10 things to consider when shopping for a VMS

Residential Estate Security Handbook 2019 Surveillance, Integrated Solutions

Video surveillance has come a long way since the days of security guards staring at fuzzy images on monitors. Today’s video management systems (VMS) provide a wide range of tools and capabilities that help make security personnel more efficient by allowing them to focus on what really matters.

At an organisational level, a VMS can also be the cornerstone of a physical security system that does so much more. Whether you want increased business intelligence or improved incident management, choosing the right VMS is crucial.

The challenge is satisfying all your stakeholders on the way to getting the VMS that meets your organisation’s needs. We’ve put together a list of features to help get you moving in the right direction.

1. Adaptability is key

Don’t get stuck just thinking about today. Whether you’re doing a rip-and-replace or considering video surveillance for the first time, you need to think ahead.

In the future, you might need remote site monitoring, automatic licence plate recognition (ALPR), cloud storage solutions, or high definition (HD) and 4K video support. A VMS with an open architecture that’s flexible and modular will allow you to easily incorporate these upgrades and new features.

A solution that can adapt and scale to the growing needs of your business will keep you from patching together technology or constantly shopping for replacements.

2. Unification is not integration

If your VMS is not truly unified with your other core security solutions, you’ll be forced to maintain multiple systems from different vendors. This means spending money on different servers and spending time on multiple maintenance programs and training sessions.

You can reduce your total cost of ownership by moving away from independent systems to a unified solution. Then, with consolidated monitoring, reporting, and a map-centric approach to security management, you’ll be more efficient, make better decisions, and react to incidents faster.

3. Centralise operations

If your security personnel have to spend valuable time connecting to each of your sites individually or dealing with hard-to-navigate event and device lists, they aren’t focusing on what’s important.

You need a solution that provides a clear picture of your entire security system in one operator interface. This will allow personnel to immediately locate cameras, doors, and other devices from one central location.

And, when you centralise operations, it’s easier to properly manage users as well as access permissions and security measures.

4. Go mobile

Responding to incidents or emergencies in the field takes operators away from their workstations. Having a system that includes both mobile and web applications means security personnel have the security system with them no matter where they are.

When a system includes these applications, your security personnel can use their phones and tablets to monitor live or recorded video, control remote cameras, review access-control events, and receive and acknowledge system alarms. They can also stream live video from their phone back to their workstations, turning their smartphones into mobile surveillance cameras.

5. Get in the cloud

It’s likely that you’ll need to add storage over the lifetime of your surveillance system. Whether you expand your network, change your video retention policies, or introduce redundant archiving, being able to add storage quickly and cost-effectively will be important.

Cloud-based storage with built-in redundancy and failover capabilities is a great option. A solution that allows you to maintain video recordings in the cloud while continuing to leverage your existing system will also give you the flexibility to increase or decrease your storage capacity without having to buy extra hardware.

6. See your entire environment

Keeping security teams on the same page can be challenging, especially when your organisation has multiple sites.

With a unified security system, your security personnel can manage and view all your sites and devices on geo-localised maps. This can help them quickly team up to respond to an incident or threat. They can also take immediate action directly within a map, like unlocking doors, controlling PTZ cameras, and managing alarms.

Look for map technology that lets security personnel display all your unique live events and alarms, video, cardholder pictures, and licence plates. This way, your whole team can collaborate easily.

7. Step into the future

With so much going on, staying focused on security monitors can be difficult. Losing focus, even for a second, can have serious consequences. With video analytics, you can filter out noise and flag the unusual. The VMS will alert you to the presence of an intruder, a car going in the wrong direction, or an object that shouldn’t be there. Then, you can quickly decide if a response is needed or not.

When you combine intelligence with automation, it’s even easier to stay on top of more routine tasks. One example is a system that automates camera checks to notify you if a camera has changed position or been tampered with. This can dramatically reduce the drudgery of manual checks.

8. Prioritise your cybersecurity

Today, everything is connected. Security cameras that don’t offer protection against cyberattacks can leave your network and critical infrastructure vulnerable.

Statistics from the latest Symantec Security Threat Report revealed that “routers and connected cameras were by far the main source of recent Internet of Things (IoT) attacks, accounting for more than 90% of all attacks on the honeypot (computer security systems).”

Partnering with trusted vendors helps you protect your organisation. Any device you put on your network or anyone you work with should be backed by a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. This will help ensure that your system is bolstered against potential attackers.

9. Protect privacy

In an increasingly interconnected world and especially with the proliferation of cameras, privacy is a real concern for both public and private organisations. To address this, governments at every level are implementing rules and regulations around protecting individual privacy. As a result, they have determined that simple password protection is no longer enough.

A better approach to video security already exists. You need to deploy solutions that protect privacy by design. This includes secured authorisation as well as encryption for video streams in transit and at rest.

10. Optimise your bandwidth and storage

It takes a lot of storage to accommodate streams from dozens or even hundreds of cameras. You can reduce your total cost of ownership with a VMS that lets you optimise your use of bandwidth and storage and offers intelligent, flexible streaming options designed with HD video in mind.

Security Center Omnicast, for example, calculates the most efficient routes between cameras and workstations while dynamic stream selection automatically switches stream quality when needed. And stream settings can be customised for live or recorded video, so you can protect key evidence by transferring your video recordings to the cloud for long-term retention.

11. Bonus! Stay up-to-date

When you’re looking for a new VMS, keep in mind that an out-of-date system won’t allow you to fully benefit from these 10 features. If you’re not running the latest version, you also run the risk of missing out on important upgrades and advancements. And, perhaps most significantly, older versions are more prone to snags and crashes that can leave your organisation open to vulnerabilities.

A VMS built on an open and unified platform will give you the very best that video has to offer.

For more information contact Genetec, Brent Cary, [email protected], www.genetec.com

This article has been shortened. The original can be found at securitysa.com/*rgcb10 (redirects to https://resources.genetec.com/blog/10-things-to-consider-when-shopping-for-a-vms).



Credit(s)




Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page



Further reading:

Pentagon appointed as Milestone distributor
Elvey Security Technologies News & Events Surveillance
Milestone Systems appointed Pentagon Distribution (an Elvey Group company within the Hudaco Group of Companies) as a distributor. XProtect’s open architecture means no lock-in and the ability to customise the connected video solution that will accomplish the job.

Read more...
Video Analytics Selection Guide 2024
Surveillance
The Video Analytics Selection Guide 2024 highlights a number of video analytics/AI solutions companies offer to enhance and optimise video surveillance operations.

Read more...
Optimising your camera-to-operator ratio
Surveillance
Learning from critical data points in your security systems is the key to quality monitoring, effectively deploying resources, and scaling control room profitability. The golden equation is your true Camera-to-Operator ratio.

Read more...
Storage Selection Guide 2024
Storage Selection Guide Surveillance
The Storage Selection Guide 2024 includes a range of video storage and management options for small, medium and large surveillance operations.

Read more...
Directory of suppliers
Surveillance
The Directory of Suppliers and Solution Providers provides a selection of companies involved in various aspects of surveillance projects, from consulting to implementation and ongoing maintenance, as well as equipment suppliers.

Read more...
Perspectives on personal care monitoring and smart surveillance
Leaderware Editor's Choice Surveillance Smart Home Automation IoT & Automation
Dr Craig Donald believes smart surveillance offers a range of options for monitoring loved ones, but making the right choice is not always as simple as selecting the latest technology.

Read more...
The TCO of cloud surveillance
DeepAlert Verifier Technews Publishing Surveillance Infrastructure
SMART Security Solutions asked two successful, home-grown cloud surveillance operators for their take on the benefits of cloud surveillance to the local market. Does cloud do everything, or are there areas where onsite solutions are preferable?

Read more...
Cloud or onsite, a comparison
Astrosec Surveillance
In the realm of electronic security, the choice between cloud-based and onsite software solutions for offsite CCTV monitoring can significantly impact operational efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and overall effectiveness.

Read more...
On-camera AI and storage create added benefits
Elvey Security Technologies AI & Data Analytics Surveillance IoT & Automation
The days of standalone security systems are long past, and the drive is now to educate system integrators, installers, and end users on the return on investment that can be derived from intelligent, integrated BMS, IoT and security systems.

Read more...
Surveillance on the edge
Axis Communications SA Guardian Eye Technews Publishing Surveillance
Edge processing, a practical solution that has been available for some time, has proven its utility in various scenarios, tailored to the unique requirements of each user.

Read more...