Is this still as big of a deal as it was 10+ years ago? I remember arguing about this on here when I first started buying cameras from securityideas.com! Really deals like this are one of the easiest ways AXIS can stay in the mix. With Dahua and HIK racing to the bottom, there are only so many things AXIS can do to compete. Especially as the features and quality gap closes.
Side note; Kudos to Vermont for going with AXIS over Dahua/HIK/Et al.
To be honest I don't see much issue with this. The title, to me, implies that an end user is buying Axis products directly at a lower price than Gold dealer cost which when reading the article is not the case. Since this sounds like it's a large, state-wide contract, it's not uncommon for the manufacturer to team with the integrator who brought them the deal so that they can be more competitive than other manufacturers thus having the integrator working with Axis over Hanwha, Arecont, Sony, etc... My concern with this is more with the state's procurement showing favoritism towards a single integrator since they have agreed at such low pricing than one integrator working to get special contract pricing for a large entity.
The title, to me, implies that an end user is buying Axis products directly
That was definitely not the intent. I think it's obvious that Axis does not sell direct to end users and if this was a case here I would definitely title it "Axis Sells Direct To End Users..." instead of "End User Buying Axis At Prices Better Than Axis Gold"
That said, I edited the first line to "IPVM recently found an integrator contract with an end-user" to further clarify.
Thanks for updating the title John. Although some manufacturers and/or distributors aren't supposed to sell direct to the EU, I think we all know that it still happens which is why I brought up my point.
John will blast me for being an Axis fan boy here shortly so I will get that part out of the way. (Wink) Yes, I am a fan boy (not an employee).
I don't understand the controversy here. Do people want Axis to completely restrict what margin partners can sell at? They do actively police online pricing advertisements to what I would say is a reasonable extent. Restricting what an integrators chooses to sell at to win a deal would be completely overreaching in my opinion.
I have seen intrgrators sell at loss on hardware to win the integration work and on-going maintenance. Our integrators that sell cloud on occasion do the same to win a cloud deal in highly competitive situations. Where the line is drawn on what is fair and balanced is a moving target as some people want it to be more strict and others want it to be less strict.
The third party Avigilon rewards website requires we pull all invoices from Aviglon to match up against our POs. This data must then be manually entered to claim the rewards including each line item on the PO (that we already issued). This is cumbersome when compared to say, Commscope, where we upload test results and project data to claim our rewards and extended warranty.
As a customer, it's hard to justify spending 3X to 6X more to get a similar feature set, regardless of country of origin. Especially when the item will need to be replaced/upgraded within 3 to 5 years anyway. It's not like a hand tool or even power tool where cheap Chinese options might fail enough times that you end up paying more over your lifetime, and/or the quality is such that it makes things more difficult.
hard to justify spending 3X to 6X more to get a similar feature set
Agree on that but disagree on the rest. I have AXIS cameras still working fine for the purpose they were originally installed 10+ years ago. Don't always need the latest and greatest. 640X480 is overkill for some applications so if it ain't broke......
Sometimes old tech is fine, but what if your 1 MP or lower cam fails to provide enough resolution to identify a violent criminal? (Something that appears very common if you watch many crime/police shows.) What if your security footage review process is costing you 10X what it could be with newer AI features? I think in the vast majority of use cases tech from 10 years ago is woefully inadequate.
but what if your 1 MP or lower cam fails to provide enough resolution to identify a violent criminal?
Separate discussion than this, but that is not what low res cameras would be used for. Lots of other reasons to have a camera other than identification.
Is a flag up? Is a cabinet open? Is a light on? Is a piece of paper in an interoffice mailbox? Is a car parked in CEO spot? Is a door open? Is something there when nothing should be there? That is the type of thing 10-year-old cameras are still OK to be used for. Some aren't even recorded, they are just used as a "window". Just because a camera has 5 megapixels doesn't mean the scene needs to be viewed in 5 megapixels.
What if your security footage review process is costing you 10X what it could be with newer AI features?
Again, then I would replace the camera with a newer camera or get a better VMS. My statement was to counter your statement that cameras need to be replaced/upgraded every 3-5 years. Not always and probably not in vast majority of the time either.
Would I love to get all new cameras every 3-5 years? Of course. Is a new IP camera vastly superior to one from 3-5 years ago? Probably. Would I trade one of my new cameras for a ten-year-old one? Of course not.
Is a flag up? Is a cabinet open? Is a light on? Is a piece of paper in an interoffice mailbox? Is a car parked in CEO spot? Is a door open?
Those functions don't sound like security camera functions for the most part. I could be wrong, but my impression is that the primary focus at this website is security, which involves moving people, moving vehicles, and frequent low light situations. In these areas IPVM has noted many times that performance of recent cameras is vastly better than models from 4 or more years ago.
If you're talking webcams or similar, for example, I would agree completely that those will be good for 10 to 20 years. Ditto for simple scene monitoring cameras where you have ample budget for human viewing. Given IPVM's 2020 sate of the market review, I don't see much focus on these types of cameras, and that's not what I was referring to either.
You are right, it isn't like a hand tool or power tool. Cameras are essential to the safety, security, and management of businesses in many cases. If a camera goes down, it could cost the business dearly or increase risk of personal harm dramatically.
If you think cameras need to be replaced in 3 to 5 years, then you must have started out using cheap Chinese options. 7-10 years is more often the case for professional brands like Axis, Hanwha, Bosch etc. You should try quality out next time and see how much easier your life is over time.
If you think professional brands are 3-6x more expensive than similar cheap Chinese products, you must be an LTS or W-Box fan. I can tell you that there is nothing similar about W-Box and Axis.
Maybe you run a restaurant or a similar low-risk business, so I can see why you feel this way.
What is the resolution, frame rate, and motion/intrusion/etc. detection feature set of those cameras from 7, 8, 9, and 10 years ago? Is the comparison to today's models similar to comparing an old RAZR phone to an iPhone 8 or higher? Maybe you don't feel a need/desire to replace a device even though there has been a quantum leap in performance, but I would suggest you nullify your argument about the potential cost to the business that way the same as if a chosen model has lower reliability.
In the article we're commenting on, their is a comparison of a $900 Axis vs. a $200 Dahua. What is that cost difference multiplier? (I've never heard of LTS or W-Box, BTW, and I've not seem them mentioned here until now.)
An interesting Dahua difference from Hik's philosophy (at least in these Analytics+ models) is that the fixed focal length versions are not feature reduced elsewhere. Same sensor size and same 30 FPS. (Given the fact that Analytics+ does better than Hik's high dollar "Deep In View" AI, I don't see how you market those models at this point.)
So however you look at it, a $200 or so cost is what you are competing with, and my initial comparison of the $199.95 dome I listed above shows better performance than the 2X+ higher cost Hik Smart series. If there is an American or even just non Chinese model available for $400 or less with similar features, I'd be glad to hear about it.
So is it safe to assume that you don't buy anything made in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Africa, parts of Latin America, etc.? I've got $50 that says I avoid products made in those locations more than most do.
Then you must realize where the majority of the cost difference is between and $800 Axis camera and a $200 Hikua (or whatever OEM name they operate under) comes from. If all you compare is a spec sheet and a price tag, there is a lot left unaccounted for.
Actually I'm basing it on test results here, elsewhere, and my own testing. Since I'm less convinced that any particular Chinese company is less of an overall issue (I would have never given them favored nation trading status back 25 years ago or so.), and other options from the third world also present problems, I'm focusing on the value proposition. I'd pay more for U.S. made, as with anything, but there is always a limit based on what it is I'm buying and what the price difference is.
ANY Chinese company, period. Any dollars flowing into communist China for anything is funding the regime in one way or another, and thus enabling them to do what they do. The Chicoms could assume full or partial control of any given company at any time to do their bidding, whatever that may be.
And it is not by any means limited to actions in Xinjiang. And it is not even possible to fully track Chinese content in various goods, so I make certain choices to avoid Chinese and support government action that will bring about real change. I can't avoid all Chinese goods, so I don't try to avoid all of them. Do you avoid all use of Google sites and software based on their enabling Chinese censorship? (I can't find an up to date status on this.)
Do you avoid all use of Google sites and software based on their enabling Chinese censorship? (I can't find an up to date status on this.)
Google does not enable China censorship and has been blocked in China since 2010. There certainly has been attempts or evaluations by Google to censor and go back into China but that has not happened to date.
You are certainly entitled to your opinion of any Chinese company but it's fairly reasonable to differentiate levels of involvement and control
That argument would be valid if Hikua, et al ONLY made high-end lines that were similar to what Axis offered. The problem with Axis is they don't offer a competitive lower-end line.
Hikvision for example now has FOUR tiers of camera models to suit various budgets - Value Express, Value, Performance, and Smart. They also offer a very extensive selection of TVI stuff which is even more economical. Axis can compete only with the Smart line, but like I mentioned elsewhere, no one wants a $1,000 camera for a basic non-critical application when they can get four cameras for the same cost.
Any business that doesn't employ someone to live-view and needs footage only occasionally is this target market. Bars, restaurants, salons, small to medium retail shops, homes, apartments, etc. Most of these don't use much more than 16 cameras and Hikua allows them to achieve that economically. If they chose Axis, they would likely get a quarter of their desired equipment within the same budget.
As #7 says, I don’t mean that as a statement of simple fact. It can be a big exaggeration but if you are buying grey market Dahua or Hikvision, the cost differentials becomes much worse for Axis.
To be clear, this is not an apples to apples comparison because with Axis you get tech support, sales support, etc but for a lot of Dahua and Hikvision users they are happy to but direct from China grey market.
In addition, in case it wasn't clear, I'm a customer. I'm also in a position to recommend security cameras to other customers. Since you are a manufacturer, I assume your goal is to sell more cameras. You might consider making the value case for your products instead of attacking potential customers for stating their views on purchasing decisions.
And FYI, I am well versed in quality versus crap, and frequently point out the lack of quality in Chinese products, and frequently go out of my way to find U.S. made products. But if we take the example above of Axis vs. Dahua, and then throw in how the newer Dahuas have AI superior to Axis so I don't get dozens of false alerts or more per day, how do I justify buying Axis at 4.5X the cost of Dahua???
I would be glad to hear the US/Canada options in the $400 to $700 range for a minimum 4MP sensor, good low light color performance, and decent analytics that reject most false alerts while not missing humans. (I can handle large dogs triggering events, for example.) Is this an unreasonable expectation?
I've reviewed everything here and I don't see an option that is not made in China, and in fact Hik's analytics appear to be lacking even if one opts to pony up for the "Deep In View" models which are above $700 as well. From personal experience with their "Smart" series, the build quality is well above that of many Chinese products of all types, but they are not that smart. (This comment could also cover Hikua's obvious refusal to employ English speaking technical people capable of writing manuals/instructions describing their firmware settings. As is much of it is a joke)
I don't own a restaurant, nor have I ever worked for one, but what sort of camera do they need to identify the guy robbing the bartender at gunpoint? Or maybe it's the manager and the thief wants the safe opened?
What if instead of one $1,000 Axis 1080p they installed 4 or 5 lower cost 4MP cams at multiple angles for the same cost? What if Wyze changes its recording model and then they can install 10 or more cameras for less than the $1,000 dome?? I understand the government sanctions on Hikua, what I don't get is the absurd suggestion that the quality difference can overcome the huge cost difference to the point it can just be laughed off.
You ever wonder how the Chinese products can be sold at the price they are? If the non Chinese product is 4.5x the cost is that purely based on greed from the manufacturers side? Would like to hear you opinion on that one.
No on the greed angle. China manipulates their currency and does numerous other things to keep their products cheap. They also have a very large supply of low skilled labor willing to work cheap. China is the definition of an unlevel playing field. (Western companies moving work from Western countries to China just because they see lower labor costs? That is a combination of greed and stupidity in many cases.)
I would suggest that many Western manufacturers make various business decisions that cost them market share, both short term and long term. In the security camera market, I believe some manufacturer ought to be able to find a way to generate enough sales volume that they can offer fairly high level security cameras (as I described above) for $300 to $700, with the feature set improving as you go up that scale.
The Wyze $20 model, for example. How much to do that with manufacturing in Taiwan? South Korea? Mexico? U.S. states with low cost of living and thus lower labor costs? How much does cost go up when you add features/reliability to make it a viable commercial option in any given production location? Amazon has already entered the security market by acquiring Ring and at least a few other ways, so I wouldn't be surprised if they become a competitor in this space offering lower cost commercial/high end residential options.
In the security camera market, I believe some manufacturer ought to be able to find a way to generate enough sales volume that they can offer fairly high level security cameras (as I described above) for $300 to $700
Can you clarify? I genuinely do not understand your point here. Axis and other Western manufacturers do offer such products. The problem is that Hikua offers cameras for much less than the $300 to $700 range, causing people like you understandably to be unhappy about the price delta.
I genuinely do not understand your point here. Axis and other Western manufacturers do offer such products. The problem is that Hikua offers cameras for much less than the $300 to $700 range, causing people like you understandably to be unhappy about the price delta.
As for Wyze, the $20 price point was pretty ridiculous. I didn't really expect them to make money there even with Chinese manufacturing. The point was that a new player came in with a new plan that if executed well could earn large market share, and somehow they licensed (even if temporarily) some AI that beat or equaled some major brands.
As for the rest of your comment, I'll assume you did not read the "as I described above" part. I have zero interest in a 1080p camera for my needs, so that would rule out the Hanwha and Vivotek even if we just consider color low light performance and not AI. If there are other non Chinese models with good color low light performance at $700 or below, why didn't you test them?? Here's your listing by price from the recent shootout of everything below the $850 Bosch, that was the first of the models I omitted:
Again though, I would be glad to hear about the non Chinese model with average or better color low light performance (per the shootout), AI performance similar to Avigilon, Bosch, Dahua Analytics+, or the Wyze (Without the cooldown and detection limits, of course.), all as per your test results, with a minimum of 4 MP and a price of $700 or less. If such a camera exists and is reviewed/tested/mentioned here, I've missed it.
Again, Wyze is a bad example because they did it and then they lost it. That's the challenge you get from this super low lost model.
I see it more as a small startup has managed to create a competitive AI that is now available. Presumably XNOR.AI is working with someone else, or is looking for a buyer that will then use their tech. Meanwhile, low light capable image sensors are available from multiple companies. Wyze's mistakes don't mean lower cost full featured cameras can't be made outside of communist China.
Wyze is a very bad example to support your point. Wyze cameras are OEMed from China,
You did get that I understood Wyze was made in China, and cost would have to go up to be viable, or no?
How much to do that with manufacturing in Taiwan? South Korea? Mexico? U.S. states with low cost of living and thus lower labor costs? How much does cost go up when you add features/reliability to make it a viable commercial option in any given production location?
This article portrays ignorance of how large deals are done and unjustifiably paints Axis in a negative light.
This is a typical and common scenario. If Axis controls the relationship with Vermont, they will choose an integrator that best fits the end-users needs and protect that sales channel by giving them exclusive pricing so other Gold dealers can't compete. If NAV had the relationship and brought Axis in, Axis will reward NAV with exclusive pricing to protect them. A project registration can be 2-5% or more extra discount from Gold price off of MSRP depending on the manufacturer and the amount of the registration. If Vermont is forecasted to buy 2,000 Q series cameras in 2020, for example, that is a sizeable registration and will merit a deep discount. So NAV might be getting 33% off and selling to Vermont at 28%. This also might be a box sale; Vermont self performs or hires their own labor and NAV is simply reselling the camera.
When there is a project registration, it is illegal for a manufacturer to mandate what price a distributor will sell to an integrator and what the integrator sells to the end-user. So both the distributor and integrator had a say in the final price to Vermont.
The size of the integrator doesn't matter. If a $3M a year Axis Gold integrator with only 10 trucks and 3 salespeople owned the relationship at Vermont and brought Axis in, they would get the registration with the same pricing. Yes, this could have been a "favor" for NAV for selling so much Axis, but that is speculation.
Axis did a great thing here. They supported the channel and ensured Vermont citizens are being protected by secure high-quality equipment. Considering Vermont might have been using Hikvision or Dahau before, this is a very justified discount.
This article portrays ignorance of how large deals are done and unjustifiably paints Axis in a negative light.
No, I made that point right at the beginning of the article, which you evidently missed, copied for your convenience:
Lots of End User Buy Axis At Far Less
To be clear, this is not exceptional. Lots of ends users buy Axis at 28% or 38% off of MSRP from dealers / integrators. It is just that such contracts are rarely publicly disclosed in such clear black and white terms.
As for your speculation about project registation, that does not make sense for many projects, like this, where it was bid out for a variety of products and there's no evidence that NAV has some special relationship with Vermont.
If Vermont is forecasted to buy 2,000 Q series cameras in 2020
That's not the case here. This is ~3 year contract with a maximum awarded value of $1.75 million for everything on the contract, including Honywell, Kantech, HES, Axis, Exacq, Camden, Altronix, NVT, Samsung, Milestone, Sony, etc. Screencap below showing total contract amount for multiple years:
These are public bids, and as such, the results are public information. You should be able to get the results of any state bid, though not all are online. We used to chase these years ago, but found them to be a waste of time. There are 3-4 hybrid "distributors" (call the integrators if you want) used such as NAV, Inter-Pacific, and Surveillance-Video to name a few, that will sell to the bidding agency at less than an integrator can buy them for. The agency will have their electrician install them. Good if you're a local resident and it keeps your government expenditure low. Bad if you're a local integrator who would like to do work for your state. I know Axis is the manufacturer in this instance, but all they did was convince VT that their product best suited their needs. This happens will ALL manufacturers that sell though distribution.
A lot of states have contracts or procurement bids that go out for a particular product line. Integrators or vendors have the ability to bid this product line.
The ones I’m familiar with and have participated in typically requires a percentage off MSRP or cost + a percentage. Typically these contracts allows the state, local government, municipalities or public schools to purchase these products without putting a project out to bid because these contracts were already bid out.
I have seen contracts awarded at a reasonable percentage off list that allows a fair margin for the dealer / integrator. I have also seen contracts that have been awarded where a product that has 40 percent off MSRP Dealer price and the contract is awarded at 30 to 32% off MSRP.
These are legal procurement routes and some products fit better then others when bidding these contracts. Product lines with pricing tiers will typically always favor dealers who do more volume.
If NAV has a better pricing tier because they move thousands of cameras annually this works to their favor. Their margin may be less on hardware then smaller companies because they make it up in volume.
I think it needs to be emphasized that this sort of project pricing is typical from most surveillance product manufacturer. Discounts for large projects from most manufactures are frequently much bigger than what Axis offers, often 15-25% off of best dealer ("Gold") pricing. Dealers are often making 10% or less, particularly if box sales, and that puts end user prices for larger projects under standard best dealer cost. This is not at all unusual. The article mentions end users who buy Axis as low as 38% off. That I find surprising. Any examples of that?
This is not a project. This is an indefinite-quantity contract, committing NAV to sell at that price but not committing Vermont to buy any specific amount of Axis products.
The article mentions end users who buy Axis as low as 38% off. That I find surprising. Any examples of that?
I don't have any contractual proof like we have here but just looking at how relatively modest this contract is and how large many much large Axis projects are out there, I would be stunned if they were not getting much higher discounts.
It's news because most people in the industry are not aware of such practices and this is concrete evidence showing the practice. It has quite high engagement and readership so there's clearly interest in this.
There’s no possible way the mention of Dahua is anything more than John trolling me. Here’s a legit and interesting article about one of the industry leaders and with absolutely no context it makes mention of Dahua. Not only makes mention but, in an article that clearly is not a positive for Axis as far as anyone selling below top discount level, compares Dahua as an option. 100% troll attempt here. “Axis is screwing its top discount level partners but at least they have some exclusivity in who can buy. Dahua on the other hand is readily available”. Completely insane, you got me John.
There’s no possible way the mention of Dahua is anything more than John trolling me
What? Sorry, but I did not think of you when mentioning this. That's a truly odd accusation.
“Axis is screwing its top discount level partners but at least they have some exclusivity in who can buy. Dahua on the other hand is readily available”.
No, that was not my implication. It was actually the opposite. That Dahua's channel is so fragmented and contradictory that Dahua's actual dealer partners pay more than a guy in China who sells it direct off the Internet.
It's not uncommon in the construction industry for manufacturers to work with suppliers to provide pricing on a per project basis. That's the nature of competitive bidding. This is clearly a large project. Why is everyone so upset? This is a good thing! It means that Axis is willing to work with their partners to maintain healthy product distribution. It also means that partners have the ability to compete against low ball bidders with interior product offerings.
For Axis it would be smart to FIRST upgrade the lower models ia the P... series and then...upgrade the high end Q-models. Axis is known for its marketing etc. SO i m convinced that in 2020Q4 we will see the Q-series with: lightfinder-2 and with the new chip.
Is this that big of a deal? The industry is consolidating and your regional companies are going to become super regional companies. Your local guys are going to stay in business by being small nimble shops doing smb commercial work with the odd ball one off enterprise jobs.
If you aren't a big boy you aren't going to play in a lot of the markets anymore because being a Gold/Platinum dealer is the minimum barrier for entry but most people have sweetheart deals well below this.