Giving up on DVR Appliances?

Author: John Honovich, Published on Apr 28, 2008

DVR appliance manufacturers are swiftly moving away from DVR appliances. This is a very risky move, maybe a necessary move, but chances are it will not work out well for them.

March Networks today announced that they will be using Sun servers for recording and storage in their next-generation VideoSphere platform.

March is not the first to announce such partnerships; AD, Verint, NICE, etc. have all previously done so. What is significant about March is that March, more than any DVR manufacturer, has made its reputation and success based on building rock-solid appliances that don't fail and are easy to service. It's not as if March simply loaded its software on a windows PC. If that was the case, it would be easy to understand using SUN, HP or Dell hardware. But, it's the opposite. March's core competitive advantage is building better appliances (built over 10 years and through their heritage from Newbridge Networks).

So why does a vendor surrender their core competitive advantage?

Before I explore that:

From March's perspective, I am sure they don't believe this is the case. They likely see this as an expansion where customers can now choose from both March's own appliances and the March/Sun appliances. To them, it's the best of both worlds.

Doing both is going to be tough because of 1) integration challenges and 2) focus contention

1) Integration Challenges

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

It is tough enough building one platform, if they are really going to support both Cieffe and R5, the integration effort has to be very complex and time consuming. This is not a knock on March. It would be hard for anyone to do it. Even if you pull it off, it can take a long time and distract you from other product development efforts.

2) Focus Contention

Given that the two product lines serve two different customer classes (traditional March appliances distributed, small facilities and new Sun appliances large facilities), where does the organization focus its sales, marketing and engineering efforts? Companies often wind up worse in both areas when they are torn between two mutually incompatible options.

So, now why is March doing this?

The biggest growth area in surveillance for the next number of years is super large deployments - schools, cities, bases, nations, etc. Traditional DVR markets like hospitals, retailers small/medium businesses are fairly saturated with DVRs at this point so you are mainly competing on upgrade rather than greenfield business. If, you are like March, in need of large top line growth and you already dominate a lot of the classic DVR market, this is the area where you can find it.

But can March and other DVR appliance manufacturers make the shift?

While I appreciate the motivation, success is very risky. Essentially, they are abandoning their core strength and moving the basis of competition to an area where they are solid at best. Using another manufacturer's hardware places the emphasis on your software. The quality of your software now needs to stand on its own. It has to be better than the other dozen players, including a number like Genetec, ONNSI and Milestone that have been optimizing their software for this use over the last 5 - 8 years. Cieffe seems solid but it does not have features that really distinguish from today's software only leaders.

While I certainly believe March and other major DVR appliance manufacturers will win some big deals, this is a dangerous new world where new entrants focused on software only will suddenly be much stronger competition and where pricing pressure could be intense.

Recommendations:

For existing customers: Make it clear that you want the same level of support and enhancements for your DVR appliances that you have historically obtained.

For prospective customers: Check carefully how mature and ready the software and integration is.

For integrators: March's DVR appliances are still strong but evaluate carefully whether marketing their new system is the best choice for you. The software only NVR field is crowded with a number of players. many of whom have been optimizing their solutions for years.

Most Recent Industry Reports

Final Day Save $50 - IP Networking Course September 2017 on Aug 17, 2017
Today, Thursday, August 17th is the last day to save $50 on the September IP Networking Course. This is the only networking course designed...
Directory Of Consumer Security Cameras on Aug 16, 2017
The consumer camera segment continues to grow, with new startups and models from existing players released seemingly every month. In this report we...
Cat 5e vs Cat 6 vs Cat 6a Network Cable Usage Statistics on Aug 16, 2017
Cat 5e? Cat 6? Cat 6a? What do integrators use in practice, today? 140+ integrators told IPVM. Here are the results: For those who want to...
Hikvision Responds To Cracked Security Codes on Aug 15, 2017
Hikvision has responded to IPVM's report on Hikvision's security code being cracked, both with a 2 page update to dealers and communication...
Stolen Video NVR / DVR Statistics on Aug 15, 2017
"But what happens if someone steals my recorder?" Anyone who has done more than a handful of jobs has probably heard this question several times....
Hikvision Europe Cutting Out Unauthorized End User Sales on Aug 15, 2017
The days of anyone buying Hikvision from anywhere off the Internet are numbered, at least in Europe, if Hikvision's plan comes to fruition. In...
Axis Laser Focus PTZ Tested on Aug 14, 2017
Axis has been touting its new Q6155-E laser focus PTZ as 'always in focus' and 'always in color'. Does it really deliver? We bought and tested...
Vulnerability Directory For Access Control Cards on Aug 14, 2017
Knowing which access credentials are insecure can be unclear, especially because most look and feel the same. Even the most insecure 125 kHz types...
IP Camera Specification / RFP Guide 2017 on Aug 14, 2017
RFPs are hard. Do them 'right' and it takes a lot of knowledge and time. Do them 'wrong' and you can be (a) unwittingly locked into a specific...
Cellphone Usage Issues For Integrators (Statistics) on Aug 11, 2017
Cellphones clearly offer significant advantages in communication and problem solving. But they can also be a major pain point if employees...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact