The era in which we’re living could one day be called the Visual Age. Screens and monitors are integrated into virtually every facet of everyday life. Video surveillance keeps us safe at the airport and shopping mall. Our smartphone tells us how to get places, how healthy we are, and how to stay in touch with each other via social media. Each device contains a dizzying array of features, each promising to connect us in new and ingenious ways, and in high resolution, making the possibilities potentially overwhelming.
The same holds true when researching and choosing a video management system (VMS) software. Whether you’re a seasoned integrator or a director of security or even a small business owner, the features available in a VMS can be hard to prioritize. What will I be using the software for primarily? Will I be able to give individual users different levels of access to the system? What type of searching and exporting capabilities will I need? How technology-savvy will my staff need to be in order to use the system to its full potential?
To help narrow the field of choices, we’ve provided below four VMS software features to look for when considering a VMS. All VMS software platforms have features that make them unique. These are the priority features that all end users, regardless of industry, should look for when purchasing a solution:
- First, choose a VMS that is fast and capable of easy searching and video management. While monitoring live video is important, most end users utilize VMS software for investigations and finding video evidence. Most of us don’t have time to waste watching video for hours to find a specific segment. There are several different ways to search on most VMS interfaces, including thumbnail and timeline search. Bookmarking and case management functionality lets users permanently save, label and manage important segments of video, audio and data for later reference. Additionally, all bookmarks are retained and protected against deletion. A VMS should have an intuitive interface to quickly find desired video and export the clip to CD or DVD or save it to provide to law enforcement as evidence. The easier and faster the search interface is, the more time it saves.
- Look for systems with centralized administration and configuration. A centralized user interface that allows users to seamlessly administer user privileges, notifications, cameras, storage and more across all servers on the system is essential. Simple and complex video management tasks should all be available from a single screen, making it easier on the end user to navigate and access needed information. Video archiving and extended storage for an entire VMS network should be accessible from the same user interface.
- A VMS’ ability to build a cross-platform, integrated security system is the third essential feature to consider when evaluating a VMS. Many customers have an existing infrastructure, including already established camera vendors or access control systems. A good VMS will integrate with any number of these systems from multiple manufacturers to provide a best-of-breed solution. From access control to point-of-sale analytics, the VMS client should offer users options for a complete surveillance solution of their choice. Intelligence features such as smart search, license plate detection, line cross and more should be possible in the VMS software. The more integrations available through a VMS provider, the more flexibility the end users have to maximize their systems to their specific needs. The VMS software should also be available on multiple operating systems and devices so that end users can easily access live and recorded video.
- And let’s not forget the power of the edge device. A smart video management system will employ the power already available in various edge devices, such as IP cameras, to perform functions like motion detection and video analytics, while sharing the resulting information via an already established network connection. This reduces the need for expensive server hardware and frees up the server’s processing power for other vital uses. Some VMS software can even be directly installed on certain IP cameras, eliminating the need for a separate server. This is ideal for remote locations that need to be connected to a larger, enterprise video security network.
When looking for a VMS system, keep these key features at the top of your list: fast, easy search and video management, centralized administration and configuration, open-platform integrations and powerful edge-based functionality. Who knows? Maybe choosing a VMS with these essentials in mind will prove easier than picking out your next new cell phone.
What other considerations have helped you choose a VMS Software? Please leave me a comment below.
Source: Tyco Blog