First Integrator Face Off Results

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Jan 20, 2016

The results are in, and they are interesting indeed.

Five integrators pitched us their designs in our First Integrator Face Off, aiming to solve this problem:

"A large farmer's market has been experiencing vandalism and theft in their parking lot and would like to install cameras to monitor the area. The lot is large, about 1,200' wide by 300' deep, with four entrances, shown on this overhead view:"

Responders were free to propose their own solution and preferred equipment.

Each respondent submitted:

  • Their design using the IPVM Camera Calculator
  • Their product section (make / manufacturer)
  • Their product price
  • Labor hours estimated 

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Artelisys: $**,***

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Bullet ********: $*,***.**

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Kimia **********: $**,***.**

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Lasco: $**,***.**

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Comments (25)

I think Bullet and "None of the above" are the same choice if you removed that option.

Neither afford a surveillance system that would guarantee detection but at least the Bullet system would be a decent deterrent if I had to spend some money. I doubt spending the most would return on the investment as small crimes are routinely ignored or have slight chances of financial recovery.

I'm closest to bullet, I don't like using a lot of wireless. However I would have used all 4MP cameras and installed two additional cameras one on each corner looking at those two exits with appropriate lens and eliminated the PTZ in the middle of the parking lot.

I'm guessing that Brian spent no small amount of time normalizing all the designs and getting them into the finder in a way that they can easily be compared.

Kudos!

Its a farmers market. I think Bullet would have won this one 10-10 times in a real scenario. I would have them change the entry cameras to 5MP and delete the PTZ.

If it was, lets say a small industrial site that required the same type of coverage (somehow) - I would have chosen Artelisys with about $5-7K in change orders needed.

Really cool exercise guys and congrats to the integrator reps who took part!

All of those design miss the intended purpose which is clearly to "stop vandalism"! Without some sort of detection and deterrence equipment all those HD and up resolution are useless. It is sad to see how few integrators in today's industry even understand the basic concept knows as 4 D's of security...

To be fair to the contestants, it sounds like "the market" had already decided on video surveillance.

The farmers market...would like to install cameras to monitor the area.

The minimum requirement was forensic video detection, according to the First Integrator Face Off Opened discussion.

This also was a competition, so they were focusing on those areas. In real-life, I'm sure they would have pushed back to first principles.

Anyone who has chased a HOA where they have the desire and money knows it ain't over til it's installed no matter how many times you are told "hey, it's just a formality to take it to the board. This is a shoe in" LOL

Agreed, but the key statement in my view is "A large farmer's market has been experiencing vandalism and theft in their parking lot and would like to install cameras to monitor the area"..

Regardless of what the customers think they need, it is our duty as professionals to explain that recording high quality video for 30 days WILL NOT prevent any crime and it is very unlikely to lead to persecution.

A low cost system that provides Detection (by means of PIR or analytics) and some tool of real time Deterrence (Loud speaker, siren or projector light) will better utilize the time of the on-site guard and will make a much happier customer.

How would analytics help here? How would analytics distinguish between someone committing vandalism or theft (which is what the problem was described as) and someone simply walking to/from their car?

It won't distinguish between the two. My assumption though is that like most vandalism takes place at night or Off-business hours. there is no solution which will detect vandalism during normal business hours and distinguish it from normal passer-byres.

The proposals should provide very broad coverage to ID a vehicle and body size motion. 4 license plate cameras with OCR and a FENCE. All the farmers markets I've been to are day time only.

Police can't use a picture to go find someone. They have to have a name or address or a phone number or license to even consider an investigation. They will come and file an incident report for your insurance claim. That's it. They are busy and under-paid.

Besides that, most of the cars are across the street.

Although the competition is technically closed to new entrants, I don't believe there would be any harm in a true 4D proposal being submitted by a Sagacious member willing to share...

The request miss to demand what is the minimun pixel density on specif places so the end customer can look for people and/or plates identification.

Being said that all the approach are not comparable.

Someone can brings even a lower cost solution and stills argue is covering all asked areas.

Next exercise could be better!

I look at this from the perspective of being a consumer (although I cannot just dismiss my experience). With all due respect to Bullet, the Artelisys proposal gets the job done at a reasonable cost, (I am always a little suspicious of the lowest bidder when the cost differential is that much). This is a Farmers Market and we just don't have 50-130k to spend on video surveillance with so many other needs. Also, because we are a Farmer's Market, we generally close at or before sundown. The bulk of our traffic is during the daytime and IR is not all that important to me. I would use their design and ask them to increase all entrance cameras to 50PPF minimum.

I think if I used the Bullet proposal and made some adjustments on PPF, the cost would be near equal to Artelisys.

But that is why Baskin and Robbins has 64 flavors.

I refuse to pass judgement on any of these proposals. Each could have been the exact solution a client would consider appropriate. Each participate lacked knowing the clients budget, acceptable video quality testing, and more from the customer. Good Job to everyone for taking the time to submit their options, and the willingness to accept the second guess criticism from non-participant experts.

If there was every something that IPVM would allow to be shared, this would be it. Made made anonymous, to demonstrate to current and prospective clients that an honest discussion about BUDGET is as important as important about the Goals and Objective for the system..

Given the choice, atypical business might throw out the high and low, and choose something in the middle believing they made the best choice.

I would be interested to know if the contributors would allow IPVM to Anonymize the proposals, and make this something as a sales tool for all of us....

Moments ago, a referral prospect contacted us, and within 5 minutes we are talking turkey about budget. The common misconception is a business "jacks" the prices to the budget, but that is completely false. We don't make the products, we have minimum margins for everything, Hardware, Software, Labor, etc. and based on past experiences you can quickly judge if the client can afford your products and services.

Here is the circle of truth in the service business.
Higher Rates = More Resources = Better Service = Happier Customers = Higher Rates.

I agree with Andrew and frankly believe that each came up with a viable solution based on written information. There is much that can be picked up in person. Sometimes those pesky sales guys are worth their cost.

The examples went from deterrence to saturation. Maybe next time there should be a budget amount tossed in up front?

All in all, great job on all parts!

I also agree. I submitted the quote on behalf of Lasco. I would like to see the sales pitches that were submitted with the proposals as a justification of the others design.

My design was to blanket the parking lot as the exercise stated that there was vandalism in the parking areas, and I was under the assumption that the vandalism was happening during business hours with a full parking lot, which would reduce sight lines to the back sides of the lot. I am not sure I need to see the other guys pricing, as the relevance is more with the parts and labor, and how we would design a solution.

As a general comment about the variation in designs:

1) The project details were specifically written to avoid bias. IPVM did not have a 'winning solution' in mind while writing this scenario. The goal was to see variations in designs the problem would return.

2) The statement "Each participate lacked knowing the clients budget, acceptable video quality testing, and more from the customer" is incorrect.

Respondents were encouraged to ask any questions they had, for clarity or elaboration. All of those questions were asked and answered in the comments thread here. Everyone had the equal, open opportunity to ask and see these questions answered.

I think these characteristics are common practice in real-world solicitations as well.

What was proposed was purely the prerogative of the responding party. They all did a great job.

sorry, but a 10 second search of the entire thread found the the only reply to specific inquiries to a budget is.

"1. Funding is available for whichever system is chosen."

that's hardly a $$$ budget to work within...

The inclusion of a PTZ device in Bullets submission is an absolutely correct choice in my opinion. This tips the utility of the system more towards the 'surveillance' aspect and less towards the 'evidence gathering' aspect. The requirements brief clearly stated that there would be a live monitoring capability and likelihood. In my experience with a similar scenario the ability to spot and/or follow known perpetrators is the best way to stop them BEFORE they've exited the property. Back in the bad old CCTV days - before the not so inconsequential latency issue arrived - the use of a good PTZ camera in skilled operator hands often produced the only clear evidence that a crime was in fact taking place and the subsequent recordings usually met the required resolution - pixel density sorry - that law enforcement could use as evidence in prosecuting the suspect that you had detained for them. Very enjoyable read all around - congrats to the participants.

That is an amazing array of proposals. Thanks to the companies that participated.

I really appreciate each respondents time and effort into putting together a proposal for this exercise. While the price differences can come off as shocking from the low to high, I think it accurately reflects what all of us face every day when trying to sell a video solution to someone. Customers will get these differences in proposals, and than (if we are lucky) call back the high bidders and tell them they "were way to high, so we went with someone else". This exercise just reminds me what a tough industry we are in.

Most customers, not all, don't understand the technology enough to see why one solution might by 8x more expensive than another. Yes, we try to educate them but they are also being told by the other bidders this will meet their need. In the end, cost plays a huge role in the decision process unless they have been burned in the past.

Each participate lacked knowing the clients budget, acceptable video quality testing, and more from the customer.

Budgets are for the birds.

If I walked in to that Farmers Market, I could tell you what their 'budget' is within 15 minutes. How? Looking at other equipment, HVAC, lighting, computers, networking, telephone, intercoms, gadgets, DIY crap, what cars they drive, who they know and don't know.

Getting a sense of the true value of the assets under protection, and the glaring vulnerabilities.

Who the owners are, family corporate, idiosyncratic etc...

How could a client like the farmers market budget for a system like this without being an expert in the first place, (assuming it was their first crack at VS).

The budget is yours to make and justify.

That's what all these different proposals have in common, a guy who is ready to make the case for why, how and how much.

I agree with you in that you can often get a really good idea for what their budget may be by assessing all of those things. I would think any experienced salesperson does this whether they realize it or not.

However a better explanation might be finding out their expectation. I have seen 'hign end' customers balk at a reasonable estimate because it was too high and I have also seen 'low end' customers spend way more than I was expecting because they had a perceived value that justified the expense.

So budgets may be for the birds but finding out the client's cost expectations early in the game is the most important thing you can do.

Is it possible to include access control as well in future cases?
I think it would be very interesting.

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