ specific pain points, will be making an investment that improves their current and future bottom line as new and emerging applications arise for surveillance solutions.
Ken LaMarca is Vice President of Sales and Marketing for On-Net Surveillance Systems (OnSSI), a provider of IP-based surveillance software.
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