Should Video Analytics be Bundled with VMS?

By John Honovich, Published Sep 16, 2009, 08:00pm EDT

Despite lip service manufacturers give to open systems, the clear preferred path is selling end to end packages. Last year, we debated this approach and the risks of it. At the time, I cited a half dozen significant vendors. Since then, you can add ACTi, Sony, Mobotix and Genetec.

What confuses this issue is that packages can be somewhat open. Indeed, rarely are sysems truly entirely open or entirely closed. The most common occurence is favoritism of the manufacturer's sales team to their internal product offerings.

Whether this is or right or wrong, this practice is clearly increasing. I hear it more and more both from manufacturers themselves and investors in the market.

One trend that does not fit this theory is video analytics (as discussed in the video analytic management test review). Most of the leading VMS companies in the world have ignored developing their own analytics, leaving it to 3rd party. This would seem to indicate that best in breed, open systems is preferred.

I think the more practical reason for not bundling analytics is simply because analytics are not ready. When they are ready for reliable, mass market use, it's very likely that the VMS (and camera companies) will quickly add them (develop their own, acquire specialists, etc.), using free analytics to subsidize the purchase of cameras or appliances.

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