The ABCs of VMS: Top Functionalities in Video Management

Video management software is one of those grey areas of the video surveillance industry: It can be difficult for integrators to tell which solution is best for their customers’ needs, especially when every manufacturer claims to have the key benefits that will serve them best.

That’s why, when considering VMS systems, it’s important to keep a few key functionalities at the top of your list:

Ease of use, installation and configuration 

No company has time to waste on lengthy, complicated installs, challenging configurations and difficult day-to-day software operation. Seek out a VMS that keeps things easy, from the installation to the customer experience. To streamline installation and ongoing use, some VMSs now feature maps that detail the layout of specific installations, with camera icons placed according to system configuration. The area of coverage and the field of view can be set for each camera, and the operator can select and view images from a specific camera by simply clicking the related icon.

Open platform design

The best VMS solutions are as camera-agnostic as possible and support a wide array of encoders and cameras (analog, network and HDcctv) from a range of manufacturers, which lets the integrator choose the solution that will work best for each specific project.

Low installation and total ownership costs

Look for a VMS that integrates with many hardware platforms – quickly – and that uses cost-effective and scalable system architecture to optimize and extend operational efficiency over the years.

Intuitive display features

Consider a VMS that will intuitively serve your customers. Today’s leading software provides configurable video displays by size, format and position, which lets each operator configure his or her own unique display, in their preferred language as well. Additional capabilities include flexible remote viewing, easy PTZ controls, the ability to simultaneously display live and archived images, and quick and easy export of video clips from one or multiple cameras.

De-warping software for use with 360-degree cameras 

For the ultimate in flexibility, look for a VMS that supports all of the industry-leading 360-degree camera manufacturers. Look for a VMS that takes the original 360-degree images and ‘de-warps’ them to allow users to view the complete video image without distortion. With the growing demand for hemispheric cameras, which can replace up to six traditional cameras, there is an increasing need for unique software capabilities to take full advantage of these devices. Consider a VMS with built-in de-warping functionality that can provide multiple de-warped images from a single hemispheric camera stream, greatly reducing network traffic and saving tremendously on recording, the most expensive element of most commercial video systems. Make certain that the VMS can display any de-warped images from recorded 360-degree streams, regardless if the virtual views were created previously or not.

System diagnostics and remote maintenance access 

These features promote the ongoing health of the system, reducing the need for site visits for emergency upgrades and allowing for scheduled maintenance as time permits, which saves money and time and assures continuous operation.


It’s important to look for a VMS that can easily scale as your customers’ needs change. Seek out software that is continuously developed to support emerging technology so that the user will always benefit from the best that the industry has to offer.

To learn more about WavestoreUSA, visit the company at next week’s 2013 ASIS International Annual Seminar and Exhibits, held Sept. 24-26, 2013, at McCormick Place in Chicago. Attendees are invited to meet the team and view demonstrations of its recording, video management and storage solutions throughout the conference at booth #2069. To set up an appointment, email


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