Drako Launches Fake Charity Sales PromotionBy: John Honovich, Published on Mar 31, 2016
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.
Dean Drako [link no longer available] is the founder of Barracuda Networks, a publicly traded company valued at ~$800 million. Last year, Drako spent $50 million cash to buy a small access control company.
Now, Drako is following that with "up to $1M" in what they are calling the "Drako Cloud Security Grant for Schools".
Yanked After A Year
Though it is unclear how they are valuing this 'grant', one thing is certain. You are going to have to pay Drako if you keep it more than a year:
"At the end of the 12 months, if the school chooses to continue using the Eagle Eye VMS, they would purchase the equipment and start their Eagle Eye Cloud VMS subscriptions. The school also has the option to remove the equipment and return it to Eagle Eye Networks, at no charge."
The 'grant' is essentially a one year trial wrapped in a press release.
On the positive side for Drako, he probably rightly assumes schools will just pay up, rather than deal with the cost and hassle of removing the equipment, replacing it, dealing with downtime, learning a new system, etc.
Our Challenge to Drako
Drako, just give the Eagle Eye cloud system / subscription permanently for those schools. You have the money and it will be even better PR, legit charity and those schools will become long term advocates / references for more business.
Do the right thing. Give away the systems to schools with no strings attached. You wanted your PR, do it right.