Drako Launches Fake Charity Sales Promotion

By John Honovich, Published Mar 31, 2016, 08:26am EDT (Info+)

There is nothing quite like a really rich guy using charity to sell surveillance systems.

The children may be the future, but for Eagle Eye Networks, the present is a PR campaign and schools paying them in a year or having their systems ripped out.

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Comments (29)

I would love to read their agreement. Please post if anyone gets one. First the "Trunk Slammers", now this....

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The agreement possibly might be had by simply doing a public records request. I've gotten plenty of project and contract documents before simply sending an email to someone requesting them. But different states will have different rules and policies.

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Further, a majority (56 percent) of adults favor that schools maintain a mix of cloud and on-premise video storage.

Really. Since most adults might not be clear on the nuances of hybrid storage architectures, I'm wondering what exactly the poll question was:

As an adult do you favor that schools:

1. Store video locally only or in the cloud only, thereby putting all your eggs in one basket?

2. Prudently store video with a mix of cloud and on-premise options, thereby reducing risk of a catastrophic data failure?

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Here is the full Dean Drako School Security Camera System Report. It is light on methodology so it is hard to tell how or who they actually asked:

Multiple surveys were executed over the time period from January 2016 through March 2016, targeting adults throughout all regions of the United States. An outside survey service was used to run the survey, with an independent source list.

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Interestingly there is no Not Sure/Don't Know option in these surveys.

Yet from your cloud surveys, the unknowing masses make up a large percentage:

Why did EE do multiple surveys, months apart? Cherry picking?

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From having run a variety of consumer surveys via Google, it appears the more technical the question, the more likely people will vote don't know / not sure.

For example, I would expect a question like "Do you favor security cameras in schools?" to have a low number of don't knows, if included, since it demands little technical knowledge. By contrast, a question like "Where should video storage be located?" is likely to generate a far higher number of don't knows.

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Drako on a roll today:

"We're kind of pretty primitive (as an industry)," he said. "There's no standards, there's no kind of openness in the industry.

A strange statement to say the least. Sorry, ONVIF...

Also, sorry Milestone - Milestone Launches Disruptive ONVIF Bridge 'Out'

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I can see this guy pulling up into the parking lot of the next school that has an incident pimping this deal, makes me sick when people do this kinda thing and make taxes go up in your state/county or have to beg for fed grants/bonds and all the unholy strings that come attached.

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Dean Drako, President & CEO, Eagle Eye Networks

Dean Drako left Barracuda Networks in 2012 to found Eagle Eye Networks and lead it to be the first cloud-based video surveillance company to provide both cloud and on-premise recording.

What about SmartVue? Pretty sure they've been around longer than 2012 - and they offer Cloud Bridges which appears to offer local storage in addition to cloud.

Mr. Renkis, can you clarify? :)

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Smartvue was founded in 1998 and launched its first cloud solution long before Eagle Eye. We have been leaders in this space with 45 patents and today we upload 28 million minutes of video to our cloud everyday, more than YouTube's last published number. -Martin Renkis, Founder + CEO Smartvue

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Smartvue was founded in 1998 and launched its first cloud solution long before Eagle Eye.

That was a long time ago! Congrats.

DD and EE are claiming they were "first to provide both cloud based and on-premise recording".

Did you launch with both or add on-premises later?

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Smartvue was providing both cloud based and on-premise recording before December of 2012 (http://sdi.epubxp.com/i/99884-dec-2012/50).

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Fair enough.

It doesn't look like EE got going until Jan 2014, though the company appears to have been formed in July 2012.

Giving DD an out, maybe when he started the company his market analysis showed no company doing both, and he decided to "be the first".

That said, when someone realized that they hadn't actually got to market first (by at least 1 yr), it should have have been redacted.

Maybe they will now.

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From a competitive perspective, this could be impactful.

Essentially, Eagle Eye is going to give any school they want a one year free trial, which leaving aside the warped use of 'grants', could be tempting versus having to pay for a competitor. Some may conclude, might as well take 1 free, dump it later if need be, rather than have to get money to pay up front.

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Some may conclude, might as well take 1 free, dump it later if need be, rather than have to get money to pay up front.

Yes, I say take the deal. Wire everything for easy disconnect. After a year, negotiate a new deal, it's not like EE really wants their year old equipment back. If the deal still isn't good enough, pop everything off the wall and reuse the cable and server closet with Hikua equipment, or someone else offering a grant.

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Grant (law)
From Wikipedia

A grant, in law, is a transfer of property, generally from a person or other entity giving the property (the grantor) to a person or entity receiving the property (the grantee).

I agree with John's assessment - this is not a grant. Rather, it sounds more like a 12 month no-cost loan/license.

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Vilify Dean Drako for offering schools $1M worth hardware, software and service at no charge? I don’t get it, what harm is being done? Who offers something better than try before you buy, for 1 year? AXIS? Milestone? Hikvision? I don’t see anything fake about what Dean is offering, it appears to be a valuable offer worth serious consideration. His offer eliminates the risk of buying a pig in a poke and provides a valuable service that can help save lives, for free, for 1 year.

If a school district takes Dean up on his offer, and after 1 year they decide that for whatever reason they don’t want to keep the system and begin paying for it, they simply remove the hardware, and if they choose, they can now replace the system with any other brand of hardware/software/service that they might want, as they will already have the wired/wireless infrastructure in place. More good news is that a year later if they remove the Eagle Eye System, and replace with a different system, they will get more for their money than they would today, due to the nature of computer based hardware/software, it only gets better and costs less over time.

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Jeff,

Thanks for the feedback!

try before you buy, for 1 year?

That's a totally fair way to frame the offer and if Eagle Eye had labelled this "Eagle Eye Offers Schools 1 Year Free Trial" I would have no objection.

But they did not. They choose to spin it as:

Eagle Eye Networks CEO Dean Drako Announces $1,000,000 Drako Cloud Security Grant for Schools

That is what I am objecting to, calling this a grant and including the one million dollar figure.

And then in the fine print, they structured it to be a 1 year grant trial maximizes the sales benefit to Eagle Eye and minimizes the utility to each school. Let's say the 'value' of each 1 year trial is $10,000, to use a round number. What this is, in reality, is up to a hundred 12 month trials for schools.

And, as a sales promotion, for a startup with little track record and low name recognition, it is a good one.

But it is not a grant, and it is deceptive for Drako to frame it as such.

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For those that seek to dismiss the 'grant vs trial' debate as semantics, I submit to you another company that we all know that distinctly separates the 2 - and offers both (without the hipster marketing spin)

Video Insight $1M GRANT for the education market

Video Insight 3 month TRIAL for the education market

* I do not work for Video Insight

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3, interesting find.

Worth noting on the Video Insight grant, they are giving away 48 VMS licenses (perpetual, not trial nor time limited) as well as hardware (16 cameras and an encoder). None of that has to be returned, unlike Drako's 'grant'.

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The schools know the deal up front!!! Drako is giving away 1 year of free services!!!
How is that bad? How is that unfair???

The schools know they are getting 1 year for free... then after that they start paying.

Anyone else on here giving away 1 whole year of free services???

This article should be taken down.

No, I don't work for him... though I have met him once... :)

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"Mr. Honovich.... Take down this post!"

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The schools know the deal up front!!! Drako is giving away 1 year of free services!!!
How is that bad? How is that unfair???

Kenny, it could be bad in a lot of ways. Maybe there are restocking fees, or maybe there are limitations that push you into the sale before you are ready, e.g. "The free version is limited to X GB per camera per month and 12 events".

Shouldn't we take a look at the actual agreement before assuming altruistic motives?

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Guilty until proven innocent.

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Guilty until proven innocent.

True, but he has had priors, no?

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Kenny,

Thanks for the feedback.

As I replied to Jeff above, it is how they have presented it. If they would have promoted it as '"Eagle Eye Offers Schools 1 Year Free Trial" I would have no objection.

And it is quite obvious they presented like they did because they wanted to get the extra PR benefit of making a grant / donation for "one million dollars".

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IPVM seems to be turning into an OP/ED site. Why do I constantly see "articles" like this one? Hey Mr. Honovich, most of your subscribers have kids that go to school, so why not "do the right thing" and give all your subscribers with kids in school free access to IPVM? "Do the right thing" "You have the money" I am surprised you didn't include "Pay your fair share". It's hard to see IPVM as unbiased anymore. That's too bad.

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Hey Mr. Honovich, most of your subscribers have kids that go to school, so why not "do the right thing" and give all your subscribers with kids in school free access to IPVM?

Is that your analogy to what Drako is offering?

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Would this be "doing the right thing"?

*Warning - the following is only illustrative of what a similar "Grant" by IPVM would look like. It is fiction, though.

IP Video Marketplace CEO Announces $10,000 Honivich Subscription Security Grant for Schools

Accredited K-12, Colleges can receive one year grant for a IPVM subscription...

IPVM announced today that it has funded the Honovich Security Subscription Grant for Schools for up to $10,000; individual schools who are awarded the grant will receive a fully functional security subscription login (1) — including a camera calculator and finder and, mobile phone remote access applications, as well as information on cameras, networking equipment to connect IP cameras, and secure gateways to the cloud — at no cost for 1 year. Eligible schools include accredited private and public schools in the United States: elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and colleges.

“We are funding this subscription security grant to make it easier for more schools to provide the highest level of safety to their students and staff by providing the best information about their security options,” said John Honovich, president & CEO, IPVM. “IPVM's industry leading coverage of video surveillance offers many benefits to improve campus security information, including group membership management, leading mobile access, scalability, and an overall lower total cost of ownership.”

The Honovich Security Subscription Grant for Schools is appealing to help schools offset costs, as more districts move to include security camera coverage on campuses, and wish to ensure their surveillance systems are chosen wisely.

School grant recipients who wish to add new users are responsible for the cost of additional logins and setup. At the end of the 12 months, if the school chooses to continue using IPVM, they would purchase by renewing their IPVM subscription. The school also has the option to discontinue use at no charge.

Grant winners will be selected based on the merits and timeliness of their application.

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