Vms/Access Control Integration Options - Which System Masters The Alarm? When?

The more common VMS/Access Control Alarm Integration option would appear to be the one in which the Access Control system manages the event/alarm and is supported by the associated Camera(s) images popping up in the Access Control system.

Another option would be to have the Access Control system send the alarm event to the VMS system and some access control information is presented in the VMS (e.g. present relevant camera images, classify provide alarm location on map, present card holder details) and also the Operator could undertake some access control functions within the VMS system (e.g. Acknowledge/Close Alarm Events, classify alarm event as 'false' , open door, secure door). "Two way" integration if you will.

What are the considerations for determining which way you should go?

Here's a few that come to mind:

1. What is the Operator's 'home' system (where do they spend most of their time - VMS or Access control?)

2. What % of access control points are covered by CCTV cameras (don't want to introduce two processes for access control? Why deal with an access control alarm that is not supported by video? in a VMS system )

3. Cost. Two way integration would likely be more expensive than a Video Pop-up within the Access Control system.

4. How is the Operations Area set-up? Different operators for Access Control and CCTV?

5. What system is more important to the organisation (or more widely used?)

6. Are there existing Acces Control / VMS integration products available?

Who provides them the Access Control vendor or the VMS vendor? (it would appear that these are primarily provided by the Access Control vendor for integration with popular VMSes into their Access Control system, i.e. the video pop-up within the Access Control system user interface.)


Hello Undisclosed.

Good questions!

1. What is the Operator's 'home' system (where do they spend most of their time - VMS or Access control?)

This comes down to which application is the one integrated into the other, and I don't think a general answer is useful. However, since video controls need to be powerful for day-to-day operation (especially for recordings search or PTZ controls), while access typically just needs to display a few live-door controls and a status to be adequate. This means that integrating access into VMS is less complicated, and as such most use the VMS as the top application.

However, some users may need the added power features of access and a few provisional video functions, and the choice is flopped. There are also exception 'video-centric access platforms' (Lenel, AMAG, Genetec, S2, so on) where this general statement doesn't hold and the access management platform is the 'home' system, or the VMS and access system are the same application.

2. What % of access control points are covered by CCTV cameras (don't want to introduce two processes for access control? Why deal with an access control alarm that is not supported by video? in a VMS system )

It is common for access controlled doors to be covered by cameras, but the two systems are often not integrated even if the potential is there. I would say for modern designs, every access controlled door/opening is covered by a camera, but this has not always been true in the past.

3. Cost. Two way integration would likely be more expensive than a Video Pop-up within the Access Control system.

Yes, this statement tend to be true.

4. How is the Operations Area set-up? Different operators for Access Control and CCTV?

In our ongoing series of design guides (ie: City Video Surveillance Guide, Airport Video Surveillance Guide, School Video Surveillance Guide) designers report no distinct setups between areas. Most operators view/manage video from the same station as access.

5. What system is more important to the organisation (or more widely used?)

The question here is broad, but consider more organisations have video than have access. Video can be useful for multiple roles (security, operations) while access generally is only a 'security' system. It can of course be adapted for other roles (ie: Time & Attendance Tutorial, Mustering Tutorial, Visitor Management Systems Examined) and even control machinery or other systems on a permissions basis, but most users just want to it unlock doors.

6. Are there existing Acces Control / VMS integration products available?

Define 'products'. Do you mean software that comes pre-integrated? Or are you looking for post-install integrations?

Hi Brian,

Thanks very much for your prompt and detailed response.

I think I mean 'post-install' integrations. (By pre-integrated are you referring to solutions where a single vendor provides both the VMS and Access Control systems?).

Examples of 'products that I am referring to include:

http://www.cemsys.com/download/AC2000_Genetec_Security_Center.pdf

http://www.cemsys.com/download/AC2000_Milestone_Interface.pdf

Again, these 'off the shelf' integration products are typically provided by the Access Control vendor and primarily support video pop-ups in the Access Control system. There doesn't seem to be the equivalent off the shelf integrating products that support Access Control functions from within the VMS, such as unlocking doors.

Cheers

Can anyone offer any insight as to why it would seem that:

Access Control System Vendors - offer 'off the shelf' products to integrate Video/CCTV into their alarm management system, but VMS vendors do not offer 'off the shelf products to integrate Access Control into their security management systems?

Most every electronic access control user also has a video system, because EAS tends to mean the company has serious security needs / budget (otherwise they would just use lock and keys, etc.). Plus, video is quite useful to verify access control entries. As such, access control vendors are highly motivated to bring video into their system.

By contrast, most people who use video do not have an access control system (video just has many users than access because it's cheaper, simpler, etc.). As such, low to mid tier video recorders have little need to add access in.

However, some VMS vendors, the bigger ones, DO offer 'off the shelf' integration into their system, e.g., Genetec and Milestone Access Tested.