Vicon Net Experience

Guys our Traffic Engineering division uses Vicon cameras, encoders and a Vicon Nucleus to manage our city cameras. We were looking at a VMS solution for our surveillance cameras, but it looks like with all their cameras on Vicon Net, using their VMS program could be an easy transition. My only issue is I have never used Vicon Net and I dont know anyone in law enforcement who does. That being said I did see where a large number of correctional facilities use Vicon Net.

Any feedback about the software and equipment would be greatly appreciated.


Hi Steve,

You owe the IPVM guys a beer, because they specifically wrote me to answer your question. I've been working with Vicon and ViconNet since 2005. ViconNet is big in schools and corrections, and it's honestly a pretty solid product and a good value. However, Vicon does a lot of things differently than other manufacturers, and some people have difficulty adjusting to it.

Here's the good and the bad, from my perspective.

Pro:

  • Great price point for a VMS.
  • Simple user interface for the end user. Literally everything can be handled across two screens.
  • Robust and affordable virtual matrix product, if you have a lot of cameras.
  • Active directory integration, which you don't usually get at this price level.
  • Central Failure Notification alerts when devices report trouble.
  • Low cost of long-term ownership. Software upgrades are just as affordable as initial purchase.

Con:

  • It can be hard to get the client to accept the dated look of the user interface. We've had prospective clients reject a ViconNet proposal just because they felt the UI looked old. You may feel this way, so check it out first.
  • There isn't a huge list of access control integrations available.
  • While the list of compatible 3rd party cameras is growing, you'll get dramatically better results if you use Vicon end-to-end, but you may sacrifice video quality in doing so.
  • They're in the middle of a transition from dealer-direct to distribution, and there's considerable grumbling on both sides of that transition. What does this mean for you? You'll wait for some things. I'd recommend keeping critical parts on the shelf just to make sure you're not blind in the meantime.

For what it's worth, I think you should at least pilot it, and run the proposed cameras through a shootout / evaluation process. We have a lot of clients who still use ViconNet religiously, ten years after their initial purchase, and they can't understand why someone would pay more for the same (or less) functionality.

I owe Scot 2 beers!

Thanks, Scot.

Btw, in terms of Vicon generally, the company had been in a long decline, but they have stabilized themselves in the last year with a new CEO who joined from Milestone. I still think there's a company risk for Vicon (i.e., if they can survive for the next 5 to 10 years) but the future is a lot brighter than it was 2 years ago.

Thanks John and Scott

Thats great information. So far as the interface is concerned we can deal with that for a better price point, and with a new CEO it may be one of the first things they work to revamp. I dont have any experience with Vicon cameras, but we our whole traffic camera system uses them so its a much easier overall transition. But for us 15-20 surveillance cameras wont break the bank to buy seat licenses for just those.

Overall it seems really easy to use but I am using the free viewer and not the paid VMS program. It looks like all the paid features are grayed out.

Yeah, this sounds like a perfect fit for you right now. The paid viewer may be of interest as well. Talk to your rep.