Credit Union Surveillance

I'm looking to replace my current VMS, but I'm not sure what direction to go. Anyone out there have any suggestions? I run 14 locations with a total of 16 DVR's. They are hybrid units and we run a combination of analog, IP and MP cameras. I would really like to find something with a mobile application or web portal. Something with an entrerprise server and and a good UI would be great.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks!!


Welcome!

A few questions:

  • How important is ATM / teller integration? This will knock out most offerings.
  • Do you have a strong preference between appliances (i.e., DVR/NVR boxes) or software (on off the shelf PCs)? This too will impact options.
  • Mobile applications are fairly common. By web portal, do you mean like cloud access?
  • Can you share what you have now? Anything you specifically dislike about it?

We currently don't use ATM/Teller integration, but it is something we want to look into, so we would need a system with that capability.

I don't have a strong preference on appliances as long as they will run the current array of cameras we use.

The only thing I wish I could change about we use right now is the remote access. The system we currently use doesn't work on Citrix or on mobile devices (no mobile application and no web access). With about 30 end users, that has become a big priority.

I don't want to specifically say what I'm currently using because we do like them, but we have heard they are having financial difficulties and with the need to replace multiple units in the next 6 months, we are very wary of continuing business with them.

March Networks is a safe choice but presumably you have already considered them?

Have you seen this discussion? - What is the best surveillance system for banks?

I haven't even heard of them until now. I'll check them out.

Thank you!!

I am not saying March is (or is not) the best but they are widely used, have a mature banking offering, and are fairly stable even after their acquisition a few years ago.

One of my integraters has suggested ONSSI. What do you think about them?

OnSSI, Milestone and Genetec are 3 similar VMSes so I'll discuss them as a group. All of them are common choices for large scale applications (lots of school districts, municipalities, hospitals, etc.). However, they are not optimized for banking / credit union needs. Their focus is more on software and less on appliances, which tend to be preferred in credit unions and banks, because of the smaller camera counts and presence of analog cameras. Additionally, I do not believe they have much support for ATM or teller systems.

The 'specialists' in banks and credit unions include March, Verint and 3VR. In particular, since you emphasized mobile / web, March has an interesting cloud service for that (which the other VMSes do not).

That said, budget is a key factor. Everything discussed above is on the premium side of the market. There are 16 channel appliances out there that cost only $1,000 - $2,000. You may want to consider them but then the risk is losing more features.

Exacq would be a pretty good bet as well. It's not as embedded in the banking industry as March Networks but it can most likely do whatever you need. Not sure about their thick client working through Citrix though. They do have a nice app that runs on apple and android as well as a activex free web client.

Jason,

I have used the exacq client through citrix with no problems. Also a big credit union up here in Canada is switching over to exacq. They tested ONSSI and Exacq side by side and decided the ease of use was much better with exacq.

Also exacq has a certified VM ware appliance that IT guys love so if you are working with the banks IT deparment that might be a big selling feature.

Thanks for the info Duncan! I agree exacq is easier to use than OnSSI. It is also much easier on the hardware than OnSSI.

Does anyone know what the big banks use? I know Wells uses 3VR, but I'm curious what Chase, BofA or Union Bank use.

March and Verint are the two most common for big banks. Companies like Genetec, OnSSI, Milestone, etc are not major players in banking.

I've been readin a lot about these software based systems and it the first I have heard about them. What do you think about it? Does a software based system have any advantages? or disadvantages?

Both types (appliance and VMS) are software based, the main difference is whether they sell/bundle their own hardware or make you get your own. That said, the lines are blurring now, with each side allowing greater flexibility - 'software' providers are selling their own appliances while appliance providers are allowing you to buy just their software.

For you, the big think is what companies are most optimized for credit union branch needs, and that is the higher end appliance manufacturers because they have optimized their systems for years for your application.

I am sure the OnSSIs, Genetecs and Milestones of the world will pitch here, but check their references in banking, they are minimal.

Well, I can suggest giving 3xLOGIC Vigil a look - we use them for an upscale restaurant chain with something on the order of 27 (and counting) stores, with installations ranging from five to 60(ish) analog and IP cameras, and the client loves the system.

The IT manager uses the VCM (Vigil Central Management) tool to keep tabs on the operation of all the sites, can see at a glance if any systems have cameras down, aren't meeting minimum retention quotas, etc., and can pull up any combination of cameras from any sites on the Windows-based remote client.

There's a branded iPhone client, a separate third-party iPhone client, and a third-party Android client; and they do now offer a web portal to view your sites.

Managers on most of the sites can view live and playback video either from the console, or via the Windows client, and most find it very easy to use.

Being a Windows-based system, remote desktop access for support is easy through any number of tools - RDP, VNC, I know one guy using GoToMyPC, and I generally use TeamViewer.

The systems are PCI-compliant, and while I don't know for sure about ATM integration, they do have extensive POS integration support; implementing ATMs shouldn't be TOO different from that.

John is spot on March, Verint, and 3VR are the major players. As for the big banks they use March and Verint with the exception of Wells using 3VR, though I think some converted Wachovias still run March. We have deployed countless March and Verint boxes and each has its strengths and weakness. Look at your long term goal and decide which is best for your CU not only now but for the years ahead.

We run into a lot of Citrix Xenapp environments. In that environment I favor a web app over thick client apps.

March and Verint have a suit of management tools, run for 5+ years, good to better RMA processes, and client tools built for banks and credit unions.

I'm curious why you are looking for a mobile app. It will be quite difficult to do any form of investigation from a tablet or smartphone and getting IT's buy in might be difficult, but as John stated March offers remote/mobile viewing...at a cost. The draw back is saving video on a smartphone doesn't exist so you will have to retrieve the video on your desktop or laptop if you want to save it.

Both March and Verint approach data integration (ATM/Teller) differently. March centralizes the data and uses software and Verint stores it at the edge (on the DVR) and uses hardware. I don't know how 3VR does it these days but they were at one point using a JBM (sniffing) box.

You can't pick these up on Amazon so pick you integrator carefully. I can't speak for all states but the ones we are in some shops are all Verint and hate March some are all March and despise Verint and then you have the "till death due us part" 3VR dealers

Also, Verint and March use a hardened Linux kernel. If you try to scan your network for the DVR you won't find them. In fact they don't have any open ports. Being a financial institution audits will be clean and like most of our California customers who use Pronet/Fiserv as their outsourced IT dept they will be happier too

This is off topic but I am really tired of the Linux vs Windows debate. Windows has come a long way and is very stable now and can be locked down. Also if someone is inside your network, especially at a bank, scanning ports the last thing they are going to be concerned with is the surveillance system. They're going to be hammering every client and server they can find for information. I am curious as to how they can have no open ports, how do they communicate with any other device on the network then?

If you want to view remotely, the software HAS to be listening to particular ports; if you want remote desktop/admin control, the OS HAS to be listening to the appropriate ports as well. Remote client access is a requirement for the OP; thus at least SOME ports MUST be opened by the software.

In Vigil, there are up to 10 ports that can be opened individually to support various remote functions... or just un-tick all the boxes and there will be no ports "open" (although, there will also be no client connections). Every VMS I've ever worked with has something similar. Don't want ports open, don't enable them - simple. Same goes for any OS - shut down the related service, or block incoming connections in the soft firewall.

Matt You are correct. There are ports open for these "bank DVRs" I should have clarified. The remote viewer/admin control use one or two. The point I was making was the integrator or end user will never have access to turning anything else on. Windows has come a long way and it is stable but in financial institutions IT depts they are more comfortable putting linux DVRs on thier network. Also, the FDIC or other auditing agency sometimes stick their head in the door and ask a lot of questions that don't always make sense. IT depts in most banks don't care if it's video or customer account information data is data to them and their job is to protect it. Like I said in my earlier post ATM and teller transactions are stored on some of these DVRs so they could be a target. Whether or not a would be criminal would get it or not is not a concern - could that information be compromised is all that's need because the cost of 500,000 stamps to all customers saying your account information could have been compromised is expensive. They don't typically take these chances

I understand what you are saying but that would mean that every piece of software they would run would have some kind of hardened Linux appliance and I know for a fact that is not true. From an IT perspective if someone is snooping inside their network they have already failed. Their IDS/IPS is out of date, not configured, etc. Hardened Linux/embedded Linux/etc in my opinion is just an old selling point.

You are correct though any data must be secured and the PoS is a good point as well. I just disagree that a hardened linux appliance is a great thing anymore. To me it would just be one more oddball device on my network I had to manage with another piece of software.

Jason, whether Linux is better than Windows, it's more than "just an old selling point." A lot of buyers (i.e., end users) still find it to be important. You might be able to convince them otherwise...

One important difference that remains is an embedded recorder that runs on Linux needs no to minimal work while a Windows based VMS software might take a significant amount. This is a big deal when you are sending out a box to various sites all over a state or country.

Brian, btw, nice insights! There still is no love loss between March and Verint. Check out March's homepage, it's a direct slam against Verint!

I understand that and agree. I disagree it takes more work. I could just join that PC/Server to my domain and push a predeifned policy for my surveillance servers out and that server is now locked down to my standards, uses all my authentication, is added to my network monitoring, etc. That embedded device cannot do that except for whatever features may be integrated or through their own software package.

I'm not arguing it's a bad idea or even a bad piece of hardware. I'm just saying that I can do the same thing with a Windows box and make it just as secure or more and be able to monitor it equally or better than the manufacturers software aside from the viewing/configuration client.

To undisclosed,

Wells does use 3VR. I do believe most of the old Wacovia locations bought by Wells have been convertd. As far as B of A, I have if on good athority that currently B of A uses March, however they are currently testing 3VR.

I work for a top 50 U.S. bank and we use 3VR.

Brian, just an update. 3VR used to use a sniffer device. They stopped using it more than a year ago. Now they integrate via software.

Also to your point on ATM and Teller transaction data being data. Yes this is true, however for example with 3VR the data they store is end user defined. So when we went done the road of teller and ATM transaction data inetragetion, we had IT, Privacy, and corporate Security at the table and we approved a list of data points that in the end would not be any potential customer data being stored on the HVR's and NVR's.

As an example one could choose to store the date, time, amount, teller station, ATM transaction number. However not the acount number, or the customers name.

I also know that 3VR is Citrix compatable.

Thanks Damon good info. Do you use facial recognition? BofA uses Verint. They are one of their biggest customers. I'm glad to see 3VR moved away from the JBM box. I know from experience March has a similar platform for capturing transactions. We typically don't remove and information just block out most of the account number. It still allows you to search off account number but only returns the last four. Cheers

Brian, do you work for a financial institution? If so which one. I live in Texas and work for a bank called Frost Bank.

Damon, no I don't work at an FI but for them as an integrator (video, alarm, hard iron, drive up, etc). We also dabble in marrying data, not just transactions, to video

Brian,

We are using three of the 3VR analytics. Facial Recognition, License plate capture, and Advanced Object at this point in time. Of all applicances we have used in the past either through company decision to purchase, to corporate acquition of another company, or through actual testing of appliances I like the 3VR the above all of them.

We have a very large financial company (24 billion) with many different banks in many states that has recently standardized on Avigilon and they love it. We actually just got finished with a custom ATM development just for them as well. They are saving about 20% over their previous solution (i3DVR) and have reduced both deployment times & investigation times significantly. I'm sure they would be happy to share some information with you as they have tried pretty much everything including many suggested here. John doesn't like solicitations of offers here so I will not disclose anything publicly. However, if you get with John I'm sure he could put you in touch for further information.

Custom ATM development is costly and risky, especially for the OP who has just 14 locations, and considering the competitive products have existing mature out of the box ATM and teller integration (like March, Verint, 3VR, etc.).

John I wouldn't consider free (cost of doing business for us) costly for the end user. This was a development to receive info via IP from ATM to avoid the cost of a lantronix device, etc. Well, it's less than half the cost of a lantronix after the license is on the server. Also it's available to anyone now. Of course the end user can still use a serial/IP device such as a lantronix as well if they want to do ATM or PoS data capture and searching.

Are you willing to do free development work for a 14 bank credit union? That's the problem for smaller deployments. On a bigger job, where there are hundreds of sites, you might be able to justify eating the cost to win the deal. But for 14 branches, that's infeasible.

Connecting Lantronix devices to each ATM machine is costly and cumbersome. Also, you still need to be able to parse and decipher the formats from the appropriate ATM manufacturer / version.

In general, and especially for a smaller operation (like this credit union), if they really want ATM or teller integration, it's best to stick with providers that have a mature out of the box solution.

Also don't know if you've tried it but the Avigilon PoS is extremely robust, intuitive and lightning fast while searching and cueing up video related to PoS/ATM data even across multiple branches/stores simultaneously.

John,have you ever try yourself Lantronix+POS+Avigilon solution ?

Alex, is there information you would like to share about how Avigilon integrates with Lantronix and PoS systems?

While you can connect a Lantroix device to a PoS terminal or ATM machine, that provides a raw output of the stream. One still needs to understand the format / 'language' / 'message protocol' that the specific device uses. This is one of the functions that a retail or banking specific VMS provides, out of the box, for a variety of protocols.

If the end user who opened this thread wants ATM and/or teller integration, he needs to verify that recorder manufacturers support the specific manufacturer and protocol implemented (Diebold, NCR, version number etc.).

There are many ways to integrate transaction data into a recorder (see our PoS / Surveillance integration guide). Using a lantronix device is one of the worst, regardless of the VMS / recorder one connects it to, as it requires a direct physical connection to each ATM, PoS station, etc.

If you have specific technical details about how Avigilon integrates with Lantronix and PoS systems, feel free to share.

I'm surprised to see a VMS implemented in such a large financial institution. Trend setters :).

Custom data integration is great when done well. Usually there is going to be maintainance and $ spent when ATM/teller transaction logs change. If done well the cost to tweak the parser is low or included. When you customize you could also tie yourself to the video system for a long time because the cost to recreate for the new system is beyond budget or worse it won't work with the new system and strong arming you to stay with the current DVR/VMS manf. Customizing should be DVR/VMS neutral

I'm unfamiliar with avigilon - how does it get implemented at an offsite ATM. Do they make a small appliance? Most ATM toppers have very little room inside them

Avigilon does not specifically make a compact rugged unit for ATMs but we simply load Avigilon software on the unit and then extend the same 3 year warranty and advance replacement to our customers. You can use dual core Atom processor & 2gig memory in a wide temp rugged unit (no fans & SSD drives) and still manage a few hiDef feeds no problem (tested with 4.x & 5.0 software). In an ATM you would only need to use a single 1mp or 2mp Avigilon microdome which was designed specifically for applications like these. You could get 90 or more days of storage no problem with only single cam even in compact unit with SSDs). ATM transaction data could either be real-time associated to video and received through serial-Ethernet device or IP capture or if preferred post associated to video through batch logs, etc (this would require customization). You will want to make sure all systems are time sync'd of course! Without any custom integration you could simply do serial capture if you are already in the ATM (requires UDS1100 or something of the sort) - of course there's a chance the customized interpretation and parsing is already complete with major ATM brands as well through IP capture from ATM. Also for remote connection you would want another network (other than ATM for regulation) to access the system...

Or you could 'simply' buy a box that is ready to go, with software preloaded on a hardened machine, has a built in encoder for predominantly analog installations, and has ATM integration standardized.

For deploying 1 to 4 cameras, the labor savings are immense. 'Micro' DVRs are a standard product from banking focused manufacturers.

John,

To be non biased you sure have a lot of quasi-negative pompous input. That's nearly what I just described except built-in encoder. Just FYI as well there is no such thing as out of the box just working ATM - you still have to configure any way you go and it still depends on the ATMs as to the level of configuration any way you go - the solution I'm describing and the one you are. I'm simply offering suggestions that are - believe it or not - just as good as yours!

You are a coward Avigilon fanboi who does not understand the banking market. I do not think much of Verint, March and 3VR in general, but these 3 companies have mature optimized solutions for ATM integration and the banking market (that evidently you either do not understand well or refuse to consider).

That you think loading software on a separate machine, adding a separate encoder, then adding a serial ethernet device or doing custom software development for a few cameras is anywhere close to being as 'simple' or cost competitive to the turnkey appliances/solutions offer by the banking market leaders shows how uninformed you are.

We have now spent nearly half this discussion going on about Avigilon, a company who has ~0.1% market share in banks and credit unions for good reason.

There are many strong uses for Avigilon (I recommended one recently here), but you are a banking market ignoramus who can only see Avigilon for any application.

Watch yourself John - coward fanboi is inappropriate, unprofessional and unnecessary. Showing your true colors there! The fact you are arguing shows your arrogance and ignorance. As far as inappropriate for banking we have several small banks and a huge banking company that would 100% disagree and has previously and thoroughly tested every (much more than you have the time or resources to do) and even used a couple of the solutions you just mentioned. Your suggestions are not wrong nor are they all encompassing and definitive. Neither is the one I'm suggesting - it's simply another perfectly viable solution. Sorry that a paying subscriber offering valuable input that actually differs from yours causes such rage and childish behavior on your part.

My true colors are to protect IPVM from being overrun by partisan fanbois. We get that you prefer Avigilon, as you have been saying the same thing for 6 comments now. Now, stop it.

p.s. - Your 'huge' bank of $24 billion in assets barely makes the top 50 in the US, so stop exaggerating and misleading our readers.

Oh, sorry there John - what is 24 billion and top 50 then? Small, medium, kinda big, big, really big? I'm not misleading your readers (my piers by the way) simply offering up a valid solution just like you. I have not done anything misleading or wrong at all so stop your cyberflexing.

" just offering up valid solutuons [sic] just like you." [later deleted by undisclosed]

No, you are not like me. (1) You are a partner of a manufacturer (2) who repeatedly only offers a single manufacturer in your comments and (3) there are various major flaws with your solution that you overlook. Unless you have new major technical or operational facts to share, do not comment on this thread again. This thread is to help the end user who asked (who is not your peer) and has, by this point, gotten the message that you really want him to buy what you are selling.

p.s. - $24 billion is not big at all compared to Avigilon competitors who have bank customers that have 5x and even 50x more assets.

I am not selling this end user anything. I didn't say I was like you - simply my product suggestion is just as valid as any other and is based on real world experience and end user feedback. I have only answered questions on this forum specifically asked by other users except the ones to you and that's only because of your pompous comments. Go back and look and then you can apologize. You are playing the antagonist.

ps I don't really expect you to apologize.

The members can decide what suggestion they think best. This has devolved into a distraction and pointless waste of time debating with a 'non biased' manufacturer partner recommending their partner. Any further comment from you on this thread will be deleted.

I deleted the last two comments as the first one was essentially promotional and the response was a justified criticism of it. Let's leave this thread alone unless someone has specific technical or operational details to add.