Understanding Video Management Software: Wavestore VMS


By James Smith

The electronic security market is fast paced and highly innovative with new technology that can be used to enhance new and existing security solutions becoming available all the time. Organisations operational requirements evolve over time too as they look for new ways to use their system for other activities, such as using video analytics for operational efficiency or marketing purposes. In a highly competitive market, having a solution that enables customers to take advantage of this as and when they require it, has inherent benefits that can take the discussion from ‘cheap’ to ‘great value.’

Wavestore discusses Cheap vs Real Value
Cheap. The word we dread from customers. When it comes to professional security solutions it seems an oxymoron that cheap and security go together given that we’re protecting people, sites and assets. I am sure every system integrator who reads this article can regale a story where they have lost out to a cheap solution only for the end-user to discover that the system doesn’t do what it is supposed to. Important corners may have had to be cut on functionality and instead of saving money, it ends up costing more over time. Even worse, the system is not at all fit for purpose, which makes ‘cheap’ a very expensive proposition.

As John Ruskin said “It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that’s all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.”

So, how can we be sure we’re offering our customers the right solution that will do the job they expect but can also demonstrate excellent value for money? How do we even sell in ‘great value’ to combat ‘cheap’?

At Wavestore we think a lot about offering great value to customers with our VMS offering the best options to customers for their projects at the required quality, be it small video only projects to fully integrated solutions which include analytics, access control, intruder detection and other devices or sub-systems. Here are just some of the ways in which we ensure value is the centre of our conversations.

Wavestore is an Open-Platform VMS
The open-platform VMS market is growing for good reason. It allows Systems Integrators to not be tied in to a specific brand and to able to take advantage of the right technology for the job at hand, benefiting from price points and features across multiple brands on the same project.

Do you need general purpose cameras across a site to take advantage of lower cost hardware but a high-end camera in the lobby because it contains specific technology you wish to deploy for a specific purpose? Not a problem. With an open platform VMS, you can mix and match exactly what is required across your estate to get the required end result.

Integration with third-party devices and sub-systems is also becoming increasingly popular as end-users look to get more from their systems. Wavestore’s goal is to make integration easy. As such, we provide a growing number of integration modules which allow interoperability with other devices and sub-systems, be it cameras, LPR, facial recognition, access control, intruder detection; and a wealth of other technologies.

We also have a cost-effective and quick turnaround bespoke integration service that has, in the past, seen us integrate with everything from cash-counting machines to refrigerators. This adds much more value to a solution and protects initial investment as you can simply add as you go, rather than throw away and start again as your requirements change.

Change or replace cameras whenever you like
Wavestore operates a ‘buy-once, use forever’ channel license model, it will never switch off and the channels will always be available to you. This means that you can change the cameras out as often as you like without contacting us, which is very useful if a camera has failed but also allows you to swap camera technologies. For example, if you want to change a PTZ camera for a 360-degree camera (which we by the way dewarp in our client) or 4K camera due to a change in requirement, just go ahead and do it.

Mix legacy with latest and future
One thing we are frequently asked is how we can breathe new life into legacy systems and enable an upgrade path over time. The beauty of VMS is that its often possible to work with installed legacy technology, such as standard definition analogue cameras, and bring it onto a platform that can be mixed with the latest IP cameras or HD analogue cameras.

It doesn’t really matter what format the images are captured by, Wavestore is able to display them all side by side – even putting live and recorded video from all formats on the same screen at the same time.

Of course, this also gives a completely future-proof platform for adding to as time goes on – protecting investment already made and allowing budget cycles to be used effectively as the system grows or operational requirements evolve.

Time is money
Wavestore is a single software platform but its available in different flavours, depending on what features you need for your project. This means that its quick to upgrade from one level to the next, should you need to, and all software updates can be installed with virtually no interruption in recording. Channels can be simply added as your system grows and it’s fast to design a complete system.

Installation and commission times are also quick. Using Wavestore’s ‘camera group’ function, hundreds of cameras from multiple brands can be set up to display and record video in seconds.

Reducing hardware and software expenditure
We are always looking at ways to use software to overcome limitations in hardware and increase flexibility. With Wavestore’s Linux server-side architecture there’s no requirement to pay for an operating system, CPU usage is very lean and it’s very easy for us to handle large throughput because we are not constrained by a Windows operating system.

We are able to use standard Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) hardware to achieve functionality that usually requires expensive specialist hardware thanks to the power of our software. For example, our new HyperRAID feature can achieve up to N+5 redundancy in an array and our new EcoStore feature allows multiple arrays to be spun-down when not in use to save on power consumption and HDD wear and tear – all using standard hardware.

We also don’t’ require separate health monitoring, grouping or event management hardware – everything is handled within each individual server – so there are big savings to be made on hardware infrastructure.

No expensive recurring contracts
Designed to eliminate reoccurring annual upgrade charges that are common place in the VMS market, our Upgrade Bundles initiative provides Wavestore’s Partners and end-users with the flexibility to upgrade Wavestore’s VMS at any time to take advantage of the latest features, integrations and functionality; all without being tied into often expensive reoccurring annual contacts or catch-up penalty charges.

To accompany this, Wavestore doesn’t charge for technical support. This means ongoing costs are low.

In Summary
Going ‘cheap’ can seem compelling, but this can prove much costlier. Annual budget cycles and limitations may initially restrict users from buying everything on their wish list and their requirements will inevitably evolve over time. This may be because their day-to-day operational requirements have changed, their business has expanded or diversified, or simply because users’ expectations as to what can be achieved continues to increase as they gain some experience of operating a security solution and become more aware of the latest innovations.

A one-off investment in an Open-Platform VMS will offer system integrators the opportunity to deliver a bespoke solution to their end-user client which provides flexible storage as their requirements change. It will also allow them to continue to use legacy cameras alongside current and future generations of products, systems and software.

Most importantly, it will allow them to adopt a ‘can do’ attitude when the client says “wouldn’t it be nice’ to the idea of integrating an additional third-party system or incorporating some future technology, without having to suggest an entire existing system needs to be replaced.

About The Author
James Smith is Managing Director of Wavestore and has worked across manufacturing, distribution, and systems integration for over 20 years in the global electronic security market.

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