VMS Labor Standards

By Brian Rhodes, Published on Dec 11, 2014

We continue our industry first installation labor standards result with a look at Video Management System setup, adding to the camera installation and cabling installation entries.

These standards help integrators improve the accuracy and efficiency of their installations, reducing risks and cost.

Global Survey

We developed these standards based on a global survey of integrators who provided in-depth responses on how much time and what factors impact their installs.

Questions / Scenarios Asked

Two scenarios were presented:

  • VMS Installation: "How many manhours would you estimate to install and configure a VMS Server? Why? Which VMS? What impacts this?"
  • VMS Commissioning: "How many manhours would you estimate to add 10 cameras to a new VMS? Assume cameras already are installed and have IP addresses preconfigured. The effort includes fine tuning 10 cameras for production recording and live viewing in the VMS."

Averages 

The overall averages were:

  • *** ************: *.* ******** *** ******
  • *** ************* (****** ** cameras): *.* *********** ** *******, ** ~ 30 ******* *** ******

VMS ************

*** ****** ******** *****: "*** ***************** *** ******** ** install *** ********* * VMS ******? ***? ***** VMS? **** ******* ****?"

*******: **** **% ** *** ********* fell ******* *.* ** 5.0 ********. *** **** ****** is ***** *****:

***** ********

**** ********* ********* ********* VMS ****** **** ******* ****** for ****. *******, ***** was ** ****** ***** of *** ********************** ****** **** ****** across *** *****. ******, the ***** ** ***** was **** ******* ** how ******** *** ********* was **** * ***** platform, **** **** **** needed *** **** ******** offerings.

  • "* ***** ***** ** *******."
  • "* *** *******. *****'* a *** ** ** front ************* ** **** everything **** ** **** during *** **** **************."
  • "* ***** *** *********, 4 ***** *** ***** But ** ********** *****."
  • "******** *** ****** *'* say **** ****** *** would **** **** *** unless **** ** ** windows ******* *** ******* is **** ***** *** an **** ******* ********."
  • "*****/*********/***** * ***** *** updating *** ******* ** the ** *** ******* the ****** **** ********, documentation."
  • "* - * ***** depending ** *** ******** we *** **** **. Exacq ** *******."

**** *** ***** ** responses, ** ** ***** than **** ********** ********* sell * ****** ** VMS ******* ***** ** customer ***.

** *********** *******

*** ******* ********* ** the ************ ******* *** servers *******, *** ******** and ********** *** ********'* IT ********* ***, *** how ******* *********** *** VMS ****** **** ***** systems ***** ** **:

  • "*-* ***** - ******* on *** ********* ** dept **. ** ** have *********** ********** *** it's ***** ** ** an **** *** ***** 2-3 *****. ******** **** IT ****'* *** **** up ***** ** ******."
  • "* ***. **** ** provided ** ** ********* and *** ******* *** complete. **** **** **** subject ** ******* ******* configuration- *** ****** **** installed, ******* *********, *** so **."
  • "**** ******* ** *** many ******* ** **** a *** ******. ** the *** *********? **** is *** ********* *******? Analytic *********? ******? *********** depth ******* *** ****** and *** *******? *** many *******? ********** ******? Video ****? ********* *******? Active *********? *** ********* schedules?
  • "*** ***** ** **** to **** ********* ** 1 **** *** * preloaded ****** **** ** frills ** ******** *** 5 ******* ******** ** it. *** **** *'** seen ********* **** *** one ****** ** ** hours *** * ****** that *** ** ** tied **** ****** *********, cameras **** ****'* ****-********, and ***** ***** ********* schedules."
  • "************ * ******** ******** server. ******* **** *** impact **** **** *** include ******** ********** *****,** **** ********, ********* server ************** **** *** or ********, *********** *** installer, *** ***-********** **** have ** ** *********. This ** **** ** what ** **, ** we **** ********** ******* written ** ****** * tremendous ****** ** *** configuration. ***** *** ****** tricks **** *** ** done ** ********** ********. From *** ** *** box ** ** *** box ** *** **** a ****** ***** ** go ** ** ******* or ****."

*** ************

*** **** ****** ******** *****: "How **** ******** ***** you ******** ** *** 10 ******* ** * new ***? ****** ******* already *** ********* *** have ** ********* *************. The ****** ******** **** tuning ** ******* *** production ********* *** **** viewing ** *** ***."

*******:** *** ** ***** questions we *****, **** *** had *** ******** ***** of *******. **** **** ******* *.* to *.* ********, **** *** average ***** *.** ****** all ** ****. *** full ****** ** ***** below:

******* *********

*** ***** ******** *********** time ********* ** *** familiar *** ********* ** with *** ******** *** how **** *** ********** cameras *** *********/********** **** the ***. ** **** case, *** ******* ****** suggested ****** ****** ******* rather **** ***** *******:

  • "******** ***** ** ******* per ****** ********* ** customer ************ *** *** type ** ***."
  • "***. * ***** ** it ** *** ** known **** ** *** with **** *******."
  • "** *** ** * 10 ****** ****** ** a *** ** * ***** with ********."
  • "** *** **** ***** on ******* *** ********* cameras.
  • "* ** ***** *** 10 ****. ** ***** be ******** *** ******* issues, ** ********* *** settings. **** ***** ** Spectrum, ** **** ***** us ** *** *** isn't ********* ** ***********."
  • "***** **** ** *** higher *** *** **** wizards *** *********** ******* or ***** * ***** include * ******* *** camera *** **** ****** to ***** ********** ** ensue ** ** ********* to *** ****** ********, named *************, ***.***** **** ** *** more ********** *** * might ****** ****."
  • "*-* ***** (** *** a *** ** **** and ***) *** ** could ** ****** *** no **** ***** *******."

****** **** ******

*******, *** ****** * single ***** ******** *** common, **** **** *********** instead ******* * ***** and ** '** *******' condition. **** ********* *** variability ********** ** *** demands ** ********* ** individual ******* *** *** equipment ****:

  • "******* ** *** **** interface ** *** *** really, **** *** ** done ** * ******* flat *** *** **. Some ****** *** **** one ****."
  • "* - ** *****. *** standard ** * **** per ****** ** *** to * ******. *** systems **** ** ******* from ******* ** *** usually *** ** **** 1/2 ****."
  • "* ***** ...** * perfect *****."
  • "** *** *** * hours, *** **** ** up ** * *****."
  • "*-****, ******** *** ******* up *** ******* ** record ** *****, *** the **** ****** ** the ****** *** **** will **** ******, **** if **** **** ** be ******** *** ****."

Comments (6)

I'd like to know what people think on estimating the install per camera on a 10K SF office space and a 30K SF warehouse for: Indoor camera: Outdoor camera: This is more in tune with how I quo jobs. Ex. 3hrs per interior camera counting bringing into a server on office and 4 in whse. 4 on outdoor office and 6 on warehouse. This wouldn't include any out of norm requests or factors. Then I add 4 hrs for NVR on average.

A, see our camera installation and cabling installation labor standard posts for that.

Brian, quick question. Is installing the VMS, connecting the cameras, troubleshooting, etc. usually considered a one man job, or are there other techs on site to provide other means of support? If so, how does that impact the overall amount of man hours?

We asked 'manhours' so whether someone uses one person or five, the answer is all the same denomination.

With that said, in my experience most jobs use one person to connect the cameras and configure VMSes, but troubleshooting (beyond the scope of this estimate) often uses two or three - one person at the server, one at the camera talking over phones/radios, and maybe even another trying to trigger motion recording or acting as a test subject.

Imagine camera firmware with onboard analytics that can auto configure and adjust the camera. The analytics engine would scale all parameters per application day, night, parking lot and office views. A camera capable of enhancing the stream based on user demand and priority. So much time and money is invested in static code residing in the centralized VMS that the edge is neglected.

If all of our cell phones worked best with a centrilezed design then all of us would be back on analog lines at our homes. Mobility and the edge need to rise up as the dominant application, VMS software is bank vault holding Software SUPs, SSAs and modular licensing fees for dangled carrots.

Last but not least, my forecast on how much time to configure a VMS with or without customer IT preparation, access and development. Training and commissioning views, clients both web and mobile, storage allocation types NAS, Nimble, Cloud....honestly I feel it comes down to competition as we all know on any design margins are dropped, swapped and cropped in order to win the bid. This is why the applications should reside in the camera itself and rid the industry of the THICK VMS that resides on physical and virtual servers everywhere. Amen!

I find this discussion very useful from the end-user perspective. Provides at least some starting benchmarks for Project Management activity resource planning.

great topic.. thank you.

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