ADI Expo Questions "Laughable If They Weren't Genuine"

I recommended member John D to go to his local ADI expo. He is not pleased with the event nor probably me for that matter.

Here is his review of the ADI expo. Lots of interesting comments though this stood out:

The questions being asked would be laughable if they weren't genuine.

  • "Does Hikvision have tornado detection?"
  • "Do you make wireless PTZ cameras? I have no way to run any wires to the pole (meaning no power either)"
  • "Can the camera still alert me if the camera loses power"

What do you think? Believe it? If so, what does that say about the industry? What can be done?


You know, the "Can the camera still alert me if the camera loses power" question is kind of funny, but in home automation there are some wireless devices (mostly Z-Wave I think) which store enough power to send a final heartbeat message before they die completely.

It lets things like controllable light bulbs and relays send a notification that they're shutting down instead of waiting for the system to poll their status. In video the up/down notification generally falls on the recorder/VMS, but it's not the craziest question ever.

When I was at an ADI event last year, I heard dealers struggling to understand IP vs analog (asking the Axis rep to explain the difference), another dealer who had never seen a thermal camera before, etc.

A lot of this comes from there being no education required to get into the industry, so the level of expertise / knowledge varies massively.

John I agree 100% and it really is a problem with these people that come out of nowhere start buying cameras from Longsee, load them into the trunk of as car and run around town as 'video professionals'. Nothing could be further from the truth. All of the guys and gals that have came up thru the industry over a period of years doing the right thing and really designing and installing real 'professional' systems look like crooks because we charge a reasonable cost so we can stay in business and support the customers we have in the right way.

It really comes down to positioning yourself where you are supporting the customers more of your choice than anyone that walks through the door.

The customers that would buy a Swann or Longsee system are not the customers that you will work with or be going after. In order to be in the residential market the only way I could see doing it would be serving only the higher end homes, the people that respect your ability and know that what they want (quality) comes with a price. Likewise, for the industrial and commercial alot of the problem comes down to an inability to get the customer to sit down and really allow the security installer to get to know them, to know their problem, and build up the knowledge that will enable the right design and planning to come out.

You really need to go out of your way to establish a relationship today - there isn't much that separates the equipment we sell vs the equipment they see online. Yes, there are differences but it is imperative to get to the point where the customers understand that they are going to pay more for my system is because they will be using my system for many years rather than replacing it in 2. That my expertise is for their comfort and reliability and ease of use.

The problem is not only that there is a commoditization of equipment, but in reality there is a commodity of installers too. A lot of the installers need to die off, in my opinion - maybe this is just the ticket to do so, if we can weather the storm ourselves.

The problem is not only that there is a commoditization of equipment, but in reality there is a commodity of installers too. A lot of the installers need to die off, in my opinion - maybe this is just the ticket to do so, if we can weather the storm ourselves.

NAIL ON THE HEAD!!!

I hear versions of the second two questions every week from customers. Those who wish to learn will learn, those who don't will continue to struggle in business. I say, let them struggle.

I guess we all had to learn somewhere. I learned alot by going to ISC for the first time. The scary thing is, all these questions are so self explanatory its painful.

I could see the question about wireless PTZ cameras, IF, the pole has a street light and you have a photocell power tap or solar, but if they know about power taps and solar, chances are they know how to make a PTZ wireless..lol

No Tornado detection, yet, but Hik does have Anti-Thunder on a few models ;)

What the heck is "anti-thunder protection"?

I'm assuming it a surge suppressor, mistranslated and/or working on the principle of "when there's thunder, there's lightning".

It doesn't run down the pole and hide under the bed.

Probably anti-vibration due to the thundering noise

I work for a large manufacturer and am a pretty big nerd, which has led to me learning a lot over the 10 years I've been in the industry. I originally thought the lack of knowledge in our industry was maybe unique, or due to the low barrier to entry that has been noted here. However, I think the real issue is probably that this lack of knowledge tends to exist in any industry that relies on technology in general. How many people can explain how the internet works? Or how cell phones or computers work? The truth is that anything to do with technology tends to bring out simple questions, and the only answer is to either educate people, push them away, or let them continue to not know what they're doing. I tend to lean towards the education side, but man, is it tough. As far as how that relates to end users getting what they actually need? That comes down to them also learning - specifically, learning how to tell if someone knows what they're talking about. Anyway, yeah, it's painful.

Over the last 15 years I have spent a great deal of time explaining to dealers entering the IP Video space that PING is not a brand of golf clubs and an IP address is not the location of the bathroom. Several years ago I had a customer ask, "Why should I consider IP"? My answer, "well you could rent a bulldozer and build a road or you could jump on the existing interstate, if you follow the rules of the road TCP-IP you are good to go". Unfortunately, today in what is for the most part is mature technology, we are still having the same discussions.

Verbatim conversation with Stop 'n Go owner:

Owner: Yeah, my son said the power of the Internet let's you put these cameras wherever you want to see them. Right?
Me: Ok, I suppose you could say that philosophically speaking but...
Owner: And when once you get the power-of-the-Internet you'll never want to give it back.
Me: Well, I guess... Hey, maybe he said 'Power over Ethernet'?
Owner: Yes, that's what I just said.

I have had this question asked of us more than once by some end users when showing them how a PTZ works:

"Thats real cool that you can move that around real time but can you do it on playback too?"

You can with your 12MP Fisheye!!! ;)

I think a lot of you guys are seeing this situation the wrong way. I always loved these questions because I have had my best success by becoming the trusted advisor to these folks. I can't tell you how often I have had a guy with very limited technical knowledge bring me into a huge customer and we have made a significant sale. Don't hate, educate! I may trademark that ;)

Adam, that is a good point and makes sense if you are a manufacturer and can partner with an ignorant integrator with a whale client.

This is less exciting / enthusiastic when you are an integrator and these are your peers / rivals embedded with whales, yes/no?

Having spent my whole career on the manufacturers side, as a direct employee or a rep, my opinion is based on being on that side of the table. I certainly recognize the frustration when dealing with folks who are supposed to be professionals. I was just trying to bring in some positivity.

This is less exciting / enthusiastic when you are an integrator and these are your peers / rivals embedded with whales, yes/no?

Why?

I think an integrator would always prefer to be more knowledgable than their peers, even if the less informed integrator had harpooned a big one.

It just means the 'fish are biting'; and 'whale poaching' is not unheard of in any event.

In practice, it usually means to me that the rival has an advantage that is not replicable, e.g., he went to highschool with the head of security at X, his brother in law is in charge of security at Y, he's paying off the CSO at Z, etc., etc.

If it was all random, sure, but an idiot integrator who is making money generally has some other 'talent' to overcome his stupidity.