If We Knew Then What We Know Now - What End To End Provider Would You Pick?

I have a question to all, partly out of curiosity, part out of practicality. The CCTV and security market has seen tremendous change in the last 24 months. Acquisitions have narrowed the choices; HD analog is here to stay (at least in my opinion), some manufacturers have indeed made inroads into becoming end-to-end providers etc. I think it is a given for most of us that we cannot partner with one sole-source manufacturer and serve 80-90% of your customer base. But if you could, which provider would it be?

If you were to assume that you cannot have just one, which of the large, end-to-end providers would you choose to partner with to be your lead horse? Would you choose a manufacturer that offers software and hardware (an Avigilon for instance) or would you split it up and use let's say a Luxriot (just to pick one), and a hardware provider.

Thanks for any and all responses and your thoughts as to why. You do have the luxury of knowing now what you did not know then.

I'd go the other way. Pick whatever big name you want - Avigilon, Hikvision, Axis, Milestone, Dahua, Exacq, Samsung, etc., etc.

As an integrator, though, I'd go full force in doing everything I can to make it clear to customers how my technical team is superior - whether that it is certification or 'thought leadership' or local education or custom development, etc.

The reason being is that the manufacturer market is so fragile right now and I am not sure anyone can definitively say where it is going, so putting one's faith / stake in any manufacturer is quite risky.

Plus, as more products become directly available, much better to have users be confident in your team's unique (local) talents to deliver successful solutions than to be linked to any manufacturer.

Hi Mark,

It's funny you mention Luxriot - that's what we use for our installations where they don't need all the bells and whistles. I can do around 50-60 cameras per server pretty comfortably.

We choose not to use a true end-to-end solution in our particular market space simply because it exceeds our clients needs for the price. If the pricing on an Avigilon or similar system were more reasonable, I would have no problem switching my clients over to a more feature-rich software for a reasonable price increase. What my clients refuse to do is pay $10,000 for the initial software fee and then be expected to dish out $2,500 (or some % of the initial cost) annual fee to keep the software up to date.

That being said, if I had to choose (and for one client, we did) it would be Milestone/Axis, although I don't know if you can truly call them end-to-end despite both being owned by Canon. I'm not the biggest fan of the software, but it gets the job done on a widely distributed network. We have yet to have a failure in 4 years and the client is really happy with what he's getting.

I agree that wedding yourself to one supplier is foolhardy. Keep your (and your clients) options open. Too much is changing too quickly to have all your eggs in one basket. Also, never forget the main reason that customers have video surveillance - it's often a critical post incident forensic tool. My company differentiates itself by its ability to provide law enforcement with our clients court worthy video evidence. That's ultimately what this industry is about. If not, customers are spending a lot of money on on video entertainment.

To be successful in any vertical market, you have to choose your partners wisely, and limit how wide you get. We've done that for many years in the IT business, and when we entered the Video market we used Video-Insight in 2006, and in 2009 we moved and remain 100% Avigilon. Aside from features, the #1 thing that earns my loyalty, is their SUPPORT.

Based on what I know now, I would not change a thing, except for when I might have bought or sold my shares of stock in several companies.