How to Make VMS a Business Operations Tool

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When I talk to people outside the security industry about what security is or is not, I use a definition that involves risk management against criminal and terrorist acts versus operational problems or national disasters. Most people would view a video management system (VMS) solely as a security mitigation strategy, but in fact it can also meet several non-security or business operational needs, which will be the focus of this item. For example, a VMS can assist in the following non-security business operations:

  • Mitigating COVID and facilitating a safer return to work
  • Safety and reduction of accidents at work
  • Improve customer experience (CX)

It is video analytics that typically converts a camera from a passive security device into an active and important business operational tool. Video analytics applies algorithms or filters to images and video to find patterns or details in pixels that represent an object (eg, person, face, vehicle), features (eg, a nose, a mask, a vehicle), behaviors (e.g. people going to places they shouldn’t, violations of personal protective equipment) and events (e.g. development of security incidents such such as fires, persons in restricted and dangerous areas or vehicle accidents).

Prior to making a major investment in new systems to deliver analytics, purchasers would be advised to field test the assays in the specific environment to verify analytical performance which may be challenged by local conditions such as a low or variable lighting and adverse weather conditions.

COVID Mitigation Strategies

Organizations are in various stages of returning to full capacity in the workplace. COVID transmission is always a significant concern for business leaders, and video management systems can serve in a variety of ways, as described in the table below.

Safety is the state of being free from dangers caused by natural forces or human error. VMS can be a valuable tool in the fight to keep disease and injury rates low, which has a major impact on insurance and workers’ compensation costs. The table below defines some of the security program benefits of using VMS assets at a site.

Customer Experience (CX) Management in Retail Settings

Chad Paris, A&E Consultant Program Manager at Hanwha, summed it up nicely. “The use of analytics can extend beyond the realm of security to support the business community through the use of people counting, leader line management and heatmap functions. These advanced analytics can count the movement of people, alert when a payline extends beyond a set number of people, and provide insights and statistics by timeline. The features can significantly save user time, labor and expense and also help create added value with consumer statistics. »

Vehicles and traffic


Whether the alerting capabilities of a VMS are used for security or other purposes, it is essential to follow the principles of good physical security:

  • Detection (carried out by analytics) and notification of an irregularity,
  • Assessment (performed by an employee with key responsibility and authority to correct the irregularity),
  • Response (to react and investigate the irregularity), and
  • Prohibition (correct irregular condition)

By leveraging the power of VMS for non-security purposes, security practitioners can make a better business case for capital expenditure or, in the case of cloud video, operational expenditure and show it as a value-added partner for the leadership and mission of an organization.

About the Author:

Frank Pisciotta, CSC, is president of Business Protection Specialists, Inc., (https://www.securingpeople.com/physical-security-system-design/) an independent national security consulting firm specializing in risk identification, regulatory compliance and security design services. Pisciotta has managed over 4,500 security consulting engagements during his thirty-year consulting career. He has a master’s degree in public administration, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, and was certified in security management by the American Society for Industrial Security as a certified protection professional in 1994. He is also a certified security consultant by the International Association of Professional Security Consultants. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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