I don't have direct experience with the program but it sounds reasonable. I know many VMS companies will negotiate discounts for users who have existing VMS software from rivals to motivate them to switch. What's different here is that Video Insight has made this a formal / public program.
The five year's included upgrade program is useful since many VMSes will offer licenses at a steep discount but make it up on annual fees.
This is not the first aggressive / different sales tactic VI has used, see: Most Aggressive Pilot Program Ever?
That said, you still need to be sure that VMS has the right features for your use, and on that front they tend to lag major competitors as shown in our VMS comparison series.
IPVMU Certified | 03/18/14 05:40pm
I have had a great deal of experience with VI's Competitive Upgrade Program, aka CUP. It has been the winning factor in sales opportunities where a customer need to consolidate disparate camera systems, wanted more user seats but didn't appreciate the cost involved, or wanted to preserve an investment in equipment but get free of too-high recurring fees. In fact, I led the sale of a 2,900+ camera take-over of the Austin (TX) Independent School District a couple of years ago. There is an improved program just announced where for a single-time cost (per camera), VI stands behind unlimited/lifetime software support for the system.
(Full disclosure: I own & operate www.allcampussecurity.com and sell to DIY customers who have the internal resources, skills and preference to handle their IP video systems in-house. I lean heavily to VI as my prefered VMS)
There's a good story behind the Austin upgrade: It seems that the customer was burned by the DVTel system they had (about 1/3 DVTel cameras, 2/3 mixed Axis and other brands). They thought their only exit strategy was to go with Genetech. The RFP that was issued had to invite all comers, but the district's proprietary cameras locked out other VMS options. VI, last at bat, was able to quickly 'unlock' and go around the proprietary firmware wrapper and communicate straight to the camera underneath. I have to admit that the moment the PTZ responded in the technical test step, and the school's decision-maker gasped, is a top-10 favorite 'holy cow' moment in sales so far. After the change-over began, the district's tech folks realized that the VI server ran so much more efficiently than DVTel that they were able to breathe new life into their many servers, postpone their imminent replacement, and turn that budget instead to adding cameras. They're now past 3,200 I believe.
Impressive. I think its time to go after my local school district. They have a camera in every classroom in the county.
IPVMU Certified | 03/24/14 03:05pm
I work at a school district that used the CUP program last fall for about 80 cameras at 2 schools as a test. It has worked so well we will be moving another 400 to VI using the same program this summer. The interface is good, as is the price. The software has been much more reliable (on the same network and servers) as the software it is replacing.
I suppose this system appeals primarily to sites that have ip hardware. many of the sites I work with are primarily analog.