Video surveillance systems are inherently dependent upon the software used to watch live or recorded video. There’s a lot to consider before choosing a Video Management System (VMS) to deploy at your facility.

VMS Types

Some video management systems are integrated with a video recording appliance while others are installed on a server or in the cloud, existing independently of the recording appliance.

Embedded software is provided by default when you purchase an all-in-one hardware appliance. There’s usually a server with a significant amount of onboard storage. The VMS software runs on a separate hard drive and can access live and recorded video streams. This is one of the most common VMS deployments, useful for small retail shops, medium-sized warehouses, and government buildings.

A VMS that runs on a dedicated server is deployed for a variety of reasons, ranging from IT preference to technical operations, like multiple locations or large banks of stored video on multiple appliances.  These systems are often customizable with appropriate planning, programming, and integration. Customization is typical when the VMS will be tied to an access control system.

VMS Uses

Video management systems are typically used to play back recorded video. This is particularly true for smaller applications where someone isn’t likely to be watching a live feed. However, this is also applicable to very large systems that have too many feeds to view at once.

Live viewing is critical when you have many operators and many cameras. Integration to access control, fence detection, intrusion detection, and other systems cause specific cameras to alarm display on an operator’s screen for verification. Busy and critical facilities require a VMS that’s easy to use.

Preparedness activities are at an all-time high for major events at schools, houses of worship, city centers, and other soft targets. Live video is now considered a part of the emergency response plan for onsite officers and responding law enforcement agencies. While you may decide to use the system sparingly for live video, consider your emergency response plan. It’s likely to affect your VMS choice.

Since users are likely looking for recorded video, playback mode is typically the most utilized VMS function. Post-incident investigation by management, human resources, or law enforcement demands a user-friendly system for access, review, and video exports from alarm events.

Video analytics is an increasingly popular feature. Since manufacturer software varies greatly, know your specific expectations before selecting a VMS. Aside from functionality, you must choose a security dealer familiar with system topologies and integrations. Poorly designed solutions are useless, but a well-planned system execution and integration will exponentially increase your operational and investigational capabilities.

We’re Here to Help

The Vision team is ready to help you choose the right VMS to protect your students, staff, employees, and visitors. We can implement immediate upgrades and design long-term solutions. We’ll navigate initial discussions with all stakeholders, explaining the technology and how it operates to create a customized scope of work. Once a security technology plan is approved, our experienced team will ensure your facility and surrounding grounds are protected.