Awards Benefit Manufacturers -- Not Users

Author: John Honovich, Published on Sep 05, 2009

Awards assist manufacturers in selling products rather than identifying the best solutions for user's needs.

This is a growing concern as the number of awards are increasing substantially. This month [September 2009], both ASIS and Security Products jump into the awards game.

General Problems with Awards

A number of important problems with awards should be recognized:

  • Judging criteria is vague or non-existent (judges can choose whatever they think is 'best')
  • No testing of the actual products are performed
  • Information used to judge is limited to data sheets and marketing materials
  • Entrance is often constrained to those willing to pay the fees or buy a booth at the exhibit
  • No information is ever provided on why the awardee won and the other participants did not
ASIS Accolades
 
ASIS promotes its new Accolodes award program as "an incredible marketing opportunity that will give [vendor's] valuable exposure and recognition."
 
Vendors submit basic product information and answer 4 questions. Judges review the submissions and then pick winners.
 
While the submission fee is only $250 USD, only exhibitors may enter (which usually a minimum of $8,000 USD for a booth) [see entrance rules].
 
ASIS states this benefits security professionals by helping them identify new and innovative offerings. Certainly, the mission of ASIS is to increase "the effectiveness and productivity of security professionals." However, how does limiting awards to only exhibitors help security professionals?
 
And why did ASIS choose BRS Labs - a company that has zero public proof of their extremely difficult claims?
 
And where is the public explanation of why these companies were selected and others were not? Just a list of companies? Would not security professionals benefit from greater information and details on strengths and weaknesses?
 
Security Product Magazine Awards
 
Security Products is running a "Product of the Year" awards program. In this program, there are 7 award categories [see entrance form]. [Update 9/16: An earlier version stated that there were 43 categories based on an e-mail I received from Security Products. In a new message, Security Products states there are only 7].
 
The Security Prodcut "awards will be given at the discretion of the judges" without any criteria provided.
 
In its media kit, Security Products clearly states their objective is to be, "the marketing partner that [vendors] can depend on to help generate leads and increase sales." With so many awards and such little objective criteria, this program accomplishes that.
 
Integrators and Users Must Speak Out
 
These programs exist because they can take advantage of the trust that people have in the honesty of others.
 
If each of you raises questions or objections when manufacturers brag about these awards, these awards will go away. Nothing motivates manufacturers more than the fear of losing business. 
 
We Need Meaningful Awards
 
Awards can be useful if they measure criteria that are meaningful to users. For instance, best camera in low light (measured at a specific lux level, F stop, object reflexivity, etc.) or best tripwire detection (measured based on FAR, FRR, ROC, etc. in specific weather, lighting and environmental condiitons).
 
Measure what's meaningful and publish the details so everyone can see and verify.
 
Until we do this, we are basically choosing the fastest swimmer by looking at photos of people in their underwear.

1 report cite this report:

Riskiest Companies 2009 - BRS Labs and TimeSight on Sep 09, 2009
BRS Labs and TimeSight are likely the riskiest video surveillance companies. With extensive marketing campaigns and multiple awards received from...

Related Reports

Avigilon New COO James Henderson Profile on May 23, 2017
It has been nearly 2 years since the infamous Bryan Schmode 'resigned' as Avigilon COO. Now, Avigilon once again has a COO, promoting James...
Hikvision Marketer Caught Spamming, Fails at Coverup, Fired on May 23, 2017
A Hikvision marketing employee was caught by IPCamTalk trying to surreptitiously disparage IPVM and IPCamTalk. This is an outgrowth of Hikvision's...
ShotSpotter To IPO, Facing Low Revenue and Losses on May 17, 2017
A rare event for North American security manufacturers is upcoming. ShotSpotter is planning to IPO on the NASDAQ, aiming to raise $34.5...
A Marketing Home Run For Knightscope - Man Attacks Robot on Apr 27, 2017
We criticize Knightscope regularly - their lack of revenue, their trying to fool mom 'n pop investors, their associating themselves with a clueless...
Hikvision EZVIZ Amazon Scam Revealed on Apr 26, 2017
Hikvision is violating US Federal Trade Commission guidelines and Amazon rules with a "Honest" Review Program scheme that provides gift cards to...
Chinese 'Attacking Us From Every Direction', Says US FBI on Apr 25, 2017
"Chinese eating our lunch. Attacking us from every direction" said the US FBI's Deputy Director Andrew McCabe at the ASIS 2017 CSO Summit. .@FBI...
Beware The "Hit List" Ranking on Apr 21, 2017
The hit list. Kirschenbaum's recent newsletter complained about a 'hit list', bemoaning how a company took aim at ADT. Alas, that's the Google...
Failing at Marketing, "ALL HIKVISION PRODUCTS" On Sale on Apr 18, 2017
The ballerinas are out. The price cuts are back. Hikvision is struggling to build a premium brand (i.e., 'The Art of Video Surveillance') so...
Nvidia Deep Learning Developer Kit Examined on Apr 17, 2017
Can building a deep learning video analytics application be as easy as the typical VMS installation? Maybe not quite, but Nvidia is aiming to make...
A New Low For Knightscope - Just $3! on Apr 13, 2017
Take a look: Did you think, even for a fraction of a second, "$3 per share, could be a good deal"? If so, you should not invest in anything....

Most Recent Industry Reports

Avigilon New COO James Henderson Profile on May 23, 2017
It has been nearly 2 years since the infamous Bryan Schmode 'resigned' as Avigilon COO. Now, Avigilon once again has a COO, promoting James...
Aura's 'Invisible Ripple' Next Gen Intrusion Detection Tested on May 22, 2017
Aura Home is a startup intrusion detection system, but it claims new, high-tech sensing that monitors the 'invisible ripples' movement creates,...
Pelco Shutting Down Clovis Line, Laying Off 200 on May 22, 2017
Pelco's Clovis facility once turned out some of the industry's most popular products. Now, the facility is mostly building "obsolete" equipment,...
IP Camera - 15 Year Shootout on May 22, 2017
How far have IP cameras come? We bought and tested 4 cameras across the past 15 years to understand how much and where performance has...
Remote Video Monitoring Providers Directory on May 19, 2017
Remote video monitoring can help integrators generate RMR plus end users lower their security costs and/or improve response to critical...
Axis Criticizes OEMs: "When You Buy An Axis Camera, An Axis Camera Is What You Get!" on May 19, 2017
When you buy a Honeywell camera, you likely get a Hikvision, Dahua or some other company's product. The same goes for easily 100 different...
Hackable 125kHz Access Control Migration Guide on May 19, 2017
Despite being one of the most popular credentials, 125 kHz credentials are easily copied and insecure as we showed in our test results, video...
Forget The Backdoor, "ALL HIKVISION PRODUCTS" On Sale on May 18, 2017
Less than 2 weeks after the Hikvision Backdoor was confirmed, Hikvision has launched a sale "ON ALL HIKVISION PRODUCTS". In this note, we examine...
Amazon Techs Installing IP Cameras Tested on May 18, 2017
In 2015, Amazon started offering video surveillance installation. Now, Amazon has made it a lot easier, with automatic add-on options and...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact