If You Have 4 Cameras, You Can Throw Them Away, If You Have 400, They Throw You Away

Author: John Honovich, Published on Jan 19, 2018

Do users care about anything but price?

Do user care about cybersecurity?

Do users care about trusting their supplier?

These have become pressing questions given the fall in pricing, the surge in cybersecurity issues (e.g., widespread hacking) and the growing ethical concerns of surveillance manufacturers.

A critical difference is the size of systems. A user who buys 4 cameras, is generally content to throw them away, ignore them or try to fix it themselves if they work poorly. However, a user who buys 400 cameras is generally going to fire, blame or punish the manager who specified a system with such problems.

Cost

Users with small systems are generally content to live with problems or to spend time nights and weekends trying to fix things, downgrade firmware, try workarounds, etc. Users with large systems simply have too many cameras / too large a system to do that without hiring or spending significant money. Moreover, larger system users generally recognize the business cost of staying up all night to downgrade firmware or other DIY techniques.

Cybersecurity

Most people with a handful of cameras do not really care about cybersecurity. If someone sees inside their backyard or pizzeria, they typically can laugh it off. But users with large systems typically are protecting the assets of a corporation or a governmental entity and those organizations generally have a lot more to lose across a combination of brand damage from attacks, their Intellectual Property, their IT equipment, the productivity of their people, etc.

Trust

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

If you are only buying a few cameras, you are generally willing to 'trust' whatever is on the Costco shelf or has decent Amazon reviews (even if faked). The sheer time to learn and analyze various competitive options is generally not worth it. Most will make do with the most readily available seemingly decent option, especially if it has much lower pricing. And if it really breaks, through it away and repeat.

But larger system buyers who are committing to capital expenditures and long-term staffing and maintenance spending have a lot more motivation and typically resources to evaluate purchasing decisions. For them, it makes sense to meet with various suppliers, to research things, to hire people with experience using various systems. Moreover, throwing away large systems is impractical. You buy it in 2018, you are going to be dealing with it good or bad, in 2023 and sometimes even to 2028. So trust in the quality, ethics and commitment of the manufacturer one selects is typically quite important. 4 years from now, if a buyer has serious problems with a system, telling people "Yeah but I saved you 30% back then" is not going to go far given the various operational problems and costs when systems malfunction or underperform.

Rule of Thumb, Not Universal Law

Surely, there are exceptions to this pattern. Some people buying 4 cameras will study it obsessively and only buy the 'best'. And some people buying 400 cameras will take whatever cheap offering a friendly salesperson will offer them. But those are exceptions, given the more common differences across these groups.

Impact on Competitive Positioning - Small vs Large System Market Success

Some ignore this contrast and come to conclusions that everyone uses whatever is cheapest or no one would use that cheap stuff. The reality, though, is more nuanced. Many manufacturers can do very well in smaller systems and then struggle mightily with larger systems. The reason is simple - the needs and the risk that larger system buyers take is typically vastly different than their small counterparts.

Comments (30) : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports on End Users

No Genetec Major Releases In Over A Year on Feb 06, 2019
Annual VMS licenses are a controversial practice in the video surveillance industry, with many questioning their need or value. However, enterprise...
Wavelynx Access Control Manufacturer Profile on Jan 10, 2019
Denver-based WaveLynx is not well known as an access reader manufacturer, but OEMs for big industry brands including Amag, Isonas (Allegion),...
ASIS GSX 2018 Mixed Manufacturer Reviews With Declining Overall Attendance on Oct 02, 2018
ASIS GSX 2018 show drew 9% fewer total registrants, however, it gained 15% more paid registrations, according to ASIS. In this note, we look...
Favorite Access Control Reader Manufacturer 2018 on Sep 25, 2018
Favorite reader votes are in, and it is not close. A global access giant ran away with the votes in a one-sided contest. But for many, the...
France Political Scandal Reveals Video Surveillance Problems on Aug 22, 2018
In what French media describes as "the most damaging crisis yet for" French President Macron, a political scandal has revealed major gaps in the...
GDPR For Access Control Guide on Jul 03, 2018
Electronic access control is common in businesses plus organizations are increasingly considering biometrics for access control. With GDPR coming...
Replacing / Switching Access Control Systems Guide on Jun 28, 2018
Ripping out and replacing access control systems is hard for important reasons. Because users typically hold on to access control systems for as...
Anixter Acquires 'PSIM Platform' Inner Range - "Heart of Our Technology Differentiation" on Apr 30, 2018
Anixter Security has made a bold move, acquiring what it calls a PSIM platform as part of a $150 million deal, with Anixter's CEO Bob...
Key Control For Access Control Tutorial on Apr 16, 2018
End users spend thousands on advanced systems to keep themselves secure, but regularly neglect one of the lest expensive yet most important aspects...
GDPR For Video Surveillance Guide on Apr 12, 2018
The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on May 25, but there is much confusion and no clear guidelines on...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Security Installation Tools Guide - 22 Tools Listed on Feb 19, 2019
In this guide, we cover 22 tools that security installers frequently use. This is one part of our upcoming Video Surveillance...
Sales Cuts At Rasilient on Feb 19, 2019
Over the past 2 years, video surveillance storage specialist Rasilient has expanded its workforce significantly, aiming to build its own branded...
Exacq Raises VMS Software Pricing Twice in Less Than a Year on Feb 18, 2019
Most VMSes regularly release new features, but rarely increase their prices. For the 3rd time in 4 years, and 2nd time in 8 months, since being...
Axis IR Multi Imager Camera Tested (P3717-PLE) on Feb 18, 2019
Axis has released their first IR multi imager, the P3717-PLE, a repositionable model listing 360° IR illumination and flexible positioning,...
Ubiquiti Favorability Results 2019 on Feb 18, 2019
Ubiquiti has quietly grown into a $1+ billion annual revenue company, with offerings across wireless, wireline network and video surveillance (see...
Casino Surveillance Pro Interview: James Lathrop on Feb 15, 2019
James Lathrop has been working in casinos for almost 25 years. During that time, he says he has held "just about every job you can do in the...
Hikvision 2018 Revenue Tops $7 Billion USD But Growth Slows To Low on Feb 15, 2019
Hikvision's annual revenue topped $7 billion for the first time in 2018, although growth slowed sharply. In this post, we analyze the latest...
Hanwha Smaller Multi Imager Tested (PNM-9000VQ) on Feb 14, 2019
Hanwha's first repositionable multi imager PNM-9081VQ tested well, but was huge, over 12" wide and weighing in at over 10 pounds. Now, they have...
ADT And 'The Defenders' Silent About Massive Complaints on Feb 14, 2019
ADT's largest dealer, "The Defenders" has been the subject of a massive number of complaints over many years and many forums, most recently a CBS...
Hikvision Chairman Praises United Front on Feb 14, 2019
Hikvision’s controlling shareholder held a meeting last month praising the United Front, a Communist Party organization known for its secretive...

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