Company 1 was DVR-based, Company 2 was NVR-based and now Qumulex will be cloud-based.
In this note, based on a conversation with the co-founders, we examine what Qumulex aims to do, their advantage and risks faced, and how they match up against competitors such as Milestone's Arcules and Eagle Eye.
What happened to Integral? Is that what became Pelco Digital Sentry? I never sold Pelco product but am now digging into many legacy sites for a client. Interested in the history of how the mess of products (Endura, DS, VideoXpert) came to be.
From Memory- Digital Sentry was the Integral Technologies re-branding after the acquisition. Endura I believe shared some code base but was large in part a transition product after around a 5/6 year run with the DS product. VideoXpert was an entirely new platform.
yes Digital Sentry was the integral product line, more down the lines of the DX series appliances, like the 8100, and such, and the back end software that runs digital sentry. Pelco I believe created the viewing client, but the back end is all integral or it was several years ago, but its been a while since I have used it.
Integral released First Line DVRs in late 90's. It was one of the first "easy to use" DVRs but lacked scalability. Digital Sentry was developed by Integral a few years later as a more enterprise solution offering up to 256 analog (IP cameras didn't really exist yet) cameras connected to one storage pool so load balancing was eliminated. It was also RAID, dual power supplies and offered very clean simultaneous display of live and recorded video loop from an alarm event for real time alarm assessment. The initial DS client was a little clunky. Then they released Control Point (not sure on date, early 2000's I think) as a much cleaner and up to date looking client application. I may stand corrected by the old guard at Integral but I believe Charlie Erickson was one of the fathers of Digital Sentry from his experience in the nuclear industry and its need for real time alarm assessment and fault tolerance. There was a need for this in the enterprise but very few seemed to know it at the time. The opportunities were extraordinary if you could show it in action
Then, leading up to the Pelco acquisition of Integral, software development slowed and DVR manufacturing was outsourced (a disaster). After the Pelco acquisition, DS started a slow downward spiral. Pelco had Endura, DX8000 and couple other recording products that evolved (or not) over the years from 2007 on. DS was either good or bad depending on who you talked to. The missing leadership, drive and commitment to the platform greased the slide for its demise. VX is a recent attempt to re-build a Pelco VMS from the ground up in a fairly mature market. Difficult to do.
Having represented Integral through the early days and selling the lights out it, I still believe that with aggressive software development through the 2000's, DS could be king of the world today and Exacq would have never existed. Some say there were fundamental code base obstacles. I can't speak to that. If there was consistent continuous commitment to development of DS, then Genetec, Milestone, Avigilon and others might still be small fries and Pelco might still be king.
I think I wrote something to this effect years ago on IPVM but can't recall the forum.
The story I heard was Integral developed the FirstLine DVX which ran a front end called MasterControl based on their capture card business. This was a self-contained all-in-one box that couldn't be expanded or teamed up with other boxes. It was also a Windows program that launched with the box started an auto logged in. Charlie Erickson came along and took that system and developed the DigitalSentry platform pretty much on his own. It had the distributed video acquisition units (VAUs) and the central SQL server that you could attach a RAID unit to. Each server could support 4 VAUs and 512 cameras in theory. I found 256 was more the real limit given the limitations of the hardware and networking at the time. You had to be very carful the VAUs could all copy their video up in that 15-minute window or you were in big trouble! This platform was service based not application based so you didn’t need auto logins and it was generally much more robust. There were a few kinks as I remember with version 1.0 and VAUs stopping but that got ironed out and it was my favorite system back then. Integral eventually dumped MasterControl and went all in on DigitalSentry.
The interface was definitely utilitarian but the time line that showed when there was motion vs time-lapse recording was a game changer. It made looking for video so much easier. The thing I always though was funny and emblematic of how Pelco ruined that system was even though all the client-side updates, you still had to use DS Admin to change configurations. They never could fully get rid of that config program. I never heard how long Charlie stayed around after DS got up and running though.
I am curious about this. I do have a question though....Knowing that this will inevitably be built up and sold off, leaving dealers in the dark about the future of the company on day one, how will the trust be there with dealers? It seems to me (although maybe incorrectly) that with the RMR involved and the inability to change platforms once tied to the cloud would present a level of risk that should be avoided.
“The IPVM manual. pg 23, reads ‘At the bottom of each comment, there is a series of options, simply click as appropriate. There are 5 choices, Agree, Disagree, Informative, Unhelpful and Funny.’ Something WRONG here. 6 choices now. Bad. Judge Wapner in 15 minutes.”
So Boss, you plan on sharing that Fav button or what?
Legitimate concern but that's what entrepreneurs do. The only question is how the acquiring company handles the transition. That's where things continue to be successful or are mired in transitional failure. There are many examples of both.
It is always lonely on the bleeding edge... I wouldn't call it a mature market, but it is getting less lonely. Formidable challenges would be competing against folks who offer both home and business VSaaS such as Alarm.com, SimpliSafe, Nest and Ring who have a head start and in the case of Google and Amazon prime time marketing budgets.
Of those, Alarm.com's business is most closely related to commercial surveillance. there is no do doubt Google / Nest and Amaon / Ring have the size to target most any market they want but I am skeptical they will be terribly attracted to commercial surveillance which is a relatively small market (for them) with relatively high logistical challenges (e.g., on-site installation).
3rd time is a charm? While both of their past products were great for their time I ask how many Integral or Exacq dealers are willing to go down the rabbit hole knowing that in the end the product will more then likley be sold off? Let’s face it the Integral to Pelco to Schneider Electric was not a positive experience and neither was the Exacq to Tyco to JCI.
Also with the recent acquisition of S2 by UTC which was The 2nd time John Moss built something great then sold it. I think this may be getting old for dealers or integrators who invest heavily in product, training and building a client base.
I’m sure I can’t be the only one thinking this. I wish them the best of luck I just don’t think we will be taking the ride this time.
are willing to go down the rabbit hole knowing that in the end the product will more then likley be sold off?
It's a good question / concern. As #2 mentioned above, the new (probably bigger) concern is the RMR component and more broadly that the 'manufacturer' will now have direct connection (literally) to the customer. So if Qumulex or any cloud video surveillance provider sells off to an integrator (Tyco is and was both manufacturer and integrator), what risk does it pose to the Qumulex integrator / dealer? I think it's bigger than just selling appliances where the manufacturer may not even know which customers have the systems.
the best answer I can give is that its very early right now to give any in-depth comments. We’re talking with integrators across the spectrum to come up with models that will work for their needs so that the channel can make money as well as enjoy a consistent lifetime value of a customer on a subscription service model.
and which manufacturer do you get a guarantee that it won't be sold? We've generated alot of sales over all these companies, but the reality of it is, they all can be sold, bought by a larger company, spun off... There are no guarantees except change.
All independent manufacturers are or will be for sale at some point...it's inevitable. And this isn't always a bad thing. It absolutely can be, but not always. Like many things, time will tell. Anyone that is dead set against using manufacturers that have been acquired (or soon will be) limit themselves and are only setting themselves up for disappointment.
Qumulex told IPVM they are initial beta testing and are delaying 1.0 General Availability from Q2 2020 until Q3 2020:
We’re in limited beta testing now. By ISC West timeframe, we’ll be expanding our beta testing to a larger number of interested resellers. We expect Version 1.0 General Availability to be in Q3 2020.
They emphasized that they hope to release sooner, but they also will be releasing an online software demo and the reseller portal in Q1 2020:
In the coming weeks we’ll launch “Try QxControl Now”, where you can connect to our HQ systems and experience the actual QxControl software. Our Qx Reseller Portal, where our Resellers can access Project Registration, Configuration Calculators, Price Lists, and Support Ticketing will also launch in the coming weeks.
I am excited to see what Qumulex has to offer (once a product is released), but I'm currently stuck with Exacq. Exacq is great for multi-site, in my opinion. We don't use mobile all that much and that's not a huge concern, at this time. What I really don't like about Exacq is their support. Their support is horrible.
I think Integral was dying before Schneider purchased them. At the time, I was wondering what they bought them for. There was a period where you had to basically had to present a completely new system concentrating on R&D. Back in the day, I figured Pelco, Panasonic, Vicon, AD, etc. would own the industry forever. Who would have thought that new leaders like Avigilon, Genetec, Axis, etc would be the players now. Companies like Panasonic had to buy companies to keep up with the times.