Milestone to Release Support for ONVIF and PSIA

Author: John Honovich, Published on Aug 23, 2009

Milestone plans to release support for both ONVIF and PSIA IP camera specifications in the 4th quarter of 2009, allowing 3rd party camera manufacturers using either specification to interface with Milestone's IP video surveillance software.

While a number of camera manufacturers have declared their intent to support one or both of the specifications, Milestone is one of the first VMS providers and the largest to confirm timetable for release. The participation of the VMS providers, especially ones with large market share, is critical to driving the growth of interoperability.

Expectations on Roll-Out

While Milestone plans for release by the end of the year, they expect additional time may be needed for optimization to occur:

"We will be aiming at covering the full functionality, but this depends on when a sufficient number of compliant cameras can be available for our work and testing. The initial drivers may therefore be more limited and not cover the full feature set of the standards since our software support depends on when we get the cameras that offer them."

This will be an important factor in determining how soon, well and widely the specifications can be used in production.

Competitive Implications

As we have discussed over recent months, interoperability specifications can shift competitive positioning. As a company with one of, if not the largest 3rd party IP camera support base, Milestone has risk here. Milestone responded:

"We are aware that the establishment of standards in the market will be changing the competitive landscape in the long run. Providers will therefore be competing more on having the strongest product capabilities, performance, usability and reliability and less on having the broadest device support. We are confident we can compete in this respect, not least because the standards will allow us to redirect our resources toward other innovations.  We also embrace the standards for their ability to significantly accelerate the convergence from analog to IP."

Outlook

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

This is a positive and important sign for the acceptance of IP camera specifications that should help accelerate use.

2010 Video Surveillance Deployments

Milestone's large size (individually and from their OEM distribution to OnSSI) will motivate large end users and specifiers to factor in using ONVIF/PSIA specifications in next year's deployments. It may also be written in to job specifications which could provide Milestone a short term advantage. However, if this does become the case, expect Milestone's major competitors to follow suite quickly to eliminate this as disqualifier.

With its size, Milestone may be the one company that can drive rapid adoption of the IP camera specifications - both directly and indirectly, through motivating its competitors. Note - Axis has already declared its plan to release ONVIF support this quarter (Q3).

Competitive Positioning of PSIA and ONVIF

Over the last few months, public validation and momentum has been swinging towards ONVIF. ONVIF members have much larger share in IP cameras. PSIA's public face, Cisco, joined ONVIF.  Then, an ONVIF member released the first production ONVIF camera. In my own ongoing conversations with manufacturers, the support for ONVIF was overwhelming outside of the US and especially with smaller Asian camera manufacturers.

Milestone's move to support both helps PSIA out significantly. Now, PSIA members can at least be confident that their work will provide them support for Milestone's large customer base. It does not resolve the underlying lack of support for PSIA but it makes it less likely for PSIA to get eliminated from general consideration.

Camera Manufacturer Response

Camera manufacturers want to be supported by Milestone. Because of Milestone's market share and their refusal to sell their own cameras (unlike many other VMS providers), gaining Milestone support is very attractive for camera manufacturers. Camera manufacturers know that Milestone users are open to 3rd party cameras and that Milestone will not compete against them.

For smaller camera manufacturers who are currently undecided about the specifications, Milestone's support is a strong reason for them to start developing.

Competitive Positioning of VMS Manufacturers

Milestone's size will force other VMS manufacturers to carefully consider the timing and level of their own support. Many manufacturers may delay adding support. The top reasons are likely to be (1) concerns about support costs of dealing with new manufacturers using new specifications and (2) concerns about undermining the competitiveness of the VMS manufacturer's own cameras (where applicable).

While I am sure many VMS manufacturers will delay adding support, Milestone's decision makes this a more difficult as it could place the competitors at a competitive advantage.

Milestone Future Market Growth

What's surprising about Milestone's move is that it will accelerate a shift away from breadth of camera support as a key differentiator - an area where Milestone clearly has an advantage. This lowers the barrier for new providers to enter the market and for existing one's to offer basic VMS software for under $100 per channel (or even free). Eventually, this would happen one way or the other but Milestone's early support means it will occur quicker.

As breadth of camera support becomes eliminated as a differentiator, Milestone will likely be pushed up market to larger scale and more complex deployments. Competition from low price or free but good enough basic VMS systems will make it harder for Milestone to make money in the lower end of the market. Milestone's growth opportunities are likely to come from the higher end and more head-to-end competition with analog incumbents for the larger-scale systems that are still all or mostly analog.

Related Reports

Intersec 2019 Live From Dubai Day 2 on Jan 22, 2019
There’s a massive presence from Chinese or China-focused video surveillance firms, chiefly Hikvision, Dahua, Huawei, and Infinova, at...
Milestone Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 21, 2019
Milestone's favorability moderately strengthed, in new IPVM integrator statistics over their results from 2016. While the industry has been...
The IP Camera Lock-In Trend: Meraki and Verkada on Jan 18, 2019
Open systems and interoperability have become core features of video surveillance systems, as virtually all professional IP cameras integrate with...
Mobile Surveillance Trailers Guide on Jan 17, 2019
Putting cameras in a place for temporary surveillance where power and communications are not readily available can be complicated and expensive....
Avigilon Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 15, 2019
Since IPVM's 2017 Avigilon favorability results, the company was acquired by Motorola and has shifted from being an aggressive startup to a more...
Gorilla Technology AI Provider, Raises $15 Million, Profiled on Jan 15, 2019
Gorilla Technology is a Taiwanese video analytics manufacturer that recently announced a $15 million investment from SBI Group, saying this...
Pelco Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 11, 2019
Pelco had a significant favorability problem amongst integrators in our previous study (see 2016 Pelco results). Now, in the first edition of our...
NTP / Network Time Guide For Video Surveillance on Jan 10, 2019
Inaccurate time can lead to missing or inadmissible video, yet this topic is often overlooked, with cameras and servers left defaulted,...
Managed Video Services UL 827B Examined on Jan 09, 2019
Historically, UL listings for central stations have been important, with UL 827 having widespread support. However, few central stations have...
H.265 / HEVC Codec Tutorial on Jan 08, 2019
H.265 support improved significantly in 2018, with H.265 camera/VMS compatibility increased compared to only a year ago, and most manufacturers...

Most Recent Industry Reports

2019 Camera Book Released on Jan 22, 2019
This is the best, most comprehensive security camera training in the world, based on our unprecedented testing. Now, all IPVM PRO Members can get...
Milesight Company Profile on Jan 22, 2019
Milesight Technology, a Chinese company building an International branded business, says they are slowly building their presence through a series...
Intersec 2019 Live From Dubai Day 2 on Jan 22, 2019
There’s a massive presence from Chinese or China-focused video surveillance firms, chiefly Hikvision, Dahua, Huawei, and Infinova, at...
Cable Trenching for Surveillance on Jan 21, 2019
Trenching cable for surveillance is surprisingly complex. While using shovels, picks, and hoes is not advanced technology, the proper planning,...
Milestone Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 21, 2019
Milestone's favorability moderately strengthed, in new IPVM integrator statistics over their results from 2016. While the industry has been...
The IP Camera Lock-In Trend: Meraki and Verkada on Jan 18, 2019
Open systems and interoperability have become core features of video surveillance systems, as virtually all professional IP cameras integrate with...
NYPD Refutes False SCMP Hikvision Story on Jan 18, 2019
The NYPD has refuted the SCMP Hikvision story, the Voice of America has reported. On January 11, 2018, the SCMP alleged that the NYPD was using...
Mobile Surveillance Trailers Guide on Jan 17, 2019
Putting cameras in a place for temporary surveillance where power and communications are not readily available can be complicated and expensive....
Exacq Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 17, 2019
Exacq favorability amongst integrators has declined sharply, in new IPVM statistics, compared to 2017 IPVM statistics for Exacq. Now, over 5 since...
Testing Bandwidth Vs. Low Light on Jan 16, 2019
Nighttime bandwidth spikes are a major concern in video surveillance. Many calculate bandwidth as a single 24/7 number, but bit rates vary...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact