Closed Cloud Cameras Trashed

By John Honovich, Published May 13, 2019, 08:55am EDT

When you buy a camera, do you own it?

Not anymore.

closed cloud cameras in trash

In the world of closed cloud cameras, you may think you are buying a camera but all you are getting is the right to pay a technology company more money every month until they decide to trash it.

Case in point, today, Arlo has announced that their original VueZone line will be trashed 3 months from today.

Inside this note, we examined what happened and why buyers need to understand the growing risks of closed cloud cameras.

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*** **** ******* **** they ***** ***** ******* too?

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**** **** * **** ago, **** *** ** top ** *** *****, with ************ ***** *** financiers*********** **** *** ******* would ** ***** ********.

*******,*** *******'* ******* **** **** **** 80% **** *** *** opening:

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Comments (27)

And, to be clear, I fully mean this to apply to Verkada, Meraki and other new entrants who want to bring this consumer model to the enterprise.

Related: The IP Camera Lock-In Trend: Meraki and Verkada

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lol you are relentless..

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https://documentation.meraki.com/MC/Meraki_MC_Closure

Very important to note that Meraki recently discontinued their VoIP product. None of their invested consumers saw that coming either. They are far from immune and consumers should absolutely be afraid that Meraki and Verkada could shut off the switch at any time. Dangerous stuff.

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Jacob,

Thanks for sharing. On that link you shared it says:

Customers who purchased Meraki MC will qualify for an extended RMA and can migrate to a Cisco collaboration solution.

Do you know how that works? Does that mean they get offsetting credit for another Cisco product or?
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Yes, I believe Cisco gives some form of credit depending on the size of the customer and the fuss they throw about it. Cisco purchased Broadsoft which is the largest software developer for cloud based VoIP systems that most of the large ISPs build their back-end systems from (CenturyLink, etc). They have cloud options through a host of service providers or Cisco Call Manager (large enterprise focused premise/datacenter stuff) that they could give discounts for. My understanding is that for most customers it is not full value of what they had paid but I don't have exact details on it across the board. In either regard, a complete disruption to the voice infrastructure and day to day communication their customer's use.

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This is an example of the benefit, and a critical factor, to open standard hardware as it affects an end-users TCO in years 5-10.

 

Closed off and proprietary systems are a hostage negotiation year after year with the most likely outcome being the bad for the person paying the bill.

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Closed off and proprietary systems are a hostage negotiation year after year with the most likely outcome being the bad for the person paying the bill.

I have a used Pebble watch if anyone is interested 😉 

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I work for a non-proprietary cloud video surveillance company.  

I believe that Meraki is Cisco's 5th product in the Video Surveillance market.  The other 4 have all been sunset (granted 2 of them were acquisitions.) .  It's only a matter of time before Cisco shuts Meraki down too.  

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This feels different.

I don't know specifically about Meraki, but with them and Verkada, this isn't the same as the past. Meraki isn't another Broadware-type purchase grafting a product into a me-too video surveillance offering, and Verkada is coming from outside the industry in a very specific 'disruption' model.

Not necessarily saying it's going to be successful - I think it's a poor deal for end users and should be fundamentally disqualifying for any public entity - but this is a different type of business and I think risky to discount just because of Cisco's track record in video security.

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It might be different, who knows.  However, those that ignore history are doomed to repeat it.  

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Re: Verkada

The “disruption” model is a sales technique, nothing more. 

At its core, it’s still a closed system with proprietary devices, and they can decide to “disrupt” your service when they want to compel you to buy new devices. If they decide to close up shop or are acquired and assimilated, you’re left with useless cameras that you’d have to throw away just the same. 

I suppose we’ll see how it plays out, but at the end of the day, the buyer has little say in how the relationship goes after the contract is signed. 

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You may want to re-read the Arlo commitment to VueZone.  It clearly stated 2 years ago that the VueZone cameras were NOT/never compatible.  Arlo values the VueZone customers and brought them to the Arlo platform, but not their existing cameras.

Thus, the recent news about bricking and trashing the cameras is not new news, as they had over 2 years of notice. That being said, it really sucks for the customers, and shows why monthly fees for hardware products and cloud services should be carefully reviewed/avoided, IMHO.

 

Full screenshot below.

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You may want to re-read the Arlo commitment to VueZone.

Sort of. From SlashGear:

“As you may know, VueZone was the name of the Arlo security camera system when NETGEAR first acquired the product line,” a Netgear spokesperson told SlashGear. “We have since made significant improvements to both the hardware capabilities and how the cameras are used via the mobile app and cloud recording services.”

“Netgear has continued to support these legacy cameras since the acquisition in 2012. Unfortunately, most recently, due to technical constraints, we cannot simply allow the VueZone to work within the Arlo system and the time has come to discontinue our support.”

Approximately 26,000 customers still have an active VueZone base station, the company tells me. They’re eligible for a discounted set of Netgear’s current Arlo cameras, as long as they buy before July 31, 2016.

So Netgear seems to have specifically bought the company to create Arlo. While the technology does seem significantly different, this wasn't a customer acquisition as much as it was a technology one. And then Netgear largely abandoned those customers when it wasn't convenient. 

26,000 customers left in 2016 - I'm guessing that number was quite a bit less by 2019...

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Hmm no value in 26,000 customers? Even at $10.00 a month that is $250,000+ they are throwing out the window. Genius! Must be college educated people running that show!

If I had a company with 26,000 monthly subscribers I would keep that spigot on until the product died, not the customers.

Some companies just bring in idiot CEO's that claim to be there to transform the company to a new profit level. But lower profits was the outcome.

An example outside our world I found recently. Chasing the cloud at the expense of your customer base is not wise. Just another example of management only knowing what their  customers want because someone else told them, not from actual customers.

Neat Desk a nice little document scanner hardware and software combo that has been working for years nicely. They ditch the desktop software and go total cloud. Service slows to a crawl product rendered virtually useless and customers run screaming for an alternate. Good move guys.

 

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Looking into when VueZone hardware was discontinued, it appears to have been made official in the last half of 2015, though stock was limited in 2014. So for the unlucky customers purchasing cameras towards its end of life, less than 5 years later their gear doesn't work.

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Archive.org shows Netgear still selling VueZone in June 2014:

Even September 2015, it was still for sale:

It was not until October 2015, they are listed as discontinued:

 

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We've seen Flock Safety coming up.  Proprietary cameras.  Have had a couple customers want to change and didn't realize the cameras are worthless (and not even theirs).

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customers want to change and didn't realize the cameras

This is the key reason that I am pushing hard on this because I think most people will be surprised that this is the case. Virtually every surveillance camera, for many years, has been open so people understandably assume that this is the case across the board.

The people who are really screwed are the end user managers who inherit closed systems and then have to deal with being locked in by their predecessor. 

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do you know what cameras they are using?  couldn't find anything on any import websites.

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We just had this product brought up during preliminary consultation for ALPR with a government entity. Never heard of them until now but it appears they are starting to actively market the public sector. Started looking into them and the details seem a bit thin on the website and I can't seem to find any trade related info as well so they seem to have a pretty small footprint at the moment. Appears to only be a lease option and their cloud for processing and storage so if they go dark there goes a critical system and the data.

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we don’t need your limitations

we don’t need no cloud control

no closed Verkada in the classroom

dealers leave them kits alone

hey dealers, leave them kits alone!

all in all you were just another brick on the wall...

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LOVE IT!!!!

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ROF LOL.  Thank you Undisclosed #5.  Number Five is alive!!!!!

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INMO -

Meraki-Cisco has been around since 2006 and has focused on their cloud WiFi service and AP's which is pretty much bullet proof system. It costs a little more but is well worth it for Federal, Enterprise and large venue markets. Their camera add-on solution which came along later as a "we-can-also-do" in my opinion is not a good option.

No one with any industry experience in critical video applications is going to farm out their video data to the cloud. And, if you do, you are asking for trouble for both you and your customer.

If you can't afford a "localized" system or don't "have the room" as mentioned in an earlier post, then don't buy any system until you can support everything internally.

Even if you do bring everything "in-house" there are no 100% grantees of success but at least success or failure will be in your hands and not the hands of some cloud network equipment-manufacturer that is literally stuck in the cloud based world.

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"No one with any industry experience in critical video applications is going to farm out their video data to the cloud. And, if you do, you are asking for trouble for both you and your customer."

Are you sure?

Microsoft wins a $10 billion US Department of Defense JEDI cloud contract. Microsoft has emerged as the winner of the estimated $10 billion DoD JEDI contract, besting favorite Amazon.

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