In just over a few years, the change in trends for network video surveillance technology is undisputed, particularly in Colombia. Before 2013, about 90% of installations used analog technology, but in 2015, 90% of security installation projects implemented IP technology.
3 Reasons for the Growth of IP Video: Knowledge, Knowledge, Knowledge
There are three reasons behind this trend. First, the outreach job done by the manufacturers about their newest products; second, the training and certification received by the integrators on technology’s progress; and third, access to the information that is now available for users over mass media and specialized websites in security products.
It is important to highlight that some countries, such as Colombia, have shown a strong growth in the use of IP video surveillance systems, even though a phenomenon is happening with the installation of generic systems that are not as robust as known brands, especially in home implementations or small-scale businesses. However, it is clear that market segments such as industrial, education, commerce, ports and free-trade zones have realized that it is very important to invest in more specialized solutions.
Focusing on what the users are looking for when it comes to IP video surveillance technology, customers want better quality in the images and the flexibility of an open platform system. This means that users do not have to be tied to only one camera brand: they wish to be free to install any camera that offers high-quality images. A typical case is when a security manager travels to an international trade fair and finds a device that he likes at the show. He wants to buy the camera without having to worry about compatibility issues with the video system he has installed.
An open platform VMS (video management software) has tools that help customers to operate efficiently with higher quality images, along with the scalability and flexibility they want in their systems. It’s a common criterion in installations of new systems, and in migrations from existing analog systems to IP technology.
An example of this is a well-known university on Colombia’s coast, where the main consideration for their acquisition of a new VMS was the scalability options and flexibility to choose hardware brands, including high quality images.
How to choose a VMS that meets the needs of each user?
Currently the market offers different VMS options, and among them we can name the global leader: Milestone Systems. Their open platform product portfolio satisfies all the requirements above, that usually cannot be solved with traditional proprietary, analog technologies. The important point is to identify what the users are looking for in terms of image quality, calculated growth of the system in both the short and long term, and any additional characteristics that they want – such as video analytics – in order to recommend a solution that addresses every need, now and in the future.
Purchasing VMS licenses may require a slightly higher investment compared to an analog solution, but it is undeniable that the ROI of open architecture IP video is higher over time because the ability for unlimited expansions allows the customer to gain greater savings in terms of infrastructure and not have to replace systems repeatedly to incorporate new technologies.
Regarding operability, an IP system is more efficient than an analog one because it takes advantage of the VMS intelligence that can automatically alert to intrusions and other events. Often only one person now has to manage a monitoring center where three employees may have worked in the past.
In conclusion, open platform VMS makes security management easier and increases the effectiveness of the video surveillance in multiple environments. Operators can now have time freed up to focus on other security tasks – and optimize their procedures – without constantly having to take care of the cameras: the system is able to report in real time on all the situations that may happen.