Given the current trend toward consolidation, the industry has seen more camera manufacturers and software suppliers aligning under the same owner. Bucking the trend is software company Genetec.
“Staying independent will help us innovate,” says Georges Karam, who recently joined Genetec as chief commercial officer. “What’s important for the customer is the end-to-end solution, and our integrators can provide that.”
Genetec positions itself at the center of an ecosystem unifying best-in-breed solutions from a wide variety of manufacturers, and the company employs teams of software engineers working constantly to ensure smooth integration of hardware into unified systems. Rooms of cameras and other equipment at Genetec’s Montreal offices, used to test software interfaces, are evidence of the ongoing effort.
“It’s hard to do what we are doing at any depth,” says Pierre Racz, Genetec’s president, founder and CEO. “Making software by a non-software company is difficult. Big non-software companies, when they apply non-software corporate organization models, they fail. The industry is a process of natural selection, and there will be fewer players.”
Some 27 percent of Genetec’s income derives from “services,” which involve providing support to end users (on behalf of integrators) to ensure proper functioning of the software and a positive “experience” of implementing it (including software maintenance agreements, project management, deployment management, etc.) “We put on our integrators’ hats and their t-shirts and act as embeds on their teams,” says Racz. “We encourage integrators to buy these services from us to ensure a good customer experience. The end user experience is very important to us.”
To that end, Genetec works with a “select, highly motivated” channel of 600 of the best integrators in the industry, says Andrew Elvish, Genetec’s vice president of marketing and product management. Genetec integrators require a “depth of knowledge” of the company’s software, Elvish told a group of security industry journalists visiting the company’s office in Montreal.
Genetec positions itself at the center of an ecosystem unifying best-in-breed solutions from a wide variety of manufacturers
Genetec is also continuing to expand its software capabilities, and the types of hardware it can tie into its systems. In addition to video, access control and license plate recognition (LPR), the Genetec system is also launching a capability to integrate communication devices (such as intercoms) using Session Initiation Protocol (SIP).
Expanding functionality, the software is adding a new module to guide operators’ decisions in response to an unwanted incident to reach a desired outcome. Genetec is also embracing the cloud with enthusiasm. Their “hybrid” approach allows customers to be as premise-based or cloud-based as they feel comfortable, with the ability to transition anytime and with their systems operating seamlessly at whatever level of cloud usage, all invisible to the user.
On the marketing side, Genetec is implementing a new initiative called Citywise, aimed at various end user stakeholders in a city and seeking to achieve a more unified approach to how security (and video surveillance) can improve quality of life. “A wider view, in our opinion, brings people closer to a more complete understanding of how security can function in their city,” says Elvish.
“Even though we do all sorts of things in a city and go about our daily life in many different parts of a city, we don’t often see the city as a unified environment,” he adds. The new “mindset” in how Genetec approaches cities is built around maximizing the collaboration within cities, which might include the city government and also local transit authorities, medical facilities, education facilities, etc. Genetec software’s “Federation” capability allows multiple security systems to be tied together and accessed as a city-wide whole.