We asked one of The Great Conversation sponsors, Milestone Systems, to provide us a “scorecard” for evaluating the criteria for video monitoring systems based on the input they have received from actual end users. We thought this could be a “hot topic” at our next forum on March 6 & 7 in Seattle.
To: The Great Conversation Community:
After helping to launch the open platform IP video surveillance management industry, we have collected data from our end users and integrators that suggest the following consideration points that can be useful to initiate your evaluation of video management platforms.
- Accessibility: “Will I be able to use the system when I need to, regardless of where I am?” You should be able to access alarms and video from any desktop and from any mobile device.
- Reliability: “Will the data be there when I need it?” Your vendor should be able to describe how they protect your data and ensure it is available when you need it. You should also be able to monitor the reliability through a cloud-based dashboard providing visibility to system performance, reports, and alarms.
- Easy to Use: “Can I figure out how to use it?” Ask your vendor what Usability (UX) design they have incorporated into their product development process. That is, you need to ensure they have studied what you say as well as what you do. Your interaction with the technology must be understood so your use of it can be streamlined through an intuitive interface.
- Compatibility or Interoperability: “Do I know that this vendor has a fundamental grasp and a substantiated methodology around delivering on the promise of an open architecture?” This is critical. For a marketplace to be rich and vibrant, it must be able to support emerging innovations, not restrict them. Test how open a vendor is by understanding how an integration takes place, what the vendor charges another vendor for integrating to their system, and how that integration is maintained over time. What you are looking for is transparency and leverage. Each investment you make must leverage others you have already invested in and investments you will make in the future. We are living in a world where information must flow easily between technology domains as well as organizational domains to achieve 360-degree situational awareness and business process efficiencies.
- Expected Functionality: “Do you support live viewing and playback of recorded data? Do you support basic maps?” We often forget that we must return to the basic needs before extending our search for broader capabilities.
- Differentiating Features: “Do you support mobile apps with push notifications and video? Do you support health monitoring solutions?” Advancing the industry should be part of the vendor’s culture as well as their product development process. Learn how they are driving the industry through innovative new features and functions, certifications or better ways of doing business.
- Forgotten: “Video is not just for security. What other applications can I leverage?” We, as an industry, often forget that. Customers who start using the video data as part of their business operations achieve many benefits and use it more consistently. Some of these areas include employee training, improving operational efficiency and effectiveness, supporting geographically spread business locations, accepting deliveries remotely, and generally linking video data to other sources of data such as Point of Sales, access control, critical voice communications, building management and so on.
Using these simple queries with your potential vendors and resellers will help you initiate a higher quality review of your needs. For more information on how Milestone would support this evaluation please contact us.