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."


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

Central Stations Face Off Against NFPA On Fire Monitoring on Sep 18, 2018
Central stations are facing off against the NFPA over what they call anti-competitive language in NFPA 72, the standard that covers fire alarms....
October 2018 Camera Course on Sep 13, 2018
Today is the last day to save $50 on the October 2018 Camera Course, register now. This is the only independent surveillance camera course,...
VMS Export Shootout - Avigilon, Dahua, Exacq, Genetec, Hikvision, Milestone on Sep 13, 2018
When crimes, accidents or problems occur, exporting video from one's video surveillance system is critical to proving incidents. But who does it...
Dahua Low-Cost 4MP Camera Tested (N44CL52) on Sep 10, 2018
4MP use continues to increase, especially in low-cost models, according to integrators in our 2018 Resolution Usage Statistics. We bought Dahua's...
IP Camera Cable Termination Guide on Sep 06, 2018
Terminating cables properly is critical to network performance, but it can be a tricky task with multiple steps. Fortunately, this task is easy to...
Directory Of 110+ Video Management Software (VMS) Suppliers on Aug 30, 2018
This directory provides a list of Video Management Software providers to help you see and research what options are available. Listing...
Inputs/Outputs For Video Surveillance Guide on Aug 24, 2018
While many cameras have Input/Output (I/O) ports, few are actually used and most designers do not even consider them. However, a good understanding...
Luxriot VMS Profile on Aug 23, 2018
Luxriot is more popular than Hikvision and Milestone products according to ASMAG which was probably even surprising to Luxriot. The company has...
Synology Surveillance Station VMS Tested on Aug 22, 2018
With so many low-cost NVRs and enterprise VMSes, is there any place in the market for NAS-based VMSes? Recently, IPVM bought a Synology NAS for...
SNMP / Network Monitoring For Surveillance 2018 on Aug 21, 2018
Surveillance systems typically rely on the the VMS to report issues, but this most often just means knowing a camera is "down" with no warning or...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Alexa Guard Expands Amazon's Security Offerings, Boosts ADT's Stock on Sep 21, 2018
Amazon is expanding their security offerings yet again, this time with Alexa Guard that delivers security audio analytics and a virtual "Fake...
UTC, Owner of Lenel, Acquires S2 on Sep 20, 2018
UTC now owns two of the biggest access control providers, one of integrator's most hated access control platforms, Lenel, and one of their...
BluePoint Aims To Bring Life-Safety Mind-Set To Police Pull Stations on Sep 20, 2018
Fire alarm pull stations are commonplace but police ones are not. A self-funded startup, BluePoint Alert Solutions is aiming to make police pull...
SIA Plays Dumb On OEMs And Hikua Ban on Sep 20, 2018
OEMs widely pretend to be 'manufacturers', deceiving their customers and putting them at risk for cybersecurity attacks and, soon, violation of US...
Axis Vs. Hikvision IR PTZ Shootout on Sep 20, 2018
Hikvision has their high-end dual-sensor DarkfighterX. Axis has their high-end concealed IR Q6125-LE. Which is better? We bought both and tested...
Avigilon Announces AI-Powered H5 Camera Development on Sep 19, 2018
Avigilon will be showcasing "next-generation AI" at next week's ASIS GSX. In an atypical move, the company is not actually releasing these...
Favorite Request-to-Exit (RTE) Manufacturers 2018 on Sep 19, 2018
Request To Exit devices like motion sensors and lock releasing push-buttons are a part of almost every access install, but who makes the equipment...
25% China Tariffs Finalized For 2019, 10% Start Now, Includes Select Video Surveillance on Sep 18, 2018
A surprise move: In July, when the most recent tariff round was first announced, the tariffs were only scheduled for 10%. However, now, the US...
Central Stations Face Off Against NFPA On Fire Monitoring on Sep 18, 2018
Central stations are facing off against the NFPA over what they call anti-competitive language in NFPA 72, the standard that covers fire alarms....
Hikvision USA Starts Layoffs on Sep 18, 2018
Hikvision USA has started layoffs, just weeks after the US government ban was passed into law. Inside this note, we examine: The important...

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