Honeywell - The Most Open VMS on the Market?

By John Honovich, Published on Nov 05, 2012

I was quite surprised when a Honeywell rep proudly declared to me that "Honeywell was the Most Open VMS on the Market." Even more surprising it was the very first line of his sales pitch.

It raised a real interesting question -"What makes a VMS open?" and could Honeywell really be the most open?

The Rep cited three specific facts to explain his position:

  • ONVIF support
  • PSIA support
  • RTSP support

The three of these combined, he argued, made Honeywell the most open VMS.

This begs the questions, "Is that enough?" and "How far do those three go?"

Really it's ONVIF

These three protocols really come down to just one - ONVIF. Any VMS that supports ONVIF supports RTSP as the latter is a prerequisite for the former. And PSIA has weak support [link no longer available] and of the few that do, most support ONVIF as well.

If it comes down to ONVIF support, perhaps you can argue that essentially everyone is now tied for first place. However, the amount of testing and the level of ONVIF supported (1.01, 1.02, 2.2, etc.) does make a difference (though it can be hard to track this exactly).

Direct Integrations Trump ONVIF

That noted, direct integrations between VMSes and IP cameras are almost always preferable to connections through ONVIF, PSIA or RTSP. Benefits of direct integration include:

  • Typically better validation that integration works
  • Often greater / more advanced feature support (camera settings, PTZ control, panoramic / immersive controls)
  • Wider support of older and/or niche cameras that might not have ONVIF support

ONVIF support may be good enough for many VMS / camera connections but a VMS supporting broad direct camera integrations is still an advantage. That could change depending on how mature and how deep ONVIF gets but, in 2012, concerns remain.

For more fundamentals, see our connecting IP cameras to VMS tutorial.

Impact on Marketing

We expect IP laggards like Honeywell to use the rise of ONVIF et al. as a sales tactic to close their historical gap. While 'standards' certainly do help, it does not leapfrog them over mature VMS companies with broad direct integration.

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