Best & Worst Manufacturer Salespeople

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on Nov 10, 2014

What manufacturers were rated the worst? Which the best?

What do integrators want from their manufacturer salespeople? What offends them the most?

New IPVM survey results of 100+ integrators answer these questions inside, including:

  • The 3 most polarizing manufacturer sales teams
  • The 4 key positive traits that integrators repeated
  • The 4 fatal negative characteristics that integrators bemoaned
  • The 2 up and coming manufacturers with strong results
  • The 2 incumbent manufacturers with weak results
  • **** ************* **** ***** the *****? ***** *** best?

    **** ** *********** **** from ***** ************ ***********? What ******* **** *** most?

    *** **** ****** ******* of ***+ *********** ****** these ********* ******, *********:

    • *** * **** ********** ************ sales *****
    • *** * *** ******** traits **** *********** ********
    • *** * ***** ******** characteristics **** *********** ********
    • *** * ** *** ****** manufacturers **** ****** *******
    • *** * ********* ************* **** weak *******

    [***************]

    Traits **********

    *** * *** ****** of *** ***** ****** found ****:

    • ************
    • ********
    • ****** ****
    • ********

    *** * ****** ****** of **** *********** ****:

    • *********
    • **********
    • *************
    • ***** *****

    Bad ***** ******

    *************, *** ******** ** full ** ******** ** 'how *** ** ** a **** ********'. ****'* a ***** ******** **** the ****** ******* *** behaviors ** **** ***********:

    ************: *** **** ****** complaint ** **** *** of *** **** *****. Bad *********** ** *** respond **** ****** ** for ****. **** ** the **** ****** ***** comments ******* **** ****:

    • "** *** ** ******* them for *** *** *********, however **** ** *** field **** ***** ***** anymore."
    • "**** *** #^#$ **** the *** **** **** answering ***** ****** *** magically *********."
    • "**** **** ******* ***** within ***** ************; *** slow ** ******* ** communications"
    • "**** ** *******. ** answers ** **** ********* questions. ******* *** **** to *** ***********."
    • "**** **** **** ** ******* back ** ****** *** return **********."
    • "** *** ********** ******* them *** ***********. ****** impossible ** *** ***** material (********* ***)."
    • "***** ***** ***** ****** seen ** ** *** busy ** ***** ** an ***** ** ****** their ******."

    ********: ******* *********** ******* **** salespeople **** ** ******* adequate ********* ** ***** own ********. **** *** ***** line ** ******* ******* falling ** ***********, *** knowing ****** ** * critical ******* ** *** worst ******** *****:

    • "***** **** ** *** knowledgeable ** ***** *** *******, *** they ***'* ****** **** to **** ******."
    • "[**** ***] ***** *** **** very ****** ********* ***** their *** ******** *** even **** ***** ****** average *** *******."
    • "**** ***'* **** ** know ***** *** ******** nor ********** ********* ************* issues."
    • "***** **** **** ***'* know **** **** *** talking *****. **** **** products **** ***'* ****, full ** **** *** issues *** **** **** like ****** *** ** every ******** *******."
    • "*** ***** ***** *** has ****** ********* ***** their ******** ******** *** doesn't ********** ***** ********* terms."
    • "*** ***** ****** ** our ********* ** *****, doesn't **** *** ******* and *****'* **** *** to *** *** ******* from *** *******."

    ****** ****: ***** *********** **** are ********** ** ********* big ********. ******* ******** note **** *** ********** ignored ****** **** *** working ** * *** sale ** ****** *** volumes ** **** *********:

    • "*** ***** ******* ******* to **** ** ***** a *** *******. ** wasn't **** ******* ** suggesting ******** ************. ** received ****** **** **** for * **** ***** bid *** **** ** wanted ** ******* ******* later ** *** ************** *** *** ***** to ******** ********."
    • "****** ******* * *** not ********* ****** ******* for **** **** *********** cut ** *** **** their ****** ****** *** no ****** ******* ** my *******."
    • "******* ** ****, ****** a ***** *******."
    • "*** ********** ** **** the **** *** *****."
    • "***** ***** ** ******* monthly ******* ***** ***** in *** **** ** genuine ******** *****."
    • "********* ** *****. **** seem ********** ** *** opportunities. ***** ******* ******** this ** ****."

    ********: **** ** *** ** off, **** *********** ****** an ******** ** *********** when **** *****.  **** leaves **** ********* ******* answers, ** ********* ***** direct ************* ********* **** a ****** ** ******* attitude ***** ***** ********.

    • "**** **** ******** ***** ****** about * ******* ***** hasn't **** **** **** technology."
    • "**** ******* ***** ** have ******* ********. **** when *** *** **** up *** ** *** told '** ***** ** months' ****** ** ***** come ***."
    • "***** ******** ***** ******* is ******* *** **** serving."
    • "*** *** **** ********, played ***** *** *** never *** **** ** me.  ** ****, ***** loss *** ****."
    • "**** ***** ****'** **** enough **** *********, ***** they ****** ***** ***** going **** ********."
    • "***** **** *** ********** the ************ ** ***** relationships, ***** ** **** emphasis ** ********** ***-**** buy-in ******* ********** *** dealer *******."

    Good ***** ******

    ** *** ***** ****, there *** * *** distinguishing *************** ** **** salespeople. *** ***** ***** reveals *** ****** ****** most *********** ** ****** respondents:

    *********: *** **** ****** positive ***** *********** *********** is ****** *********** ** winning *** ******** **** their *******'* ********.  ******* it ** **** ******** in *********, ******** ** new ********, ** **** sharing ******* ***********, *** best ******** ** ** without ******* ** ** asked *****:

    • "** *** **** ***** by ********* ** ***** us ** *** ********, send ** ******* ***** lists/product *****. ** *** the ******** *** ** easily *******, ** * have * ********* ********."
    • "**** ******** ***** ***** ***** with *** ***** **********; are ********* *** *** dealers ****** ***** *** company, *** **** ******* demo **** **** ******."
    • "** **** * ***** rep *** ***** ** provide ******** *** ***** opportunities."
    • "**** **** ** ******* of ***** ****** ************."
    • "***** ******** *** **********."
    • "******* ** ******** ************* was **** ****."
    • "**** *** ******* **** ****** and ***-***** ******* ***** is ************* **** ******* on ****** *************."

    **********: ********, ** *********** are *********, **** *** prompt ** ********* ***** or ******. **** *** seemingly ***** *********, *** responders ** *** ****** question **** ** ***** quick ******** ** *********:

    • "**** ****** **** ** touch, ***** ********* *** quick. ** *** ***** and ****** ******* ** be *******."
    • "** *** ** *****, always ******* ** ***** directly ****** *** **** or ***** * **** of **** ** *** talk **** **. ** he ****** *** ** me ******* ****** ** has *** ** *** inside ***** ******* ** to **** **** ** business."
    • "****** ********* ********** *** devoted ** ***** * partner *** **** * salesman *********** **** ** doesn't ****** **** *** best ******** *** ** willing ** **** **** that ********."
    • "**** **** ******** ********* to ******** *** **** registration *********."
    • "**** ******* ******* ** communications"
    • " *** ***** *** ** very ********** ** ***** and **** ******* *********. He **** ***** ***** month **** ** ***** in."
    • "**** **** * ******* scenario ** ***********, **** respond *********** **** ******** and ********* ************."

    *************: **** *********** ********** what **** *** ******* and *** **** ** convey ***** ***** ******** fit **** *****. *** only ** ******* ********* valued, *** ******* ****** understanding *** ****** ******** are ********* ** ****:

    • "**** *** *************, ***** to **** ** *** and ******* ***** ****** to **** ****."
    • "*** **** **** ***** you ******* ***** ******* range ******* ******** *** with ***** ********* ** acronyms."
    • "***** *********** *** ******* technically *** ****** ********, and *** ******* ********** in * ******, ************ way."
    • "**** ***** ************** **** ** ******** exceptions/equals ** **************. **** show **** ********* ******** and **** ** ***** responses ** **."
    • "*** *********** **** * very **** ********* ** the ******* *** **** the ******* ***** ** call ** ** **** do *** **** *** answers."
    • "**** *** ****** ** be **** ******* *** are ****** "*****-****" ** terms ** ***** ******* for **** *** ***** and ***** ********."

    ***** *****: ******* ********* **** ** clear **** **** ************* bring **** ***** ** new ******** ** *********, it **** **** *****. Instead ** ***** ******* in ** ****, *** also ******** ****** ** to *** **** ** a ************** *****:

    • "**** ******* ** ** ***** sales **** *** ******* leads."
    • "** *** ***** **** the *** ********* ** bid ** ********."
    • "**** ** *** *** help ** ***** ** *** customers ** * ****** way."
    • "***** ******* ********* ****** lead *** ********* ** us"
    • "* *** ***** ******* me ***** *** ************* regularly."

    Strong *** ********* - ********

    *********** *** **** ****** feelings ***** ********'* ***** team. ****** **** ***** them *** ****** **** gold ********* ** **** bemoaned **** *** ****** to ***** **** ****.

    *******, ******, ** * 2:1 *****, *********** ****** Avigilon (***** ** **) choose **** ** *** best.

    **** *** **** ** the **** ********** ********* integrator *********:

    • "******** ***** ******* ********* passed **** *** ********* to **. ******* ** pursuing ************* *** **** good."
    • "******** ******** ******, **** level ** ***** *********** assistance, ***** **** *** users ** *** ******** and ****** **** ** the *****. **** **** from ******* *** ** Rep ****** ** ****** sales *** **** *******. Everyone ** ** *** chain ** ******* *** our *******."
    • "********. **** ******* ******* to **************; ******** ***** sales ***** **** *** users **********; *** ********* for *** ******* ****** their *** *******; *** help ******* **** **** when ******."
    • "******** - **** *** aggressive ** ********** ***** own ***** *** ******** them ** ** ** well ** **** ***** on ******* *** *** own ******** ***** *** projects. * **** ********* 4 ********* ****** ** place ** ****** **."

    ***, ** *** **** side, *** ********:

    • "******** - ****** ******* for * **** ** flip *****"
    • "** **** ******* ** the ******** *** *** our ****- **** ** had ** ***********, ** were **** **** **'* have ** ******** ******* another ****** ** ******* region- ** ******'* ** from ******** ********. ** was ****** ** ******* the ******** ******* ** the **** ******* *** whole ***** *** **** too ***** *** **... why ******** ** ** he ******'* *** ** up. ** ****** ****."
    • "******** - ****** ******* I *** *** ********* enough ******* *** **** they *********** *** ** off **** ***** ****** portal *** ** ****** respond ** ** *******."
    • "**** **** ******* *** under *******."

    *** *** / *** for ******** ** ****, if **** *** ****** a ******, **** **** evidently ******* ******* ****.

    Strong *** ********* - ****

    ** * *:* *****, *********** citing **** (***** ** **) choose **** ** *** best. 

    *** *** ***** ** comments *** '******', *** ability ** ****** ** Axis:

    • "**** *** ****** *********, knowledgeable, ***** ** **** us *** *** ******* great ****** ** **** with."
    • "*** **** ** **** with ****** ****** ******* with ***** ******* *** you ***'* **** ** "nag" **** *** ******-**."
    • "****** ******* ** ****....****** willing ** *** *** what *** **** ...**** less *** **** **** Axis **** ***** ************."
    • "****** **** ** *****, email ********* *** *****. to *** ***** *** always ******* ** ** helpful. ******* *** **** that ** **** **** less ******** **** **** than ***** *************, ***** guy ** ****** ******** every **** ** ****** more ******** **** ** through ******* *******, ******** attitude *** ***** ******."
    • "*** **** ***** ***** reps ****** *** **** to ***. ** **** a *** *****, *** they ****** ****** **** email ***/** ***** ****."

    *** ******** **** ******* on **** **** **** of ********* ** ********:

    • "*********** ******** **** *** extremely **** *******. ********* argumentative ***** ** ****** since ********* ** *** the ******** ** **** week, * *** **** the ******* **** ****** than *** ** ***."
    • "**** ** **** **************."
    • "***** *** **** **** little ********* ***** ***** own ********."
    • "**'** **** **** **** for **** **** ***** years *** ** **** learned *** **** ** our ***** *** * couple ****** ***, *** they've ***** ****** ** visited **."
    • "********* ** *****. **** seem ********** ** *** opportunities. ***** ******* ******** this ** ****."

    *** ****, ***** ******* is ********** *********** ***** their ******* ~**,*** ******* base.

    Split *** ********* - *********

    *********** **** ***** **** the ****** ***** ********* with * ******** *** 7 ********.

    *** ********* ********:

    • "** **** * ***** rep *** ***** ** provide ******** *** ***** opportunities."
    • "** ********* *** ** great, ****** ******* ** calls ******** ****** *** hour ** ***** * text ** **** ** can **** **** **. If ** ****** *** to ** ******* ****** he *** *** ** his ****** ***** ******* me ** **** **** of ********."
    • "*** ***** *** ** very ********** ** ***** and **** ******* *********. He **** ***** ***** month **** ** ***** in." 
    • "***** **** **** *** willing ** ** *** extra **** ** **** me **** * **** it."
    • "** ******** *** ****** make **** ** **** whenever ***** *** ************* available. ** ************ **** support ** *********."

    *** ********* ********:

    • "**** ****** *** *** there **** ** ********* but ***'* **** **** anything *** ***."
    • "*********: **** **** ***********?!?!"
    • "** *** ****** ** least, ** **** * bunch ** ***** ****** who *** **** ****** to *** ***** ******* other **** **** ****** in ****************************."
    • "********* ** *** ** just ***'* **** **** but **** **** ** the ****."
    • "***** ***** ***** ****** seen ** ** *** busy ** ***** ** an ***** ** ****** their ******."

    Strong - *********

    ********* *** * **** votes *** ** ***** votes. *********** ************ ******* their ******* *** *********. Here *** * ********* of ***** ********:

    • "*** ***** *** ** extremely *******, ********** *** informative. ** *** * tech ****** ** **** into ***** ** ** knows *** ************ **** of *** ********. ** works ******* **** *** distributors ** ****** ******** inventory ** ********* ** our ***********'* **********."
    • "**** ****** *** *****, (usually) *** **** ****** involved **** *** ****** projects, **** ******* *** technical ***********."
    • "**********, **** ** **** offer ********* ** *** projects, **** **** *******, provided ******* ** *** technology, ********** ************* *** able ** ******* ** what ** *** **** product *** *** ********."
    • "* *** ********* ********* from ***** @ *********. Being * ****** **** he ** **** *************."
    • "************** **** ***** ** regularly ** ***** ** on *** ********, **** us ******* ***** *****/******* lists. ** *** *** engineer *** ** ****** reached, ** * **** a ********* ******** **** can ********* ****** ** questions (*** ********** **** the ***** ****** **** as **** ** **** support) ** **** ***'* know *** ****** **** can *** ** ****** from ***** *********** ********** pretty *******."
    • "**** ******** ** ********** new *** ******* ** establish *** ***** ************ through ************ ********."

    Strong - *******

    ******* *** * **** votes *** ** ***** ones. *********** ********** ***** proactiveness *** **************, ********* comments ****:

    • "***** ****** *** ********* too ***********, *** **** information **** ** ******** exceptions/equals ** ************** *** offered. **** **** **** cognitive ******** *** **** in ***** ********* ** us."
    • "*******. ******** ** ** not **** *** ******** of ****** ***, ***** rep *** **** *******. He **** ** *** me ** ******. ** answered *** ** ** questions ** ****** *** in * **** ****** fashion ******* *****. ****** products **** ******** ** promised. * **** ***** had ** ***** *** for ********. ********, ******** and ************."
    • ******* - **** ** all **** *** ** help ** **** *** sales *******.
    • *******. ******* *** *** rep *** **** * great ****. ****** ** out ** ***** *** to ******* ** *** our *********.

    Weak - *********

    ** *** ***** ****, Panasonic *** * ***** ones *** **** *** best, **** *** ***** being**********/ ***************:

    • "**** **** *** ***** calls. ********** ******* ***** team ***'* ***** ********, can't ****** ****** *********, and ***'* ******** *** product ********** **** ******."
    • "******** ********* ***** ****** used ** ***** *-* times * ****, *** we *****'* **** *** new *** ***** ** came ******* *** ***** ago. **** *******, ********* are ********* *******, *** fully ******** ***** *** own ******* **** *** has ** ********* ***** him (******** ** * belief **** ********* **** the **** *******, **** picture ******* *** ******** that ** *** **** has. ***** ***** *** this *** **** **** true, *** **** **** done **** ****** ** change ***** ****** **** since. ***, **** *** behind *** *** ****** to **** **** **** tech *******. ** **** dropped *** ***** **** them ******* ** **** from >$********/**** ** **** under $****/****."
    • "***** ************** ***** ***** confused ******* ****** *** rep *****. *** ********** ** * ****** industry ***** *** *** no **** **** **** our ***."

    Weak - *****

    *** ******** ****** ******* manufacturer, *** *** ** a **** ***, *** Lenel, **** *** **** but ***** ***** **********. Responses ********:

    • "***** **** ** **** the **** ***** ******, now **** **** *** worst. ** ********, ***** is *** *** ** former ** ******** ******, who **** ****** ** GE ********."
    • "***** **** ** *** knowledgeable ** ******** ********* (which ** * **** they *********) *** **** don't ****** **** ** care ******."
    • "*****. ********* *** ********** in ******* **** ****** other **** *** ****** few."
    • "*****: **** *** **** ******* always **** ** ***** the ***** *****."

Comments (10)

Dear John,

For every sales person, understanding the product and knowlegde is key to be successful as a sales person, building relationship within the channel added to individuals ability to manage the channel, even if the company has limited resources.

After reading the report, I have a few Questions..

'''The 4 key themes of bad sales traits found were "Unresponsive", "Ignorant", "Whales only' & "Arrogant" ''''

Is there any idea on the nature of enquiry / call..? because from experience, working with OEM / Disributor / SI, one of the comman chalenges faced by sales people is the process of the company, which either enable or restrict

-- Presales or Project Engineers are supposed to handle all projects.

-- Value Added Distributor are to handle Level one enquiries / support. or Distributors are Value Added

-- Breakup of Partners into levels (1,2 & 3 also called: Gold, Sliver, Bronze) and thus the support also.

-- Project Registration System: ?? do they have one and how transperant is it

-- Alloacted resources for geographical Area..?? this is key element of partner relationship.... One on the companies I worked for had this golden rule "4 Inside Sales for 1 Outside Sales" but what we see in the market is 65,000 partners supported by 55 Sales people = 1000 Partners per Sales Person / 20 working days = 50 Partners per day..?

One of the challenges I would like to highlight is that Some Companies want sales people in IP Video with "Network" / "software" Experience and feel that components of Camera can be provided in a few days of training..? which result is underprepared sales people..?

To be fair to the sales persons, I recommend that this report should also include the "Company Policies" and "the Distributor / Dealership / Partnerships - Terms & Conditions".

Srikanth,

Certainly each company's total resource commitment to sales will impact the effectiveness of salespeople, much like investing in R&D can improve product.

Btw, your reference to "65,000 partners supported by 55 Sales people" is simply wrong. Axis has ~1900 employees, including 100+ in sales just for the US. So your figure is way way off.

Dear John,

I stand corrected.,

Nice job and I feel compelled to add my .02. This is a great reminder to the mfg that success is highly correlated to leadership attitudes/actions regarding customer development and support, that in turn sets the bar for the type of organization and characteristics we experience. Like most business managers, I had the pleasure working with great teams and Boards, as well as, the other kind.

Businesses have cycles. They grow and become more complex; the organization must add systems and processes to function consistently. As you add these things it is too easy to shift the focus internally resulting in many of the “bad” qualities identified - especially if the organization becomes part of a larger entity as happens so often.

Some of what you surveyed is the consequence of poor recruiting and/or training while others are related to convoluted decision making, accountability and support processes. In the end, customers will vote with their purchases…that goes for both integrators and manufactures. In fact, if integrators don’t make good purchasing/recruiting/management decisions they themselves risk the same fate as the manufacturer they complain about.

The bright side (and I am a glass half full guy) is that big or small, simple or complex, businesses can change – if they have the will and ability to do it. Despite what I hear so frequently this is not a commodity business. People still buy from and depend on other people to be successful. In my opinion, it always comes back to leadership’s attitudes/actions regarding the customer. That has to set the tone.

Why one seven vendors, and why is Panasonic of interest any number of more widely used products? That seemed like a lot of build up to once again (yawn) read mostly about Avigilon.

Avigilon and Axis got the most total votes (both positive and negative). That is why they were covered.

And Panasonic was covered because they had the worst overall showing in the survey.

Interesting read John, i was wondering if there were more negative Avigilon votes from the UK, as i know a lot of unhappy installers...

Would be interested to read what was said about other vendors as well. Thanks John.

Feel free to suggest specific manufacturers. There's certainly other comments on other manufacturers but generally only a few comments and most not terribly in depth.

Here is one in-depth comment on a less known manufacturer:

"Seneca - we have increase our spend with Seneca almost triple from the previous year because of helpful, awesome sales people who are always willing to help, never treat my requests as mundane, boring or routine (even though many of them are!) They are always willing to help us to get precisely what our customers need and are well-versed in both their products and server technology in general. Not afraid to identify when a configuration may meet with challenges based on IOPS limitation or technology issues. They seem to genuinely care about the end product, which puts them light years ahead of the competition that we have used almost exclusively in the past to source NVRs/servers. When they suggest a technology upgrade, it never seems like they are trying to upgrade for the sake of making a few more bucks, rather to address a limitation or potential issue in the future if we miss on a proposed spec for the given scenario."

Someone has experience with March Networks and Infinova?

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