Analyzing Skypoint: Lenel and OnSSI's Partnership

Author: John Honovich, Published on Apr 01, 2009

Lenel has announced SkyPoint - an IP Video Surveillance product offering OEMed from OnSSI and integrated with Lenel's access control solution.

Given Lenel's strength in access control and the extensive functionality available in OnSSI NVRs and Ocularis Client interface, this will be an attractive solution for enterprise customers including large corporations and government organizations.

Lenel's website provides resources on Skypoint including a brochure and cutsheet.

Lenel's SkyPoint will use OnSSI's Ocularis technology (read our review on Ocularis) and work with OnSSI's recorders, existing Lenel recorders and, in the future, other 3rd party video recorders.

While Lenel has offered video surveillance for years, it did not stand out. With the new IP video offering, SkyPoint substantially increases Lenel's competitive strength in video. For Lenel, this will enhance, but not replace, their existing video surveillance products.

Markets

Lenel has 17,000 customers worldwide including many of the largest corporate and government entities in the world. Lenel's access control solution is routinely selected for large-scale projects.

The large scale enterprise projects that Lenel is currently deployed and pursues fits very well with IP video and the benefits of using IP cameras.

The OnSSI NVRs run on commercial off the shelf PCs, have very wide broad IP camera support and many functionalities that are in the top tier of IP video offerings.

The Ocularis client interface has been very well received, especially among larger operations where the need to manage many cameras is high. This, too, is a good fit.

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Competitive Contrast to Other Video Management Products

Since access control is critical to many enterprise organizations, the access control provider often has influence on selecting/advocating video management products. SkyPoint will make convincing customers to use Lenel for access and video significantly easier. 

Since OnSSI NVRs and Milestone XProtect software is essentially the same product, Lenel's offering could hurt Milestone dealers (whether it actually hurts Milestone financially depends on the undicslosed relationship between OnSSI and Milestone).

While Genetec's product is especially strong for large-scale deployments, the Lenel SkyPoint offering could be quite competitive. Even if technically Genetec is viewed as superior on some elements, the strength of Lenel and deep integration with Lenel's management system could be the deciding factor.

For other mid-market IP video software providers, the impact could be even more significant as competing against OnSSI is hard enough but competing against Lenel and OnSSI combined will be more difficult. 

This impact will obviously only be felt in projects using or considering using Lenel. However, Lenel is a large access control provider so in many market or geographical segments this could be a substantial impact.

Competitive Contrast to Other Access Control Providers

Most large access control providers own prominent DVR manufacturers (Software House / American Dynamics, GE Casi Rusco / Kalatel, etc.). Having a strong video surveillance offering is a useful element in deploying and winning large scale systems. 

Not only does this partnership provide Lenel with a prominent video surveillance offering, it provides them with a stronger offering than their direct competitors who are still linked to older DVRs.

By the end of this year, Lenel is planning to integrate parts of the Ocularis interface into its own Lenel monitoring client. Historically, Lenel's user interface was complex and needed greater technical skill. Integrating the Ocularis interface should make the Lenel user interface easier to use and more attractive to non-technical users.

Conclusion

This is not a technological invention. The advantage here is in integration, marketing and channel distribution. The power of bundling and the ability of large companies to influence product selection is real and significant. By using OnSSI's IP video offering, Lenel will have a strong position in IP video and should be able to widely deploy SkyPoint.

[UPDATE 2014: This partnership is being ended. See: Should I Switch To Lenel Or OnSSI VMS?]

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