Genetec: profile of the CCTV software pioneer behind Security Center


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IFSEC Insider, formerly IFSEC Global, is the leading online community and news platform for security and fire safety professionals.
November 18, 2016


Whitepaper: Enhancing security, resilience and efficiency across a range of industries

Genetec is one of the security industry’s most innovative players. IFSEC Global presents the essential guide to this pioneer in software for IP video surveillance, access control and other security systems, most notably Security Center, Genetec’s unified security platform.

A history of Genetec

Canadian video management system (VMS) company Genetec was founded in Montreal in 1997 as a software research and development company and now employs more than 600 people in one form or another. It built one of the first security systems to use the IP protocol in the late 1990s before extending its portfolio to networked cameras and IP video surveillance systems and, more recently, access control and licence plate recognition (LPR) applications.

2010 saw Genetec acquire French software company Sipelia, which added European customised consulting and engineering capabilities and an interactive map-based command and control application, plan manager.

Watch Genetec discuss their latest products at IFSEC International 2017:

Market position and strategy

Genetec plays primarily in physical security and public safety markets, with key verticals being urban CCTV, transportation, education, retail, government and law/parking enforcement. Customers range from Avis Budget Group to the City of Calgary and the University of Brussels and Genetec’s safety-critical video surveillance systems are used by some of the world’s busiest airports, largest retailers, and many Fortune 500 businesses.

The company is consistently ranked as one of the top two global VMS suppliers (alongside Milestone Systems) in a list compiled each year by IMS Research. The analyst firm calculates the VMS market is showing consistent double digit percentage growth and will be worth in excess of US$2.7bn by 2019. As a privately held company Genetec does not report its financials but was ranked in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 listing in 2007, an index that requires operating revenue of at least five million US or Canadian dollars.

Genetec’s go-to market strategy is heavily focused on resellers and partners rather than direct sales, with the majority of its own staff engaged in research and development activity, field engineering, support and project management. It has created an extensive reseller community backed by a tiered certification programme for hardware/software companies and third party security consultancies.

Technology partners receive support and integration assistance for Genetec applications and services. Current participants include camera manufacturers (Axis Communications, Bosch, Canon, JVC, Lumerera, Panasonic, Sony); access control providers (ASSA ABLOY, Mercury Security, Stanley Security); network and storage infrastructure companies (Avaya, Dell, EMC, HP, IBM, NEC); video analytics software developers (Cognimatics, Davantis, Digisensory); IoT platform providers (Kontron, Sensity Systems) and a host of specialist IP video power, sensor, decoding and DVR companies.

Genetec’s “open” relies partly on the distribution of software development kits (SDKs) that allow both its hardware/software partners and customers to integrate video access control and LPR data feeds from Genetec Security Center into their own applications, including building (BMS) and human resource management systems (HRMS), enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms, intrusion and fire detection panels and external visitor management software.

Latest Genetec technologies

Multiple platforms are provided but Genetec’s core product is Security Center, a single, unified application suite that integrates IP video surveillance, access control and LPR software targeted at small to medium (SMB) and enterprise scale businesses in 80 countries worldwide. All three applications are available as standalone applications to maximise sales.

Omnicast is the IP video surveillance system of Genetec’s unified security platform available in different versions to suit businesses of different sizes – standard (under 50 cameras), Pro (under 100) and Enterprise (over 100) versions. There is also a low cost SMB version called SV-16 licensed for 16 or less IP cameras.

Based on “open” architecture, Omnicast is flexible enough to allow customers to choose their own hardware and utilise their existing network infrastructure, maximising its potential install base to include clients that do not want to engage in root and branch system upgrades of existing networks or camera deployments. Omincast’s map feature also allows individuals to be easily pinpointed to enable easier management and time sensitive monitoring.

AutoVu offers ANPR/LPR capabilities such as capture of parallel, stationary and moving vehicles travelling at speeds up to 140Mph, providing fixed and mobile installations and international number plate recognition that can be configured to send alerts if predefined registrations are spotted.

Synergis delivers the access control software, with standard, pro and enterprise versions again licensed for varying numbers of door and access points, card readers and alarms to accommodate different sizes of business.

All three applications are unified under Security Center to deliver a single point of monitoring, control and management, with a larger scale Federation version scaling to tens of thousands of IP connected cameras, doors, servers and client workstations spanning multiple sites.

Genetec has a video analytics software, Metadata Engine, that indexes data from multiple sources associated with the other applications to assist with the configuration of alerts triggered by a precise set of circumstances.

Genetec has shown a degree of innovation in the launch of its Stratocast video surveillance as a service (VSaaS) proposition, a cloud hosted platform built on Microsoft Azure which is designed to lower VMS provision costs through on-demand, pay as you go pricing instead of on-premise licensed software fees.

It is also partnering Sensity Systems in the development of an internet of things (IoT)-orientated public safety and security solution for advanced urban surveillance in city centres, airports and shopping malls.

The application incorporates cameras, WiFi enabled LED lights, VMS and intelligent analytics to store and process footage at the network edge rather than transmitting it back to central servers or monitoring stations to reduce storage and staff costs.

Here is a video of Genetec from IFSEC International 2016:

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