Intellex - American Dynamics Video Surveillance Examined

Author: John Honovich, Published on Mar 11, 2009

American Dynamics, through its Intellex product line, has been one of the largest and most prominent 'enterprise' DVR providers in the last decade.  They easily have hundreds of thousands of DVRs deployed in many high end retailers, banks, corporations and governments.

Over the last few years, American Dynamics has been a favorite target of new entrance IP video companies. While Intellex DVRs are fairly expensive, they lack IP camera support and do not offer software only.

Recently, American Dynamics made two acquisitions to rectify such limitations. They acquired Trident Tek to enhance their IP/software only offering and Intellivid for high end video analytics.

The question, though, is this enough? How well will they bring these lines together? How strong does this make American Dynamics?

American Dynamics is one of the largest and oldest manufacturers offering (3) video recording options:

  • Intellex DVR: this is their traditional DVR product offering and represents almost all American Dynamic deployments. Intellex DVRs offer a number of series including Intellex Ultra (their high end /high resolution offering), Intellex DVMS (their mid-level offering) and Intellex LT (lower end offering). None of these products support IP cameras. Only the Intellex IP supports IP cameras. All of these products can be managed from a single user client - Network Client.
  • Video Edge/Trident Tek: This comes from their 2008 acquistion of Trident Tek and is a mainstream IP video surveillance software offering. American Dynamics offers this both as software only and as NVR appliances. Analog cameras must be connected to external encoders (i.e., this product is not a hybrid DVR with direct analog inputs).
  • Intellivid: Another 2008 acquisition, Intellivid is their video analytics offering (optimized for retail). Intellivid records and analyzes video from IP video feeds. It does not accept direct analog connection.

American Dynamics is in the process of merging these product offerings into a single coherent product family. Currently, each of these products requires a separate client to view and manage video. On their committed roadmap is a universal client that could access video from any of these platforms. American Dynamics does not have any committed plans to add IP camera support to existing Intellex DVMS or Intellex Ultra DVRs.

 

Strengths 

  • Extensive support by third party access control systems
  • Offers some third party storage support

 

Weaknesses

  • Existing users of Intellex cannot add IP cameras to their DVRs; requires adding in new NVRs to add IP cameras
  • Pricing is high relative to other DVRs with similar functionalities
  • Software only offering cannot be viewed and managed from the same client as the DVRs

Recommendations

American Dynamics' opportunity is to leverage their very large and prominent customer base. Over the last few years, many Intellex users have migrated to software only offerings. To the extent that American Dynamics can provide a seamless experience between IP and analog, DVRs and software only, they maximize the possibility of maintaining their existing customer base.

However, the universal client is still in development and supporting IP cameras on existing Intellexs is not even part of the committed roadmap. As such, the current case for extending use of Intellex is not strong.  While many customers and dealers will continue their use of Intellex because of existing relationships and units deployed, the case for Intellex, compared to competitors, is not compelling.

If you are an Intellex dealer/integrator, I think you need to have another line strong in IP/software only. For new opportunities, it's going to be hard to win against mature focused IP video software providers.

If you are an Intellex competitor, the recent acquisitions may improve the story for American Dynamics but likely will not be strong enough to stop the competitive in-roads.

If you are an Intellex customer, if you need IP cameras or software only, you should be cautious about the timing and completeness of American Dynamic's offerings. Relative to rip and replace, it may be better to accept some limitations. However, the limitations and additional costs could prove quite challenging.

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