Favorite VMS / NVR Manufacturers 2020

By IPVM Team, Published Jan 27, 2020, 08:57am EST (Info+)

In 2018, a new winner emerged and a former top choice declined. Now, there is a new #1, a new top 5 finisher and 2 major VMSes in decline.

Our 2020 Favorite VMS results (from 200+ respondents) is the first to include a breakdown of responses from inside vs outside the US.

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Gainers - ********, ******* ***** *** *******

******** ****** ************* ** ****** *** clear #* ******** ** *** ** while ******* ******** ** #* **** in *** ******* *** ** ***** Network ***** (********* ****) ******* **** virtually ** ***** ** ***-*.

Falling - ***** *** *********

***** **** *** ****, ******* ** the ****** ** *** *** *, continuing * ***** ***** ** *** 2018 *********, *** ********* ************ ***** ************ ******* ** ****. ***** ***** ******** * **** number ** ********* *********, **** **** received *** ****** **** ******** *****.

********* *** #* ** **** *** remains #* ******* *** ** ** a ***** ******, *** **** ** 3rd ****** *** **. **** ******** fewer ********* ********* **** ******** *** Genetec.

Avigilon # * ** ** / ****** ***************

******** ******** *** ******** ****** ** favorable *********, *** **** *** ****** negative ********* ****** *** *** * VMSes. ******** ********* *** ******** ** negative ***** ** **** *:*, ******** to *:* ** ****. *******, **** received *** ******** ******* ** *** US, ***-***** ** *********, *** **** of *******.

********** *** ****** **** ****, ******** favorable ********* ***** **** ** ***, good ********* ******* *** ********* ** the ******* ******* *** ***********.

  • "********. *********** *** *******. ** **** do *********, *** * ***** *** more **** *************** ****** **** ********* than ********. **** ** **** **** when ********* ******** **** ***** ************'* cameras (****, ****, *******, ***)"
  • "********. ** *** *** **** ** what ** **** **** **** *** vendor (***** *******, *******, ********, *********, access *******) *** ** *** ******* platform. **** ***** ** **** ** ordering, ******* **** ******** *******, ******** multiple *********, *** **** ** ** a ****** ****** **** ********"
  • "********. **** ** ***, ***** *******, alarm *** ****** ******* ***********, ******** Solutions *********** **** ******, *** ******** and ******** **********, ******** *** ******* really **** *** ***** ********."
  • "* ****** ********. **** ** ******* of *** **** ** *** *** capability ** **** *********** ****-****** ****** than ******* ****** ** ******* *** expert ** **** ************."
  • "********. ***** ********* ** ********* *********. Clients **** *** **** ** ** to ***, *** **** ****** ****** adept ** ** **** *******"
  • "******** *** *** **** *** **** VMS *** ** **** *** *** users ** *****, ******** ******* *** great **** *******"
  • "** *** ******** *** ******* ** is **** ****-******** *** *** **** rock ***** *** ** **** *** past ** ***** ***** * *** minor ********"
  • "********, ** **** **** ***** ********** end ** *** ********* **** ****** analytics."
  • "******** - **** ***** *** ***** the ******* *** ****** *** *** customer"
  • "********. **** *******, **** ******* ********. Easy ******** *************."
  • "******** ** ******/********* ********* ****. **** to *** ********. "
  • "********. ******, **** ** ***, **** of ********, ********* **** **."
  • "********, **** **** ***** ********* ******* response."
  • "******** *** ***, * **** ** clean *** **** ** ***."
  • "******** ******* ******* ***********"
  • "******** **** ********* *** ****"
  • "********, **** ** ***."

#* ******* ******* - ********** *****

******* ****** ********* ** * *** VMS *****, *** ******** *** **** compared ** ****, ******* #* ****** and ******* ** *** **.

********* ********** ********* ******** ***** *******'* extensive ********, *** ******* ** ***** camera ******, ******* ***** *** ******, and ***** **********/********** *****:

  • "** ****** **** **** *** *******. The ******** ** *** ******** *** larger ********** **** ************* ** ** find *** ******** ******* ****** *** reasonably ******..... *** ***** **** **** it ***** ** *** **** *****, access, ********* *** ** ** **** comparing ******* ******** ******* *** ** integration ***** **** ** * ****"
  • "******* ** ** ******** ********. * feel **** **'* ********* **** ******** and ** ***** **** **** ***** with ***** ******** ****** *******. **** the **** ********* ** *** **** looking *** **** ************"
  • "** ***** ** ** ******, *******, most ********, **** *********** **** ***** access *******, ************* **** *************, ***."
  • "*******; ******* ****** ** *********** *** system ********* **********. ******* ***** ** customization ******** **** ** **** ****"
  • "******* - ********** ******* **** ***** to **** *******. *** ******* ***** make ** ****** ** ***** ** all *****."
  • "******* *** *** ****** ************* ***** it *** **** ****** ******** **** as ****** *********** *** *** ******* to ******* ******** ******* ** *** cameras."
  • "******* *** ********** *****. ******* ****** for *** *********** ******* ******* *** can ** ***** ** **** *** customer ************."
  • "** ** **** ******* ** ******** (Streamvault) *******. ******* ** * ***** platform **** ****** * ********* ******* platform."
  • "******* **** ******** ******* **** ********* Good ********* *** ****** ***** # of *******"
  • "*******. ** ******** *** ****** ******** options *** *******, ****** *******."
  • "******* ***** **** ** *** **** one *** ******* *** **** **** far"
  • "******* - ******* **** ********* *** Enterprise ***** ********"
  • "******* ** ** ******** *** **** purely ***** ** ******** *** ********."
  • "******* **********, *********** *** **** *********"
  • "******* **** ******** *** **** ** use"
  • "******* - ******* ********, ****** *******."
  • "*******. ***** *** ********** *******."
  • "*******, **** ************* ************ ****** *********"

********* - **** ************

********* ******* **** #* ******* ** 2018, *** ******* #* ******* *** US *** *** **** *** *** in *** **.

********* ********** ********* ***** *** **** architecture ****** *******, ***** *******, *** extensive ******* ******** ** ******* ******* for ***** *********:

  • "********* - ******* ***** *** **** VMS ********, ***** *** *****, ****** support, **** ** ******, *********** **** Functionality *** **** ********* ***-*** *** enhancements ******* *********."
  • "********* ******* **'* **** ** ***. I ***** ***** ********* ** ******** and *** ********* ******."
  • "*********. *** *** ********** *** ********** customers, ********* ** * ********* *** worth *** $$."
  • "********* - ** ** ******* **** & *** ******* **** ******* *** long **** **** ** ********* ** less "
  • "********* ***** **** ** ****. ** is ******** ****** ** ** **** about ********** *** ***** *** ********** priced ******* *** ***. *** ****** facing ************ **** ****."
  • "********* ******** ** * *** ****** I *** ***** *** ******** *** server ** **** *** ******** ****"
  • "********* ************ ** ********** *** **** consuming. ******* ********** ******** *** **** of *** ****."
  • "********* ********. ********, ********, **** ** setup, ****- *** ****-******** *********."
  • "*********. *** ****** **** *** ********** camera *****. ******* *** **** *********."
  • "********* ********: **** ****** , ************* with ******** *************"
  • "********* ***** *** ** **** *** this. ** **** ***** **** ******** the *********"
  • "*********, ****, ** **** **** **** for * **** ****. ******** * solid ********"
  • "*********: *** ****** **** ************ **********"
  • "*********. ***** ***** **** ******** *** feature ****."
  • "*********. *** ** **** **** ******* brand ** ******"
  • "********* ********* *** *** ******** **** other *******"
  • "*********. ***** ******* *** ***** *******."
  • "*********, *** ** **** ********* ** integration"
  • "********* ******* - **'* *** ****"

*** ****** ******* ** *** **** it ***** *** ********* ****. **** reasons **** *** ********:

  • ******* ***** ** ******* ** ********* and *****'* ******* *** ***** *** want * ***** ****, **** ** use ******.
  • ******** ********* ** ******* ** ******** VMS ********* *** ******* ** ********** advanced ********.
  • ********* *** *** ******** ************ **** in *** **** *** *****, *.*.,********* *** ********.

******* - ******* ***** (*** ****) - ****-********

******* ***** *** *** ******* ****** responses ** **** ** ** ****** but *** ******* ** *** ***-* globally ** ****.

* *********** ****** ** ********* ********* noted *** ********'* **** ** *** as *** ******* ****** *** ********* Network ***** (*** ****):

  • "** ******** ******** * ***** **** for **** ******* ********* **% ** what *** **** ********* ********* *** do ** ******* **** *** ****, allows *** ******** ******* ******** **** other ******* ***** ****** **** **** China's ***** ***** ***** **** *******. If ********* ** ***** **** ********** are *** ********, **** ** *** go ** ********"
  • "******* ******** ********. *** ****** ** very ****-******** *** ***** ********* ** fast ***** ***** ****** ******. ********* can ****** ******* *** ******, **** what **** *** ******* ***, *** make *******.******* *** ****** ***** **** this ******. **** ******* ** **** and ***** *** ** ********* ******* for ******** *******."
  • "******* ******** ********. * ***** ** is *** **** ******** *** **** friendly *** *** *** ***** ** the ******. * ***** *** ********* appreciate *** ******* **** ** ********* model **** ***. *** ******* ** perpetual ******* ****."
  • "******* *****/** ******** (**** *******). ***** really ****. **** *********,***** '**** *** buck', ***** **** *** ***-****, ***** software, ****, ****, ****** ****** ****** app"
  • "** ******** - **** ******** *** the ******** ***** ******* **** * large ******* ** *******."
  • "****** **** - ******* ****** *** dependable. ***** **** **** *** ****** cameras ** **** ** ***."
  • "******* ******** ********. **** *** * have **** ** *****. **** ** deploy, ****** *** *** **** ****-******** VMS ***** **. ********** **** **."
  • "** *******. * **** ** *****, making ********** ******** ********** ******** *** easy ** *******, *******, ******** *** upgrade, **** ***** ***********."
  • "******* ******** **-********, **** ** ***, powerful, ** ****** *********** ****."
  • "** *** ** ****** ********* *** the ******** *** ******** ***** ******* external ******** / *******"
  • "** ********, **'* *** ******* ****** for *** *** **** *** *** great ********."
  • "******** ** **** ** *** *** deploy. ********* **** *** ********** ** the **."
  • "******* *****. **** ******** *** **** solid"
  • "** ******** - **** ** *** for *** ******."

***** - ******* *************

**** *** ********* *** ***** *** Exacq, ****** ** ***** ******** * significant ****** ** ********* *********, **** integrators ******** ****** **** **** ************ with *****:

  • "***** *** ******** *** ******** ***** the *********. *** ******** ****'* *** near *** ***** ** ******* ************ for *** ******* ********* ** *** Tyco ********* *** **** **** **** Enterprise *******"
  • "*****. **** *********** ** ******* ***** hardware *** **** ** *** ***. Better **** *** ****** ********** ***'* from *** ****** ****** *** *** as ********* ** ********** ** ****** end *** ********"
  • "*** ******** ******* ************ * ****** Exacq. **'* **** **** *** ********* staff *** ********* ** ***** *** is **** ** ******* *** ******. "
  • "*****. * **** **** **** *** a **** **** *** * ** comfortable **** ****."
  • "***********, ** ** ****** ** ******, has *** ** *** ******** *** is **** **** ********."
  • "*****, **** ******** *** ******** **** we **** ******* *****."
  • "*****, ******* * **** **** ** many ** ****."
  • "***** ***** *** *** ****. **** easy ** *** *** ****** ******"
  • "***** ** **** ** **** **** and ********* *** *****"
  • "***** *** - ** **** **** using **** *** * *****."
  • "***** **** ***** **** ***** * joined ****"
  • "***********. **** ******* **** ****** *******."

*******, **** ******** **** *********, ********** a ****** ***** ** ********* *******:

  • "*****. ********* *** *** ******** ***** systems ** ********* *********. ***** ****** app ** ********** *** ********* *** very ********** **** ** *** ******* consistently. **** ** ************ *** * system **** ****** '***********' **** *** being **** **. **** ******* ** unhelpful *** *************. * ***** ****** talk ** ** ******** **** ******."
  • "***** ******* *** ******* ******* ********* to *********** ***** ***** ***********. ** have ******* **** ****** **** **** loose *** ************ ******** **********. *** vendors *** *********** ********** **** *** product. *** **** *** **** ** respond *** ****. **** ******* ***** a ******** **** ****."
  • "*****, **** *** ******* ******* *** never *** ******* ********** ***. *** bounced ****** ***** *** **** *ê* finally ******** **** **. *** ******* to **** ** *********"
  • "*****. ****** *******. ******* **** ** to ******* *** ******* ***** ** did. ******* *****. **** *** **** to ***** *** ******. ***** ******* 4 ***** *** ****** ** *********** the ******* *** ** ******* *****"
  • "*****. **** ** ******* ******* ** newer ****** ******. ********* ***** ******** to ******** ******* ********** ******** *******. Updating ********* ** *******."
  • "*****. **** * *** ********** **** licensing *** ******* *********"
  • "*****, ******** *******. ****** ** *** an *** ** **** ******* *****."

** ****** ** ***** ********** ********** more ****** ** ****:***** ************ ******* ****. ** *****'* ******, **** **** been ****** ******** ***** ******** (*.*.,***** ****** ***** ****** ******) *** ** *** **** ** not ****** ** ****** *** ********** of ***** * ****/*** ********** *** the ******** ******** **** ************* *******.

*** *** ***** *** ** ******* with ******* ********* **** ****.

******* - **** **************

**** ***** / ***** *** ******** to ******, ***** ** *** ********* for ******* ****** ***** *** ********. Can ******* ***** *** ***** **** continue ** **** **? *** ***** regain *** ***************? **** **** ********* do **** *******? **** *** ******** push ** ***** *** ***** ** a **************?

Comments (28)

And just as a gentle reminder, folks... Hanwha is the number one source for Network Optix OEM -- ask for WAVE VMS by name!

(‘Undisclosed Manufacturer 1’ is a Hanwha Techwin employee... duh)

Agree: 5
Disagree: 8
Informative
Unhelpful: 9
Funny: 12

While there were a number of generic "Hanwha" responses, we emailed the integrators and of the handful that responded, more indicated they were using Hanwha NVRs and were not using Wave or had not tried Wave yet. Digital Watchdog had significantly more mentions than Wave among our 200+ integrators.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative: 19
Unhelpful
Funny

Was there any change for Ocularis in the polls? Is it still not mentioned?

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 3

Ocularis received a single favorable mention, and overall was net negative when factoring in negative feedback

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative: 10
Unhelpful
Funny

Was there anything specific in the negative feedback?

Full disclosure, we're a platinum partner. While we didn't like Qognify taking over and firing everybody, I'm trying to keep an open mind. Our users have always loved the interface. The web and mobile apps still have some quirks. The recorder manager takes some getting used to, but we aren't doing anything fancy. Tech support is really helpful, the channel manager and reps bend over backwards for us, and they've implemented several of our feature requests.

I'd be curious to see what other people are saying. Maybe we're missing something :)

Agree: 3
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

I'm a long-time certified end user of Ocularis and I agree with everything you said. I have no issues with the product and it continually improves with each release. I like their sales team and their tech support. When bought by Qognify they did drop underperforming integrators and made a few other changes that might have irritated some. I'm happy using Ocularis all day, everyday.

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful: 1
Funny

I'd be curious to see what other people are saying. Maybe we're missing something :)

I've only worked with the current iteration of Ocularis/Seetec a few months back on a ~150 camera site converting from the legacy Milestone version. Overall, I don't think it is bad and I do find that support was quite helpful considering I had no training and they had no reason to support me. I expected their support to essentially be non-existent due to the various changes at Cognify. Support was exactly the opposite of that.

The product itself seems clunky with the multiple applications necessary to get a camera in, recording, configured for motion detection, etc. However, the same complaint could be levelled at several other VMS including Genetec and Milestone to a lesser extent. Overall it feels like how VMS were interacted with back in 2010... very unintuitive. I imagine once you are an expert in it there are no real concerns.

I saw no compatibility issues or the other usual concerns.

Agree
Disagree: 1
Informative: 5
Unhelpful
Funny

Sean, when you say 200+ integrators, do you know what percentage are new to IPVM versus the last poll in 2018? Are the vast majority the same integrators who were surveyed in 2018 and they've switched VMS partners, or are 50% new to the survey and that's how the survey results are different?

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

We do not track year to year responses. We review the explanations and trends which have shown to be fairly consistent in the past few years.

Also, we consider the results of our Manufacturer Favorability reports as part of our analysis and for identifying potential outliers.

We do not think that the vast majority of integrators would switch VMS partners is a reasonable assumption, so even if 50% are new to the survey that does not imply that 50% would choose completely different VMSes. Additionally, if we did not let new people answer, it would be therefore skewed by only people who have been in the industry for years.
Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

Did the Axis VMS show up in any responses? From what I can tell Axis is trying to pursue a stealthed Avigilon model - supporting third cameras via ONVIF only and all. For higher end / more integrated deployments Axis still pushes to other VMS like Milestone or Genetec.

Agree: 4
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Axis is trying to pursue a stealthed Avigilon model - supporting third cameras via ONVIF only

Axis opened ACS 4 years ago (see test). While Axis does vacillate about its VMS strategy, its nowhere near the level of commitment that Avigilon has and, from what I have seen, is not trending up.

I'll defer to Sean to answer on the responses for Axis.

Agree: 3
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

While Axis does vacillate about its VMS strategy, its nowhere near the level of commitment that Avigilon has and, from what I have seen, is not trending up.

Axis must be having difficulty with both being the "open" camera manufacturer that is supported under most VMS while also trying to sell a semi-closed ONVIF-only VMS. I cannot blame them for testing the waters. The Milestone/Axis/Canon relationship is odd though.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

The Milestone/Axis/Canon relationship is odd though.

Indeed. It will be 5 years next month since Canon acquired Axis. They still run independently from Milestone and Briefcam.

The reality, though, is that virtually every 'camera' manufacturer sells its own VMS / recorders. Axis has historically been one of the least aggressive of the camera manufacturers selling their own VMS.

Not mentioned here yet but worth noting Hanwha is a 'camera' manufacturer that is quickly becoming a VMS competitor to partners like Exacq and Milestone.

Agree: 3
Disagree: 1
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

Hanwha emoyee here. We highly value and could not be where we are today without our great VMS partnerships. I personally engage with Milestone and Genetec on growth strategy every year and we have tens of millions of dollars in projects together. The vast majority of my accounts primarily use a major VMS with Hanwha cameras and I position Wave as a last resort option if end-user use is simple, needs no 3rd party integration, and can't support recurring fees in their budget. I completely disagree with your statement that we are quickly becoming a competitor to traditional VMS companies. Wave is simply a tool to sell more cameras. None of us field sales would get close to hitting our targets if we concentrated on selling Wave. We are much more successful engaging our VMS partners and tackling large accounts together.

Agree: 5
Disagree: 1
Informative: 14
Unhelpful
Funny: 1

I completely disagree with your statement that we are quickly becoming a competitor to traditional VMS companies.

Maybe, but I don't see why it wouldn't be. If Wave/NetworkOptix is a stable, easy to use and inexpensive program where all it does is record and play back video (I think they'd take exception to your statement about 3rd party integrations), that's probably 90% of video surveillance oppurtunities. I think the market may have been initially enamored by "special features", but now a more informed customer base if better able to determine if they need or will ever need any capabilities beyond the basics. And it's those applications that only need the basic functions where NetworkOptix/Wave will be a competitor to the VMS big players.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative: 4
Unhelpful
Funny

Agree , Hanwa is pushing to VMS and analitics at faster speed than Milestone . Milestone is laggggggging . they are so slowwwww and expensive that they are loosing the big piece of the pie.

Not sure where is ISS in the ranking?

I hope Axis move fast to more analitic . Their VMS is the most end-user friendly and less hardware demand.

Sad to see Milestone falling .... easy it will be the 5th next year

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

Axis received a minimal amount of favorable responses, primarily for Camera Station with no specific mentions of Companion. Integrators mostly noted a preference for an end-to-end Axis solution as their reason for using Camera Station.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 6
Unhelpful
Funny

Since we have jumped into bed with BCDVideo, life is much better with ExacqVision.

If it wasn't for BCDVideo we would have had to look for replacement options for Exacq due to their price and hardware issues on the A-Series. When we did the change last May, we became more competitive price wise, spec wise and I don't have to worry about dealing with Exacq tech support on hardware issues.

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative: 5
Unhelpful: 1
Funny: 2

Not sure how anyone can say Exacq licensing is a pain. It's literally two clicks in their client to license once you've placed an order. We don't deal with their tech support often, as we mostly provide our own servers and just install their server software on it.

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Yes that part is easy ( 2 clicks). The back end of getting an edge camera license straightened out seems to be the tough part for Exacq. I have hundreds of edge+ licences and the last time I did a subscription update, there were many that just didnt have a camera tied to the license anymore, and its been weeks and the VAR hasnt gotten anywhere with them.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

This report is all well and good if you are liking this too a High School popularity contest but it does nothing for those of us trying to find the correct product for our needs.

Any chance that you will do a real world side by comparison on the Gantt level?

This would be way more useful to me and many others than who bought into or how easy it was to install and which one had the prettiest screens.

Agree: 1
Disagree: 4
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

does nothing for those of us trying to find the correct product for our needs.

Clint, we do extensive comparison testing of VMSes. For example, Sean is currently working on a VMS search shootout. Or you can see VMS Live Monitoring Shootout - Avigilon, Dahua, Exacq, Genetec, Hikvision, Milestone, Network Optix or VMS Mobile App Shootout - Avigilon, Dahua, Exacq, Genetec, Hikvision, Milestone or VMS Export Shootout - Avigilon, Dahua, Exacq, Genetec, Hikvision, Milestone, etc.

This report complements our technical reporting to show trends in what is being adopted and what is declining.

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful: 1
Funny

It may be time to accept and acknowledge Qognify is not likely to ever be on this list again... any of the sub brands either. It's not often you see something that was once near the top drop so far as to not even be tracked, then miraculously appear again.

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny: 1

Clint. I understand where you are coming from, but popularity has a basis for measurement. Unlike high school, the basis in generally not superficial. Integrators may say something general like "ease of installation" or "prettiest screen", but those things mean something when you drill down. Top rated products tend to perform as advertised, work well in virtual environments, have user friendly interfaces, and generally satisfy the end users needs. If they didn't, integrators wouldn't be installing them in the first place to be able to rate the other tangibles and intangibles that make them preferred over their competition. So I think it is a safe assumption, when you are talking about the top tier (such as Genetec, Avigilon, Milestone), that the products they sell work well and as advertised (for the most part). Same goes for access control. They leapfrog each other in features from year to year, so the measurement from integrators as their favorite comes down to support (pre-sales/technical/post sales engineering, etc.), reliability, ease of installation, sales channel management, and the like.

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Did Video Insight get a mention?

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 3

Did Video Insight get a mention?

Someone surely must have acknowledged it exists.

Agree: 1
Disagree: 1
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 5

There was a single favorite "Panasonic" mention, but they did not specify Video Insight.

Video Insight was mentioned minimally as one of the VMSes their company installed but was not their favorite.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

<snip> (delete) :)

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful: 1
Funny
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