GIT SECURITY’s Interview with Arecont Vision on their Portfolio Shift

Known as a pioneer in the field of multisensor and megapixel cameras, Arecont just recently announced important changes in the executive leadership team to better position the company for continued growth. At intersec and after ISC West GIT SECURITY had the opportunity to talk to Raul Calderon, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of Arecont Vision and Sanjit Bardhan, Vice President, Europe, Middle East, Africa and India (EMEAI). Now with the announcement of the Contera ranges, Arecont Vision takes the next big step on the product side.

GIT SECURITY: Can you elaborate on what products people can expect from the Contera ranges?

Raul Calderon: In recent years with the continued consolidation of VMS, camera, and access control companies into the single entities, the market has changed dramatically from when Arecont Vision first led the way in megapixel video. As part of this change, many of our largest and longest customers have been asking us to deliver beyond our traditional product lineup. This includes requests for an Arecont Vision VMS, others for cloud access to video from our cameras and independent of their traditional VMS choice, and still, others have sought Arecont Vision recording platforms. Contera is our first initiative to address those requests.

Sanjit Bardhan: Technology partnerships remain very important to our overall strategy, ranging from video management systems through to NVRs, servers, storage, analytics, cybersecurity, and network infrastructure products. We now also offer an entire Arecont Vision platform – the Contera Total Video Surveillance Solution. This suite of products consists of our familiar Mega camera families as well as our first Contera single and multi-sensor IP megapixel cameras. We have also added the ConteraVMS, ConteraWS web services, and ConteraCMR cloud managed recorders and NVRs to create an entire answer to customer needs.
Customers can now choose among Arecont Vision cameras, VMS software, or our range of video recorders, either as a complete Arecont Vision solution or using any of those Arecont Vision components with the proven products they already buy from our many technology partners.

What are the technology advancements of the new Contera cameras?

Raul Calderon: Contera camera specifications were defined by Arecont Vision to complement our existing Mega series of megapixel cameras.

For those customers who are looking for even more affordability without sacrificing product quality and leveraging proven Arecont Vision design skills, we have announced our new Contera IP camera series.

Sanjit Bardhan: Contera cameras utilize the very latest SoC (system on a chip) architecture and the latest digital image sensors. All Contera cameras are able to deliver very fast sustained frame rates (up to 30 fps in both single and multi-sensor models), outstanding image quality in both day and night conditions with Enhanced WDR (up to 120db) and NightView color low light technology, integrated IR illuminators, H.265/SNAPstream+ bandwidth reduction technology, and ONVIF S & G compliance.

Especially the VMS and the solution part of Contera is a shift in your portfolio. Can you comment on the expansion and the shift?

Sanjit Bardhan: We have customers who don’t have a preferred VMS and many have asked for an Arecont Vision solution that would make the absolute most out of integration with our cameras. Arecont Vision decided that if we were going to make such a fundamental shift in our strategy by offering a VMS, then it needed to be as leading edge as our cameras have always been. We were very pleased after a long and exhaustive search to have found a development partner here in the United States that is as committed to technology leadership as Arecont Vision. Together we built the ConteraVMS, and the integral ConteraWS component of the solution, all with Made in USA quality and advanced capabilities.

Raul Calderon: Only a few VMS were designed to leveraging the cloud right from the start. Those that did were primarily cloud-based solutions, with a less capable platform for local recording. With ConteraWS, a local administrator is not required, nor is any local coding needed. The entire system is securely managed over the cloud. That reduces complexity and increases ROI with fewer operational personnel required. Cybersecurity is delivered without requiring any open inbound ports, and by leveraging multi-factor identification, NIST-compliant data encryption, and transport layer security. A user or administrator is able to connect from anywhere using a choice of fully-featured thick client, mobile apps, or any popular web browser. Video of interest can be easily uploaded to the cloud, eliminating bandwidth concerns, and providing easy sharing. The system also provides full remote monitoring.

Was the newly employed Executive Leadership Team involved in these changes or was this decision made already before?

Sanjit Bardhan: Arecont Vision began rethinking our business in early 2017, and by the second half of the year we had begun making many changes to our operations and strategy. As you mentioned, we overhauled our entire executive team, at the same time as we modified our sales model, regions, and territories around the world while enhancing our sales partnerships with distributors and systems integrators.

Raul Calderon: The executive team then focused on our product portfolio, and moved several product initiatives that had been on the back burner to the forefront of our development efforts. The result is our initial portfolio of Contera products.

Can you comment on how you expect to exploit other markets or address customers’ needs with the expansion of your product ranges?

Sanjit Bardhan: While Arecont Vision has been making our operational and product changes, we have also been increasing our focus on vertical market solutions. The Contera family of products and our Total Video Surveillance Solution allow the company to move past our core, traditional business as an edge device as part of an overall solution into offering products that address more customer requirements as a complete solution.

Raul Calderon: We previously relied on our Technology Partners around the globe to provide the solution aspect of the project. That will still be the case when the customer opts for a partner’s VMS or other product instead of the comparable Contera offering. In either case, we will focus on delivering the best solution to address the customers’ requirements with the Arecont Vision products that make up the selected solution.

Is there more that we can expect from ­Arecont in 2018?

Raul Calderon: Arecont Vision has rolled out the first products of our Contera family, and the company expects that other operational changes to support our enhanced product mix will be complete by the end of 2018. Best of all, the new Contera products complement and enhance our existing Mega product lines, and will benefit our customers greatly as a complete product portfolio. Arecont Vision is no longer a camera company; we are a total video solution manufacturer and vendor, building on our camera leadership heritage. We expect many of our most innovative technologies to appear in the Mega family first, in many cases before anyone else in the camera market is even thinking of those features and capabilities.