March's Command VMS Software Examined

Published Apr 07, 2011 00:00 AM
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In this note, we examine the new VMS software offering, Command, from March Networks. This is a notable milestone for the company as it marks a major step forward from their historical position as primarily a DVR appliance provider.

Let's start by reviewing the key elements of Command:

  • Two versions, or tiers, of Command are offered: Professional and Enterprise.
  • Professional is the lower level tier with limits of a single server and 128 cameras. Professional does not support enterprise management nor allow integration with March Networks appliances. However, Professional does allow for 3rd party system integration and redundant recording, features generally not provided in lower tier VMS offerings).
  • Enterprise is the top tier VMS version with a specified limitation of 10,000 servers and 128,000 cameras. The Command specification sheet [link no longer available] lists detailed Enterprise features and comparison to Professional.
  • Both versions of Command support edge recording for both long term and temporary (redundant) recording. This feature requires the use of March's own cameras.
  • Command uses a browser based client that does not depend on ActiveX control and therefore can support Macs, Firefox, etc.
  • Command supports its own cameras as well as 3rd party cameras via ONVIF.

Pricing: The Professional version has per camera licensing of $150 MSRP. The Enterprise version has a base licensing of $3695 MSRP and per camera licensing of ~$100 to $150 MSRP depending on the number of camera licenses purchased.

Competitive Positioning

We think the most interesting competitive aspect is the higher end VMS offering:

  • There has not been a new high end VMS offering in quite some time (though certainly existing ones have improved notably over the last few years). 
  • The support for March's DVR/NVR appliances provides a good foundation for large customers with existing analog infrastructure.
  • March already already has a large customer base that they can upsell to this VMS.
  • The pricing for the Enterprise version is quite attractive. While entry level VMS pricing has dropped sharply in the last year, high end VMS system pricing remains at $250+ MSRP per camera.

This noted, understanding how strong or weak the VMS is will require testing and real world use (to better determine usability and scalability). We plan to test Command in the next few months.