Integrators' Top Complaints on VMS Software

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on May 31, 2012

VMS platforms are one of the most polarizing topics in the surveillance industry, with practically everyone having his or her own favorite. However, all VMSs have limitations, whether technical or operational, with many issues shared across the industry. To learn the biggest challenges faced by integrators, we asked the following question of respondents in our Spring 2012 survey:

Users responded with many different answers, but some concerns stood out:

  • Using existing networks and hardware
  • Up-to-date and in-depth camera support
  • Third-party integration challenges

We examine each of these in more detail, with quotes from integrator respondents, below.

Existing Networks and Hardware

Using existing networks and hardware was by far the most common integrator concern. As we have discussed multiple times in the past, working with IT departments can be challenging, both politically, dealing with overly restrictive policies and people, as well as technically, when out-of-date or misconfigured hardware is used. These issues lead many integrators to deploy separate networks, as shown in previous surveys.

  • "Local customer network ? IT Dept."
  • "The biggest problem with deploying a VMS is dealing with the customers IT department. The more you can stay away from IT and deploy your own dedicated network the better."
  • "Installing the system using the client's IT infrastructure."
  • "If the VMS is deployed on a customers network, there are a lot of unknown variables outside of our control we have to deal with. Good communication with the owners IT department from day one through the end of the project is a must for things to go smoothly, but even then we are dependent on the customer supplying what they are supposed to before our technicians can get the system running properly."
  • "The biggest problem we run into is if the owner would like the VMS installed on his existing machines. They often dont understand or listen to what problems could arise."
  • "Whenever you have to ride on to the customer own and existing Network where IT security might be in place."
  • "The biggest pain we experience is when we are trying to load the VMS software on a customer-provided server. Even though we send them the system requirements well ahead of time, we find that they wait until the last minute before ordering it and it is not configured correctly or that the decided to re-task an existing server that does not meet the VMS hardware requirements."
  • "Customers wanting to use thier own PC's. Where possible, we build the hardware required to run the VMS as we know then its capable of doing the job, but sometimes we'll come across a customer (typically small market) who says they have an old PC in the back they'll use to try and lower costs a bit."
  • "Not many, only sometimes when a customer's bean counter puts pressure on their IT guys to buy lower end products for servers/storage/networking equipment. Otherwise no pain/challenge, just fun doing the work."
  • "IT infrastructure"
  • "For me simply making the parties involved understand the dependancy on the network, it is unrealistic to add a 400 camera deployment to a network that is already maxed out. What you sometimes find is that the network layer can cost double the price of the security project to sort out! On big systems you need more advanced network features like routed multicast which is only possible using high end L3 hardware."
  • "Customer networks, or their impression of what their network is, are larger problems then deploying a quality VMS product…"

Camera Support

Support for current cameras was next most common among integrators. This involved both the time it takes for new models to be supported, and the level of integration offered with existing cameras, supporting all features of the camera.

  • "On occasion, a camera or encoder has not truly offered all the functionality initially promised, such as bi-directional audio or motion-detection triggers under a given CoDec."
  • "Software compatibility with the newest cameras. We often find the camera manufacturer has shipped a camera with the newest firmware that isn't currently support by the VMS. Finding the compatible firmware and loading that onto many cameras is often very time consuming and frustrating."
  • "Typically, interoperability problems due to firmware/service pack incompatibilities."
  • "# 1 is for the VMS provider keeping up with current releases of better cameras...or a certain brand. For example, we feel sometimes the overall system gets (dumbed down) if the VMS platform limits the use of the cameras features."
  • "If anything it would be the timespan between a new camera release until the VMS manufacturer get it supported. But when using major brands that is usually not a problem."

Integrations

Integrations with third-party systems were the final most common concern of integrators. Most commonly these integrations were promised and not delivered, or malfunctioning, due to version changes or upgrades.

  • "The biggest challenge in deploying VMS software is integration with other security systems that are not currently supported by VMS."
  • "when the advertised integration to another manufacturer's product has disappeared because the new version ships with different underlying structures."
  • "When company promised us to integrate the device and we promised it to customer, but after long time and the installation, company told that they can't fully integrate it"

 

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

The Fastest Growing Video Surveillance Sales Organization Ever - Verkada on Apr 17, 2019
Verkada has the fastest growing video surveillance sales organization ever. In less than 2 years, they already have more salespeople in the US...
Securadyne CEO: IPVM 'Entertaining For An Ignorant Few' on Apr 16, 2019
Securadyne's CEO Carey Boethel is unhappy with IPVM's report - Failed Integrator Rollup, Securadyne Sells to Guard Giant Allied. Indeed, he...
Dahua Repositionable IR Multi-Imager Camera Tested on Apr 16, 2019
Dahua has released their first repositionable multi-imager camera, the Multi-Flex 4x2MP, claiming integrated IR, true WDR, and flexible...
Axis Supports HD Analog on Apr 15, 2019
In 2017, Axis declared 'Everything is IP': Now, in 2019, Axis has released support for HD analog, with their new encoders.  Why the change?...
Alarm.com Favorability Results 2019 on Apr 15, 2019
The once dot com startup has evolved to become a core provider for home security and is now expanding into commercial. In their first entry in...
ISC West 2019 Report on Apr 12, 2019
The IPVM team has finished at the Sands looking at what companies are offering and how they are changing their positioning. See below for 50+...
Failed Integrator Rollup, Securadyne Sells to Guard Giant Allied on Apr 09, 2019
One of the most ambitious integrator rollups of the decade has reached its conclusion—selling to a mega guard company. Allied Universal has...
Spring 2019 50+ New Products Directory on Apr 08, 2019
We are compiling a list of new products for Spring 2019 and have over 50 already. Contrast to Fall 2018 New Products Directory and Spring 2018...
Airship VMS Profile on Apr 03, 2019
Airship has been developing VMS software for over 10 years, however, with no outside investment, and minimal marketing, the company is not well...
Dahua Favorability Results 2019 on Apr 01, 2019
Dahua favorability declined, in IPVM's 2019 integrator favorability series, driven by their backdoors, resulting in mass hacking and US government...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Access Control Course Spring 2019 - Last Chance on Apr 19, 2019
This is the last chance to register for the Spring Access Control Course. IPVM offers the most comprehensive access control course in the...
Riser vs Plenum Cabling Explained on Apr 18, 2019
You could be spending twice as much for cable as you need. The difference between 'plenum' rated cable and 'riser' rated cable is subtle, but the...
Verint Victimized By Ransomware on Apr 18, 2019
Verint, which is best known in the physical security industry for video surveillance but has built a sizeable cybersecurity business as well, was...
Milestone Drops IFSEC on Apr 18, 2019
Milestone has dropped out of Europe's largest annual security trade show (IFSEC 2019), telling IPVM that they "have found that IFSEC in EMEA no...
The Fastest Growing Video Surveillance Sales Organization Ever - Verkada on Apr 17, 2019
Verkada has the fastest growing video surveillance sales organization ever. In less than 2 years, they already have more salespeople in the US...
Door Operators Access Control Tutorial on Apr 17, 2019
Doors equipped with door operators, specialty devices that automate opening and closing, tend to be quite complex. The mechanisms needed to...
Securadyne CEO: IPVM 'Entertaining For An Ignorant Few' on Apr 16, 2019
Securadyne's CEO Carey Boethel is unhappy with IPVM's report - Failed Integrator Rollup, Securadyne Sells to Guard Giant Allied. Indeed, he...
Dahua Repositionable IR Multi-Imager Camera Tested on Apr 16, 2019
Dahua has released their first repositionable multi-imager camera, the Multi-Flex 4x2MP, claiming integrated IR, true WDR, and flexible...
Strong ISC West 2019 For Manufacturers But Concerns For 2020 March Move on Apr 16, 2019
ISC West 2019 was strong for manufacturers, according to new IPVM survey results of 100+ manufacturers, consistent with 2018 results. However,...
Axis Supports HD Analog on Apr 15, 2019
In 2017, Axis declared 'Everything is IP': Now, in 2019, Axis has released support for HD analog, with their new encoders.  Why the change?...

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