Genetec VMS Ranking Distortion

By: John Honovich, Published on Jun 03, 2013

Genetec is known for its overly technical, often 'boring' marketing. By contrast, its rival Milestone has the reputation for being more aggressive and 'creative' with their claims. 

It seems the roles have reversed, at least for one day, as the annual promotion of IHS / IMS's market statistics commence.

Genetec issued a release trumpeting that "Genetec Ranked #1 Video Management Software Vendor in the World by Latest IHS Research Study." However, buried 2/3rds of the way in the release was this footnote: "*Note: The number 1 position is shared with another VMS vendor."

In English, most would use the word 'tied' or 'shared' to describe this scenario, though, in fairness, Genetec is ranked #1, it's just that another vendor (Milestone) had the exact same ranking.

[Update June 6th: Milestone has now released their press release saying they 'share [the] number one global ranking [link no longer available].']

Background

Now, perhaps Genetec is just feeling a little cocky or extracting a little payback. For years, Milestone centered their validation around IMS's rankings, issuing press releases and including the tag everywhere, e.g., Milestone is "the global industry leader in open platform IP video management software," according to IMS. It's been about 8 years [link no longer available].

Last year, I disputed these rankings with IMS, indeed because Genetec's total company revenue was almost certainly higher than Milestone's (even in 2011). When I asked IMS for clarification, e.g., what exchange rates did they use, what did they include (new licenses vs PMA/SLA), how did they verify segment sales (appliances vs software only vs access control vs LPR, etc.), I received conflicting and confused answers.

The bottom line is both VMS vendors are fairly close in total revenue, though Milestone is almost certainly selling more licenses (as Genetec skews more to higher end, bigger deployments who pay more per camera). To that end, it is fairly safe to say that both are on a similar level. Plus, it is very hard to validate private company's information at this level of detail.

All this said, Genetec should do the right thing and be clear that the ranking is 'tied' or 'shared'. The title, as is, is quite misleading.

Finally, this is yet another reason we never let anyone run press releases or marketing citing IPVM because even historically responsible manufacturers can lose their minds and blatantly spin statistics.

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