Milestone now reads license plates with XProtect™ Analytics
Milestone now reads license plates with XProtect™ Analytics

Milestone Systems, a global thought leader and developer of open platform IP video software, has announced the release of XProtect Analytics License Plate Recognition (LPR) that transforms surveillance video into an effective and powerful business tool for improving customer satisfaction and loyalty, as well as protection of assets. XProtect Analytics LPR 1.5 is a system that detects, reads and stores license plate information from a digital video stream.  It is designed to control vehicle access, as in traffic surveillance and law enforcement, toll and parking management, gas stations, transportation or any other application and situation where there is a need for registration, recognition and detection of vehicle license plates. How it worksThe system receives video streams from a camera.  This video stream is analyzed, and license plates are automatically detected.  The license plate information is then checked against the system that determines which actions are initiated automatically, such as opening a gate barrier for specific cars or sending an alarm. XProtect Analytics LPR is operated with the user-friendly XProtect Smart Client interface that enables fast searches of the historical video data to find and match specific license plates.  The data can be searched based on a certain license plate text or by a wildcard combination, date, time, or simply by browsing through recordings. "The true value from video analytics is derived through a video management system like XProtect with an open framework that can correlate feed from multiple video analytics with different behaviours - regardless of whether the video content analytics are performed in a camera - at the edge - or server based," explains Eric Fullerton, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer at Milestone Systems.  "Best-of-breed analytics can be integrated with the Milestone open platform to allow a combination of license plate, facial recognition and object tracking, for example, from three different vendors to be used as one comprehensive solution."Customer scenariosCustomers can leverage the XProtect Analytics in multiple ways.  One example is improving the customer experience at hotels by allowing guests to pre-register and drive directly into the hotel's parking lot.  The guests will avoid the stress of arriving at the hotel and waiting in line to check in. The system is also a powerful tool in large privately run parking lots.  Regular visitors pay a monthly fee, whereas rare guests validate tickets at pay-and-display machines.  Using License Plate Recognition enables regular visitors to simply drive to the gate, which opens automatically when the license plate is recognized. In addition, the Milestone solution allows customers to build effective loss prevention systems, such as integration with the company's transaction system to detect and track cars that are leaving without paying.  This is an effective way to address problems with gas station drive-offs.  According to the National Association of Convenience Stores, gasoline theft is a $100 million-plus problem in the US, and one in every 3,300 fill-ups is gasoline theft. "XProtect Analytics is more than a loss prevention tool.  It is also an efficient way of improving customer service and ultimately increasing revenue.  For instance, gas stations can register a license plate to a company or individual's gas credit card.  The software recognizes the license plate and allows the customer to simply drive to the pump, fuel and go," says Jan Bjerring Aabyvester, Product Manager, Milestone Systems. At the recent 2008 IIPSEC show in the UK, Milestone was a finalist for the Best Software Product of the year for XProtect Analytics.

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Security Center: Unified security platform
Security Center: Unified security platform

The Security Center is a unified security platform that seamlessly blends Genetec’s IP video surveillance, access control and license plate recognition systems within a single innovative solution.Some Benefits of the Security Center:Unify your operationsOffers customers a truly unified approach to managing their security and public safety operations. True unification means that every aspect of your security operations is consolidated under a single platform, from real-time monitoring to alarm management, reporting, and playback of events. Though flexible enough to run as either an access-only, LPR-only or video-only interface, the Security Center truly comes to life in multi-application environments.Simplify your workflowsThe basic operating principle behind the Security Desk is to simplify the operator’s job. Through innovative concepts such as operator-initiated tasks, a dynamically adaptive interface, and context-sensitive widgets, operators are given the right functionality to perform their duties at the right time, while removing unnecessary items that typically clutter an interface.Empower your operatorsOperators can intuitively generate reports, monitor remote and local cameras, and track cardholders and assets with the single click of a mouse button on a workstation, from a touch screen, or even a mobile device. Given that the interface is adapted to only the tasks that are pertinent to each operator, users quickly become familiar with the system’s functionalities through self-learning, thus allowing for increased autonomy and confidence within your team. Download the Genetec Security Center brochure

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Complexity made simple: XProtect Corporate 3.0, Smart Wall and mapping give dynamic, interactive control
Complexity made simple: XProtect Corporate 3.0, Smart Wall and mapping give dynamic, interactive control

Milestone Systems, the open platform company for IP video management software, has released XProtect™ Corporate version 3.0 with dynamic new map and Smart Wall surveillance functionality.XProtect Corporate is an IP video management solution (IPVMS) for simplifying the control of complex large and multi-site installations. The newest release 3.0 includes comprehensive map functionality for importing bitmaps of geographical areas, buildings, or rooms with system component placements depicting the actual installations. This mapping provides security managers with interactive access and command of complete surveillance systems, combined with at-a-glance, real-time overviews of system integrity.  Watch a demonstration of the Xprotect Corporate 3.0XProtect Corporate maps are easily customizable through intuitive drag-and-drop, clickable definitions of map hierarchies, cameras and I/O devices, hot-zones, sub-maps and camera viewzones. ‘Zoomable' maps give fast access to video from alerted locations. Any number of layered maps may be used at many levels: city, street, building, room, area, etc.In addition to the graphical map capabilities, XProtect Corporate 3.0 offers new video wall functionality using the new Milestone Smart Wall for superior flexibility and control of video displays in operation centers. Surveillance operators can manage multiple events with better situational awareness of complex scenarios and multiple simultaneous incidents.The Smart Wall draws on the unique XProtect Corporate rule engine for dynamic view control based on motion detection, I/Os, integrated third party apps, time or analytic events. Another advantage is the Milestone open platform, which means that the Smart Wall is a command center solution that is independent of any specific hardware.Thanks to seamless integration with the Milestone Smart Client and the new mapping, video views and cameras can be easily dragged and dropped into the Smart Wall. The intuitive layout builder for pre-set definitions and the graphical interactive control expedite large-scale surveillance - also for multiple Smart Walls running at the same time.Speedy response and easy operations are further enhanced with these new monitoring features in XProtect Corporate: Instant camera preview on ‘mouse over'Camera view-zones displayed on the mapClickable PTZ zones with instant PTZ control to check incidents fastIntegrated command of cameras, speakers and microphonesI/O control to open or close doors, gate barriers, access systems, etc."Seamless drill-down enables instant location of troubled system components for faster response and reduced security system downtime. Clear system warnings enable system administrators to be proactive and maximize system availability," says Christian Bohn, Head of Product Management at Milestone Systems. "XProtect Corporate gives direct access to performance data for all system components including cameras and servers."Internal security and procedures are also improved with the XProtect Corporate extensive audit logging, through full tracking of all user and management activities. This deters internal tampering and provides full audit history of any system configuration changes by individual operator. XProtect Corporate also enables easy guidance and follow-up for new operators."The continuing development of XProtect Corporate has included testing and verification for managing thousands of cameras," adds Eric Fullerton, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer at Milestone. "This illustrates the powerful performance and operational capabilities that are available for large-scale security implementations."XProtect Corporate will be demonstrated at the following upcoming security trade shows: APS in France, ASIS in California, Sikring & Sikkerhed in Denmark, SecTech in Sweden, ISC East in New York, IFSEC India and All Over IP in Russia.

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Optimise operations of surveillance system components with Milestone XProtect Central 3.7
Optimise operations of surveillance system components with Milestone XProtect Central 3.7

Milestone Systems, the open platform company for IP video management software, has released XProtect™ Central version 3.7. XProtect Central is an operational status monitoring and alarm management solution for Milestone XProtect Corporate, XProtect Enterprise & XProtect Professional servers, video surveillance cameras and external devices. This solution ensures that operators maintain a complete overview of alarms and technical problems, allowing immediate visual verification and troubleshooting to resolve incidents fast.Ideal for implementations with multiple sites or buildings, XProtect Central helps large security installations minimize risks and optimize operations. The visual and audio alerts can improve busy environments like alarm and dispatch centrals, where the instant access to servers and cameras translates to quick response for all locations. Using clickable graphical overviews and customizable alarms with visual verification on the status of all connections and hardware, response control is at its best.Visually verify alarms, respond fast, audit trailsInstallations with different servers, cameras and hardware must run properly to ensure top security if a device fails to record or display video, the outcome can be devastating. Milestone XProtect Central is a powerful tool for managing such operational demands to ensure maximum up-time, total overview, and fast reactions. It continuously monitors the operational status and event-triggered alarms of XProtect servers, video cameras, and integrated devices such as access control units. Security operators get instant graphical overviews of alarms and technical alerts with immediate visual verification to resolve issues.An alarm list displays a filtered overview of all problems for clicking directly to an incident and a beep feature can help ensure attention.Users can define alarm priorities, pre-define time profiles, acknowledge or reassign alarms, enable and disable alarms with controlled user commands or by hardware input signals: for example, enable a motion detected alarm when the last person leaves a building.Alarms triggered by an input signal have a preview image from the camera, and can be used for cameras watching each other: if one fails, the other lets you know what happened.Spread the workload: provide backup capacity by assigning alarm management to multiple simultaneous operators with individual rights.Create audit trails of events.Easy graphical map overviewsMulti-level maps make easy navigation and identification of incident locations and the system elements involved. Alarms are shown at the highest level map, like a city site, and operators can click down to sub-level maps of buildings, rooms, gates, etc. for more details or actions.New in XProtect Central 3.7Define default image quality and frame rates by alarm type, which can also be altered manually by operators when playing back an alarm or viewing a live stream. This capability reduces the system bandwidth usage and allows remote users connected via low bandwidth connections to access video sequences associated with the alarms in XProtect Central - particularly relevant when monitoring a number of distributed systems where the connections between systems are low or not guaranteed.Auxiliary commands enable control of such things as wipers on cameras connected via video servers. Such camera-associated devices that are connected via auxiliary connection can be controlled from the central client.Additional support for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 is now provided.Integration with third-party systemsXProtect Central has plug-in support for third-party systems like access control or other devices. Operators can both monitor and control these from the XProtect Central interface (close or open gates, doors, turn off smoke detectors, etc.), in addition to monitoring and verifying their status and alarms."Milestone continuously enhances our software to increase performance for our customers. This ensures the best return on their security system investment, the ability to easily include new innovations as they become available, and most importantly constantly improves security," says Christian Bohn, Head of Product Management at Milestone Systems. "Using XProtect Central, operators can concentrate their time on actual events and not just stare ineffectively at a monitor wall. It's more than just alarm and operations management - it's trouble-shooting that minimizes risk significantly."Milestone will be exhibiting the full line of XProtect IP video management software at IFSEC in Birmingham UK May 10-13 (Hall 4, F90).

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Milestone offers XProtect Go: IP VMS for free!
Milestone offers XProtect Go: IP VMS for free!

Milestone Systems, the global leader for open platform IP Video Management Software (VMS), offers XProtect™ Go free video surveillance software. With a wide set of features for one user to manage and view up to 8 cameras, XProtect Go is easy to learn and use - the perfect start-up product for small business and residential customers who want to secure their property with the advantages of top quality IP video surveillance. XProtect Go is available for free as a download from the Milestone Systems website.IP network video surveillance continues to gain ground as the technology of choice over analogue security products, and to help accelerate this trend Milestone Systems has launched XProtect Go as a free version of the company's world-leading XProtect IP video management software. XProtect Go has a wide set of fully functional features to let people discover the benefits of the Milestone open platform: it is flexible, scalable and future-proof. Designed for high-tech residences and small businesses, XProtect Go provides the opportunity for new customers to explore the leading IP video management software platform at no cost, with seamless upgrade possibilities to Milestone's premium products. "As a free version of our software, XProtect Go lets new customers check out our world-leading IP video management platform with no initial investment and an easy upgrade path to fuller versions of our products, including integrations with other security products," states Christian Bohn, Head of Product Management at Milestone Systems. "This initiative will reach a wider audience for IP video, strengthen Milestone brand awareness and drive new business for our international eco-system of authorised partners."Delivered with a Management Application in several languages, XProtect Go is easy to learn and easy to use, starting with an initial default view that can be customised. One user can manage up to eight network cameras, 4 USB/web cameras or analogue cameras connected via encoders. Live or recorded video can be viewed with archiving up to five days, and evidence exporting in AVI format with a watermark or for long-term storage on DVD. The XProtect Smart Client interface has 22 language options and such high-end features as Smart Search and Sequence Explorer. Website support will include Tips & Tricks, FAQ and an interactive user forum. XProtect Go can be downloaded at no cost from the Milestone website, with user registration required after 30 days, and re-registration on a yearly basis.

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Bosch introduces its Recording Station inbuilt with Bosch’s proven video management, recording and communications technology for IP video
Bosch introduces its Recording Station inbuilt with Bosch’s proven video management, recording and communications technology for IP video

Building on our proven DiBos technology, the Recording Station is a complete management system for up to 32 video sources. It combines recording capability with video management and communications technology to deliver a wealth of powerful functionality and connectivity options. The Recording Station allows you to access your system from anywhere in the network, even from remote, low bandwidth WAN-connected stations. It's simple to interface with your other security and building infrastructures, including fire and access systems, ATM and PoS terminals, licence plate capture equipment and video content analysis solutions. To increase flexibility even further, the Recording Station also provides support for third-party equipment making integration easy.Features The Recording Station interfaces seamlessly with systems like Bosch's access control solutions and alarm panels, as well as external set-ups like ATMs and POS terminals, fire alarms, licence plate capture equipment and video content analysis solutions. Key features IP video recording and management for up to 32 video sources per station Scalable, user-friendly GUI allows images from multiple workstations to be viewed from a single PC (receiver station) Supports Bosch H.264 / MPEG4, AXIS MPEG-4 and third party JPEG devices HD / Megapixel camera support Web browser remote access and viewing Low bandwidth (WAN) support Interfaces with Bosch intrusion, fire and access solutions Peer to peer architecture allows connection to and from any station Smart Motion Search function eliminates time consuming manual image searches

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CCTV software - Expert commentary

Back to school: Best practices for a holistic approach to security
Back to school: Best practices for a holistic approach to security

In the past decade, we’ve seen an unfortunate increase in gun-related incidents on school campuses, making security and policy efforts a top priority for educational facilities nationwide. While the causes for this increase are hotly debated in and around the education community, the facts remain that specific steps can be taken to mitigate risks. To tackle this issue, officials from campus stakeholders, law enforcement officials, architects, and security personnel, have met to find solutions for protecting educational facilities. Further complicating matters, educational campuses are again tasked with mitigating health risks associated with COVID-19, as we head into the third pandemic school year. Video communication tools To safely reopen, new technologies and policies in many K-12 and higher education institutions have been released, with many searching for a way to leverage existing security infrastructure. Achieving both health safety and physical security requires an integrated approach—from all-around best practices, to video communication tools and enhanced security infrastructure. The simple intercom has been a security staple in the education market for many years A holistic approach is best to ensure the safety of students, staff, and visitors. The simple intercom has been a security staple in the education market for many years, but now in a pandemic-centric world, these devices provide a new set of required capabilities. Intercoms, once thought to be a basic security tool, can now be combined with video, offering users the ability to solve multiple pain points associated with COVID-19. Controlled access points In this article, we’ll discuss some best practices for educational decision-makers, as well as how video intercoms can enhance overall security architecture. A school’s first opportunity to mitigate threats lies in its ability to deter threats entering in the first place. This begins with ensuring policies, procedures, and equipment are all up to standard. Most campus shootings and other violent acts occur once the individual has made it through the front door of a building; putting the emphasis on controlled access points at key entries to add an extra barrier of safety between threats and students. While written policies help staff understand how visitors are approved for entry, they should also be informed of more simple items, such as why doors can’t be left propped open, when to lockdown, or how to evacuate during an emergency. Physical security solutions The security industry has also created effective physical security solutions for protecting a campus Another best practice would be training staff to spot signs of distressed and potentially violent students, while providing ways to get help for them. When it comes to campus security, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, which is why security integrators should also be included in planning processes to tailor a custom solution for each campus to address its unique security needs. While best practices, including mental health screenings, stricter discipline codes, and faster law enforcement responses are all crucial to campus safety, the security industry has also created effective physical security solutions for protecting a campus—which includes enhanced two-way video and audio/visual communication solutions such as a video intercom. For years educational facilities have utilised intercoms to manage access, but now, it’s more important than ever to ensure the safety of students and staff by thoroughly vetting all those who enter a building. Providing visual verification Long gone are the days of asking visitors to check in manually using a sign-in book, or simply walking into a school. Best practices now require the presence of a visitor management system (VMS), which is a more accurate and seamless way to manage access. Using a VMS, a campus could add its own custom watch list, which when properly implemented, can provide protection from abuse orders, custodial issues, and offer names and pictures of disgruntled former employees and students. Using a VMS, a campus could add its own custom watch list, which when properly implemented As security technology has become more sophisticated, so have intercom capabilities—extending far beyond what they used to be. Going further than a simple button and speaker system, when used in conjunction with an IP video system, intercoms provide visual verification that the person requesting access into a school building does indeed belong there. Contact tracing solutions Whether it’s a student, parent, or staff member, verifying a person’s identity and ensuring that the individual has proper credentials is key. Pairing an intercom with a camera allows for this important, real-time visual and audio communication between the front office and those requesting access. Additionally, intercoms can be used as contact tracing solutions by leveraging an audit trail in case of an outbreak. For example, if a number of students at a college or university all use a mobile app to gain access to a dormitory through an intercom system, in the event that someone tests positive for COVID-19, they are able to contact all students, staff, or visitors who frequent that building. IP video intercoms can assist in pandemic related and security use cases by limiting unnecessary human-to-human interaction and replacing that with remote management capabilities. Remote monitoring station Remote monitoring allows for eyes on a facility while personnel are not physically present There is increased flexibility when working from a mobile app, or remote monitoring station, especially for security directors or officers on educational campuses. For example, if a campus is not able to staff a lobby of a building or a dormitory, they can remotely manage access from a mobile device. This enables security personnel to access video feeds and directly communicate with students or staff requesting access into a building. Remote monitoring allows for eyes on a facility while personnel are not physically present, thus increasing overall security. It can also give the appearance of the building being occupied at all times, even when it’s not. Another way an educational facility can leverage their video intercom system is to shift to mobile applications that offer a touchless way to gain access. Mobile application credential A mobile application removes the need for a physical key card and eliminates the potential of loss or theft of that access credential. It also allows for easy updating to credential status. For example, if a student, staff member or visitor is added to an ‘access denied’ list, security personnel can simply revoke a mobile application credential, versus having to track down a physical key and run the risk of copies or other issues. The importance of visual confirmation cannot be stressed enough when it comes to educational campuses The importance of visual confirmation cannot be stressed enough when it comes to educational campuses. Not only for security purposes to visually confirm identity, or screen for suspicious behaviours or other anomalies, simply having the ability to have a conversation with someone requesting access is vital. Better audio feedback There’s been a shift in recent years, in some cases spurred by the pandemic, to focus on how existing technologies can meet the unique needs of students, staff and visitors. For example, intercoms allow for two-way video which is crucial for an individual who is deaf, or hearing impaired, who needs to communicate using sign language. Additionally, intercoms can be integrated with t-coil features, to allow for better audio feedback for those with hearing aids. The past few years have taught us that while best practices, attention to the mental wellbeing of students, enhanced security at main entry points, and exits are all important focuses, educational security needs to be holistic and comprehensive. From physical security risks, to potential pandemic-related outbreaks, to the regular day-to-day communication needs of all individuals, decision-makers recognise intercom systems easily address each unique need.

Data explosion: Futureproofing your video surveillance infrastructure
Data explosion: Futureproofing your video surveillance infrastructure

Video surveillance systems are producing more unstructured data than ever before. A dramatic decrease in camera costs in recent years has led many businesses to invest in comprehensive surveillance coverage, with more cameras generating more data. Plus, advances in technology mean that the newest (8K) cameras are generating approximately 800% more data than their predecessors (standard definition). Traditional entry-level solutions like network video recorders (NVRs) simply aren’t built to handle massive amounts of data in an efficient, resilient and cost-effective manner. This has left many security pioneers grappling with a data storage conundrum. Should they continue adding more NVR boxes? Or is there another, better, route? Retaining video data In short, yes. To future proof their video surveillance infrastructure, an increasing number of businesses are adopting an end-to-end surveillance architecture with well-integrated, purpose-built platforms for handling video data through its lifecycle. This presents significant advantages in terms of security, compliance and scalability, as well as unlocking new possibilities for data enrichment. All of this with a lower total cost of ownership than traditional solutions. Security teams would typically delete recorded surveillance footage after a few days or weeks Previously, security teams would typically delete recorded surveillance footage after a few days or weeks. However, thanks to increasingly stringent legal and compliance demands, many are now required to retain video data for months or even years. There’s no doubt that this can potentially benefit investigations and increase prosecutions, but it also puts significant pressure on businesses’ storage infrastructure. Data lifecycle management This necessitates a more intelligent approach to data lifecycle management. Rather than simply storing video data in a single location until it’s wiped, an end-to-end video surveillance solution can intelligently migrate data to different storage platforms and media as it ages. So, how does this work? Video is recorded and analysed on a combination of NVR, hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) and application servers. Then, it’s moved to resilient file storage for a pre-determined period, where it can be immediately retrieved and accessed for review. Finally, based on policies set by heads of security, data is moved from file storage to highly secure, low-cost archive storage such as an object, tape or cloud. Data is moved from file storage to highly secure, low-cost archive storage Long-term storage This process is known as tiering. It allows businesses to use reliable, inexpensive long-term storage for most of their data, whilst still enabling security pioneers to retrieve video data when the need arises, such as during a compliance audit, or to review footage following a security breach. In a nutshell, it offers them the best of both worlds. Scaling your video surveillance infrastructure can be a headache. Businesses that rely on NVRs – even high-end units with 64 or even 96 hard drives – are finding themselves running out of capacity increasingly quickly. In order to scale, security pioneers then have to procure new boxes. With NVRs, this inevitably involves a degree of guesswork. Should they go for the largest possible option, and risk over provisioning? Or perhaps a smaller option, and risk running out of capacity again? Common management console Security pioneers can easily add or remove storage capacity or compute resources – separately or together As businesses add new cameras or replace existing ones, many end up with inadequate surveillance infrastructure made up of multiple NVR boxes along with several application servers for running other surveillance functions such as access control, security photo databases, analytics, etc. This patchwork approach leaves security pioneers scrambling for capacity, maintaining various hardware footprints, repeating updates and checks across multiple systems, and taking up valuable time that could be better spent elsewhere. By contrast, flexible HCI surveillance platforms aggregate the storage and ecosystem applications to run on the same infrastructure and combine viewing under a common management console, avoiding ‘swivel chair’ management workflows. Plus, they offer seamless scalability. Security pioneers can easily add or remove storage capacity or compute resources – separately or together. Data storage solutions Over time, this ensures a lower total cost of ownership. First and foremost, it removes the risk of over provisioning and helps to control hardware sprawl. This in turn leads to hardware maintenance savings and lower power use. Many security pioneers are now looking beyond simple data storage solutions for their video surveillance footage. Meta tags can provide context around data, making it easier to find and access when needed Instead, they’re asking themselves how analysing this data can enable their teams to work faster, more efficiently and productively. Implementing an end-to-end video surveillance architecture enables users to take advantage of AI and machine learning applications which can tag and enrich video surveillance data. These have several key benefits. Firstly, meta tags can provide context around data, making it easier to find and access when needed. Object storage platform For instance, if security teams are notified of a suspicious red truck, they can quickly find data with this tag, rather than manually searching through hours of data, which can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. Plus, meta tags can be used to mark data for future analysis. This means that as algorithms are run over time, policies can be set to automatically store data in the right location. For example, if a video is determined to contain cars driving in and out of your premises, it would be moved to long-term archiving such as an object storage platform for compliance purposes. If, on the other hand, it contained 24 hours of an empty parking lot, it could be wiped. These same meta tags may be used to eventually expire the compliance data in the archive after it is no longer needed based on policy. Video surveillance architecture Continuing to rely on traditional systems like NVRs will fast become unsustainable for businesses Even if your organisation isn’t using machine learning or artificial intelligence-powered applications to enhance your data today, it probably will be one, three, or even five years down the line. Implementing a flexible end-to-end video surveillance solution prepares you for this possibility. With new advances in technology, the quantity of data captured by video surveillance systems will continue rising throughout the coming decade. As such, continuing to rely on traditional systems like NVRs will fast become unsustainable for businesses. Looking forward, when moving to an end-to-end video surveillance architecture, security pioneers should make sure to evaluate options from different vendors. For true futureproofing, it’s a good idea to opt for a flexible, modular solution, which allow different elements to be upgraded to more advanced technologies when they become available.

Convenience and cost savings make cloud managed video surveillance a popular choice for many businesses
Convenience and cost savings make cloud managed video surveillance a popular choice for many businesses

Cloud-based technology can reduce IT costs, streamline application management and make infrastructure more flexible and scalable. So, it’s no surprise that cloud video surveillance solutions (also known as video surveillance as a service or VSaaS) are gaining momentum in a big way. In fact, according to recent reports, the VSaaS market is forecasted to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 10.4% by 2025. But some company owners may wonder – what services does a cloud model deliver and is such a solution right for my business? This article aims to help you determine what cloud video surveillance solution is right for your business and the benefits you can enjoy if you decide to deploy a VSaaS solution. Full cloud-based recording vs cloud-managed First, a bit of clarification on cloud video surveillance models, as definitions can vary from provider to provider. A full cloud-based recording solution is one in which both video recording and management are done offsite (for example, cameras streaming directly to the cloud). While this model can be a good option for some, many large enterprise businesses simply don’t have the bandwidth capacity or network resources required to upload all of their videos to the cloud. Even with the bandwidth capacity, this can be a cost-prohibitive model when hundreds or thousands of IP cameras are involved. A full cloud-based recording solution is one in which both video recording and management are done offsite But that doesn’t mean enterprise businesses can’t take advantage of cloud-managed video surveillance. With this solution, video recording and storage happen on your premises (with network video recorders (NVRs) or a video management system (VMS)), but the video management aspect is handled in the cloud by a third-party provider, usually as a subscription-based service. The provider hosts the central video server overseeing your on-premises devices. Some providers also allow you to back up portions of the video to the cloud, so you can store and share video evidence or select clips needed for investigations. This model combines the performance benefits of local recording with the convenience and cost savings of the cloud. Centralised video surveillance solution Perhaps the greatest benefit of using this type of cloud-managed video surveillance solution is centralisation. Because all of your devices are centrally managed in the cloud, you don’t have to travel to a distant location to update a recorder or camera’s software – it’s all done remotely by the provider from a central location. This can save you both time and money, especially since it’s necessary to consistently monitor the configuration settings on cameras and NVRs to ensure they’re correct and functioning properly. If your hardware malfunctions and it isn’t detected immediately, instances of lost video can occur. And business owners know that losing video evidence of theft or fraud could have significant consequences to the efficiency and effectiveness of an investigation. Round the clock monitoring Some providers monitor for changes in cameras’ field of view, so if a camera is blocked or moved, you’ll be alerted  With a cloud-managed model, you can rest assured that if a camera goes down or another technical issue arises, the provider will know and will handle it immediately so you can avoid unnecessary truck rolls, which can be costly. Some providers will even monitor for changes in your cameras’ field of view, so if a camera is blocked or moved, you’ll be alerted right away. This type of around-the-clock monitoring eliminates your need for an in-house data centre and the IT staff necessary to maintain the video system. This is particularly important if you don’t have the infrastructure or the personnel to host your own video networking equipment. You can also save time with the deployment of your video surveillance solution since your provider will get your system up and running quickly. There’s no need to worry about setting up or configuring the central server or any application software – it’s all taken care of by your provider. Flexible and cost-effective In many cloud-managed solutions, you can also skip the large upfront capital cost of a video surveillance investment and pay a monthly fee for all of these services. This is particularly helpful if it’s difficult for your organisation to make large capital investments. You may or may not have to invest in onsite devices (cameras and NVRs), depending on the provider you choose. Some providers will allow you to finance your hardware, while others will want you to purchase it upfront. Many cloud providers also offer robust web clients for viewing video and conducting investigations remotely Many cloud providers also offer robust web clients for viewing video and conducting investigations remotely. These do not require any local downloads, which saves you time and money by avoiding the need for additional IT resources. It also alleviates worrying about whether or not you have the latest version, as the clients are automatically updated. And if you don’t want to spend a lot of time on video analysis, some cloud-managed models offer predefined reports on what’s most important to you. For example, a list of potentially suspicious transactions matched with video – so you can quickly scan to investigate. Getting the right solution Determining whether a cloud-managed video surveillance solution is right for your business is a big decision involving many factors, including your business’s size, bandwidth, and network infrastructure, and overall budget for physical security. By considering the points above, the hope is that you can more easily determine which model is best for your business.

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