5 factors to consider when selecting a VMS 

With so many options available, selecting a video management software (VMS) platform that is right for your business’ security needs can be daunting.   

Here are five key factors to consider when selecting a VMS:

1. Total cost of ownership (TCO)

TCO is a concept that considers all the factors of a security system, not just the upfront purchase price. Make sure you understand potentially hidden costs, such as:

  • Licensing  
    • Sometimes a complicated licensing model makes understanding TCO difficult. Make sure you understand all licensing details so you don’t end up paying more year over year. For example, can you add additional cameras or operator clients, or is there an arbitrary limit that forces you to upgrade to a more costly license?  
  • Hardware requirements  
    • On larger projects, the architecture and performance can impact how many servers are needed, which impacts TCO. If your deployment consists of multiple sites and thousands of cameras, you’ll want a solution that will have the smallest hardware footprint possible while still delivering the necessary performance and redundancy. Take into account whether a 3rd-party database is needed and how this influences performance and cost.
  • Management  
    • In multi-site deployments, remote management tools with automatic camera firmware updates and system health monitoring capabilities can dramatically lower TCO.

2. Ease of use  

If a VMS is complicated to use, you will ultimately lose time and money through lost productivity and repeated user training. Make sure the system has an intuitive, user-friendly interface. Know what your most common operation will be, and make sure the VMS can handle it easily. Understand how operators will use the system and ensure that workflow is straightforward.

3. Security  

The security of the system is of utmost importance.  As a starting point, ask the vendor for results of “PEN tests”.

4. Extensibility  

A VMS that doesn’t take future growth into consideration will be obsolete before you know it. Ensure the VMS is scalable and integrates (easily) with 3rd-party vendors for such things as access control and video analytics.

5. Support options and responsiveness  

Make sure the VMS supplier offers the necessary technical support to help you maximize up-time. If available, consider purchasing a maintenance and support package that provides you with priority service.

With the above five key factors in mind, you are ready to start looking for a VMS!  

To learn more about Senstar’s VMS – Senstar Symphony™ – click here.  

Security Digest is dedicated to providing useful information about physical security. Written by Senstar’s industry experts, the posts will cover a range of subjects related to perimeter intrusion detection, video management and analytics, personal duress, and cyber security. Questions and/or comments? Email [email protected]. 

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