Intelligent VMS: Key to creating a safe and people first workplace


Written By: Sandesh Kaup, Country Manager, Milestone Systems, India, and SAARC

More than a year into large-scale remote work, enterprises are now all set to normalize working from home. Concepts such as ‘hybrid workforce,’ ‘distributed workplace,’ and ‘work from anywhere’ are gaining popularity in the current environment.
The hybrid model, where people can work from the office and remotely, lends both the flexibility and the advantage of being together in the workplace.
However, as workplaces slowly ready themselves to welcome their employees back, there is a burgeoning need to establish measures for ensuring the health, safety, and productivity of all.

According to Accenture, 63% of high-revenue growth companies are now adopting hybrid working patterns. The report shows that the hybrid work environment model provides employees an avenue to heighten productivity, better manage mental health challenges, work relationships and helps them retain talent. To be better prepared for future disruptions and build a safer and secure working environment, organizations must alter workplace strategies.

Video will serve as the cornerstone of the hybrid work model. Video and advanced analytics has emerged as one of the most efficient technology solutions for overcoming present and future challenges, which include adhering to social distancing requirements in the workplace, managing crowding of employees while at the same time ensuring workplace efficiency.

An intelligent VMS (Video Management Software) solution can add immense value to the hybrid/flexible working by promoting smart and safe work experiences, and several businesses are leveraging it as employees return to offices. When the pandemic struck, businesses quickly leveraged videos solutions to ensure business continuity, and as offices begin to reopen, they must strategically bring those habits back with them.
Let’s explore how a hybrid, comprehensive, automation-enabled VMS solution aids employees to ease back to the workplaces by enabling a smart and safe work environment.

Maintaining Social Distancing
As employees come back to work, it will be critical to ensure social distancing in offices and commercial buildings. Avoiding congestion would have to be prioritized by business and technology leaders.
Distance detection, which is a functionality of a modern-day VMS, can help in detecting density and react accordingly. These solutions can be used to remind employees of the importance of keeping a safe distance and always wearing a mask while in the premises through display notifications or automated cues.

Deploying Touchless Tech

Touching door handles and pushing/pulling doors present a high chance of surface contamination and resultant virus spread. For a safer environment, it is critical to reduce physical contact with surfaces and devices. Hands-free or no-touch controls and access can be a viable alternative.
A VMS, coupled with access control technology, can enable no-touch, automatic door control, thereby minimizing potentially risky contact points, while creating convenient access.

Enabling Non-Intrusive Screenings
To avoid any potential spread of infection, it is important to be able to identify COVID carriers early. One of the easiest ways to do this is by monitoring fluctuating and and/or increasing body temperature.
However, this needs to be done in a non-intrusive manner so that people can move freely and without hampering their daily activities. This can be achieved by deploying integrated thermal cameras that use no-contact infrared thermometers. Such cameras can help in screening people with temperatures higher than the normal range in critical infrastructures, office buildings, and institutions.

Keeping a Hybrid Workforce Engaged

With hybrid work continuing for the foreseeable future, keeping employees engaged is a challenge for business and technology leaders.
A cutting-edge VMS with built-in AI and video analytics can prove to be a boon for both IT and business leaders alike. Such a solution has the potential to recognize faces in digital video and highlight insights and actionable information.
The modern video solutions are designed in such a way that they differentiate and detect faces in videos and photos in real time. They are also able to detect emotions or feelings from faces such as sad, happy, and surprised. Understanding employee morale is critical to helping them grow and succeed within the organization. From the insights garnered, managers can initiate face-to-face interactions, team bonding activities, medical interventions, etc. as and when required to ensure employees are safe the team remains engaged.

Simplifying the VMS for a Safe, Future-Ready Workplace

The one thing that all enterprises have learnt from the pandemic is that change is the only constant. Going forward, business and technology leaders will have to change which technologies they deploy and how they allocate the IT budgets.

As organizations prepare for a hybrid workplace in the long haul, modern VMS solutions with video analytics could be the answer companies are looking for.
However, modern VMS systems shouldn’t add complexity to a company’s IT environment but rather integrate with the workplace systems that it already has. It should be able to seamlessly integrate with existing technology infrastructures.

Using standardized APIs can allow support teams to quickly automate complex workflows by integrating common tasks within embedded systems. There are solution providers that offer tools that make it easy to create applications or device drivers that will work seamlessly with the VMS.

The development framework allows users to seamlessly integrate applications, hardware, cameras and other devices from partners, end customers or third-party vendors. This includes the Driver Framework, that allows partners to develop and integrate more types of cameras and IoT devices into the VMS.

The open architecture allows for endless possibilities to add features and functionality for creating powerful, new surveillance solutions.
Moving forward to 2022 and beyond, modern workplaces will have to deploy an intelligent open platform VMS to suit their technology requirements or upgrading the current infrastructure be it on premise, totally on cloud or hybrid version. The right VMS will enable flexible integration of myriad video-management applications and devices needed for safeguarding any business.

Strategic investments in infrastructural technologies such as video will, therefore, continue to have long-reaching advantages, especially in a post-COVID-19 scenario as they ensure that companies have a smart, safe, and flexible infrastructure that can adapt to changing demands and challenges posed in the new normal.


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