In terms of pricing, the initial software license price for the two are similar, with pricing in the $100 to $300 per channel range, depending on level. The only specific advantage in initial licensing is that Avigilon charges only 1 license for each 4 channel encoder whereas Genetec charges 1 license for each encoder channel.
In terms of 'ongoing' or 'long term pricing, Genetec has an 'SMA' that does add significant cost long term. Avigilon charged for the most recent software upgrade but that is less common and most certainly less than Genetec's SMA over time.
However, in terms of Avigilon supporting 3rd party cameras and systems, Avigilon is nowhere close to Genetec. For example, see: Sabotage? Avigilon VMS Problems W/ Third Party Cameras. Genetec is fairly exceptional on third party support, both range of products and depth (e.g., camera on board storage, third party DVRs, etc.)
Beyond that, Genetec just has a lot more advanced features and integrations, including very deep access control / intrusion / intercom / voice integration. Genetec's more like a PSIM and VMS rolled into one while Avigilon is more of a high end VMS.
One other point is usability. I think Avigilon is simpler for untrained / infrequent users but Genetec has its own advantages in depth of power user features provided. You, of course, can review our Avigilon ControlCenter VMS videos and Genetec Security Center VMS videos.
I am sure many members have opinions as Genetec and Avigilon are commonly used products.
Avigilon charges for major releases only, e.g 4.x to 5.x upgrade. Even that is a minimal fee, which the dealer may just absorb. Upgrades such as 4.1 to 4.2 are free. This is a big selling point in addition to the encoder pricing John mentions. Avigilon'a own cameras do indeed work better with their VMS as they control the whole package then. It makes camera setup fairly simple. Third party cameras being integrated in may be a bit more difficult as they appear to rely solely on ONVIF. With Avigilon cameras nearly all settings are adjustable from with the VMS which makes setup quick and easy. Firmware updates get applied to cameras automatically with minimum user involvement. Since their product is essentially a closed system it is likely that the depth of third party integration will be poor when compared with some other VMS. I am not as familiar with Genetec to compare features or advantages.
Where is the comparison that IPVM said they were working on and would be out in "a few weeks", two months ago surrounding this?