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

Importance of Sales To Integrators - Statistics on Jun 23, 2017
One of the top trends in the industry over the past few years has been the rise of across-the-board sales (e.g.: Hikvision Sales, Dahua Sale,...
Deep Learning Surveillance Startups Deep Problem on Jun 23, 2017
The undeniably good news for the video surveillance market is that we are seeing the rise of more startups than in many years. The cause of this...
Avigilon Announces RADAR-Based Presence Detector on Jun 22, 2017
RADAR is gaining momentum within physical security. Two months after Axis announced a network radar detector, Avigilon has announced a RADAR-Based...
Covert Cloud Camera Service Launching (KJB) on Jun 22, 2017
Cloud IP cameras, for consumers, has become increasingly commonplace. However, covert cameras, lag there, with few options. Now, North America's...
Manufacturers Shipping Unlicensed H.265 Products on Jun 22, 2017
While H.265 support in video surveillance is growing, IPVM's research shows that most surveillance manufacturers are shipping H.265 products with...
Uniview Low-Cost Bullet PTZ Tested on Jun 21, 2017
Uniview is offering a HD zoom bullet camera, the IPC742SR9-PZ30-32G, with an integrated pan / tilt positioner, for the price of a low-cost...
QSR Video Surveillance Best Practices on Jun 21, 2017
Fast food restaurants or QSRs (quick service restaurants), are frequent victims of crime and fraud. Because they are open late, deal with cash, and...
45 Drives 'Lowest Cost' Enterprise Storage Company Profile on Jun 21, 2017
45 Drives claims the "lowest cost per Hard Drive Slot in the industry." But who or what is '45 Drives'? What started as a product design to...
No Hack, Still Liable, Court Finds ADT on Jun 20, 2017
Recently, ADT has been in the news for a $16 million settlement for a cyber security vulnerability class action suit. One of the most important...
Resolver / PPM 2000 Incident Management Platform Profile on Jun 20, 2017
You might have seen the company whose employees wear hockey jerseys at trade shows and wondered "what do they do?" PPM 2000 has been active in...

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