Milestone Systems' Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Eric Fullerton, outlines clear advantages of choosing an open platform IP video solution to deliver a video surveillance system that has room to grow and expand in any direction with the lowest cost of ownership.
Choosing surveillance camera management solutions
It is no surprise that
| A camera management application limited to one camera vendor is high in risks, low in rewards
security camera vendors want to create their own camera management solutions. This is not new to our industry; camera management solutions that are able to handle a limited number of cameras and/or a limited number of camera brands have always been present. You might think to yourself: I am only installing 30 security cameras and I know what brand I am going with, why not just go with a one-stop shop? Our response is: Why limit yourself?
There are many seemingly good reasons to go with a camera manufacturer's software management solution:
- Pre-defined integration with built-in functionality.
- Will the independent software manufacturer be around in future?
- Lower acquisition cost.
One of the big drawbacks of the traditional analogue video world is the proprietary systems that have left so many customers with out-of-date surveillance technology. By choosing a camera manufacturer's management solution, you could very well see history repeat itself again in the IP world.
View larger image
An open platform IP video solution gives flexibility to mix and match the best components for an optimal system
a. Future expansions and integrations will be limited to products from this one manufacturer, but remember that no one camera manufacturer alone will be able to keep up with the pace of innovation across the full spectrum of surveillance cameras.
b. The functionality and freedom of choice provided by a ‘best-of-breed' open and independent video management solution assures end users that both companies will be around for not only the near future but also well beyond.
c. In the long run, the total cost of ownership for an open platform solution will always be lower than the cost of owning a proprietary solution. When estimating the full cost of an video surveillance solution, you will see that the cost of the management software is no more than approximately 10%. So a relatively small saving at the time of initial acquisition of a one-vendor offering can prove to be immensely expensive over the lifespan of your installation.
In other words, by decoupling your surveillance software from your hardware, you get the chance to ‘bust out of proprietary jail' and not get stuck with one vendor. This freedom of choice has always been Milestone's stance on the matter. With the customer in mind, it only makes sense to have a security system in place that has room to grow and expand in any direction with the lowest cost of ownership.
Benefits of an open platform IP video surveillance software solution
A camera management application limited to one security camera vendor is high in risks, low in rewards. The risk is simple: you lock yourself into one vendor that may not be able to keep you abreast of the innovation curve. Simultaneously, you limit your ability to choose the best hardware for your installation. The reward would only be the initial installation savings of less than 5%. This minuscule amount is not worth the limited ability to update your surveillance system over time.
A ‘best-of-breed' open and independent video management solution assures end users that both companies will be around for not only the near future but also well beyond
With a flexible, tiered software system for your platform, you can choose the right size and feature management tools for your installation while maintaining your freedom to choose.
It is very costly to be forced in future to ‘forklift' your entire solution from a proprietary one. Conversely, if you want to replace the video management software, it would only amount to roughly 10% of your total investment.
Strictly from the software side, there is a rigorous performance level that we meet in order to support the widest choice in hardware, keeping up with new models all the time for more than 40 surveillance camera manufacturers.
Security camera vendors want to create and manage their own hardware with a software platform. After all, the value in the video stream from a camera comes from what you can do with it. A software solution that can manage and store that stream with proven reliability and scalability, from small to large installations, and integrate to solutions of the future as well, is where the true customer value is realized.
Chief Sales & Marketing Officer