Axis Launches Open VMS (ACS5)

By: John Honovich, Published on Mar 10, 2016

Axis' VMS software has always been closed to Axis cameras only.

[UPDATE: Axis Camera Station Version 5 Test Report released.]

Now, Axis is opening their Camera Station VMS (ACS) to third party cameras in its new ACS5. Axis' strength in IP cameras and their long standing partnerships with numerous open VMS providers makes this a fascinating and important move.

In this note, we review the key functionalities added, the pricing and competitive impact of this.

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Comments (13)

What other VMS companies also sell cameras?

Do any of them charge more for licensing other's cameras in their VMS than they do for their own cameras?

Charging more for other cameras than one's own is not common but I do recall a few doing it (e.g., I think ACTi does this but not sure of specifics). It's not unprecedented and certainly makes sense. Better for Axis to incent buyers to use their own cameras.

UD1,

Avigilon (while not just a VMS company) also sells cameras but nothing extra is charged for third party camera licensing than what would be charged for avigilon cameras...

the name is striking similar to another vms manufacturer that i am familiar with...

i downloaded it, at first glance it is clean and easy to use... the licensing setup is interesting to me... i have often wondered why manufacturer's don't embed a license into their cameras that way if it is used with their vms there would be no charge (or maybe the charge is already wrapped up into the camera cost) so in essence you would only need to license a third party manufacturers camera... it would encourage dealer to look to the vms manufacturers camera line to find a fit first rather than a third party...

edited: to say "no" charge instead of "a" charge

"the name is striking similar to another vms manufacturer that i am familiar with..."

Axis Camera Station was shipping before Avigilon even existed (see 2005 Axis ACS manual). So perhaps the connection is the opposite?

touche!

"Axis Camera Station was shipping before Avigilon even existed (see 2005 Axis ACS manual). So perhaps the connection is the opposite?"

Perhaps the striking similarity is between Axis Camera Companion and Avigilon Control Center, ACC?

On that count, Avigilon wins hands down.

i have often wondered why manufacturer's don't embed a license into their cameras that way if it is used with their vms there would be no charge

VideoInsight/Panasonic

If they were to embed the license, that would be something that could easily be hacked and duplicated. For instance, some may be aware that PC builders (Dell, HP, etc) embed a bit of code into their motherboard bios. This code, when verified by Windows, in conjunction with an installed certificate, instantly and permanently activates Windows (XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10, Servers, etc). This type of activation is permanent and irrevocable.

Of course, people have hacked this info and made an app that is installed on your PC to emulate this bios code for those who didn't get a Dell. So, you can build your own PC from OTS hardware, install Windows without a license key, install this app, and then you never have to pay Bill his $100+.

This example could also be done if they do embed the license on a camera. It's risky to do so.

I believe that Canon is just doing what any responsible security company would do here, building out full RAID 6 (Redundant Array of Indpendent Divisions) hot standby capability, between its Axis, Milestone and Canon Security Divisions.

Where other companies are still struggling to acheive RAID 5 company redundancy, Canon is now ready with RAID 6, providing 2 hot spares in case of failure in any of the business units, which then can be used to rebuild the array in record time!

Ungh. Someone marked your comment "Unhelpful". I'm going to assume they fat-fingered the "Funny" button. Very nice!

I... I just don't get it. I honestly saw this going the other direction the day they both fell under the same umbrella. I cannot understand what this serves to do besides further erode margins when they directly compete.

Here's how Axis is positioning ACS5 in their own newsletter. Interesting that they have chosen to de-emphasize third party support:

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