Get Your Free Exacq Licenses

Author: John Honovich, Published on Mar 31, 2015

Despite Tyco employees protesting to the contrary, Tyco has now confirmed there is a program in place to give away free Exacq licenses.

However, Tyco tells us it is a 'time-limited program'.

In this note, we look at the terms of this program and how it will impact the competitive positioning of Tyco, Arecont, Avigilon, Axis, Genetec and Milestone.

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Comments (23)

I believe giving software away is a bad idea. It devalues software and gives emphisis on the idea that hardware has more value than software in a market almost dominated by our chinese brothers. This is a short term strategy to increase sales but i think it is a bad long term strategy especially that AD does not really make cameras and camera price is going down fast. Americans make good software. UI,ease of use, etc This has been our strength since the days of Microsoft,Apple,andriod and Chinese can't compete. Exacq is a great VMS and is something that the Chinese will never know how to build or compete with. Instead of holding on to this winning card they are promoting the idea that hardware is more important and software is free. It's like they believe their rebranded cameras are more valuable then their VMS that they built. Very sad. There is nothing wrong with replicating the Apple model and selling hardware/Software as an integrated product. But... If you want IOS, you have to buy apple hardware and nothing else. If you want exacq, you have to buy AD. I am not sure if they have enough fans to pull it off. John, it will be interesting to see a survey??

Exacq is a great VMS and is something that the Chinese will never know how to build or compete with.

Never? Because they ???

Obviously, never is overstated for pretty much anything.

That said, a more moderate but still meaningful position is that China has lagged and continues to do so heavily in VMS software, despite their increasing power in cameras.

I get that Hikvision sells a lot of VMS software but that's a byproduct of their domestic Chinese dominance, not the quality of their offering. Perhaps this will change, Hikvision has a new VMS (the 5200) coming out now / soon, and we'll test that to see.

Never is of course an exaggeration, but it is a dangerous way of thinking. After all, 5 years ago what would have anyone said about Hikuan vs. Axial quality?

In any event the Chinese are unlikely to leave any money on the table, long term. They are busy now because hardware sales are booming, but when that slows, they will set their sights on software. And they can easily buy a 'great' VMS or two at anytime. And put the squeeze on margins the usual way.

Don't you think it likely that Hikua will acquire or build a competitive VMS in the next 5 years?

"After all, 5 years ago what would have anyone said about Hikuan vs. Axial quality?"

First of all, 5 years ago, Axis image quality was not that good, nowhere near the best that Sony and Panasonic, e.g. had. Both manufacturers have benefited greatly from advances in COTS components (sensors, encoders, etc.).

And Hikvision was already a really large hardware manufacturer 5 years ago, doing hundreds of millions in revenue.

And today Hikvision's IP camera firmware software remains relatively basic / simplistic. That's good enough for most but does not mean they can build VMSes.

Plus Hikvision has painfully shown lots of (software based) security flaws in their products.

Finally, being good at mass producing hardware is much different than excelling at software development (surely something you understand).

Don't you think it likely that Hikua will acquire or build a competitive VMS in the next 5 years?

Hikvision is currently rolling out their own 'enterprise' VMS (5200). Once it's actually shipping in the US we will test it.

Problem with VMS software is that you can't simply buy components from Ambarella and Omnivision to deliver a high end VMS. Hikvision will have to build each one of the dozens of advanced features on their own.

That, or as you ask, pay a big premium to buy a major VMS.

I'm not sure who you are arguing with exactly, my only beef was with the offensive comment:

[a great VMS] is something that the Chinese will never know how to build or compete with.

And since there was no clarification after I asked for one, what should we think?

Hikvision is currently rolling out their own 'enterprise' VMS (5200). Once it's actually shipping in the US we will test it.

Why bother?

Why bother?? Stop trolling.

We test Hikvision because our members are interested in the results, good or bad.

If you are offended with a member's comment, fine, but try to offer a coherent response to my detailed response.

Apologies. Sarcasm was unwarranted.

Robert - You bring up a great point. We do not want to devalue the software, as that is our intellectual property and we should appreciate the value that it holds. We would rather bundle together our products, providing more value to you and your customer with each additional component you purchase from us; call it a volume discount across the full sale. This is standard practice in our industry and, in fact, across all industries. The "free" that has been put out there is more of a magnet to get people to pay attention. As John has mentioned previously, the programs we have in place now are temporary promotions. A way to generate some interest in our illustra cameras. -John Becker, Tyco Security Products - Video Portfolio

Another thought. Here is how would I do it. $150 off any AD camera purchased with Exacq software. I know it is the same thing but it holds exacq value. Few years back I read an Article on how Burger king struggled when they decides to increase the Whopper price from $.99 when other joints were selling burgers for $2.50 all day. Burger King plan was to use the famous Whopper as a bait to bring them in and of course make their money on fries and drink. When the strategy channged, people didn't react well when the whopper price trippled. In their mind, they have been paying $0.99 for years.

"Here is how would I do it. $150 off any AD camera purchased with Exacq software. I know it is the same thing but it holds exacq value."

That's an interesting alternative. I see the rationale in that. Might as well cut the price of something that is already under big price pressure than the one that has greater barriers to entry.

As I see it, in a globally interconnected world, where raw brainpower and technical talent is ready-for-hire, outsourced and entire companies can be bought/sold/merged from ANY & EVERYwhere, it's only a matter of time and MONEY (which by the way CHINA has plenty of; in paper debts at least), before the gap shrinks year-after-year....

I deleted the above list. You are welcome to your opinion but putting it into a definitive top 10 causes more confusion and argument than clarity.

Undisclosed A. Because.. It has not been done yet. I can't think of any Chinese software that has globaly dominated any market. It is simply not their strength. Undisclosed B Its not just time and money but leadership,vision and innovation. Samsung has all the above and tried to build an OS. All what I am saying is that when IP cameras are $50, it will be hard for exacq to justify the lic cost after integrators are used to getting it for free.

I'd be very concerned by this news as an Exacq user or Exacq reseller. How much money is Tyco going to invest in improving something that they're giving away for free?

Tyco is not exactly know for prioritizing software development anyway, so I would agree this is a concern.

Even if they didn't start giving it away for free, limiting future development costs is a way to increase profits (certainly in the short to mid term) for Tyco.

I can appreciate your point, John; but, our focus has changed over the past several years. We are making significant re-investments into R&D, especially around software. Now, I just need to invest some personal time coming up with a full portfolio sales pitch that doesn't look like we are giving anything away for "free". I own that one. -John Becker, Tyco Security Products - Video Portfolio

I have an idea. Use Exacq, pay full price for it and use Hikvision or other more cost effective cameras. You are saving more than the bundled solution and it's less $$ you have to give to the man. We were installing it for years before it was purchased and it is disappointing to see it being exploited. Even more disappointing is when they tried to take over one of my sites like they could provide something special. If we didn't have at least 60 or more sites and the techs familiar with it I would be changing gears for sure. Still might.

D, good feedback.

We believe quite a number of Illustra cameras are from Dahua anyway, so you could 'cut out the middleman' by buying Dahua direct.

Btw, who tried to take over one of your sites? Was that Tyco the integrator? If so, what was their pitch / approach?

D - Reach out to me directly. First of all, we do not want to lose you as a partner and I would like to make sure you are comfortable with what we are doing and why. Secondly, I would like to know who tried to take over one of your sites. We have internal and external partners; all of whom should feel nothing but our full support. You can find me on Linkedin or ask your local Exacq sales person to get us connected. -John Becker, Tyco Security Products - Video Portfolio
Undisclosed A. I agree that never is a strong word. I will take it back. I get a feeling that you think money is all what you need to become the best. "They can buy a great VMS or two". 100+ companies purchased by Google take a dump after a buyout.Hik managment have limited experience with enterprise software and they come from a school of building hardware. Exacq management is what made exacq in only 6 year and they have a proven record. As John might be aware, I don't sell exacq and I would care less to what happens to them. Moreover, you are thinking like an integrator and comparing cameras only by picture quality and price. I do the same and I don't buy Axis because I don't make money but you are delusional if you think Hik is a better camera then Axis. Hik is just a camera, while Axis APIs, app store, continuous innovation makes them a platform for ideas. Because of companies like Axis, the industrty will advance. I don't buy Axis but atleast i am going to give them credit.The main innovation that Hik or Dahua did is come in 2nd and make it cheaper. I believe Hik is okay with this strategy because it fits their business model and because companies like them, grocery stores can have afford HD cameras.

I was talking to a MFG Rep this week about their products and VMS and I mentioned to him this view as the company makes cameras, and a basic VMS for free but only for their cameras.

If I ran the company, I would make the VMS free for anyone to use, and make it stable and as feature rich as possible. I would make the premium features like analytics or other high end options only accessable to the compatible branded products. Additionally, have a small unobtrusive banner or splash screen with marketing for that brands latest updates.

Based on the success of IOS and Android, I think VMS should go the way of building an ecosystem. Get everyone using your base software as its free and does the job, then make the money on the upgrades and hardware that works best with it. Combine this with a robust marketing effort, sales channel strategy and a rock solid warranty, and I think whoever does this will own the channel.

And here is DW with their version of the Exacq plan:

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