Verint Wins "Worst Surveillance Company 2011"by John Honovich, IPVM posted on Aug 10, 2011 About John Contact John
IP Video Market Info announces that Verint Systems has won our award for "Worst Video Surveillance Company of 2011."
Verint and Awards
Verint is no stranger to awards. Earlier this month, Verint 'won' an award from Frost & Sullivan for the "2011 North American Customer Value Enhancement." This made Verint a back to back Frost award winner, following up their 2010 'award' for "North America Company of the Year."
Frost & Sullivan Awards
Most industry people we speak with agree that Frost & Sullivan awards are meaningless. Indeed, 2 years ago, we did an expose on Frost awards detailing problems and issues with them.
The most important problem was award recipients paying Frost & Sullivan. Frost actually acknowledged in the comments section of that report that Frost "licenses the publication of [their] awards" to awardees. This confirms the private descriptions of numerous manufacturers who tell us that they paid $10,000+ for the right to run press releases for their award.
We asked Verint via email, "Did you license or pay any fee in conjunction with publicizing/promoting the award?" They responded "No we did not pay to win the award. The award is not contingent upon us paying any fees to Frost."
A shrewd and highly misleading answer: Not only did they avoid the question, they specifically phrased the response to avoid the crux of the matter and my clear question - paying to license the PR campaign they ran.
Paying for Publication
The tactic of claiming that manufacturers pay for publicizing awards but not for winning them is ridiculous. We find this to be a shallow attempt to cover up what is obvious - the awards are meaningless.
Even the title of Verint's most recent award is vague: "2011 North American Customer Value Enhancement." Honestly, one has to wonder if it is even worth paying to publicize such a pointless award.
2 years ago, when we ran our original report, a Frost executive tried to convince us of the legitimacy of their awards. However, the example 'research' he showed us where essentially summaries of vendor marketing claims.
The reality is the last few years have been especially tough for Verint:
- Their video surveillance revenue continues to decline.
- Their product development looks weak including delays in new releases for their VMS.
- Their #1 North American surveillance competitor just turned in an excellent quarter (while Verint's revenue drops).
- Milestone and Genetec continue to take market and mindshare in the critical enterprise VMS market.
I understand that Verint is struggling to get press coverage. However, they should focus on improving their competitive positioning not licensing awards.
Stop the Senseless Awards
All manufacturers need to stop these awards. While it has gotten better, with a sharp drop in Frost 'awards' recently, new bogus awards continue to pop up.
The focus needs to be on real improvements and clear communication that informs, not manipulates, the community.
Is Verint Really the Worst Surveillance Company of the Year?
Just like it is hard and ultimately subjective to call a company the best, so is identifying the worst. However, Verint, at least, is in the running for this dubious distinction. And since they like awards so much, we are giving them this one -- for free.
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