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Balancing VMS and VSaaS when navigating future-proof video surveillance solutions
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Anne-Lise Guilleux
3 minutes read

Video surveillance is transforming, marked by the integration of cutting-edge digital technologies. At the heart of this transformation is the dynamic interplay between traditional Video Management Systems (VMS) and the rapidly emerging Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS).  

Once viewed as competing options, these technologies are increasingly recognized for their complementary roles in enhancing security and surveillance operations. This article explores the distinctive features of VMS and VSaaS, their evolving roles in the security landscape, and how their integration shapes the future of surveillance. We dive into the strengths and limitations of each system, examine real-life applications, and discuss the emerging trends that are setting the course for the next generation of video surveillance solutions. 📹

Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS): Advantages and limitations

VSaaS, characterized by its cloud-based infrastructure, is gaining popularity for its flexibility in remote surveillance and cost efficiency. It enables users to access video feeds globally, provided there's internet connectivity. This technology significantly reduces the IT overhead for organizations, making it an attractive option for small to medium-sized businesses or temporary installations. 

For instance, retail chains have adopted VSaaS to monitor multiple locations remotely, allowing for centralized management of security footage. However, VSaaS is not without drawbacks. The requirement for constant internet connectivity, potential security vulnerabilities, and the recurring costs of cloud storage and bandwidth make it less feasible for large-scale, high-security installations. A notable example is government facilities that often avoid VSaaS due to strict data security protocols and the need for uninterrupted, high-quality surveillance. 

Screen of video from surveillance cameras

The enduring relevance of VMS

Despite the growth of VSaaS, the VMS remains crucial in complex and high-security environments. Its robust local processing and storage capabilities are essential for large-scale operations, such as airports or city-wide surveillance systems, where real-time, reliable video access is crucial. For example, major airports around the world rely on VMS to integrate hundreds of cameras, ensuring seamless security operations without the latency or bandwidth issues associated with cloud-based systems. 

VMS technology is not static; it is evolving with integrations like AI-based analytics, IoT sensor compatibility, and advanced automation. These enhancements allow VMS to adapt to new security challenges, maintaining its relevance in a VSaaS-dominated landscape. 

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Hybrid models: The best of both worlds?

Increasingly, organizations are turning to hybrid models, which combine the reliability and control of VMS with the accessibility and scalability of VSaaS. This approach offers a solution that caters to the diverse needs of various sectors. For example, a city surveillance project might use VMS for its core infrastructure while employing VSaaS for less critical or remote areas, offering a balanced, cost-effective security system.

Such hybrid systems also provide a pathway for organizations to gradually transition to cloud-based solutions, allowing them to leverage existing infrastructure while experimenting with new technologies.

Future directions and real-life applications

The future of video surveillance seems to be moving towards a more integrated approach, where VMS and VSaaS coexist and complement each other. Innovations in AI, machine learning, and edge computing are expected to further enhance the capabilities of both systems. For instance, advanced AI algorithms are being used to augment VSaaS systems in crowd monitoring scenarios, providing real-time analytics that aid in public safety and operational efficiency. 

Moving forward

The choice between VMS and VSaaS, or a combination of both, depends largely on the specific requirements and constraints of each security application. While VSaaS offers a glimpse into the future of surveillance with its flexibility and cloud integration, VMS's robustness and reliability continue to be indispensable in high-security and large-scale environments. The evolving landscape of video surveillance is characterized by an increasing convergence of these technologies, promising enhanced performance, adaptability, and sophistication in security systems. 

If you would like to talk about the best solution for your operations, we’d love to chat! Contact us or book a demo today.  

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