Future-Proofing Your Video Management System
A video management system (VMS) is the brain of your surveillance operations, providing crucial capabilities and the ability to view, record, transfer, and manage data efficiently.
Some say futureproofing is not possible with this type of technology and ongoing innovation will eventually necessitate a product’s replacement. Many companies struggle with the need to replace and start over as their surveillance and recording needs change. Manufacturers understand the struggle and are designing solutions that can ease you into the future with open platforms and enhanced service offerings.
Start with an open platform
Openness means there’s no need to delve into a complete system overhaul, it allows you to migrate at your own pace. The days of closed, proprietary systems which couldn’t readily integrate with new software or components are over – or they should be.
As an open system, the VMS allows you to integrate new technologies or platforms in order to address the changing needs of your deployments. This can range from leveraging data flowing through the VMS to gain business insights for activities such as customer flow in retail applications or to understand potential risks to life safety practices in a manufacturing facility. The ability to interface with new and current generation cameras, access control, and analytics solutions provides the VMS access for a rich set of data for the customer to leverage moving forward.
A VMS solution with open architecture should be:
- Flexible allowing 3rd party integrations
- Easy to adapt to your current surveillance needs
- Provide a solution specific to your deployment
- Deliver a path to leverage future best of breed technologies
- Leverage your existing camera infrastructure
Enhanced Service Offerings
Service offerings can mean many things from how to maintain and upgrade my installed software to subscribing to new products and services provided by the VMS provider. Part of futureproofing is the ability to easily upgrade from the current installed version of the platform to a new version. Understanding how new versions are released, the frequency of releases, and how to gain access to new software versions are critical to keeping the platform in a ready state. Keeping the system current not only provides customer access to the latest features and functionality, but also opens up access to new integrations and data sources.
Beyond keeping the system up to date, manufactures are offering new services to extend the capabilities of their platform, typically through the cloud. These services scale from remote management and monitoring to video sharing and cloud-based analytics. Leveraging cloud services enables customers to extend the capabilities of their current VMS without incurring a lot of new technology.
When considering how to best plan and future-proof your VMS deployment, there are three key considerations. Build on a foundation of an open platform, which allows you to more easily adopt new technology through the life of your VMS. Understand how to keep the platform current to unlock new functionality your provider has developed. Finally, understand your provider’s long-term plan and strategy including new offerings they are bringing to market to ensure the success of the deployment long term.