Milestone to release support for ONVIF and PSIA

Honovich reports: New IP camera standards to get XProtect support in 4th quarter.
John Honovich reports and analyzes the influence and possible ramifications of Milestone supporting the new IP camera specifications from ONVIF and PSIA.

Milestone plans to release support for both ONVIF and PSIA IP camera specifications in the 4th quarter of 2009, allowing 3rd party camera manufacturers using either specification to interface with Milestone's IP video surveillance software.

While a number of camera manufacturers have declared their intent to support one or both of the specifications, Milestone is one of the first VMS providers and the largest to confirm timetable for release. The participation of the VMS providers, especially ones with large market share, is critical to driving the growth of interoperability.

Expectations on Roll-Out

While Milestone plans for release by the end of the year, they expect additional time may be needed for optimization to occur:

"We will be aiming at covering the full functionality, but this depends on when a sufficient number of compliant cameras can be available for our work and testing. The initial drivers may therefore be more limited and not cover the full feature set of the standards since our software support depends on when we get the cameras that offer them."

This will be an important factor in determining how soon, well and widely the specifications can be used in production.

Competitive Implications

As we have discussed over recent months, interoperability specifications can shift competitive positioning. As a company with one of, if not the largest 3rd party IP camera support base, Milestone has risk here. Milestone responded:

"We are aware that the establishment of standards in the market will be changing the competitive landscape in the long run. Providers will therefore be competing more on having the strongest product capabilities, performance, usability and reliability and less on having the broadest device support. We are confident we can compete in this respect, not least because the standards will allow us to redirect our resources toward other innovations.  We also embrace the standards for their ability to significantly accelerate the convergence from analog to IP."

Outlook

This is a positive and important sign for the acceptance of IP camera specifications that should help accelerate use.

Premium members may read an analysis that examines (1) how this impacts video surveillance deployments in 2010, (2) the competitive positioning of PSIA and ONVIF, (3) the responses of camera manufacturers, (4) the competitive positioning of VMS manufacturers and (5) Milestone's future market growth.

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