Updated--Genetec Releases User Interface For Wider Security Systems Management

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Genetec this week unveiled a software interface that consolidates management of its video, access control and license-plate-recognition (LPR) systems into a single platform that also plugs into back-end identity management systems.

While integrated management of physical security systems has been part of the overall convergence trend, Genetec aims to take such convergence to a new level, tying command and control of video and access control systems into enterprise level security management systems via an open architecture. DVTel, Hirsch Electronics and Milestone Systems are taking similar steps as they hope to further differentiate their approach to IP-based video security from legacy vendors.

SD_Overview_Surveillance.pngGenetec's new Security Center is a single user interface (UI) for its Omnicast video management system, its Synergis access control system and its AutoVu LPR. "We see these three products embedded in one platform," said Jimmy Palatsoukas, senior product manager for the company. The software will also manage IP-based cameras and edge devices from other manufacturers. Users can direct online management, monitoring and reporting from the centralized interface, and Genetec has software development kits available that integrate other physical security devices and systems, such as building management, perimeter protection and other alarms and sensors, into the view. Each security function is incorporated into tabs, similar to the layout used in browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, that users can select (click on picture for full screen view).

Genetec's Security Center UI is built on exploiting commonalities among individual security platforms. Even in separate types of video, access control and other physical security systems, 70 percent of the management software functionality is common, Palatsoukas said. Security Center supplies those core software elements, eliminating the need for individual control of each silo. "The main software is at the core," he said. "Two companies don't have to supply that."

Just as significant is the back-end integration. Security Center is designed to work as part of a larger scale enterprise security system that manages physical and logical identity. The software interfaces directly with corporate databases, such as Microsoft Active Directory. When a change is made in to the underlying identity provisioning system in human resources, that same change is made to the access control system in real time. The Security Center can also be used to gain larger security views inside the enterprise, provide real time event management information and generate reports.

This pushes the Genetec in the direction of physical security information management (PSIM), although Palatsoukas hesitated to position Genetec against PSIM vendors such as CA, Proximex and Vidsys. "We're a security company. At the end of the day we centralize and develop software that does command and control for access, cameras and door controls," said Palatsoukas. "PSIM doesn't do this."

Nonetheless, Palatsoukas said Genetec systems will function well in tandem with PSIM systems and concedes the company, with its new emphasis on back-end integration, is edging in that direction. While the trend toward PSIM has talked about over the past two years, large users only recently have begun to take steps along these lines. Genetec itself last month announced a deal with Triple Five Group, which manages a number of large shopping malls in North America. Triple Five, a beta-user of the Security Center UI, will integrate Genetec's Omnicast and Synergis with Active Directory to converge ID provisioning and deprovisioning with security functions at its West Edmonton Mall property, according to Genetec spokewoman.

Elsewhere, the Tarrant Co. (Texas) Regional Water District is building an enterprisewide security solution around DVTel's iSOC system which will integrate and centralize management of video, access control, badging, SCADA and other third party security systems.  

The capacity for back-end integration arguably may emerge as a central selling point for vendors of open systems-based video management systems. Although their architecture concepts follow conventional IT wisdom, the recession and the embrace of IP by legacy end-to-end video vendors have dampened sales. Yet legacy vendors to date have been less than articulate about integration into higher-level physical/logical identity management and authoritative identity sourcing. IT directors tend to make decisions at this level, and they may soon be judging the effectiveness of next-generation video surveillance systems in this greater context.  

Genetec this week unveiled a software interface that consolidates management of its video, access control and license-plate-recognition (LPR) systems into a single platform that also plugs into back-end identity management systems.

While integrated management of physical security systems has been part of the overall convergence trend, Genetec aims to take such convergence to a new level, tying command and control of video and access control systems into enterprise level security management systems via an open architecture. DVTel, Hirsch Electronics and Milestone Systems are taking similar steps as they hope to further differentiate their approach to IP-based video security from legacy vendors.

SD_Overview_Surveillance.pngGenetec's new Security Center is a single user interface (UI) for its Omnicast video management system, its Synergis access control system and its AutoVu LPR. "We see these three products embedded in one platform," said Jimmy Palatsoukas, senior product manager for the company. The software will also manage IP-based cameras and edge devices from other manufacturers. Users can direct online management, monitoring and reporting from the centralized interface, and Genetec has software development kits available that integrate other physical security devices and systems, such as building management, perimeter protection and other alarms and sensors, into the view. Each security function is incorporated into tabs, similar to the layout used in browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, that users can select (click on picture for full screen view).

Genetec's Security Center UI is built on exploiting commonalities among individual security platforms. Even in separate types of video, access control and other physical security systems, 70 percent of the management software functionality is common, Palatsoukas said. Security Center supplies those core software elements, eliminating the need for individual control of each silo. "The main software is at the core," he said. "Two companies don't have to supply that."

Just as significant is the back-end integration. Security Center is designed to work as part of a larger scale enterprise security system that manages physical and logical identity. The software interfaces directly with corporate databases, such as Microsoft Active Directory. When a change is made in to the underlying identity provisioning system in human resources, that same change is made to the access control system in real time. The Security Center can also be used to gain larger security views inside the enterprise, provide real time event management information and generate reports.

This pushes the Genetec in the direction of physical security information management (PSIM), although Palatsoukas hesitated to position Genetec against PSIM vendors such as CA, Proximex and Vidsys. "We're a security company. At the end of the day we centralize and develop software that does command and control for access, cameras and door controls," said Palatsoukas. "PSIM doesn't do this."

Nonetheless, Palatsoukas said Genetec systems will function well in tandem with PSIM systems and concedes the company, with its new emphasis on back-end integration, is edging in that direction. While the trend toward PSIM has talked about over the past two years, large users only recently have begun to take steps along these lines. Genetec itself last month announced a deal with Triple Five Group, which manages a number of large shopping malls in North America. Triple Five, a beta-user of the Security Center UI, will integrate Genetec's Omnicast and Synergis with Active Directory to converge ID provisioning and deprovisioning with security functions at its West Edmonton Mall property, according to Genetec spokewoman.

Elsewhere, the Tarrant Co. (Texas) Regional Water District is building an enterprisewide security solution around DVTel's iSOC system which will integrate and centralize management of video, access control, badging, SCADA and other third party security systems.  

The capacity for back-end integration arguably may emerge as a central selling point for vendors of open systems-based video management systems. Although their architecture concepts follow conventional IT wisdom, the recession and the embrace of IP by legacy end-to-end video vendors have dampened sales. Yet legacy vendors to date have been less than articulate about integration into higher-level physical/logical identity management and authoritative identity sourcing. IT directors tend to make decisions at this level, and they may soon be judging the effectiveness of next-generation video surveillance systems in this greater context.  

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