Alliance To Seek And Destroy Hikvision Bids

Emerging Markets Story...

I am Ukrainian guy currently working in Kazakhstan - CIS region, large county with small market but relatively stable economy cause of big deposits of natural resources.

My decision is to stay and fight...

Short introduction to the situation:

Hikvision is moving towards market domination.

Method of market penetration #1. They conduct direct sales and cheat on partners... I have heard several stories about partners who were thrown by Hikvision just before the actual deal... You as a partner conduct all presales activity (presentations, demo, pilot projects), negotiate prices and budgets. Then in some time you discover that Hikvision made direct sale to that customer with lower prices (of course). Intergrators were depressed and a wave of rage scattered on the market. Hikvision understanding that nobody soon will bring them clients has created several "pet" integrators (not directly connected to vendor) to support the illusion of a fair competition.

Method of market penetration #2. Hikvision representatives appear after presales activities done and the deal is focused on any other vendor to break the deal. The strategy is simple... We go to the upper decision maker (like VP or CEO) and tell him that we can offer the same or even better solution (not going deep to details) for the considerably lower price avoiding distributors and resellers. "You will by our outstanding solution, you will make company budget savings and you can get any sum from the rest of the budget in cash after the deal if you want." Everybody knows that CIS markets are highly corrupted but this is insane... No other vendor can't even think about such style of behavior. Surely most of C-management in such situation (knowing nothing about technology) will think that such proposal is a 3 times win... Results: other vendors sales fall and integrators depressed again with plenty of time wasted and opportunity lost.

Method of market penetration #3. While I was working in Ukraine one of my friends was working in a distributor company and they just had signed a contract with Huawei. Huawei just have opened representative office in Ukraine and I was told that Huawei have budgeted $20M just for bribes to penetrate the market (just imagine this... budget for bribes... this is sick...). This is the most wild and sassy strategy I've ever heard. C-management of target customers were offered "a cash forward" scenario... We pay you - you provide lobby... I have no info about Hikvision or other China brands doing the same things here , but I think it is pretty obvious...

At the end... Several small and medium integrators had a meeting discussing forced alliance to confront the emerging threat. We have an informal agreement to "seek and destroy"... during any bidding if Hikvision is present we form the temporal alliance to eradicate the vendor from the deal at all costs and only after continue to compete with each other based on solutions. I think that our "one vision" community will grow...

To sum up... situation is complicated but it can be solved making friendship among cats and dogs and uniting together against common enemy.

NOTICE: This comment was moved from an existing discussion: I Am Leaving The Industry... Here's Why

You as a partner conduct all presales activity (presentations, demo, pilot projects), negotiate prices and budgets. Then in some time you discover that Hikvision made direct sale to that customer with lower prices (of course).

As bad as this sounds, one would assume that you, as a partner, couldn't close the deal, so Hik did what they had to for the business.

Or are you saying that they do that even if there is no competition to beat?

We have an informal agreement to "seek and destroy"... during any bidding if Hikvision is present we form the temporal alliance to eradicate the vendor from the deal at all costs.

Do you really feel so strongly about Hik products or just the way you have been treated by them?

I think that our "one vision" community will grow...

til there's "one less hikvision"

Regular or even one time work with a vendor assumes that you as a partner go to the customer and discover a potential deal... then you register this deal through the vendor representative... then if you have any difficulties or troubles with your customer, vendor has to be eager to help you, to go with you and to ensure the customer that everything is OK. The worst case scenario is when a partner have no competent technical people (common situation here) but have good relationships with the customer, then the vendor can recommend a partner with strong technical qualification and two companies together decide how it will be: how deal will be done, who will face the customer, will we tell the customer about our partnership and so on... I personally represent different companies very often as PM or solution architect and I think such partnership (two companies and vendor) is OK.

We have cases when partners were unable to close the deal themselves but they were involved in project sideways getting rebates after deal is concluded. I think that it is fair to somehow promote the partner who is discovered an opportunity.

The second point is about vendor behavior. Ethical vendor should follow several rules and selling schemes:

1. Moving on your own. Vendor can go directly to the customer to present the solution if no deals are registered by partners in the same customer with the same product. After completing presales phase vendor can ask the customer which partner is more preferable for them assuming the partner has qualification to close the project or recommend a group of partners to choose from if customer doesn't care.

2. If the partner bring the deal to the vendor, then this deal is registered for that particular partner and vendor should provide help ONLY if partner will ASK. If partners are not educated well, then vendor should know this and help them to develop their qualification or offer vendor's help...

3. If customer asks the vendor or distributor directly again scheme #1.

The completely different way is when vendor ignore all negotiation process and without any information given to the partner goes to customer directly and is trying to conclude the deal separately neglecting all partner's work and deal registration. This is wrong...

As for Hik... The problem is in the selling methods and not in product line. I know that they have at least fair quality for a price. I am not against Hik as a brand, I am against Hik as not natural monopoly, government control, market killer with damping sales policy... That's it... And I think that my opinion is adequate. What will you do if some company is trying to push you and everybody like you out of the market segment? Resist of course... The third Newton law in action... more you are forced to go down the more you push back.

When we are dealing with other partners we often make some informal agreements, like if you have done some work in particular customer and want to conclude a deal, other integrators (not all of course) will not try to break your work and further more will help you to do business by participating with higher bids. Of course they will ask your help in some time and this is great, cause everybody can coexist in a peaceful manner. Surely some exclusions and conflicts arise from time to time but stupid fight for a lower price can be prevented most cases.

And now we have a vendor which absolutely "partner unfriendly" and which doesn't care what you think just care about pushing sales following no rules.

This is wrong...

Ok. It was wrong.

But you don't let it happen anymore anyway, right?

So now what don't you like? That Hikvision competes against you without channel overhead? Fair enough, but that's their right, and doesn't make them evil.

You say that you will derogate Hik in every manner possible when speaking with the customer, but you already have said that they have a fair product at a fair price.

Do you ever tell the customer that? And tell them what you real problem with Hik is, namely, you don't make enough selling them?

Dear U1

Did I said that I don't like something? Hik can do whatever they like... As we all can...

If some vendor likes to do sales directly - OK, we just will do our best to bring other vendors to the customers and provide no support and tolerance for Hik installations. As you have said: fair enough, but that is our right and doesn't make us evil. )))

Local market is not good at English readings, that's why the equation Hik = China government is a bit surprising for vast majority especially for local government bodies...

This argument alone is enough to make people think... and change... so our mission is more educational and we are not trying to bath the vendor in mud, just provide some facts.

As for the hardware part, you will be surprised but I do tell customers that if they want to use Hik knowing the risk - OK, no problem. The fact is that many don't.

I make 0 selling them, cause I don't sell Hik from certain point and my business partners also. We sign support contracts with the Hik-based customers only if they agree to migrate to other vendors in short period of time and this doesn't male us evil again. )))