Video management systems (VMS) have changed dramatically over the years and while free VMS applications are generally supplied with cameras, these are suited to small installations with only a few cameras. When one deals with enterprise-level security, the VMS of today must do a lot more than just record and display video streams.
Today’s VMS is a broader management platform that offers a plethora of options for managing video, but it is rare to find one that doesn’t also incorporate other security technologies – and increasingly IoT technologies. Moreover, openness and the ability for others to integrate their systems into the platform is critical today, as is cybersecurity.
To find out what a management platform today is all about, Hi-Tech Security Solutions asked Quintin Roberts, regional sales manager for Genetec Africa, for insight into how the company’s Security Center has evolved.
Hi-Tech Security Solutions: Has your management platform changed over the last few years and how do you see it evolving over the next few years?
Roberts: Unification is at the core of our development focus. It is what empowers advancements in how our customers run their physical security operations.
When all your physical security activities, functions and data originate from within the same system, you can harness the flow of data across your security activities, making it easier and more efficient to secure people, buildings and assets – while also supporting operational efficiencies.
Video surveillance technologies have developed tremendously over the past few months to enhance public safety and protect cities, enterprises, facilities and communities. One of the most important advancements is the emergence of occupancy management solutions, which have become more important than ever as businesses adhere to social distancing guidelines. These solutions can count people in a physical facility, visualise data, alert staff and provide useful consumer behaviour insights.
Our VMS, Security Center Omnicast, is built on our unified, open architecture platform. It unifies video management with all core security operations (access control, ALPR, communications, intrusion, etc.) and presents it on a single pane of glass. We offer a suite of unified security and operational video analytics, so your VMS creates information out of raw images.
Its flexible architecture and intelligent streaming features reduce storage and bandwidth requirements. It is hybrid ready, allowing customers to federate remote sites and fully hosted video connections. It also enables users to add cloud video archiving to any site as they go. It is an extremely reliable and cybersecure platform, with many layers of data protection and redundancy out of the box.
Its intuitive, dynamic interface fits any use case. With a combination of dynamic mapping, fully customisable dashboards, detailed visual reporting and support for any type of displays, end users get everything they need at their fingertips whether it’s on large video walls or on mobile devices.
Maintenance of devices, firmware and software is automated with our connected services. The system keeps track of the health of every single entity, streamlines updates, helps end users manage passwords and lets them know when something is wrong with a camera.
Hi-Tech Security Solutions: Will traditional VMS platforms evolve to include building management and IoT systems, or will we see the VMS becoming a component of broader BMS platforms? Have you identified a demand among customers to integrate more ‘non-security’ elements into your platform?
Roberts: Most companies know long-term investments make good business sense, so a good security plan is no different. Focusing on the short-term and investing in proprietary, independent solutions can throw a wrench in operations when the needs outgrow the physical security system.
Moving to unified security can make all the difference in helping achieve greater long-term value. That’s because a unified security platform gives the flexibility to build and evolve physical security operations one component at a time. Choosing an open-architecture platform further ensures being able to adopt new technologies and hardware as business and security needs change.
All systems are managed from a common infrastructure, making system functionality consistent across all tasks. This means when a new system is added or software or firmware are updated, everything will be simpler.
Being able to connect more systems to a platform depends on a system’s ability to make connections with other vendors’ solutions. And this is where integrated systems struggle. Custom integrations are very costly and difficult to maintain and adding new technologies, whether software or hardware, is not always possible. In many instances, you’re either forced to accept these limitations or replace the entire system.
A unified security platform removes these limitations because core systems have been designed to work together and compatibility is always maintained. There are also over 900 integrations and third-party add-ons to be choose from. Since applications are embedded in a single platform with one intuitive interface, operations, upgrades and maintenance are streamlined.
Even hardware and software configurations happen in one central place within a platform so it will always be a smooth experience. All data feeds into the same user-friendly interface, ensuring operators can view alarms and access other information in a few mouse clicks.
Hi-Tech Security Solutions: What are you doing to improve the cybersecurity status of your platform and to assist clients in protecting their devices, networks and data?
Roberts: Cybersecurity is a priority at Genetec. We believe that the respect for individuals’ privacy should be the foundation of responsible and innovative design. Privacy by Design methodologies provide an essential road map for forward-thinking, ethical developers to build those principles into the products they create. This involves proactively embedding privacy into the design and operation of IT systems, networked infrastructure, and business practices from the first line of code to the third-party vendors selected for partnership and integration.
With this methodology in mind, Genetec solutions are designed to help customers enhance cyber hygiene and respect privacy by making data and privacy protection features more accessible and configurable. (Find out more at www.genetec.com/trust-cybersecurity/resources)
In the physical security industry, protecting people and assets often requires organisations to collect personal data as well as footage about individuals using public spaces in or around their facilities. But to meet the public’s expectations of privacy and to comply with global regulations, access to this data or footage needs to be restricted and protected.
Hi-Tech Security Solutions: What are the latest developments you have released to market over the past few months (or will release soon)? Is cloud and the related services becoming an important component of your overall offering to the market?
Roberts: We’re seeing a big wave of cloud-based products and capabilities quickly changing the landscape. While we’ve been offering our own fully hosted VMS for many years now, a new approach to video management or security systems in general is rising quickly in popularity, and for many good reasons: Hybrid cloud.
This type of deployment makes a lot of sense for many of our customers. It adds so much flexibility and disaster recovery capabilities, makes it easy to quickly federate in remote sites on a single platform, and is probably the best way to comply with any retention policy. It offers a great balance between the performance and feature set of on-premises systems, and the ease of deployment of cloud solutions.
Genetec Clearance is a case management system that helps you manage the storage and distribution of digital evidence from cameras and other devices. It’s a simple, secure and flexible way to help accelerate investigations by facilitating collaboration. A surge in the use of body-worn cameras in law enforcement, coupled with an increasingly smartphone-savvy public has led to a deluge of recorded incidents and situations. Added to existing methods for capturing video footage, other sensor data and arduous compliance requirements, it amounts to a huge spike in the sheer volume of evidence to be sifted through and dealt with.
Genetec Clearance breaks down technology silos associated with traditional case management applications. It encourages collaboration across different agencies, departments and organisations, and helps users manage digital evidence – from collection to case closed.
Unified with our access control system, we released Genetec ClearID, a cloud-based physical access management solution using a workflow-based approach that allows employees to make access requests and schedule visitors. This reduces delays and keeps your organisation moving. It ensures that safety is never compromised by enforcing your security policies and continuously updating individual access rights based on current attributes. Ultimately, by automating access rights management, ClearID helps improve operator and front desk staff efficiency, leading to a greater return on your investment.
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