Pelco Is Back?

In a recent interview, Pelco made a fairly startling claim / refreshing admission:

"Pelco is back. ... We are acknowledging that when Pelco got acquired by Schneider Electric, like every major acquisition, we got internally focused for a period of time.... We lost track of the customer, the market. We paid a premium price for that."

Of course, Pelco is not giving up. Pelco's division head emphasized that:

"We are rebranding Pelco as IP-driven and customer focused. Today, we are an IP surveillance company – 70 percent of our sales are IP-based. We haven’t been an analog company for a couple of years now. Customer-focused is what Pelco is known for, and we lost track of that for a couple of years. We are also focusing on products."

Certainly, it is a positive thing for them to admit it. Some companies / people deny to the very bitter end and it makes correcting the issue nearly impossible.

On the other hand, it is fairly obvious to industry insiders that Pelco has struggled for a number of years, sliding down from their leadership position they held a decade ago, and with lower revenue now that at their pre-Schenider peak.

From IPVM's most recent Pelco test (Testing Pelco SureVision 2.0), their IP cameras have improved and on a similar performance level to major competitors. However, Pelco's cameras are still quite expensive comparatively. And their VMS line(s) remain a problem with underperforming tandem of Endura and DS.

One of the most significant complaints of Pelco dealers over the past few years is the drop in their once legendary customer service - the attitude that Pelco would do anything, regardless of the cost, to help / fix / solve customer problems. Will they go back to that? Are they doing it?

What have your experiences been more recently with Pelco? Do you see signs of them coming back?

well, I had experience about 10 month ago being invited as tech person at post-sales/project tech support. Through recruitment agent. After couple of weeks after interview Agent called me and informed that Pelco said that I`m "very strong candidate, but not for sales position". Not sure, but looks like they are now as any other chinese vendors- main goal is to sell and after that - no really care. I remember their great support on training and post-sales, but now... cannot say anything - not good not bad

Even though Pelco was our corporate standard for around 15 years and we still have nine DVR's throughout the company as well as plenty of Spectra IV analog PTZ's we gave up on Pelco a few years back.

Old way we dealt with Pelco: Call tech support, walk through issue, if we can fix it here we would. If we could not fix it here we would mail to Pelco, they would fix/replace it and overnight it back to us. That was a fantastic system that kept all involved very happy.

New way we deal with Pelco Issues: We go right to our integrator and they “deal” with Pelco. By “deal” I mean they box up the camera/DVR, mail it back to Pelco in the slowest way possible, Pelco apparently takes it out of the box, stares at it, boxes it back up, mails it back to integrator via slowest way possible and then integrator brings camera/DVR back to us with a 10% chance the issue is actually fixed. It is a horrible system that does not work for any of us involved.

Pelco is now just one of the many second or third tier IP camera companies I ignore.

My backside feels burned just reading this post! :)

I gather then you no longer have the avenue to speak to Pelco directly? Do they refuse to talk to you or ??

I am sure they would talk to me Brian, but it is no longer worth my time to call them. Used to be I could speak to someone directly on the engineering team or at least a tech specifically trained on the DX8100 DVR who would walk through the specific problem until it was either fixed or the issue causing it was identified.

We stopped even bothering to call when the best tech support they could offer is “Try rebooting the DVR”.

Hi Ross,

Thank you for your feedback. We would like to reach out to you directly and discuss your individual experience. It is important to know that what you described as the “old way we dealt with Pelco” is standard operating procedure today. We encourage and welcome both our customers and end users to contact us directly to solve any issue. This is why we have dedicated Product Support and Service and Repair teams. That being said, we are sorry you did not have that experience and we want to know why.

As Herve noted, Pelco is back in many ways and none more so than our commitment to the customer in every facet of our operations. Not only do we have the same level of employee empowerment to do whatever it takes to make the customer happy that we had pre-acquisition, but we have more people (both in the US and around the world), better information-sharing systems, and online support tools to ensure that each and every one of our customers gets the highest level of support available.

Understandably, the only way that we can prove it, and the only way the market will be convinced, is through our actions, not our words. But we are confident that our team will deliver the cradle-to-grave support that our customers (and their customers) expect and demand.

Chris Haun
Senior Technical Account Manager
Pelco by Schneider Electric

Thanks Chris, I appreciate you reaching out. I will take this offline from IPVM and get you an email with the rundown of our issues. I will also include EPS (our integrator) and my CCTV lead Tony so the three of you can work directly on our most pressing issue at the moment, which is a DVR that has been out since November. The DVR was sent in for repair, came back to us in early January, was set back up at our Zeeland GSOC and same issue was encountered-would not boot. Since then we have been in limbo.....

A little follow up on this. After working with Chris and a couple of the techs specifically assigned to Herman Miller via Chris, we are in a much better spot than we were a month ago. Very reminiscent of the Pelco of 15 years ago.

Fingers crossed this will continue.

Tech support, R&D, and marketing: three areas where cutting spending can temporarily make your bottom line look good but will always cost you more, long term, than you end up saving.

As long as Pelco belongs to Schneider Electric - Pelco will never be the old Pelco that everyone knew before the acquisition - even being verticalized now - this verticalization stratagy is very suspect taking previous verticalizations from Schneider Electric into consideration - who know if Pelco is actually back or is Schneider Electric just getting ready to sell Pelco - eventually ?

It isn't hard to produce a product that doesn't work. It is difficult to support a defective product with undying support and service. That is what makes companies great! It is one of the things that made Pelco grow into such a large company.

I have a love/hate relationship with Pelco, nothing surprising there. You take your chances with customer support- call back until you get one of the good ones. I have sent back dsxpresses and they said they fixed it and charged me $1000, then it would not work in the field after I rack up hundreds of dollars in labor that I cant invoice, then upon sending it back they would say there is another $2000 of repairs. It took 3 months and mild blackmail to get my $1000 back. Once I sent 4 Ds's in and had to spend hours constructing a detailed spreadsheet detailing each one that was repaired and when etc etc as I was double billed twice. It hasnt been fun.

I go into a meeting this week on a 50 acre facility that is full of Pelco DVRs that wants to isolate the cctv network and record everything on their own servers. I have to decide whether to push Pelco or switch to Milestone, etc. I know, probably a no brainer, but I will give them multiple options and help them decide the best course.

I like Pelcos Grand Eye mobile apps demo. I show it off to strangers and they ask for my business card.

Kenneth, anyone, can someone explain the point of the Pelco / Grandeye combination? I am not sure why Pelco is outsourcing / partnering for 360 / panoramic cameras, especially since their core competitors have been doing a good job building their own.

we have sent the same new spectra iv back 3 times in one year - enough said. they use to be our standard for analog ptz - not anymore

Chris reached out to us direct which I think is a good first step, I appreciate they are taking our feeback to heart but I do echo others frustration as most of these cameras for us are in difficult locations - 20-30ft up on poles, warehouses and the labor we have had to eat for multiple trips has been painful

CST is another company Schneider Electric recently "Verticalized." It's being sold. See the last paragraph as well......pretty good guess you can tell what their plan is just by this.

I've seen the Grandeye camera and wasn't impressed. Ironically, it comes in a Pelco box but the camera does not have their logo on it - just grandeye. Odd.

I think the bigger question is: what new products have they produced? That would have to be proof of a company coming back versus a marketing declaration.