Nothing raises my ire more than paying the monthly bill for my TV services. Considering the few kids channels we use, the occasional football match, nature channel show, or daily news, it always seems that I’m paying for far more than I need. When I question my provider about it, the answer is always the same: “Why don’t you just pick from one of our great packages?" But who needs 15 foreign language channels and endless cooking shows. It seems there’s always a trade-off – give up the shows I want to watch or pay more for the ones I don’t want or need.
I see a similar trend taking shape in the physical security industry. There are some organisations for which a basic Video Management System (VMS) simply won’t suffice, and others that will find a full-fledged PSIM solution is far too complex and expensive.
Is it any surprise that terms like ‘VMS-plus’ and ‘PSIM-lite’ are now part of the security vernacular? While some would argue these are just naming conventions that mean the same thing, I think they signal a shift on the horizon for the physical security industry. Customers seem to be hungering for an a la carte approach that would allow them to carefully pick and choose the capabilities they need and be able to get these at a palatable price.
Take, for example, an electric utilities company with several remote sites that is using VMS. An alarm is triggered when something, or someone, touches a fence at one of the sites. In the central control room, the security operator on duty will first have to look for the relevant camera in order to figure out the location of the incident and then dispatch a first responder to the scene.
Now, consider how this situation could be improved with enhanced visualisation like GIS mapping. All relevant cameras would be automatically associated with the location of the fence breach and the security operator could easily pinpoint the nearest field personnel. The response would be quicker and more efficient.
In the future I predict we’ll see more comprehensive hybrid solutions that allow customers to select and pay for a mix of VMS and PSIM capabilities according to their specific needs.
Now, if only my digital provider would catch on to this idea.