Video management software has become an indispensable part of security and surveillance applications. With the advent of cloud-based video surveillance, the power of VMS cannot be limited to just video monitoring. The new age VMS systems with intelligent video analytics are capable of offering much more than surveillance. The cloud-based VMS systems not only fulfill comprehensive surveillance needs of the businesses, but also complement other business processes, which may directly or indirectly reflect into the business ROI.
Whether it is a new VMS installation or upgradation of an existing VMS system, enterprises (considering their business processes to be more interactive, connected and integrated) prefer their on premise or remote business systems to be integrated with the cloud-based Video management software.
Since every business and its processes are different, the video surveillance needs of the enterprises also vary from each other. With the availability of flexible and customized video surveillance and analytics services, enterprises find it challenging to pick suitable thirdparty systems and apps to support their preferred VMS system. Therefore, most of the enterprises are shifting towards Video Surveillance-as-a-Service with their system integrators or VMS service providers.
Most of the VMS service providers and system integrators are offering an open source or vendor independent cloud-based video management software to their clients for the obvious reason of making VMS compatible with third-party systems and applications.
Why do third-party systems need to be compatible with video management software
The third-party systems in VMS can be defined as any of the systems, applications or devices used to support and enhance the functionality of a video management software in order to improve the security and business processes of an enterprise.
There are hundreds of companies manufacturing security and surveillance devices (like IP cameras, NVRs, Audio Devices, GPS systems etc.), but all the available devices are not necessarily compatible with the video management software preferred by the companies. Therefore, it is very important for VMS service providers or system integrators to check the compatibility of the surveillance software with the available thirdparty devices required for the project.
Types of third-party systems and applications for VMS solution
Third-party systems for a video management software are either physical devices installed at the surveillance location and office premises or widgets/ applications embedded in a video management software to enable intelligent video analytics. These systems and applications can be classified into two major categories; one as the systems for security and surveillance, and other as the system for supporting and enhancing business processes. Let us discuss them in detail.
Security and surveillance systems
Most of the third party systems and applications for security and surveillance are common across industries and are necessarily required to be part of a video management software.
An IP camera is a primary and mandatory requirement of any VMS system. A cloud-based video management software should support all types of IP cameras (Wired and Wireless cameras, PTZ, 360 degree, night vision, autofocus cameras etc.) from the major players/ manufacturers of the industry. VMS systems for customized surveillance projects must support IP cameras with open standards-based application programming interface (API), which allows system integrators to program the cameras for specific applications. IP surveillance cameras for video surveillance software must support multiple video streams and video compressions (H.264, MJEPEG) to send the video data with low latency. ONVIF support of the IP cameras with VMS systems can be an added advantage for the surveillance project.
Access control devices
Access control devices integrated with video management software provide physical security to any place or premise secured by the system. Integration of VMS with access control devices allows users to monitor, control and analyze multiple access points in real time, track the number of times access granted by the devices and react immediately in case of any event is triggered. Video surveillance along with access control helps in intrusion management, biometric attendance management and identity management.
Fire and smoke detectors
Fire and smoke detectors are the devices, which essentially need to be integrated with the VMS system of an enterprise. Large sized enterprises can have a large number of smoke detectors, which in case of fire, trigger the fire alarms of the building. An integrated fire alarm system with VMS allows a user to quickly identify and view the location of the fire alert. A quick response to such an emergency can help in saving lives and business assets.
Video analytics for security & surveillance
Video analytics in a VMS solution are a result of the structured algorithm of the software and many times inbuilt functionality of the devices connected to the VMS system. Video analytics for security and surveillance can be motion detection to prevent unauthorized access in restricted areas, perimeter protection to protect the virtual/ physical boundary within the enterprise, object detection, face recognition, people counting etc.
A well-connected video management software with other surveillance and business-related devices can allow users to have complete control over business processes with security solutions and helps in improving the customer’s experience with the enterprise.
Third party systems supporting business processes
Cloud-based video management software is a well-accepted solution for security and surveillance across industries. Moreover, its structure of assimilating the functionalities of other business supporting systems enhances its business management capacity, incredibly. It empowers its administrators to have an inclusive approach to managing their business processes optimally without compromising on safety and security. Let us discuss the third party systems (used in different industries) that can be integrated with a VMS solution to enhance the business processes.
Third party systems and applications of a retail video management software are helpful for both employees of the retail stores and the customers visiting the stores. Here are some of the important systems to be integrated with retail video management software:
- Point of sale (POS systems): Integration of VMS with POS of any retail store can help in checking the fraudulent activities done by shoplifters or employees in a retail store. At POS, a customer pays for the shopped products, by either cash, credit/ debit cards, gift vouchers, loyalty cards etc. It is a checkpoint in any store before exit and most prone to any fraudulent or misleading activities. A VMS application monitoring every action of the customers or store employees at the POS can be very helpful in generating the recorded evidence in case of any conflict of interest between employees and customers.
- Barcode scanners: Barcode scanners are mostly used in managing inventory at the warehouses of the store and at the cash counters to automate the payment processes. There can be many barcode scanners simultaneously operational in any retail store, scanning hundreds of products every hour. There can be scenarios where a barcode scanned may differ from their actual product or a damaged product has been returned by the customer post purchase. A VMS system integrated with barcode scanners of a retail store can easily help in tracking the scanner used for payment and associated video footage for reference.
- Retail video analytics: Many thirdparty video analytics applications can be embedded in a retail video management software in order to generate data like customer’s buying behavior, their product preferences, buying patterns over a period of time etc. Many video analytics applications also help in mapping customer’s journey in a retail store. Over a period, data generated by video analytics of retail video management software can help the management to strategize the product placement, new product promotions and make the customers’ journey easier in the retail store. Some of the video analytics features of a retail VMS software are in-store virtual map, queue management, perimeter blackout, object detection etc.
Video management software integrated with fleet management applications can greatly help in improving fleet efficiency and safety, as well as controlling fleet operating costs. Most of the in-vehicle devices are common across fleet management companies to manage vehicle transit time, monitoring driver behavior, vehicle tracking. However, some of the specific fleet services like in food and pharmaceuticals requires some additional devices to be integrated with fleet management systems. Integration of fleet telematics and other industry-specific in-vehicle devices with fleet video surveillance solutions can be very helpful in maintaining fleet compliance with recorded visual evidence of every instance of vehicles in transit.
- Engine diagnostics systems: Engine health is a critical factor in improving the efficiency of the vehicles in the fleets. OBD (On-board diagnostics) port II, plug and play devices integrated with the fleet management and VMS systems allow admin to monitor true engine speed, mileage, battery life, engine hours, emissions etc. Integration of VMS with engine diagnostic systems allows fleet managers to view the engine performance status on the VMS dashboard through the associated IP cameras. In case of any failure recorded by the diagnostics port, the event recorded by the system is displayed on the VMS dashboard for admin to react immediately. The data generated through these systems also help fleet managers to manage the vehicle maintenance process, control repair costs, and reduce the risk of roadside breakdowns
- Door monitoring: Rear and front door sensors of a vehicle track their opening and closing time and location during vehicle transit. Along with video monitoring through IP cameras, vehicle door sensors help in checking unauthorized access to anyone in the vehicle. An incident is created in the software dashboard if the door is opened at an unautho ized location and the admin can view and react to the incident in real time or after the trip.
- Telematics solutions: Telematics solutions integrated with in-vehicle video surveillance helps driver and fleet managers to track the vehicle’s movement on the designated route, track hours of service, and improve fleet’s efficiency through a real-time monitoring and communication with the driver.
- Other in-vehicle systems and applications: There can be many other systems and applications that can be integrated with fleet management systems along with video surveillance. For example, temperature monitoring devices and apps for the consignment of food and pharma companies, ELD (electronic logging devices) to record hours of service of commercial vehicles, driver behavior monitoring apps and devices etc.
Cloud-based video management software for city surveillance is highly scalable and flexible, and considered among the large-sized video surveillance projects. City surveillance through a cloud-based VMS is powered by advanced video analytics to support a large number of IP cameras for monitoring traffic signals, subways, parking lots, public places, highway tolls etc. Let’s check out a few of the third party systems which can be integrated with the video management software for city surveillance.
- Traffic signals: Traffic signals equipped with HD (high-definition) IP cameras enable centralized traffic monitoring. IP cameras installed at traffic signals constantly monitor the traffic flow with respect to changing traffic signals. In case of an accident, law enforcement agencies can quickly analyze the severity of the incident and can accordingly coordinate with emergency services to act. Traffic rules offenders can also be tracked easily to be penalized with a video evidence. In case of traffic jams or congestions, situations can be viewed in real time and traffic lights can be reprogrammed to improve the traffic flows.
- Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR): ANPR systems installed at traffic signals, public places and public parking lots are very helpful in identification of vehicles violating traffic rules like vehicle speeding beyond a limit, breaking red traffic signal, passing toll booths without paying, entering unauthorized bus lane etc. VMS systems recording vehicles activities at the checkpoints or at traffic signals helps in generating visual evidence for future reference. ANPR systems are very useful in identifying the registration and license status of the vehicle and also helps in tracing the stolen vehicles. ANPR systems can also be linked to automatic toll collection systems.
- Interactive maps: Interactive maps are important applications for a City VMS solution. In large-sized VMS solutions like city surveillance, interactive maps on VMS dashboard can help in identifying the areas in the city requiring urgent monitoring and assistance. The cameras and the VMS systems of that area can enable alarms to be displayed on the map and these systems can be easily identified and approached quickly to have real-time monitoring.
- Bookmarking videos: VMS for city surveillance generates a large number of videos and big data to act. Certain events captured via VMS need a detailed inspection and these videos can be bookmarked for future reference. Bookmarking videos allows users to easily find them and retrieve them from a big video data.
- Video analytics in city surveillance: Video Analytics applications in VMS for city surveillance can be used to manage the crowd, control thefts, violence, and other anti-social activities. Video analytics applications like face detection, people counting, heat mapping, crowd detection can help in ensuring the security of the city. Apart from the three verticals discussed above (retail, fleet management, and city surveillance), there are many other industry verticals, which can benefit from cloud-based video surveillance integration with third-party systems and applications.
eInfochips’ cloud-based video management software based on microservices and federated architecture provides complete modularity, flexibility, and customization of any kind of video surveillance projects and supports thirdparty system applications as per client’s requirements.