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VMS Vendors Shore Up Their Flank

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Established video management software vendors, fighting pricing pressure from a new crop of low-end suppliers, are realigning their product lines into scalable tiers in hopes of offering small- to mid-size enterprises more robust and scalable products at might cost more out of the box, but promise a lower total cost of ownership over the long term.

For vendors of any software built on open standards and designed to work across multiple platforms, the principal competitive threat has always been commoditization. This has proved no less so for software that manages surveillance systems. Indeed, small companies such as Nuuo (Taiwan), Argus Surveillance (Canada), Digifort (Brazil) and Luxriot (Latvia), offering DVR, NVR and VMS software for PCs that can be purchased and downloaded off the Internet, are peeling off customers at the low end. They can offer operations, which typically use 20 cameras or less, price points at about $50 to $100 per camera, according to research by IP Video Market.

In response, major North American, European and Israeli companies are adopting a three-pronged approach:

* Use of a single core software engine as a common foundation for a line of tiered VMS offerings targeted at different levels of the market;
* Accommodation of multiple inputs, such as analog and digital, and video formats, such as VGA, H.264, MPEG and HDTV; 
* Support of emerging industry specifications such as ONVIF and PSIA, which not only promise greater interoperability among other video equipment, but are likely to extend into the broader ecosystem of IP-based security technology.

Recently in Convergence Category