99 Cents to Configure an IP Camera

By John Honovich, Published Mar 12, 2015, 12:00am EDT

Just 99 cents?

Distributors have offered configuration services for many years but now one is practically giving it away for free.

Inside this note, we examine distributor ScanSource's new offer to configure Axis IP cameras for just 99 cents each, looking at its advantages and limitations.

ScanSource Axis Camera Configuration Offer

Traditionally, ScanSource, like a number of distributors, has offered to configure IP cameras, generally in the $8 to $10 range.

That service typically includes setting the integrator specified IP address, labeling the camera and box, running diagnostics, etc.

Now, ScanSource has dropped the price to just 99 cents for Axis IP cameras and encoders. There is no minimum quantity required and it is not a special / short term promotional. However, configuration for any other manufacturer's cameras is still at the historical high prices.

Price Difference

Though such configuration services have always saved some time and hassle for integrators, the traditional pricing made the overall value questionable for many. At close to $10 per camera, even a mid-size integrator could have a junior tech do a few cameras per hour at a lower rate than an outside service.

However, at 99 cents, it is hard to imagine even an efficient integrator being able to do it for less.

Good Marketing Move

Even if ScanSource does not make money with this service, we think it is an attractive differentiator. All distributors like to talk about 'value added services' but most struggle to truly deliver on that. Though ScanSource received high overall marks in our best / worst distributor survey, they clearly have a far smaller brand than their main competitors, Anixter / Tri-Ed and ADI. 

We think this will help ScanSource, though we wonder if other distributors will match.

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