Does Your Manufacturer Make Their Own Products?

Author: John Honovich, Published on Apr 26, 2009

A lot of video surveillance products look the same. The reason may be becuase they literally are the same. Big Western manufacturers routinely buy and re-brand a small number of Asian products.

During a week of meetings in Asia, it has become clear to me that this practice is very widespread - a common practice for analog incumbents, IP video market leaders and new entrants from IT. 

Like many, I was certainly aware of the practice of OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) deals where, typically, a Western company re-sells Asian products under the Western company's brand. However, I had previously falsely assumed that this was a minor practice. 

How Western Companies Cover-Up This Practice

The big Western companies that engage in this practice go to great lengths to cover up this practice. Here are they key tactics:

  • Strict Non-Disclosure Agreements: Asian manufacturers can and likely would be sued if they named who was OEMing their products.
  • Restricting Asian companies marketing in Western markets: Western companies often pressure their Asian OEMs not to advertise or exhibit at trade shows in the US or Europe so that the community does not uncover these relationships.
  • Lying to Journalists/Analysts: Manufacturers who I know OEM products routinely assure me that they do not.
  • Just Adding their Label: Often Western companies take the finished Asian product and simply add their label, with no enhancements.
  • Make cosmetic changes to products: To conceal this practice, Western manufacturers will often modify the housings of cameras or front panels of recorders to make the product look unique.

Certainly, these practices show that the Western manufacturers know this is a questionable, if not unethical, practice where they profit off their brands rather than delivering value.

Why This is Important

In a technical business, like video surveillance, buying direct from the 'real' manufacturer is almost always strongly preferable. The systems can be complex and need to last for many years. If you need support or a product enhancement, it is far more likely to be accomplished by working directly with the developers than through a 3rd party like the big brand.

Secondly, as a middleman, the big brands add significant cost. While they claim to test, validate, provide support and training - their main cost and value is simple - selling and marketing products. In an increasingly connected world, do we really need to pay for these middlemen?

Finally, these OEM deals actually increase confusion in the marketplace. The big brands portray each of their offerings as unique. However, if they were clear about what was being OEMed we could easily and quickly understand what real differences did exist.

1 report cite this report:

What Differentiates Video Surveillance Products? on Apr 28, 2009
Figuring out how video surveillance products are different is a challenging task. While some products are literally the same, most of them are...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Vivotek Favorability Results on Jan 20, 2017
Financially, Vivotek is doing relatively well. The company did ~$130 million in 2015 revenue and 2016 revenue (through Q3 reported) was up more...
PR Firm: Don't Scrap PR Spending on Jan 20, 2017
PR is not dying, warns pleads PR firm. Take 40+ year old industry PR firm LRG, who recently lamented the 'misconceptions' that: Traditional PR...
Getting Started With Your IPVM Membership on Jan 20, 2017
Here's how to get started and get the most out of your IPVM membership. Books for Members All members can download the 3 member-only books below...
Jim Cramer Sucks Up To Knightscope on Jan 19, 2017
Credit must be given to Knightscope. They are raising money right now and despite their $80 million pre-money valuation against a lowly sub $1...
ADT Launches Canopy - Professional Monitoring For DIY Devices on Jan 19, 2017
The intrusion industry has criticized DIY security systems for years, claiming systems like Canary or Scout cannot match professionally installed...
Dahua (Un)Favorability Results on Jan 19, 2017
Dahua, the mega-Chinese surveillance manufacturer not primarily owned by the Chinese government has been trying to break out of the shadow of...
Paxton Hosted Access - Disruptive Low Dealer Pricing on Jan 19, 2017
Paxton is entering the hosted access game, with BLU, at a cost that is a fraction of key competitors. The different approach could be very...
Geovision Launches Direct Cloud Offering on Jan 18, 2017
Add cloud, subtract integrator. Geovision has launched myGVcloud, an offering that allows consumers to buy cameras and cloud services directly...
Anixter / Bosch Sells Direct to Amazon on Jan 18, 2017
Anixter regularly says they do not sell direct to end users or that they do not do it anymore. However, over the past year, Anixter has sold Bosch...
Smart Power Tools For Security Installs on Jan 18, 2017
Installing a smart camera? Perhaps you should use a 'smart' drill. The intelligent appliance / IoT trend has hit power tools. In this note, we...

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