Hikvision Sales and Support Conflict Over Discontinuation

By: 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.

******** ********* ********* ******* employees have ********* **** *******-**** **** ** ************. **** ********* ***** people *** **** ** wrong.

********* ********** *** **** silent **********.

*** *******'* '***************' ******, including *** ***-******.*** *******, has ***** *********** ************* and ************** ******** ****** Hikvision.

[***************]

First *******

*** ******** ******* **** Hikvision *****'****-****** *************** '******'. ******* ** * formal ************, ********* ** surprised many ********* ******* ********* a *************** ****** **** **** logged ** ** *** service. ****** **** ***** English *********** ****** *** unclarity, *** *** **** was ****** **********. ** took 4 **** *** ********* *** ** ***** ***** own************ ****** *** ******* errors *** ********* * spin ***** ** ***** a '*********'. ** ****, significant ********* *** ******** arose.

***** ********* ** ********** users ** ****** ** HikConnect, ********* **** ******* recommended ***** * *** party **** *******, ***** HikConnect ** ********* ** remotely ******** ******* ** we********* ** *** ****.

iVMS-4500 ****** ********

** ***** **** ********* technical ******* ********** *** they *********** **** ** that *** ****-**** *** being ************ *** **** users ***** **** ** switch ** *** ********** app.

*******, **** ********* ***** people *********. *** *******, USA ******** ***** ******** Andy ********* [**** ** longer *********] ******** ** a ********* ******:

*** ***** ***** **** is ********** ********* *** not ****. *** **** who **** ****** **, but **** ** *** second ***** **** **** got ********** *****.

*******, ** *** ***** sentence ** *** ****-**** report we **** ***** **** it ***:

********* ** ******** ********* technical ******* ***************.

* ******* *** **** with Johannsen *********** **** *** encouraging **** ** ****** to *** ******** ************* between ****, ***** *** real *****, *** ********* employees. ** ******** *** been ********.

****** ****, *** ***** 'story', ***** *** ****** Service, ************ ** *********.

****************

** *** ***** ** this, *********'* ********** *** been ******, ** **** let ***** ********* ******* representatives *** *** ***** and ***** ***** ****** say *** ********.

Problems *** *******

** ** *********** ****** that ********* ******* ** do **** **** *** Western ******** **** **** short ******. *** *** unclarity ***** ****** *** more *********. ** ** ********** noted:

*** ** *** ******* we ******* ******* ********* NVR's *** *** **** of *** ******* **** these ******. ***** *** always * *** ******* or ******** ****** **** no *** ****** ** know **** ** *** about. * ******** ***** care **** ********* *** owns *********, *** *****'* a ******* **** ** communication ******* *** ******* and **'* *******.

**** **** *** ***** well. ******, **** ********* dealers ** *** **** about *********'* ***** ********** ownership *** **** ** care ***** ***** ************* and *******. ************, ********* has **** **** ****. But ********, *** ********** with **** ****** *************** effort, **** **** *********.

Unclarity ** ***************

**** ********* ** ***** with *** *************** ** unclear. *** *********** ********* of *********'* ********* ***** to ******* ****** ****** in ********* ***'* ********** or ********* *****'* ********* communication *******.

** ********* ********** **** have * ***** **** here, ******** ***** ** better *** ** **** communicating ** ******* ****** than *** ********* *****, dealers, *** *** ******** *** to ***** ******** **** **** are *****.

******

***** ********** **** ****, Hikvision **** ** ***** to ******* ****** **** the ****-**** ** ******. We ***** **** * questions ***** ***  ***** / *********:

"********* *** *** *** iVMS-4500 *** ** ******* to ***** ****** ***** the *** ******."
(*) **** **** ***** that *** **** *** IP ****** ****** *********** are ***** ** ** removed **?
 
*** ***** **** ****-**** is '** ****** *******'. (2) ** ***** *** plans ** *********** ****-**** in ****?
 
(*) *** **** *** tech ******* **** **** they **** ** **?

***** ****** (********** *** first *) ******* ***** clarified ********** ** **** are ** *********'* ******* (i.e., *** ***** ******* are *** ***** **** and ** ***** *** no ***** ** *********** the ****).

****** **** ******** **** was:

  • **** ******* *** ***** and ********** ******** ****** when ****** **********
  • **** ******* *** ***** but ********* ********** ******* to ****** *** ********, waiting ***** ** *** attracted ****** ********* ** the ***** **** **** then ****** ** ******* * 'special ********' ** ***** dealers.

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.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Security Fail: ASISNYC Auto Emails Passwords In Plain Text on May 14, 2019
ASIS NYC automatically emails a user with the password the user just entered, in plain text, when one registers for the site / event, as the...
Hikvision OEM Directory on Aug 13, 2019
The Chinese government-owned and US-government banned Hikvision has become the world's largest video surveillance manufacturer and generally hidden...
Axis Suffers Outage, Provides Postmortem on Aug 15, 2019
This week, Axis suffered an outage impacting their website and cloud services. Inside this note, we examined what happened, what was impacted...
Uniview OEM Directory on Sep 11, 2019
This directory lists 20+ companies that OEM products from Uniview, with a graphic and links to company websites below. It does not cover all...
Warning: Windows 7 Update Crashing NVRs on Aug 26, 2019
Windows 7 updates are causing VMS servers to fail to boot. After running the update, impacted systems do not boot as normal, instead display this...
3 Weeks Later, Honeywell Still Cannot Say Whether They Are Vulnerable To Dahua Wiretapping [Now Admits] on Aug 27, 2019
The Dahua wiretapping vulnerability and Dahua's decision to delay disclosing it until IPVM inquired underscored problems with cybersecurity and...
US Army Base To Buy Banned Honeywell Surveillance on Sep 17, 2019
The U.S. Army's Fort Gordon, home to their Cyber Center of Excellence, has issued a solicitation to purchase Honeywell products that are US...
Dahua New Critical Vulnerability 2019 on Sep 23, 2019
Dahua has quietly admitted 5 new vulnerabilities including 1 critical vulnerability with a 9.8 / 10.0 CVSS score and 2 high vulnerabilities (scored...
ONVIF Suspends Dahua and Hikvision on Oct 09, 2019
Dahua and Hikvision have been 'suspended', and effectively expelled, from ONVIF, immediately following US sanctions being placed on the 2 mega...
US Issues Criminal Charges Against Aventura For Fraudulently Selling Hikvision And Other China Products on Nov 07, 2019
The US government has made an unprecedented move on the video surveillance supply chain, charging a US company, Aventura for "having conspired with...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Hanwha Wisenet X Plus PTRZ Tested on Feb 14, 2020
Hanwha has released their PTRZ camera, the Wisenet X Plus XNV-6081Z, claiming the "modular design allows for easy installation". We bought and...
PRC Warns Against China Video Surveillance Hacks, Hikvision Targeted on Feb 14, 2020
Hackers are targeting China video surveillance manufacturers and systems, according to the PRC's main cyber threat monitoring body. The hackers...
IPVM Conference 2020 on Feb 13, 2020
IPVM is excited to announce our 2020 conference. This is the first and only industry event that will be 100% sponsor-free. Like IPVM online, the...
Bosch Dropping Dahua on Feb 13, 2020
Bosch has confirmed to IPVM that it is in the process of dropping Dahua, over the next year, as both IP camera contract manufacturer and recorder...
BluB0X Alleges Lenel, S2, Software House Are Dinosaurs on Feb 13, 2020
BluB0X is running an ad campaign labeling Lenel, S2, Software House, Honeywell, AMAG and more as dinosaurs: In a follow-up email to IPVM,...
London Live Police Face Recognition Visited on Feb 13, 2020
London police have officially begun using live facial recognition in select areas of the UK capital, sparking significant controversy. IPVM...
Converged vs Dedicated Networks For Surveillance Tutorial on Feb 12, 2020
Use the existing network or deploy a new one? This is a critical choice in designing video surveillance systems. Though 'convergence' was a big...
Monitoreal "Completely Autonomous" Home AI Tested on Feb 12, 2020
Monitoreal claims to allow users to "see the things you want (people, vehicles, animals) and ignore the things you don’t”, using AI to distinguish...
Cisco Video Surveillance Is Dead, Long Live Cisco Meraki Video Surveillance on Feb 11, 2020
A dozen years ago much of the industry thought that Cisco was destined to dominate video surveillance. They stumbled repeatedly, failing. Now it is...
BICSI For IP Video Surveillance Guide on Feb 11, 2020
Spend enough time around networks and eventually someone will mention BICSI, the oft-referenced but only vaguely known standards body prevalent in...