It may have helped Arecont is one of the bigger players based on California. It may have also have helped Arecont seems to have a lot of sales and promotion people vs quality control people.
I'd point out as well, that just because you're two of the largest consumer technology names on the planet, doesn't mean you know IP cameras or surveillance in general (although there's probably a lot of knowledge residing in the trenches). Arecont's sales department may not have even come into play - more likely, it's a combination of standard, everyday-type corporate decision makers coupled with an integrator's whiz-bang sales pitch.
Touring the company made me realize that every element in their campus is done perfectly and is in sync with everything they do. You can see that these giants take every action very seriously and it looks like all is sync with everything else they do. I am not sure if technology companies like these care for marketing when researching vendors. I think they choose based on what they are known for. They are company's that are not quick to decide. They must have found something in arecont that they can relate too. If not, they wouldn't have chosen it. I don't sell that many arecont cameras so I really can't tell the model. They also don't let people take pictures inside. Apple security was very tight compared to google. The sense is that everyone feels very secure in both campuses.
Another thing to point out is some of the arecont cameras look fairly new. And they did tell me that they keep on adding video.... So it seems they are continuing purchasing from Arecont.
One thing also holds true, apple would not have a windows based platform. Which apple platforms could handle such a system?
Not sure why apple uses Areccont but I was told Apple uses exacq in there AppleStores beccuase they were one of the only companies to have an apple client. At the Apple HQ they use VidSys PSIM to manage all events and video. As for what they use as an underlying VMS and Access control at Apple HQ I am usure.
I have no knowledge of why either choose Arecont, however I would say typically what is in stalled is what is recommended by the chosen integrator. There are lots of products out there and end users can't test or even get knowledge of every product out there.
For example two years ago we started putting in a new ATM model that was specifically designed to be an ADA compliant model. However after design the manufacture of the ATM realized they did not keep an ATM face camera mounting location in mind when they designed the unit. So as an after thought they choose a spot that was terrible, with limited space on the inside and the only cameras that would fit were board cameras. The mounting location was so low that unless you were a child, in a wheel chair or a short person (little person), the camera would film your waste. So they decided to fix the problem by making the problem even worse by changing the clear plastic lenses with a fish eye piece. Short of a board camera I have only found one camera that will fit and even then the picture still stinks. This non board camera I never heard of before. But my integrator researched for months and came back to me with hey use this camera. the manufacture even has a model number that incorporates the name of this ATM. This specific camera has been factory focused for this ATM. So I bought two one with factory focusing and one without. The only difference I saw was in price. The factory focusing was a little more expensive. But still required lots of on site adjustments to maximize the terrible picture for a slightly better than terrible picture.
Again I think they probable did little to choose who they used other than to pick an integrator and this integrator specified Arecont.
As far as U.S. made. I would bet this played little into the decision. Look at all of Apples products. They are not made in the U.S. If they cared about made in the U.S. they would make their products here.
Having seen a copy of the PO for the cameras that ended up at Google, I can attest the cameras were sold via a national distributor to a large national integrator, Arecont respected the channel. But when you purchase 5000 2MP cameras in a single order, you get a great price. That being said, I am aware of another large tech firm a little north of google and apple that went to Arecont an attempted to purchase directly, Arecont declined but one of their competitors did not. In all three cases mfg personnel maintained relationships with the end users.
Why does the Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas use Arecont? Or Cal Trans? Or Sprint? I'd imagine these larger entities have agreements in place that allow them to keep stock replacements onsite for little or no overhead to quickly repair or replace problem devices as they surface. Axis nor anyone else is above a defect rate- it's part of doing business. However if your voice is loud enough (or checkbook large enough) you can likely get any manufacturer to play ball.
It's probably worthwhile to comment on why people would choose Arecont in general. I see 2 general drivers:
- The SurrondVideo multi-imager 180 and 360 cameras (like the 20MP version we tested). It's nearly unique with only a few direct competitors and has a lot of value for people who want to cover large areas at low cost. And now they will soon roll out the Omni, which is an even more novel and distinct offering.
- Bare bones, low cost fixed cameras - While Arecont has very few 'bells and whistles' - no SD card support, no analytics, rudimentary software (AV100), most of their cameras are significantly less money than equivalent resolution Axis/Sony/Bosch/Panasonic/Pelco/etc. offerings.
What I am curious about is the second driver. In 2010, around the time those companies purchased Arecont, low cost Asian alternatives were scarce. Now, there are many credible alternatives (with Dahua being the hot, up and comer in the US). How much is this impacting Arecont?
I can say that Arecont was involved deeply with both those companies directly alongside the integrators to secure those projects. as well their quality, service and support programs have improved dramatically in the last year and I can say with confidence that their past issues are now just that. In the end everyone has issues with their products, no one is immune, it matters more how they address the core problem then come of that a better company. Arecont Vision has done that.
IPVMU Certified | 09/29/13 05:58pm
Interesting ideas folks. I'm answering from the perspective of a client securing bids on a project roughly 1/3 the size of those two and I find the answer to be a little less technical. Security gets categorically placed into a non-revenue center decision making process. The executive management of these firms does not view security as a profit center, rather a necessary expense to combat intellectual property concerns. Viewing the department as such, decisions will always skew towards cost basis as opposed to long term quality of evidence produced by the investment and long term cost of ownership.
To avoid this, security professionals have to find some form of ROI or ROA metric with which to justify their decision to go with a higher quality product (inferring here that they could in fact do better than Arecont). Example might be shipment verification or package tracking, perhaps even tie in to Kronos for payroll tracking of hourly employees. Profit is a two figure equation, Revenue minus costs. Security cannot generally affect revenue, but often can show cost reduction through the incorporation of security technology into operations and its use as an efficiency tool.
As somone very familiar with all the key decision points by those two companies in selecting Arecont Vision cameras (as well as Microsoft, Facebook, T-Mobile, AT&T and Comcast) there is a major technological factor as to why these companies selected (and continued with) Arecont Vision, that nobody is mentioning here.
Both of the above companies (as well as the others mentioned) went into high gear in their migration to megapixel in mid-2008 or shortly thereafter. In April of 2008 Arecont Vision introduced the first ever full line of H.264 equipped IP cameras across all of their offered resolutions at that time. It's easy to forget the impact that made. For the first time in a long time someone had introduced to the surveillance industry a 10x solution to what was then (and often still is now) the biggest pain in migrating to all megapixel IP. Storage/bandwidth costs! When you are talking about global enterprise scales of 10,000 cameras or more, that is the difference between millions of dollars of storage vs. tens of millions of dollars worth of storage costs.
The above is not the only reason of course. There were certainly key solutions design and sales professionals involved on all the above projects managing the end user themselves as well as their designers, integrators and distributors. But as everyone tends to lean towards Arecont bashing from days of old, I thought it was important to point out the trail they blazed that easily made them worthy of such august technology customers as Google and Apple
It's probably because someone on the Advisory Board of Arecont recommended them to some senior folks in Apple and Google. It's probably a case of top down selling, nothing more.
I was a decision maker at a company (mentioned above) that went to Arecont around 2008 (along with Exacq). I can tell you that the cost was a major factor, so was the input from our integrator. We did not have the choices available today, nor the knowledge we have today. We were moving from analog to IP, it was all new to us. We liked the H.264 compression, the lenses worked well and there was a full line of options. Integration was simple and the results were great.
We continued to use Arecont based on our experience. Simply put, the images captured were great in comparison to what we were used to with analog cameras and we experienced no failures. I am no longer with said company, but they are still the camera of choice today.
I use Sony at my current employer, but would not be opposed to using Arecont again. With that said, I have not been a fan of their 180 and 360 cameras. Mostly because I use the cams for post incident investigations, so I don't often go for big sweeping areas. I generally focus in ingress and egress in buildings and parking lots.
Pro Focus LLC | 10/03/13 02:47pm
At ASIS we were told by a rep there that their MicroDome line was designed for Google specifically. Don't know if that is true or not, but that was their sales pitch.