Calling Out Manufacturer FailuresBy: John Honovich, Published on Jan 23, 2012
Serious problems with surveillance products are commonplace - from cameras dying out of the box to significant VMS bugs causing unstable systems. These problems cause real pain for both integrators and end users. Integrators can incur heavy financial losses while end users must deal with holes in their security operations.
Identifying these problems are hard. Vendors will rarely, if ever, proactively disclose their problems. Often, users around the world will experience the same problems but will not be able to 'compare notes' and inform their peers. Vendors can take advantage of this by denying or downplaying the problem with the common refrain of "no one has ever said that to us before."
We are excited to launch the Surveillance Product Failure Tracker, the industry's first program that identifies and alerts the community to undisclosed problems and bugs. In this report, we will explain what it is, how it works and how you can contribute to it.
We will gather failure reports from around the world and then share them inside IPVM. As the world's most read surveillance source, we are uniquely capable to bring this together.
Integrators and users can submit issues. We will then review those reports, get feedback from manufacturers and then publish the results on the site.
- Individuals can submit reports. We will pay $20 for each published report. The submitter's name will be kept private.
- Each report must include model number, firmware/software version number, a description of the problem and the reporter's contact information.
- We will review the report and contact the submitter with any follow up questions to ensure we understand the issue properly.
- We will contact the manufacturer and describe the reported issue asking for the manufacturer to provide feedback.
- If we determine that the issue appears legitimate, we will publish on IPVM with a description and any response from the manufacturer.
What We Are Looking For
Our focus is on severe problems that have a broad impact. Examples include large numbers of cameras being Dead on Arrival, products failing to work after a short time, systems crashing when a certain feature is enabled or used, manufacturers refusing to support you, etc. By contrast, the goal of this tracker does not include covering minor bugs or feature requests.
We see 2 powerful benefits:
- Warning Integrators and Users: These failure reports will help the community identify potential problems early so they can avoid problematic products or have a hard discussion with the manufacturer before ordering.
- Motivate Manufacturers to Fix Problems: Sharing problems with the community will increase awareness of problems, pushing manufacturers to fix issues quicker.