Hikvision Sales and Support Conflict Over Discontinuation

Author: John Honovich, Published on Dec 28, 2016

Numerous Hikvision technical support employees have confirmed that the iVMS-4500 will be discontinued. Some Hikvision sales people say this is wrong.

Hikvision management has been silent throughout.

The company's 'discontinuation' effort, including the Hik-online.com service, has shown significant communication and organizational problems within Hikvision.

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Comments (18)

What to expect from this manufacturer ?? Just like Dahua ??
And there are still people defending these two manufacturers.

To be fair, one is easier to defend than the other.

Hikvision:

  1. Chinese government subsidization
  2. Chinese government members on staff (may not be an issue for some)
  3. Large NVR/DVR hacking incident a couple years back
  4. Quickly resolved but possibly catastrophic issue with iOS app, pertaining directly to government internet firewall rules.
  5. The latest cases of rash decision making / confusing direction / clear disconnect between HQ, US support, and the rest of the world.

Dahua

  1. MAMMOTH hacking incident that has yet to be resolved fully. However, it appears they may not have been the root cause. Also, the devices hacked were essentially gray market in the US, so... buyer beware.
  2. Complete lack of understanding how to market in the US. They are not alone.

Here is the official word from Hikvision that I just received via email:

Thank You Bob

Thanks Jon! We've updated both posts to reflect Hikvision's response and have reached out to Hikvision with 3 questions. We'll do a further update with answers or those questions tomorrow.

To wrap this up, I waited since I emailed Hikvision's Bob Germain and Martha Entwistle twice (once yesterday, once this morning) but with no response.

I asked 3 questions about the email / situation:

"Customers can use the iVMS-4500 APP to connect to their device using the P2P option."
(1) Does that imply that the DDNS and IP server direct connections are going to be removed or?
The email says iVMS-4500 is 'an active product'. (2) Is there any plans to discontinue iVMS-4500 in 2017?
(3) Any idea why tech support said what they said to us?

Those things (especially the first 2) deserve being clarified especially if they are to Hikvision's benefit (i.e., the other options are not going away and if there are no plans to discontinue the 4500).

Either what happened here was:

  • Tech support was right and management reversed course when people complained
  • Tech support was wrong but Hikvision management refused to answer our question, waiting until we had attracted enough publicity to the issue that they then choose to publish a 'special bulletin' to their dealers.

Another possibility is that there was a stupid assumption by the tech support stemming from a skewed perspective of a few members, which did not get corroborated with China's directives.

Whenever I try to predict what Dahua is trying to do based on what I heard, I at LEAST preface it with, "I'm not sure, but I think..."

Seriously, when you guess, don't put so much surety in your claims that you drag everyone else down with you.

Even if you hear that "X App will replace existing App and it will totally be better, don't worry." Wait till you know more from MULTIPLE SOURCES! Even when my agent @ Dahua says something, I've noticed that she sometimes isn't always right. I mean bless her heart, but I got rolled into her misunderstanding of smart codecs and had to experiment on my own to find out that while the interfaces for Dahua's NVRs don't always support the codec, as long as the cameras are pushing out the smart encoded stream, the NVRs, VMS/DSS, and the TV Walls will still decode just fine. I had a couple of IPVM members point out that what I was saying (and what my agent was saying) didn't make sense. I even posted the conversation, but in the end, I went back, did my homework and corrected myself and her in the process.

So a note to everyone (from sales to engineering and technical support) getting news or information from your manufacturers and distributors, take everything with a grain of salt and confirm with multiple sources anything that sounds weird before sharing with the public.

Humans work for these companies, hence, it is easy for misinformation to appear and spread.

Seriously, when you guess, don't put so much surety in your claims that you drag everyone else down with you.

How many different tech support reps saying the same thing is necessary before reporting it?

Also, IPVM clearly indicated from the beginning where the source of the information was.

Not saying IPVM guessed, I mean the techs that were working for Hikvision. It only takes one bit of misinformation for a whole team to be led astray.

IPVM did proper research here, it was the Hikvision USA reps that needed to get their information in order.

In the immortal words of John Travolta in "Phenomenon"

"Be specific Bob"

Not saying IPVM guessed...

Ok, but you did say "Seriously, when you guess..." in a direct reply to John.

Think of it as in colloquialisms, a lot of times "you" is a non-specific "you", not a targeted you. If I were specific, it would have been more like "when you guys guess, it makes the entire publication look silly", but no this is when people receive information in general without personally investigating. This was a case where a rumor within a company became news for the industry. All because no one within Hikvision's own tech team thought to question their sources within Hikvision.

I'm not trying to be a full on stuffed shirt here and say "when one guesses".

a lot of times "you" is a non-specific "you"...

Ok, but right before your advice to a non-specific "you", you set an implied comparison ("I at LEAST") :

Whenever I try to predict what Dahua is trying to do based on what I heard, I at LEAST preface it with, "I'm not sure, but I think..."

Which, on the surface is not comparable to tech support, since tech support should not normally have to 'predict' based on what they 'heard'.

Nor should tech support say "I'm not sure, but I think...", instead they should say "I'm not sure, I'll get back to you."

So "one" doesn't get the feeling you are talking about Hik tech support.

IPVM and you, on the other hand are similar in their relationship to manufacturer information, e.g. you are not the mfr and so must 'predict' and rely on 'what you heard' etc.

In new press releases, Hikvision has given new details on their new Hik-Connect platform. See the North America and Global releases. The releases are mainly the same, but:

  • The USA release is dated today, global is dated December 30th.
  • The USA release informs users that they may continue using their HiDDNS URLs for existing devices, not mentioned in the global release.
  • The USA release links to several how-to guides for creating accounts, adding devices, etc., on iVMS-4200 and iVMS-4500.

Both releases state that the new Hik-Connect app is coming in 4-7 days, awaiting App Store and Play Store approval:

The new Hik-Connect web interface looks like a stripped down EZVIZ device management page:

But there is no actual cloud access, either to settings or live/playback. Instead, clicking on the IP/Port No. opens the device's IP address. Port forwarding is still required.

You can push UPnP/port settings to the device via settings, but this is the only configuration available.

We'll take a look at things again when the mobile app is released.

"Both releases state that the new Hik-Connect app is coming in 4-7 days, awaiting App Store and Play Store approval:"

HIK-Connect already available on IPhone APP store

That's an older version of the app. New one soon.

Dated Dec 5

not really that old?

The new version adds the following features, according to Hikvision:

At that time, customers will be able to add devices by Hik-Connect Domain, IP/Domain method, and also continue using the alarm PUSH notification service.

That would be a major step forward in eliminating the need for the iVMS-4500, which is only mentioned once in that release and only then in relation to existing / previous devices.

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