Pelco's New VMS - VideoXpert

By John Honovich, Published Feb 02, 2015, 12:00am EST

Pelco has had multiple VMSes / recorders but none of them have been close to market leaders

Now, Pelco is launching a new VMS, called VideoXpert.

In this note, we share what we learned from an interview with Pelco and our assessment of how this impacts their competitive positioning.

Pelco's Existing VMSes

On the IP side, Pelco's 2 most notable recording platforms have been Endura and Digital Sentry.

Endura was designed to be a tightly integrated end-to-end appliance only system. That archictecture, born in the early days of IP video, has proven to be a bad approach, as more open, software only systems have gained most of the enterprise market. Moreover, Endura has many of its own operational problems, an ongoing lament that many even in the Pelco community (integrators, reps, employees) have mentioned to us repeatedly over the years.

Digital Sentry was from the Exacq team before they did Exacq (Integral). Though it had potential (see IPVM's test results of Digital Sentry from years ago), Pelco did not sufficiently invest in enhancing / expanding it in the decade or so since they bought it. Because of that, it did not keep up with the significant expansion of rival VMS offerings over time.

New - VideoXpert

Now, Pelco is releasing an entirely new VMS, called VideoXpert, something that they showcased at Intersec [link no longer available] but are not formally announcing until ISC West 2015.

Below is a picture of VideoXpert's UI:

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Endura and DS vs VideoXpert

Pelco's goal is a "single [VMS] product offering" and that this "paves the way for previous brands to be retired." However, Pelco said that they are in a "sustaining mode for DS and Endura", including bux fixes and incremental extentions, and that Endura and DS will not be discontinued. On the other hand, the "majority of engineering effort will be on the new VideoXpert platform".

For existing DS / Endura users, Pelco plans for migration to VideoXpert over time, “equivalent to an upgrade cost.”

VideoXpert's Key Points

VideoXpert is a Windows based VMS that will be offered both as software only licenses and as NVR appliances.

It is designed to be an open platform and will support ONVIF, etc.

There will be 3 versions:

  • Professional - aimed at DS type applications
  • Enterprise - aimed at Endura type applications
  • Ultimate - aimed at 'Aggregation', Pelco's approach to federation of mutliple systems including DS and Endura systemsPel

Pelco aims for general availability in April 2015.

Challenges in New VMSes

Building a complete VMS is a massive undertaken, given the literally hundreds of advanced options and features that mature systems have. Once Pelco releases VideoXpert we will have a better understanding of what it includes and does not.

Pelco emphasized to us that their top immediate priority was a 'strong foundation first' and then to add more features over time.

The big problem is that since the VMS market is so mature, many users expect and require various advanced features that can make or break a decision yet will unlikely be available on newly itnroduced VMSes.

Other Manufacturers With New VMSes

Existing VMS manufacturers developing new VMSes certainly has precedent. For example, Milestone Corporate is a separate and newer codebase than the original Milestone Enterprise software, Genetec, which started with Omnicast VMS now has Security Center, ipConfigure recently released Orchid, etc.

However, even with the relative successes of both of these cases, they still took substantial development and multiple years to reach the point of maturity. We would expect, best case scenario, the same for Pelco.

Outlook for Pelco's New VMS

Since Endura had so many problems and Digital Sentry seemed to be abandoned, the upside is that Pelco is clearly trying to improve its VMS offering. The challenge is how long will it take and how complete can the Pelco new VideoXpert get?

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