Why are 4 out of 5 of you still not choosing IP cameras? The IP video vendors keep trying to educate you. Is it that you are clearly that stupid to not get it? Or do you just shut it out?
A Serious Issue
I believe a fundamental cultural and strategic issue is at the heart of this discussion. I think the IP Video industry has fundamentally misinterpreted the real issues involved - it's the lack of business value of IP video, not the transaction cost of getting educated.
The Importance of Education
Anywhere you go in the industry you hear talk about the importance of education. The lack of education is holding IP back. We need to get more people trained. Once they are trained, they will move to IP. Nothing is holding back IP except for awareness.
What They Mean is - You are an Idiot
I talk to executives all the time and there is a clear negative undercurrent to this seemingly positive message. New entrants, especially IT people, tend to think that security people are idiots - stupid, lazy people that neither have intelligence nor drive to understand new and better technologies. I am not saying everyone does and I am not here to call people out. However, I am sure this a very widespread belief that impacts the strategy and marketing of IP video.
A Dangerous Cop-Out
I see two major dangers here:
- IP video vendors build flawed strategies based on an assumption that makes them feel better but misses the real customer problem.
- Traditional end users feel mistreated and marginalized, creating more cultural and political problems in migrating to IP video.
The Business Barriers for IP Video
When business make decisions, there are two fundamental economic components: (1) transaction costs and (2) direct costs. If you are a PC user and you buy a Mac, the cost of the Mac is a direct cost while the cost to learn how to use a Mac is the transaction cost.
Education is a transaction cost. People need to learn about the value and operations of IP Video before buying and deploying it.
Some decisions will not be made when the direct costs are justifiable but the transaction costs are too high. This is when reducing transaction costs (like education) make sense.
The problem is the direct costs of IP are still too high to justify for the majority of users. It does not matter how much you educate them, most rationale buyers cannot make the business case for IP video - period.
The easy victory and dominance of IT is not happening. Even before the global recession, it was clear that convergence was moving at a slower than projected rate. Now, it will take even longer.