Genetec Adds Free Cloud Cameras / Storage

By Ethan Ace, Published May 19, 2015, 12:00am EDT

How do you get surveillance users to buy in to the cloud?

Perhaps you can give it away for free.

That is the new offer that Genetec is adding for their many of their most loyal customers.

In this note, we examine how this works, what its potential value is and how it might impact Genetec's cloud success.

Hybrid Cloud Basics

This is part of Genetec's 'hybrid cloud' strategy where cloud components are mixed into traditional Genetec systems.

These two features are add-ons to Genetec's Security Center platform, separate from, but related to, their Stratocast VSaaS offering.

  • Cloud Cameras, as the name suggest, allows users to connect cameras on site directly to the cloud, with no on site recorder or directory, traditionally required in Security Center. Live and archive video and other camera functions (I/O, audio, PTZ, etc.) are available in the Security Desk client just as on-site cameras are.
  • Cloud Archives provide storage hosted Genetec's cloud, which may be used to offload on site video after a certain period of time, as a completely redundant archive, or as a pooled archive shared by multiple sites. Cloud cameras also use these archives.

The key difference between these features and Stratocast is that they use the Security Desk client, the same client standard cameras and archives use, while Stratocast uses a separate web client and lacks some functionality found in Security Center, such as access, LPR, and other integrations. Cloud and on site cameras and archives appear functionally the same in Security Desk.

Free With SMA

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Starting May 1, 2015, users with an active Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) receive up to 5 TB of cloud archive storage and up to 4 cloud camera connections. Exactly what each individual account receives is based on the value of the SMA contract, but Genetec informs us that all customers with SMAs containing a minimum of two SV appliances or using Standard, Professional, or Enterprise software will have access to a minimum of two cloud cameras with 1 TB of storage.

Genetec did not say exactly what value is required to obtain the maximum levels described above, but we expect it is reserved for large systems (hundreds of cameras), using multiple servers, on multi-year SMAs. 

Cloud archives have an MSRP of $50/TB per month (USD) and camera connections start at $7/camera per month, effectively meaning the maximum users could receive is just over $3,000/year of free cloud features, and a minimum of ~$170.

Relative to Cost of SMA

SMAs range in price from 10-20% of license cost per year depending on which version of Security Center is used. Enterprise systems with more complex integrations average toward the higher end of this range, with simple video only Standard systems closer to 10%. As an example using these average prices, the SMA for a 15 camera Standard system may cost approximately $300 USD per year, while a 200 camera Enterprise system is likely to be closer to $10,000 per year.

Based on these sample numbers, Genetec's free cloud may have a value of about 50% of a small system SMA. By contrast, for the larger 200 camera system described above, value is ~30% of the SMA, a percentage value which shrinks as system size increases.

Potential Impact

Genetec has a large customer base that is willing to pay a premium for video management (demonstrated by their paying for Security Center / Omnicast plus SMA, which is relatively speaking, quite expensive).

We see this as a great way to get those organizations to try out the cloud and to position the SMA as having more value. Some of those organizations may then find some benefits for remote sites or extended storage, etc. and then expand their cloud use.

While this offer will not solve 'cloud' by itself, by lowering the friction / barrier for existing Genetec customers to incorporate the cloud into their systems, it increases the probability that these wealthier organizations spend on cloud video surveillance.

Or they can try selling one Chinese buffet at a time, though this combination seems more promising.



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