Can Navco's VideoMetrixs VSaaS Compete?

By John Honovich, Published Aug 31, 2011, 08:00pm EDT

US national security integrator Navco is the latest to throw its hat into the VSaaS ring with an offering called Videometrixs [link no longer available]. One immediate differentiator is a new twist on the pricing/packaging of the overall solution. However, we do think it is enough to make the offering competitive, suffering from similar fundamental flaws of the many copy-cat VSaaS providers launching monthly.

Let's start with a review of the key points about the service:

  • It uses Axis AVHS and as such only supports Axis cameras.
  • It is hosted/managed via EMC's VSaaS hosting solution (that incorporates Axis AVHS).
  • No NAS devices (such as iomega) or on site storage is supported. All video is streamed off site.
  • Up to 4 IP cameras are supported and the user can pick from [link no longer available] Axis box, dome, vandal dome or zoom cameras.
  • 7 Days of continuous recording and 30 days of alarm recording are included.
  • No Megapixel cameras are supported.
  • Contracts range from 1 - 3 years with significant price declines for longer contracts (e.g., the 3 year plan is nearly half the price of the 1 year plan).
  • Optionally, customers can purchase without a contract or after a contract concludes at $15 per camera per month.
  • Per camera pricing (including camera) is ~$50 per month for 1 year and ~$28 per month for 3 years. This is for a simple box camera with a fixed lens (we suspect it is the Axis M1103). No volume discounts are provided (e.g., the per camera price of a 4 channel system is the same as a 1 camera system).
  • The contract includes rental of the camera so the user does not need to separately purchase the camera. The camera is returned to Navco at the end of the term if the user cancels.
  • The contract does not include installation. Installation costs include a flat fee of $150 and $100 per camera for indoor, 50 foot or shorter runs.
  • Service/maintenance costs are included in the contract.

Navco says that with their VSaaS offering, you can get a new video system for $1 per day. While this is true (at least for 1 camera with Navco), you would likely get the equivalent analog system for a quarter.

The problem is that there is little to differentiate this from an analog system except for the massive increase in price. You almost have to get the multi-year contract because the one year plan is comically expensive (e.g., ~$200 per month for a 4 camera system). Even with the 'cheapest' 3 year contract, the comparative cost increase is quite significant. A 3 year plan with 4 SD cameras is minimally ~$110 per month or nearly $4,000 and that does not include installation (which is another ~$500). 

Supporting MP and adding on a NAS would likely make the solution much more competitive. We would expect (or at least hope) to see this added in the future.

For more on VSaaS ROI issues, read our VSaaS ROI analysis.

[Update 2012: Not surprisingly, the service is dead already.]

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