I've always believed there is money to be made....the question is how much. The trick is deciding whether you're going to do the logical customers; the 2-8 camera shops and need a bunch of them.....or the customers that make you more money; the big shops. The big shops need hybrids whereas the little shops don't. However the little shops may not bother you much and it's a nice recurring revenue. A guy that pays you $120/mo for 5 years is nice, but you need a lot of those guys.
BUT.....can you recoup a $5mm investment over what's already been invested? Don't know. As a small business sw developer and integrator we haven't ventured that far. But we have over 2000 cameras that pay a monthly fee for hosting/managed done with no sales force, so it can be done. However does it scale? I don't know but with a large sales group or contacts it's certainly possible. Certainly it scales some. Axis hasn't been very successful to my knowledge but there's a whole other host of reasons why they can't pull it off.
We may be looking for that partner that wants to give it a shot if anyone is serious!