Exacq vs Avigilon

By John Honovich, Published Jun 17, 2015, 12:00am EDT

A member requested:

"I need to find some IPVM info on Exacq vs. Avigilon. I don't have time to read 500 articles. Is there a short cut comparison as to which product integrator prefer and why. HELP??"

He's literally right. We have 389 entries on Avigilon and 189 on Exacq.

This post provides a 'short cut comparison'. It pulls most directly from the following core IPVM research and testing:

Inside, we cover (1) overall integrator preference, (2) camera offerings, (3) VMS offerings, (4) analytics, (5) support and (6) channel structure.

Overall Integrator Preference

Both lines are among the most popular and widely used offerings of IPVM integrator members. For example, Exacq topped the favorite VMS list while Avigilon ranked in the top five for cameras, VMS and analytics - the only manufacturers to do so. The good news is that you probably will be satisfied with either one. The bad news is that choosing between them is not that simple.

Both are mid-market brands, with strong products. Neither are great for super low end, super cost sensitive applications and neither are as sophisticated in the high end as Axis or Genetec.

Camera Offerings

Both companies offer their own cameras and support third-party cameras. However, there are important differences.

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Avigilon has a more mature and broader camera portfolio than Exacq. Exacq has a fairly basic camera line through Tyco / Illustra. The Illustra cameras are competitively average. Avigilon's cameras are above average with more advanced features and options, most notably their higher resolution (5MP - 30MP) and multi-imager options. Note: if you want the 8MP and up Avigilon cameras, you are required to use Avigilon's own VMS.

Exacq's cameras are lower in price, given Exacq's more lower tier options and Exacq's discounts / free VMS licensing promotions. By contrast, Avigilon requires a regular priced VMS license for each IP camera connected.

Third Party Camera Support

On the third party camera side, Exacq offers significantly broader direct 3rd party camera integration than Avigilon. Avigilon primarily depends on using ONVIF integration, which is not as reliable nor deep as direction integration. Both are Profile S conformant, though Exacq has developed deeper ONVIF integrations, supporting camera side VMD on many manufacturers (previously including Avigilon's own cameras).

VMS Offerings

Both companies offer popular VMS products that are widely used in the mid-market. We believe that Avigilon's VMS is more polished / easier to use than Exacq, though both are relatively simple to use. Since VMS opinions can vary widely based on personal preferences, we advise reviewing the videos in our Avigilon VMS test and Exacq VMS Test.

Both companies offer hardware appliances though Exacq offers a much broader range, including hybrid analog DVRs. On the analog integration side, Avigilon offers 4 channel encoders which only require a single Avigilon VMS license (Encoders vs. Hybrid DVR Recorders).

Analytics

Avigilon has a significant lead in analytics as they offer their own leading analytics (from the VideoIQ acquisition) which has been the favorite analytics among IPVM integrator members for years (see Favorite Video Analytics 2014). Avigilon's analytics are unlikely to integrate with 3rd party VMSes (see Avigilon Analytic Cameras Tested) so if this is critical, this is a key point for Avigilon.

Exacq does integrate with a number of video analytic options. However, these integrations most often require users to manually create serial integrations and alarms. This is more complex than Avigilon's plug and play integration with their cameras, and many users may find it difficult.

Support

Avigilon's technical support is very strong. Exacq's has historically been good but not as consistently as Avigilon's. Avigilon provides live phone support quickly and will answer basically any question from anyone (even IPVM for whom Avigilon management has prohibited Avigilon employees from otherwise speaking to). The main issues in Exacq support are (1) delays in getting a hold of a live operator and (2) getting in touch with a more senior support person who can answer harder questions.

Channel Structure

Avigilon has a very tightly controlled channel structure. With Avigilon, dealers have to be approved and the number of approved per territory is relatively limited. Those integrators approved are expected to deliver business / numbers. Integrators who are committed to leading with Avigilon are often very happy, because competition is limited, Avigilon provides strong support and buying Avigilon online in any quantity is extremely difficult. On the other hand, if you are not that committed, this could be a problem and Avigilon is not shy about dropping integrator dealerships.

Exacq's channel is much more open. Most of Exacq's products do not require a dealer agreement and many of Exacq's products can be bought online. This makes it a lot easier for an integrator to offer Exacq on occasion but also makes it harder to stop competitors for matching.

Exacq has been changing on the sales management side, since the Tyco acquisition, firing almost all of their old US reps and focusing more on selling an end-to-end Tyco/Exacq solution. How this impacts Exacq remains to be seen, but it is pretty clear that they are trying to be more 'Avigilonesque' with tighter integration and cross-selling of cameras and recorders.

Questions

Let us know if you have questions or want to us to address other elements of the comparison. We have tried to keep this relatively short to make it quick comparison but are happy to elaborate.

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