Correcting Hikvision USA's False AccusationsBy: John Honovich, Published on May 01, 2018
Hikvision USA has falsely accused IPVM's DeepInMind test.
The truth, which Hikvision USA knows, despite their statements to the contrary, is that:
- IPVM bought Hikvision's DeepInMind unit via ADI, from a non-Hikvision partner.
- DeepInMind has been released around the world for many months before our test.
- IPVM repeatedly notified Hikvision management of performance problems but Hikvision refused to respond.
Here is what Hikvision USA alleges, by Bob Germain, Director of Product Management [link no longer available]:
This is the Deep Learning report on IPVM that Germain mentions.
Authorized, Released ADI Purchase
Contrary to the 'fell into the hands of IPVM' claim, here is the packing slip, from Hikvision to ADI and the non-Hikvision partner we bought it from:
And Hikvision has been selling this unit in various places around the world for many months before our test. Indeed, 2 weeks before we published this test, Hikvision USA advertised this model in the February 2018 ADI monthly sales flyer:
We waited to test until it was listed at ADI because we anticipated that Hikvision USA would use place of purchase as an excuse if the unit performed poorly. And yet, despite waiting and having to arrange to buy via ADI, Hikvision USA is still making excuses.
Contacted Hikvision Repeatedly Before Publishing
Not only did we buy a legitimate, authorized, released unit, we contacted Hikvision tech support and Hikvision senior management over and over again notifying them of the unit's poor performance and requesting their input.
I, personally, left voice mail messages with Bob Germain at least twice, so Germain knew about this and had an opportunity to respond, object or help before we published anything. Moreover, I twice texted another Hikvision USA leader asking them to respond, as the messages below show:
Hikvision USA management never responded.
The Integrity of Our Testing Is Critical To Us
We spend more time and money than anyone in the industry testing products because we care deeply about the integrity, accuracy, and fairness of our tests. We could have bought a unit off of Alibaba, booted it up, found problems and trashed them. But no. We made sure we bought it from an authorized distributor, we tested the unit over a month, trying numerous approaches, and we reached out to their tech support and management over and over.
Aim To Damage IPVM's Reputation
Instead of taking responsibility for their own problems, Hikvision USA's aim is to damage IPVM's reputation. Every company, every manufacturer makes mistakes. There is no shame in that. But ethical companies take responsibility.
Underlying Issue Is Hikvision's Chinese Government Ownership
For those unfamiliar with Hikvision, you might wonder why a company would refuse to talk about a straightforward issue like product performance problems. The answer is simple yet serious. Hikvision wants IPVM to stop reporting on Hikvision's Chinese government ownership and since we will not, Hikvision USA has instituted a ban against talking to us plus ongoing tactics of making things up to attack us.
Update May 8, 2018 Hikvision Corporate
Hikvision Corporate has responded, in full, below:
It is correct that IPVM purchased from ADI thru a non-HDP as we had released into their system. This is common practice as we sell field test units through distribution whenever possible. However, the product was coded incorrectly in ADI’s system so that a non-HDP was able to purchase it. In the Product Line News Report, we clearly stated that the products came through one of our customers. It was clearly a big mistake, as the product was not ready like IPVM's test showed. After the IPVM test was published, we realized that the ADI system coding was incorrect and it was corrected right away.
That was the only unit sold thru ADI which is shown in our POS report. Deep Learning, Thermal and HikCentral are all restricted products, which can only be sold to certified HDP members. When the IPVM test report came out, it was actually a factor in holding back the release, which is now planned to happen during the next couple of months.
In IPVM's post it is also mentioned that Hikvision USA advertised DeepInMind NVR in the February 2018 ADI monthly sales flyer. The picture shown in IPVM's article is the February Insert. It is special marketing opportunity to promote products on sale and to provide any additional information. The main part is used for “Sale items”. The end flaps are used to inform about new products, technology or programs.
These inserts are planned about 10 weeks in advance as they are part of a printed flyer. In the February Insert, we had the possibility to include the Deep Learning. Back in November 2017 that was good timing, as we had planned release in March.
Also, we would like to point out that this was purely a statement about the technology. It was not a Sale item, which ADI also require us to put their part number on for the products shown. As you can see in the ADI flyer, it is clearly stated what the customer should do: “Contact your Hikvision sales representative to learn more about these cutting edge technologies”. It is very hard to read this the way IPVM posted the snippet. Also, as this was planned two and a half months in advance, and printed prior to the February IPVM test report, there is no possible way that we could pull back the ad.
Even with the delayed release, we do not see how the ad being released despite the product release delay could be an ethical issue. The customer could still inquire with our RSM, and if they met the criteria for a field test, then we would release a unit to them. Also, Deep Learning has never been on the USA website. Admittedly, the old website was slow to be updated due to internal matters and the fact we had a new USA website in process, which was launched at ISC West.
It is quite right that IPVM called our tech support and admittedly got poor support from us. However, this should be no surprise as our tech support was not trained since the product was still pre-release. Furthermore, we failed in tech support to escalate the issue to tier 3 support. This has been addressed and will be re-addressed when we are ready to release.
As for Hikvision USA management not responding to IPVM's repeated attempts to discuss DeepInMind's problems prior to the test's publication:
It was Hikvision USA’s position not to respond and going forward Hikvision Corporate will be the primary interface for communications with IPVM.
One major issue not addressed is why DeepInMind has been sold outside of the USA for more than a half year as well as continues to be sold given that Hikvision acknowledges the 'product was not ready' and will not be released in the USA for another month or more. We have asked this to Hikvision and if they have any details to share, we will update this accordingly.