The Top 10 Open Video Management Systems
In the video surveillance market today there is a plethora of Video Management Systems (VMS). Some are unique that serve very niche markets, while others are the dominate players or market leaders, and in between are the up and coming systems that are challenging the market leaders. In all of these solutions there is one principle: to provide a tool that aids the security professional in the efficient and effective use of surveillance equipment.
IMS Research has defined an Open VMS as “Open Platform Network Video Management Software products that support a variety of hardware (cameras and encoders/decoders) from multiple vendors and offer the ability for customized integration with other systems or devices using an open platform software development kit (SDK).” In an Open VMS, the goal is to provide a tool that can configure, control and manage video surveillance equipment independent of the manufacturer. Sounds simple, yet it is very complicated due to the proprietary aspects of a majority of video equipment. All of the VMS vendors in this review are to be congratulated for what they have achieved. To create a single tool, or set of tools, that can seamlessly integrate equipment from multiple manufacturers is a herculean task. To make this task even more complicated, they have to test and create updates for all of the new equipment that is constantly being developed and released.
THE VMS MARKETThe market for open vendor neutral VMS is strong, especially during an economic downturn. The reason is simple: organizations need to maximize their capital investment and tend to open their surveillance equipment acquisitions to multiple vendor solutions. This open competition has a two-fold effect. First, it can drive down the cost of the acquisition. Second, it can create a mixed vendor environment, which drives the increased need and strong growth in the Open VMS market.
The overall IP camera market in North America was relatively unaffected in 2009. Revenue growth remained above 20 percent, and it is expected to improve throughout 2010, thus offering plenty of opportunities for VMS vendors. City surveillance (public area surveillance) is another growth market vertical for IP surveillance. There are many cities/towns across the United States and Latin America that are choosing to deploy video surveillance systems to combat crime. Since cameras are often placed in remote locations, wireless technology is increasingly being used to transmit the video. This essentially brings the video onto the network and provides another opportunity for VMS vendors to sell their solutions. Furthermore, in larger municipalities there is a desire to combine the video surveillance footage with disparate systems such as police dispatch. Again, the Open VMS is well suited to this application as it can be used to bring together different operations under a single interface.
VMS VENDOR COMPANY SUMMARIES