IndigoVision Raids Avigilon Sales Team

By: Brian Karas, Published on Jul 05, 2017

If you can't beat 'em, hire their employees? This could be described as IndigoVision's most recent strategy to increase market share in North America.

In this report we analyze why IndigoVision has been able to tempt Avigilon employees to jump ship, and the risks of their approach, based on a conversation with CEO Marcus Kneen.

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Comments (27)

I am not sure how IndigoVision is considered "open platform" comparable with Exacq or Milestone.   

 

While Indigo supports ONVIF, that is the extent of it.  There are no custom camera drivers to any extent, and the few drivers they do support require expensive gateways with limited bandwidth 

 

 

Take a look at those VMS compatibility lists mentioned.  Many cameras contained within now are reliant on ONVIF as well.  This seems to be the course for building out camera compatibility lists for the past couple years.  The sole advantage is they have actually tested the models listed in lieu of just assuming "its ONVIF so it should work".

I asked IndigoVision for a comment on this and will update with their response when we receive it.

 

Agreed. In fact, some of our customers have IndigoVision cameras and it's a near constant headache because the integrations break when we do updates, because many IndigoVision cameras are either not ONVIF compliant, or only support a limited implementation of ONVIF. And so we either have to do a bunch of extra work to keep their cameras working on our system, or request that IndigoVision update their camera firmware, which is often like pulling teeth.

Of course that makes it easier for us to convert customers over to our cameras...

Sounds like you have a vested interest in getting people to use your cameras. For that your response in my opinion is biased. Most cameras need firmware updates if you're going to "we do updates". Often times dll files or core components on the updated side affect the camera. That's not a IndigoVision specific need.

 

Also, if you could please provide details of the "many IndigoVision cameras are either not ONVIF compliant". If you look at IndigoVision's supported camera list it lists all features that are available. Many camera manufacturers have the same issue. Just go look at fisheye cameras and other features like analytics.

 

I guess my point is that you didn't list one detail in your post. Just a bunch of generalities with no model numbers are real world examples. Pretty obvious you have a horse in the race and it benefits you to spread inaccurate information about IndigoVision's product.

Certainly Alex and his extensive team of lawyers will be busy figuring out how to sue these folks. If IndigoVision isn't on the list of companies included in the Avigilon non-compete employment agreements, it is now!

Not hard to figure out why people could be quite easily woo'd from one gig to another. When a CEO lacks leadership, charisma, respect for his employees, respect by his employees, decency, and professionalism - there comes a point where the paycheck isn't enough for top performers. If sales territories keep shrinking while quotas go up - there is only one winner - the company, and the CEO (perhaps also a majority shareholder and top bonus earner).

Perhaps, but non-compete clauses are notoriously hard to enforce in the U.S. for everyone except C-Level employees.

Honestly, what goes around comes around. Many in the industry know that Avigilon took many of IndigoVision's products by opening up their SDK. Fitting that IndigoVision would take sales people since the platform is similar. Including Avigilon taking the Control Center name way back. I don't need to post facts as many people know the truth and one of the sales guys that helped do it is still at Avigilon.

How many of those new employees listed had other positions between their stint at Avigilon and Indigo Vision and how many of them will be fighting no compete contracts? Just seems a bit messy to me.

All but one (Mastropole) have LinkedIn profiles that show no gaps between their Avigilon and IndigoVision roles.

 

Dean Brazenall was EMEA director for Avigilon

I updated the report to reflect that, thanks.

Indigo tried to recruit multiple other current and past Avigilon employees, including me. It seems that the product lineup was the biggest hurdle for most people. Compared to Avigilon, quotas were tiny. It's easy to get sales people excited about the potential upside.

I spent an hour or so at the IndigoVision booth in Vegas. The person who demoed the system to me could not even navigate the software. It was painful to watch him struggle. 
I don't think Avigilon has anything to worry about.

Because one person was not knowledgeable enough because maybe he was new you assume Avigilon has nothing to worry about? Seems like a very simplistic reason doesn't it? 

How about the fact that IndigoVision can support double the cameras per NVR because contrary to Avigilon IndigoVision doesn't have to use the NVR to stream live video because of distributed network architecture.

There are benefits to the Avigilon platform so if you want to get into real examples we can. But, for you to make a blanket statement like you did is comical. 

Fact is that all manufacturers are going to have trouble in the industry. Chinese manufacturers are driving down profit margins and companies like Avigilon have huge overheads because of their nearly 1000 employees as evidence by them letting go their entire field support team. But to say that Avigilon has nothing to worry about with IndigoVision I would be careful to make statements that are not true.

I also had a demo at ISC and it was a disaster.  The person doing the demo was not new and started off the demo showing us how easy it was to find the help file. (Not a good way to start a demo).  Then the software crashed and a sales engineer had to come over to help.   While the sales engineer was fixing the software the person doing the demo started to tell me how much cheaper IndigoVisions software SUP is compared to Avigilons.   I had to walk away at that point.

 

After that, I decided to give IndigoVision another chance as I wanted to see what all the fuss is about.  I am starting to test IndigoVision software and cameras and looking forward to seeing how easy it is to setup and for the end user to use. 

IndigoVision has strong open credentials. Historically we had a proprietary solution but that was because there were no open standards in those days. Since 2010, IndigoVision has been involved with and contributed to the development of the ONVIF standard. We base our solution on ONVIF but through our Camera Gateway and Video Stream Manager products we also support a wide range of 3rd-party cameras. Our Camera Gateway and Video Stream Manager software products are available free-of-charge to our customers and do not require expensive hardware to run on. 3rd-party cameras are licensed at the same price as IndigoVision cameras so we are not closing our system commercially either.

The last point I would like to make is that our openness is not just about bringing 3rd-party cameras in to Control Center. Our range of SDKs are also available free-of-charge to our partners and these allow integration both in and out of our system for video and alarms.

Definitely agree that claims of being "open" are not just about supporting lots of cameras. But that's actually a big issue for IndigoVision. As a third party vendor with software that integrates with a range of other VMS, we found ourselves unable to develop a fully functional integration with IndigoVision Control Center due to the significant limitations in the partner SDKs compared with most other VMS. This may be changing over time, but the legacy IndigoVision approach (perhaps understandably, given the heritage of building locked down, closed end-to-end systems for UK police and others) of locking the video content and camera outputs is the antithesis of being open.

And then there's the existing customers with large numbers of deployed IndigoVision cameras from the 2000's who find themselves "trapped" with Control Center as the only VMS able to properly and reliably interface to their cameras (and thereby also trapped into buying more IndigoVision cameras in a proprietary lock-in).

The comparison with Avigilon is a good one (as Avigilon's Control Center is also the only VMS to  be able to get the most out of Avigilon cameras in the end-end ecosystem model) but at least Avigilon's partner SDKs are genuinely open, really well documented, and easy to develop with.

The following employees have all gone directly from Avigilon to IndigoVision in the past few months:

Team Indivigilon

Indigovision are 'obsessed' with the success AVIGILON has and are doing everything trying to copy this including hiring as many (ex) AVIGILON employees as possible. That statement btw came direct from an Indigo employee. But then Indigovision aren't the only manufacturer deploying these tactics, a certain Chinese manufacturer is doing the same waving big bags of money. I think it's all quite funny in a sad way. All I can do is wish them all the best!

There are two parts to this. One, why are so many sales managers leaving Avigilon? The second part is why is IndigoVision hiring so many Avigilon employees? 

The first I do not know exactly why Avigilon employees are leaving so I will not guess. The second part of why IndigoVision prefers Avigilon employees. This is a little easier. Avigilon and IndigoVision have very similar product lines. They are two of a very few manufacturers who offer both a camera line and VMS platform. Many others like Genetec, Milestone only have VMS while Hikvision and Axis really only have a camera line. 

I believe IndigoVision sees these sales managers and directors as being able to hit the ground running within their territories. This has been a challenge in the past where it takes too much time to convince integrators to switch manufacturers. 

a certain Chinese manufacturer is doing the same waving big bags of money. I think it's all quite funny in a sad way.

Big bags of money cheer me up.

With Indigo's revolving door, I expect most of them to be gone within a year. They change management styles like most of us change shoes.

No long term territory development always harms your company's image in any marketplace. The new team has a big job ahead of them and I hope that they are given adequate time for business development.

UPDATE - Sal Mastropole is now at March Networks, based on his LinkedIn profile, which also makes no mention of IndigoVision.

Everyone makes a bad choice now and then.  Having a gap in an employment timeline isn't unusual.  Moving your years around to hide a gap, not so good. 

UPDATE - IndigoVision has just hired Steven Cargill from Avigilon to cover the midwest.

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