Subscriber Discussion

Should I Switch To Lenel Or Onssi VMS?

Right now Lenel and OnSSI are offering free licencing deals since Lenel will stop selling skypoint. Lenel are offering its customers to either go to Prism at no cost for every Skypoint Channel or allow customers to go to OnSSI licencing at no cost. I have an option right now.

What would be the right questions to ask before making a final decision?

NOTICE: This comment was moved from an existing discussion: Drops OnSSI, Rep Picks Up Milestone


What do you need / want your VMS to do? For example, integration with 3rd party systems like Lenel, video analytics, intrusion detection, etc? What type of advanced functions / management features do you desire?

Also, what version of OnSSI is being offered? They have 5 'feature sets' / versions. If it's not the highest end one, what's the cost to upgrade to higher versions?

I sometimes wonder if you ever sleep.

In our design we have been opting for a centralized approach meaning that we hvae very few recorder managers and lots of recorders dotted around the world. This way I split the globe into strategic zones based on network topology. Because of this, integrating a local recorder into an other product like using Onguard integrated access control and video, does not work very well due to the network. Thus I don't do those nice to have options for more reasons than the one above.

As for version, I have Ocularis EV 3.5 which is the vanilla Onssi product. Since my systems are under full support I have no issues upgrading to the latest and greatest version version from OnSSI. If I decide to go OnSSI directly I will make immdiate plans to upgrade to their latest ES version. I have an agreement with OnSSI on the upgrades allready and dont expect any cost there, but most certainly will get it in writing before any decision is made.

You mean ES? ES is their top tier version (equivalent of Milestone Corporate).

I see Lenel's EV 3.5 datasheet and I think it's a renamed version / equivalent of OnSSI ES / Milestone Corporate.

Since Prism is a new VMS and OnSSI ES is quite mature, that's a big point in OnSSI's favor.

Yes correct ES. It used to be EV. OnSSI have a wiered part numbering system. You have the ES system and under that you have recorder versions and client versions etc. I never ran the Lenel version since I was probably the first end user to buy it thru Lenel and at that time they focused on teh DVMS product.

Just another note on this. I don't see myself tied into any vendor right now. I can just as easily switch to another platform if it meets my needs. I am sure I can give the right incentive to another manufacturer to flip the VMS switch.

It sounds to me like you're in the perfect position to take a little time and have your integrator explore all the potential options. If you don't have an integrator, you could reach out to several in your area and do an RFI. Then, whichever one gives you the best overall design might be a good selection to provide you with a complete design/build quote to get you into whichever system really is the best for your application. Whether thats Lenel or OnSSI or some other VMS that might be even better for you - now would be the time to look into it AND, my advise would be to select the most open architectured system you can. Ask them to recommend a system with heavy emphasis on future proofing. Another thought would be to spend some money on hiring a good security consultant with experience in systems of your size and complexity. Good luck.

Thanks Meghan.

If you are not virtualized yet you may want to consider it. I use OnSSI CS across a campus and have virualized all the recorders and base with no problems. Pretty smooth transition. I dont have experience with Lenel though.

Thank you Dave. In fact we have got a few virtual recorders in place allready. They seem to be working fine. My management systems are allready on virtual machines. On Lenel side we have installed on a few virtual machines and are watching this closely for now.

As a dealer for both ONSSI and Lenel, I have a couple clients facing the same situation you are, however I really tried NOT to sell the Skypoint version as I knew it was just a stop gap product until Prism was developed and released. I didnt want to risk my clients being stuck in a non-supported product, and Lenel was not very good at supporting the Skypoint line in my opinion. I have yet to deploy Prism but some of my counterparts in other states have and it has been somewhat painful from what I am told. There are 9 pages of known issues in the current release, that scares me!

Right now I am suggesting to my clients that are in your situation to go down the path of ONSSI as we consider it to be a stable reliable platform that perfoms as expected. I am sure that the same will be said for Prism in a year or so, but right now it seems pretty green.

One other thing is that ES is pretty heavy as far as prcing goes and I have only a couple clients that utilize that level of software. I am sure you have done your homework and require the features of ES over CS, but with OnSSI Mix and Match you can have ES as a base and use CS, IS or even PS licenses (with some limitations) to save money on licensing fees in the future. Just food for thought!

Thankyou for the reply. I am on the path to go OnSSI. I did evaluate PRISM as an early release and reviewed their plans recently. From an architecture perspective the product did has some design constraints that make it impracticle on our enterprise. I have been made aware of hte Mix and Match options and will be pursuing these.