Meet the New Surveillance Solution That Fights Vehicle-Related Offense

Owning a business with parking lots or dedicated lanes for employees and visitors means navigating an added layer of security risks. For example, if a vehicle enters a commercial parking lot after hours, security personnel should be able to respond to the scene as soon as possible to prevent any asset damage or other forms of criminal activity from taking place.

If an incident has already occurred, such as a hit-and-run accident at an airport drop-off lane, the chance that a potential suspect is successfully apprehended diminishes if no license plate recognition systems are being used, or if the existing system is unable to accurately identify the suspicious vehicle.

Enter VideoXpert Plates, an automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) system used for detecting and capturing vehicle license plates through video feeds. This solution also easily integrates with VMS like VideoXpert or can be used on its own.

Here’s how VideoXpert Plates boosts security in a wide range of environments where vehicle or traffic monitoring is needed.

A Fast and Accurate Solution

When a suspicious vehicle is detected, every second counts. The right ALPR system should be able to automatically detect such activity so the appropriate response measure can be taken within seconds, rather than long after a security breach. VideoXpert Plates uses advanced Optical Character Recognition (OCR) engine technology, which detects and captures plates with greater than 97% accuracy and minimizes false positives. Speeding past won’t help a suspicious vehicle escape detection, since VideoXpert Plates can detect vehicles moving up to 150 mph (250 kph).

Control Restricted Areas

VideoXpert Plates enables access control for restricted areas such as loading docks and employee parking lots. If the area has a gate, fence, or garage door, this solution can automatically control which vehicles are authorized to enter or exit the area, which reduces the need for additional security personnel on the scene.

Global Plate Recognition

Motorways make it easy for vehicles to cross state or country borders. That’s why VideoXpert Plates simultaneously detects license plates from multiple states, provinces, and 200 countries without the need for additional engines or databases.

A Comprehensive System

VideoXpert Plates allows for enhanced surveillance through its comprehensive vehicle-monitoring capabilities. It also comes with VideoXpert Plates Manager, a centralized manager for tasks like plate searching, and a VideoXpert Plates Plugin, which results in a seamless integration with Pelco’s VideoXpert VMS. In addition to this, the system complies with US and EU government cybersecurity regulations for an experience you can trust.

Want to know what Pelco’s VideoXpert Plates can do for you? Schedule a free demo today.

On the Edge: How a New Feature in VideoXpert Will Save Your Data

Since VideoXpert was first released, Pelco has been striving to provide a diverse range of industries with an intelligent video management system (VMS) that is not only able to adapt to changing site plans and locations, but also contains features that make it a reliable and trusted solution. The newest version of our VMS, VideoXpert v3.3, is now available for download. Among the new features in this release include the auto-gap-fill feature, which is designed to address several security challenges that increase the risk of data loss. Read to find out how this feature enhances your surveillance experience.

Rural or Large Enterprise Facilities

Large facilities or environments in rural areas need the ability to reliably capture video, even in the event of a network interruption or failure. With auto-gap-fill feature in VideoXpert v3.3, video feeds are temporarily stored on the surveillance camera through an SD card so you won’t have to worry about gaps in coverage. When the network connection is restored and the system returns to normal operation, the VMS can retrieve and merge local video recordings seamlessly. This ensures that the user gets uninterrupted video recordings and provides increased system reliability and safeguards system operation.

Forensic Evidence Gathering

In the event when the network experiences a brief outage while a security breach is occurring, you run the risk of losing precious video evidence. The auto-gap-fill feature in the latest version of VideoXpert prevents this scenario with locally recorded video that can be recovered and shared with the appropriate authorities. This can significantly reduce response times and increase the chance that the suspect is successfully identified and intercepted.

Why Auto-Gap Fill Matters

The auto-gap-fill feature also allows for bandwidth optimization in applications where bandwidth is limited. The user or an operator can view live video in low resolution, while recording HDTV quality images locally on the camera. Upon an incident, the high-quality video stream from the camera will be stored on the SD card of the camera, which is then retrieved by the VMS for efficient forensic search. Typical applications are mission critical installations, but also for video surveillance where network coverage is limited or intermittent.

Pelco is excited to release our newest version of VideoXpert this Spring. Check out our existing offering here or visit our website to see our full range of video surveillance solutions.

Find Out Which VxCare Support Tier is Perfect For Your Business

So, you are a proud owner of Pelco’s VideoXpert VMS and want to find a way to maximize the value of your investment. You may also be researching support services that will best serve your unique security needs.

Pelco’s VxCare gives you three ways to support you through any issue you may face across the lifecycle of your VMS.

Read to find out which tier will make the perfect fit for your business.

Basic

Perhaps you’re a system integrator who has been working closely with VideoXpert for many years but still need occasional support for highly complex issues. This tier is perfect for you if you have already been educated on the majority of VideoXpert’s operational and functional aspects but could also benefit from gaining access to key resources such as basic phone and e-mail that will help you get back on track. This tier is available as a complimentary service for all VX owners.

Epic

If you are a customer who needs direct support from Pelco, this is the one for you. The Epic tier is best suited for VideoXpert owners who need a moderate level of support when it comes to deployment and system upgrades but has some knowledge about the system on their own. In the event of an upgrade that requires complex steps, for example, you can reach out to a dedicated support engineer to guide you through the process.

Protect

With the Protect tier, new business owners who have little to no knowledge of their VMS or video surveillance have access to the maximum support tier available for VideoXpert owners. Whether you need assistance with setting up your VMS, need a system health check, or a dedicated on-site technician who is available to address any concerns you have, VxCare Protect assists you with all of your VMS and video surveillance needs from top to bottom.

Why VxCare?

VxCare is here to optimize the performance and availability of your VMS and overall video surveillance solutions. VxCare make everything from installations to updates a less daunting experience for businesses who require video surveillance and a VMS to manage their data. VxCare is also great for system integrators who wish to introduce this service to their customers, who are looking to receive support directly from Pelco. Whether you’re a customer, surveillance operator, or system integrator, Pelco will ensure that you receive the best possible support through every step of the way.

Learn more about VxCare or visit our website for our full range of video surveillance solutions.

Here’s How Any Industry Can Boost Security with Pelco’s VideoXpert

Maintaining security in large organizations mean navigating significant challenges that can increase the risk of security breaches such as theft or unauthorized entry. Thanks to advancements in video surveillance technology, operators have access to an enhanced surveillance experience, resulting in faster detection and response times. With video management systems (VMS), surveillance teams across a wide variety of industries can have a better view of what’s happening on their sites by using captured data from cameras and combining them with advanced analytics for a higher level of operational efficiency. However, advanced video management platforms can also bring new challenges.

That’s why organizations need intelligent video surveillance solutions that are hardened to address concerns in cybersecurity, for instance. Security personnel also need the ability to scale surveillance plans based on their organization’s evolving size and budget.

VideoXpert offers all the above. Our VMS is fault-tolerant, redundant, and supports failover to address data loss. It can also connect to anything from traditional analog cameras to HD IP video cameras, which allows the system to grow with the organization. Whether 20 or 20,000 cameras are needed within a facility, VideoXpert is based on an intuitive, user-friendly interface that any IT or security professional can use with ease.

Here’s a glimpse into the different types of organizations that VideoXpert serves.

Healthcare

As healthcare facilities grow larger and provide around-the-clock care, they become more vulnerable to a wide array of security risks such as unauthorized entry, but this can be largely mitigated through integrations with Access Control that help monitor physical access to the building. VideoXpert Enterprise offers a trusted and secure platform that provides healthcare facilities, including remote out-patient sites, with a peace of mind that comes with complete protection.

Law Enforcement, City Surveillance, and Traffic Monitoring

Whether it’s a busy intersection or law enforcement facility, security operators overseeing these environments need a way to tackle major security challenges such as crime, traffic congestion, or roadway accidents.

The good news is that VideoXpert integrates with numerous programs that identify and alert staff to potentially problematic behavior, such as unattended bags on a sidewalk or unauthorized vehicles in areas meant for traffic personnel. While traditional video surveillance is dependent on staff monitoring video footage, VideoXpert’s intelligent capabilities spot problems on their own through advanced analytics. An added benefit for traffic operators is that data from VideoXpert gives them the opportunity to plan and improve traffic flows.

Education

Schools and colleges need a surveillance solution that not only integrates seamlessly into evolving site plans, but also offer potentially lifesaving features. For instance, VideoXpert is compatible with facial recognition integrations such as Rec Faces, so automatic alerts can be sent to the appropriate personnel when an unfamiliar face is detected, or when a face is obscured with a mask. VideoXpert Professional also offers a way for surveillance operators to monitor multiple campuses or halls so nothing is missed.

Commercial: Hospitality, Office, Banking, and Finance

With environments like hotels, office buildings, or banking institutions, property owners and property managers face the daunting task of ensuring the security of their employees, customers, and property.

VideoXpert’s easy-to-navigate interface provides operators with a full HD view of the property on one screen. This includes entrances, parking lots, or even cafeterias. VideoXpert can also be accessed remotely so security personnel can monitor the scene even if they’re off site. What’s more, VideoXpert supports text message alerts, which can contribute towards faster response times.

Corrections

There are few places with greater surveillance demands than corrections facilities. By implementing intelligent solutions, these environments are able to enhance the security of inmates, visitors, and property. VideoXpert includes a variety of features that help security teams identify and respond to problems much more quickly and reliably than in the past. Automated alerts notify personnel of unattended items or people who are moving in the wrong direction through an entrance.

The increased automation allows the personnel to spend less time monitoring the video and more time addressing the issues that the VMS has identified. Ultimately, surveillance strategies become more efficient as the collaboration capabilities allow personnel to consult the information from multiple places in one single user interface. It provides the ability to export and pursue investigation with minimal delay.

Critical Infrastructure

For many public and private institutions like port security, critical infrastructure and public safety initiatives have called for the deployment of a variety of video security technologies.Whether security is needed for bridges, airports, or seaports, VideoXpert is sure to meet the challenging demands of securing the world’s critical infrastructure for increased overall safety for citizens and staff with a performance-oriented, intuitive user interface that provides a superior user experience.

Gaming

The gaming industry faces significant challenges in security and fraud reduction: safeguarding guests and employees, protecting critical assets, and striving to gather intelligence to prevent major breaches and fraud. Stringent regulations must also be followed to maintain the integrity of operations and comply with governing bodies.

With VideoXpert, casino surveillance departments can gather data and address threats in real-time. Our VMS is a critical tool that allows operators to investigate events quickly while mitigating future risk.

Learn more about Pelco’s surveillance solutions by visiting our website today.

Hitting Security Out of the Park for the 2018 World Series

Baseball isn’t known for violence, either on or off the field. Brawls between players usually end quickly and fans of opposing teams coexist in the stands peacefully. But make no mistake: security is a big deal for every Major League Baseball team, particularly during the annual best-of-seven championship series that 115 million people tune into every October—the World Series.

The surveillance personnel at the two stadiums hosting the World Series are on high alert for a variety of potential security issues. The sheer number of people at the games — between 35-60,000 fans attend each game — makes the stadium a target for terrorism. Large crowds both in and around the stadium make attractive targets for pickpockets. Heavy drinking by fans before and during the game can lead to fights. Finally, there are health and safety risks that aren’t brought on by bad behavior but simply bad luck, such as car accidents in the parking lot or serious medical events, like heart attacks or strokes.

Major League stadiums have always had a variety of security measures in place, but in recent years they have intensified these measures, particularly during the World Series. Since 2015, all attendees are subject to metal detectors upon entering stadiums. Stadiums have also placed new restrictions on the types of bags that are allowed into the stadium to reduce the chance that somebody can smuggle a prohibited item past security.

Above all else, the big change in stadium security has come from enhanced surveillance technology, notably Video Management Systems that leverage high-definition video and intelligent analytics.

Pelco has been at the forefront of this transformation, offering end-to-end surveillance solutions to major event and sports venues, including Chase Field, home of the 2001 World Series Champion Arizona Diamondbacks.

VideoXpert, Pelco’s latest Video Management System (VMS), has become an attractive option for stadiums because it combines sophisticated analytics and industry-leading video cameras with a simple, intuitive interface that employees new to the surveillance industry can quickly be trained on.

Here are some of the game-changing analytic tools that many Pelco customers choose to implement via VideoXpert:

  • People Counter: Management knows when and where foot traffic is heaviest. When fans are piling into the stadium before a big game, being able to hone in on suspicious activity or blockage at entry gates is extremely helpful.
  • Intrusion Detection: Alerts security teams to unauthorized entrances, while filtering out the types of things that often cause false alarms.
  • Facial Recognition: Spots people who have been barred from facilities due to past problems. This is one less thing for security personnel at the gates to have to worry about.
  • Unaccompanied Object Identification: Available natively on Pelco cameras, this feature notifies staff of objects, such as a bag or backpack, that have been left behind. This serves as a critical security feature to notify staff of potential bombs, but it can also serve an important customer service function by helping staff recover lost items for guests.
  • License Plate Recognition: Cars linked to suspicious behavior on the premises can be quickly identified.

Pelco makes these analytics available through native, on-camera support, and through seamless integrations with strategic analytic partners. To learn more about these analytics, contact our Pelco sales team today.

A smooth entry process, coupled with video surveillance and groundbreaking intelligent analytics undoubtedly play a larger role in ensuring that the World Series remains an exciting yet peaceful and safe American pastime.

Customization Makes One-Stop-Shop for Security a Reality

At Pelco, we serve a variety of partners and end-users in a wide range of industries, from airports and train stations to casinos and sports arenas. What’s striking about working in so many industry verticals is that no customer is alike; each one has a unique set of security needs and related stakeholder groups that ultimately shape their approach to surveillance. While there are undoubtedly plenty of similar customer requirements that we hear over and over again, there are a host of individualized modifications that can (and should) result in a truly unique solution.

That explains why we have made customization for our customers a top priority. Our commitment to being the best video surveillance and security solution provider in the world comes not just from our dedication to producing the most advanced IP video security products and systems, but in our ability to work with each individual customer to design solutions tailored to address their specific needs.

Simply providing surveillance solutions that aim to address the most common needs of a certain vertical, such as gaming or airport security, is not enough. Video surveillance providers who do no more than that invariably force their customers to fill gaps by contracting with additional vendors for other products and services, often at a much greater expense of time, money and risk.

Our goal is to address all of the security needs in one solution, from one provider, offering greater efficiencies in terms of security management, customer support, and budget. We provide specific modifications in terms of software, hardware, and firmware to meet the needs of key stakeholders.

Common Customizations

As a global provider of security and surveillance solutions, we receive many different customization requests from our network of partner integrators and end customers. One of the most common customizations we configure is the integration of a facility’s access control system into our Video Management System, VideoXpert. In layman’s terms, that means every time somebody enters a facility using a key card, there is not only a record of their entry in the access control system, but that record is accompanied by video footage of the event taking place. In other words, the open architecture of products like VideoXpert can integrate a wide variety of 3rd party security products, resulting in a highly scalable and extensible solution that can meet the ever evolving needs of an end user

Similarly, another frequent customization request is the integration an incident report program into VideoXpert. For many security professionals responsible for protecting the physical assets of an enterprise or government entity, the ability to provide a detailed report complete with video evidence is essential to satisfying the needs of related requests from law enforcement, insurance companies and oversight boards. With VideoXpert integration to 3rd party incident report programs, the process is quick, painless and accurate. The result is a boost in work efficiency, timeliness of reports, accuracy of damage reporting for insurance, and even a reduction of repeat incidents through improved coordination with law enforcement.

Many of our customers want video cameras that direct their focus to moving objects if nothing is occurring in the spot where they’re pointed. In those cases, we are able to install Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) IP cameras. When video cameras detect and focus on people or things that are moving, say at crowded baggage claim areas in busy airports or on offshore oil rigs with crews working 24/7 under extreme conditions, they are much more likely to be recording the significant events, including crimes, inappropriate behavior, and even work-related accidents.

Other customers have very precise demands when it comes to the aesthetics of their surveillance equipment. We happily comply with all such requests, painting and wrapping cameras to blend into the environment rather than have them stick out like a sore thumb.

One System to Run Them All

The fact is centralizing security programs in one interface like VideoXpert makes work more efficient, cost-effective and safer. The more that key security functions operate on separate systems, the greater the risk of missed incidents and security breaches. Indeed, a single surveillance interface makes it easier to isolate sensitive resources that could be tampered with. Bottom-line: Setting up a single workstation accessed by trained surveillance personnel is far better than disparate systems spread around an organization with varying degrees of security access.

The Upshot

There are hardly any customizations that are out-of-bounds when it comes to Pelco surveillance solutions. Not only are we eager to offer our partners and their end users the full range of our own hardware and software features, but we want our solutions to empower them to leverage any other useful security tool from any other provider.

If you’re wondering whether we can help you integrate a certain feature or customize your solution in a certain way, please don’t hesitate to ask. We are eager to investigate all requests.

Keeping The Madness of March Madness Safe

After an eventful NCAA tournament, including a historic first-round upset, basketball fans all over the world turn to the Final Four, which will take place at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Those of us who don’t have a bracket riding on the outcome or an allegiance to one of the four remaining teams are most likely rooting for a turbulent, gut-wrenching, buzzer-beating game that ends in epic tragedy for one side and glorious victory for the other.

However, for those tasked with security in San Antonio, the top goal is to make sure there that the only surprises that

take place in the arena occur on the court.

At stadiums, security threats come in many different forms. There are inebriated and emotional fans who get into fights. There is the potential for theft and robberies, particularly in parking lots or other outdoor areas where criminals can target fans and vehicles for money or other possessions.

Above all else, the large, dense crowds of people who show up for major sporting events are a prime target for terrorist attacks. In an interview last year with Sports Business Daily, Alamodome GM Nick Langella described the spate of attacks in London as a wake-up call for venues around the world to bolster security: “It’s not just getting people through the door anymore. It’s about getting people off the property as well and creating a safe environment. That’s the new challenge.”

While the threats may have increased, the good news is that security technology has also improved in recent years, allowing major facilities to prevent problems from arising and to respond to those that do arise, more quickly.

At Pelco, we’ve been proud to provide comprehensive surveillance solutions to a number of major event spaces, including stadiums. One of our recent projects came at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, home of the Vegas Golden Knights and the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

At the T-Mobile Arena, Pelco’s end-to-end solution includes 250 fixed SarixTM IP cameras, SpectraTM PTZ dome cameras, and OpteraTM Panoramic IP cameras. This system not only provides constant video footage on the entirety of the stadium’s interior but keep tabs on Toshiba Plaza, the two-acre public space surrounding the arena.

The centerpiece of the system is VideoXpert, Pelco’s  5th generation Video Management System (VMS), which leverages the video images from all of those cameras into one centralized system, operated by a team of 14 security professionals in the stadium’s Network Operating Center. The security personnel monitor the activity in and around the arena on six 55-inch screens that each display up to eight video feeds simultaneously. That means at any given moment the security team is viewing footage from 48 different locations and angles.

The high-definition video images enable the security team to monitor the entire stadium property leaving little doubt about what an individual caught on camera committing a crime or engaging in suspicious activity looks like. The cameras also adjust to different light conditions, ensuring that dark corners of hallways are not out of view.

Of course, what worked for the T-Mobile Arena might not necessarily be what other venues are seeking. In some cases, they already have a set of cameras –– made by another manufacturer –– and are simply looking for a better video management system. In that case, VideoXpert is still the right call, since it was built with interoperability in mind and can hook up to ANY existing video cameras.

Something else that makes VideoXpert so valuable to our partners is its ability to integrate with a variety of data analytics platforms; as well as, process edge based camera video analytics. Here are some of the common analytics capabilities that our partners and cameras use:

  • People counter: Management knows when and where foot traffic is heaviest.
  • Intrusion detection: Alerts security teams to unauthorized entrances by people, while filtering out the types of things that often cause false alarms, such as animals or blowing trash making contact with a fence.
  • Facial recognition: Spots people who have been barred from facilities due to past problems.
  • License plate recognition: A critical component of investigating vehicles entering and existing the premises
  • Suspicious Object Identification: Notifies staff of objects, such as a bag or backpack, that have been left behind. This serves as a critical security feature to notify staff of potential bombs, but it can also serve an important customer service function by helping staff recover lost items for guests.

There may not be a way to ensure that every fan enjoys the games. There will always be some of them who are unhappy with the result. But thanks to the types of new technology available to stadiums, we can do a lot more to make sure that every fan, win or lose, stays safe.

How Advancements in Video Management Systems Help to Protect Small-To-Mid-Size Businesses

Small-to-mid-size businesses, or SMBs, are some of the most difficult businesses to properly protect from risk. Security systems and personnel often come at a cost that is difficult to justify because it seems large in comparison with revenue. Yet, without safeguards in place, it can be difficult for SMBs with modest cash flows to recover from losses resulting from security breaches. Protecting your assets, facility, and personnel is a mission-critical objective, and SMBs need cost-effective solutions to protect themselves.

SMBs that install a modern, advanced video surveillance system get a number of benefits beyond simple monitoring. The presence of security cameras itself is often enough to act as a criminal deterrent, and the implementation of a system can help dramatically reduce the rate of security breaches and criminal activity, in addition to preventing some issues altogether. Video surveillance improves response time in case of a threat or other situation that requires physical intervention, and reduces liability by providing auditable video.

SMBs are particularly vulnerable, as they often do not have the resources to put these important safeguards in place–a potent combination with limited resources to absorb losses and proactively protect themselves against threats. Crimes against SMBs have been known to go completely unreported out of fear of bad publicity, and because the chances of successful prosecution are low. To mitigate this risk, SMBs have to be both proactive and savvy when planning and implementing risk-reduction strategies– including physical security.

Because they needed to be cost-effective, SMBs have until recently tried to make due with basic video surveillance systems, consisting of Network Video Recorders (NVRs) without the advanced functionality available on video management systems (VMS) designed for larger, enterprise-level installations. In the past, smaller businesses had to make a difficult choice between enterprise-level systems, which were highly capable but also complex and expensive, and entry-level systems that were not much more powerful than basic consumer-level systems. Today, however, VMS solutions with high-performing functionality are available for SMBs as well.

When looking for a VMS specifically for small-to-midsize business, there are several factors to consider. The typical video surveillance system for an SMB is between 20 and 75 cameras, and is typically used to cover the outside of a facility, parking lots, entrances, and key interior locations. A VMS designed to handle up to 100 cameras per server is therefore ideal, meeting today’s needs while preserving flexibility and the capability for scaling up as needs may change and grow. Most SMBs do not possess extensive or highly technical security personnel, so a VMS with an intuitive user interface that is easy to learn and operate is essential.

In addition, recent advances allow new VMS to provide improved analytics for smaller installations. Analytics supplements and enhances human monitoring of the video feeds, tirelessly watching for certain triggers to activate alarms or send alerts to security staff for evaluation and response. Integrated analytics can include loitering (a person staying in one area longer than expected or allowed), wrong way (a person traveling in the wrong direction – entering an exit, for example), object removal (something that is normally in the monitored scene is no longer there), and others. These triggers can also be used to locate specific video data in the event that it’s later needed. With analytics present on a VMS, security systems can do much of the work for the user—a crucial aid to any SMB.

SMB security presents many challenges—the need for the same dynamic protection as larger businesses, for much lower cost and with much simpler operation. With modern VMS systems, this type of protection has become much more cost-effective, easier to implement and operate, and more highly functional than any video surveillance system for this scale has ever been.

VideoXpert Steals the Show at ASIS 2017

Memorable. That is the only way to describe my experience at ASIS 2017 from Dallas, Texas – my 10th ASIS conference in a row. As the global events manager for Pelco by Schneider Electric, I’ve participated in hundreds of security shows over the course of my career and this one will be hard to beat.

For starters, key note speakers included: former President George W. Bush, billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban and Carey Lohrenz , the USA’s first female fighter pilot. Personally, I found their thoughts and ideas around physical and cyber security to be insightful and the advice offered around leadership and teamwork exciting.

ASIS has always been a great vehicle for us, as product manufacturers, to hear from end users and get personal accounts of the challenges they are facing in their respective industries. It’s also important to hear honest feedback after demonstrating our newest product offers. It was clear early on that attendees of our booth were enamored by our new mid-size video management system, VideoXpert Professional.

We knew that VideoXpert Professional was a major hit coming into the show. That feeling was validated by it winning the People’s Choice Award in the ASIS Accolades Competition. The People’s Choice Award winners, voted on by attendees during the first two days of ASIS, are selected based on innovation, benefit to the industry, and unique features.

I overheard several of our booth guests, after personally using the innovative system, say how easy it was to use and how perfect it would be for their businesses. One gentleman in specific could not believe how versatile the system was, especially since his company was using an enterprise level VMS that did not support some of the features that VideoXpert Professional did.

Also on display at our ASIS booth were several of our top camera models, including: Sarix Next Generation IP Fixed, Spectra Series of PTZs, ,Optera Panoramic Series and our new explosion-proof Exsite Enhanced line of cameras. Rounding out the portfolio of solutions was ourSmart Compression Technology, which reduces the bandwidth necessary for these high-performance cameras.

In addition to individual products, Pelco also displayed full system solutions with functionality for the oil and gas, airport and seaport, casino and gaming and city surveillance markets. These displays further demonstrated the need for customization and scalability from a system and integration standpoint.

ASIS 2017 and Pelco both set the bar high for future security conferences. Personally, I am excited for the next opportunity to top what we accomplished in Dallas.

What was your favorite moment from ASIS 2017? Leave a comment below and let us know.

How to Choose A VMS for SMB Applications

As you facilitate the growth of your business, the ability to protect people, property and assets is a mission critical business objective for general security purposes and to minimize risks and liabilities. Video surveillance is one of the most important investments you will make to ensure this goal, so it’s important to choose the Video Management System (VMS) that will best meet your specific needs. This is particularly true of small-to-mid-size businesses (SMBs) that often require VMS solutions with enterprise level performance and intuitiveness on a greater cost-value basis. Here are some considerations SMBs should explore before selecting a VMS:

Size of Business

Make sure your VMS is the right size for your operation. Though many VMS systems today can connect thousands of cameras across multiple facilities, such a massive system will overwhelm your business needs – and you’ll be paying for much more than you need today. These systems weren’t designed from the ground up for prospering SMBs with long-term growth objectives. The average camera count for an SMB is well below 100 cameras, which requires a VMS solution scaled to this capacity.

Although your business may not require a large number of cameras and an enterprise-level VMS, SMBs have heftier needs than mom and pop level businesses. For example, an entry-level Network Video Recorder (NVR) is typically capable of supporting up to 16 cameras, which is often too few cameras for most SMB installations. In addition, the functionality and capabilities of NVR-based camera control systems are fairly basic, and insufficiently suited to the surveillance objectives most SMBs want and need.

Define Your VMS Needs and Objectives

Once you begin researching various VMS solutions, you’ll find a multitude of options designed to serve a variety of purposes. Some will fulfill a specific function faster and better, but not share capacity for other purposes, while some solutions are designed for very general surveillance applications. However, there are VMS solutions designed specifically for SMBs that are optimized for unique functionality, provide scalable camera and recording capacities, and accommodate third-party integrations for more advanced functionality. You should evaluate these capabilities very carefully to help ensure you are making the best decision based on your present and future needs.

Feature Selection Criteria

There are powerful and highly efficient features available on today’s latest VMS solutions designed to deliver easy installation and operation. This is important on several fronts, most notably relative to Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), personnel training and system operation. The personnel who install and operate your VMS solution are probably not technicians, so it’s important to evaluate the User Interface (UI) for intuitiveness and overall simplicity. A complicated UI may look impressive and promise to provide greater functionality, but it will most likely confuse novice operators which can result in costly mistakes. VMS solutions with an intuitive UI will help flatten the learning curve, saving both time and money while ensuring proper system operation. Inquire about estimated installation and training requirements when evaluating systems, as these should be core selection criteria.

Additional key features to look for in a VMS solution include “plug and play” operation to easily install and add cameras, and the ability to support extended recording capacity using internal or attached storage. Ideally, the VMS solution should also support third party plug-ins to enhance its operation with advanced capabilities such as people counting, object left behind detection, license plate recognition, integration with point of sale systems, and more. These added functions can help improve overall security and contribute to other present and future business intelligence applications.

Purchasing a VMS solution for your SMB is an investment in your business – one that will allow you to establish and maintain a safe and secure environment – so you can focus on growth. Take the time to ask questions and compare various VMS solutions. And never hesitate to ask a video expert to help steer you in the right direction.

Choosing the Right VMS: What You Should Know

Choosing the correct video management software (VMS) can be a challenge. With all of the VMS offerings available on the market today, weighing the pros and cons of each tech feature or system architecture can be a daunting task for both integrators and end users. Which functions are right for our team? Who will have access to the platform? Will it integrate seamlessly with other devices? Can it grow with the business?

We offer a few helpful concepts for businesses to consider when selecting the right VMS platform to make the rest of the process as quick and efficient as possible (much like your final choice of VMS will be).

Performance. The single most important factor is performance. All other system capabilities are built from or rely on this. Configuration and management of video from a central location can make all the difference in efficiency, especially if (or when) servers go down, leaving users scrambling to ensure that video data is safely stored. Leading VMS platforms maintain a high level of performance through advanced configuration and accessibility, with comprehensive databases that allow easy access to video and data from multiple systems.

User experience. Not all security teams are created equal, so to compensate for gaps in technical know-how, it is critical to create a seamless user experience. Intuitive platforms that have easy-to-use interfaces with information at an operator’s fingertips allow security teams to make more informed, effective decisions that propel proactive security planning, such as fast, efficient tactical responses. These platforms also reduce training requirements and manual processes, so that end users can safely deliver continuity of their services.

Open platforms. It is virtually impossible to evaluate the effectiveness of a VMS system without stressing the importance of advanced integration capabilities with third-party technology. Security leaders realize even greater capabilities with open platforms that allow other security devices and business systems to easily integrate with video management solutions. These other devices offer a wide range of benefits, including license plate recognition (LPR), video analytics, alarm management, visitor management, access control, mobile access, and lighting and building automation.

Flexibility. Businesses are constantly evolving, moving locations and updating their infrastructure to keep up with supply and demand for video security as much as any other proprietary services they offer. Whether migrating to IP for the first time or looking to boost a current installation, businesses can use advanced VMS systems to bridge the integration gap without abandoning existing infrastructure through enhanced flexibility. These advanced systems even support existing cameras, allowing users to retain costly investments and realize more returns without requiring surveillance triage.

Scalability. Once users have identified the right features for the size and nature of their installation, the last piece of the puzzle is assessing the ease with which the VMS system can accommodate the installation’s rate of expansion. True scalability allows organizations to build a VMS system that meets specific operational and surveillance needs as they grow, and continue without interruption even as security risks increase proportionally to growth.

Want to see this list in a more condensed version? Click here to see our latest infographic.