OnSSI Goes on the OffensiveBy John Honovich, Published on Aug 18, 2010
Striking back at those who confuse them for Milestone and Genetec, OnSSI has launched an animated video denigrating the value of 'recorders'. Key statements from OnSSI include:
- They 'use someone else's recorder but that is just part of [their] software'
- Compares the use of 3rd party recorder to a spacebar in a typewriter
- Contends recorders are 'a dime a dozen - inexpensive no matter who you choose'
- Contends that, for complex projects, a 'recorder is like a bicycle for a thousand mile trip'
[Update: We examine the fallout from the OnSSI video].
The video is embedded below:
OnSSI's position is surprisingly aggressive, especially for an industry where direct public attacks in marketing/PR material is uncommon. On the other hand, it reflects their strategic efforts over the last 2 years to position their Ocularis solution [link no longer available] as 'video centric PSIM'. See our December 2009 review of OnSSI's PSIM positioning. In January 2010, we reviewed OnSSI's NetDVMS and Ocularis Client Lite. We showed that NetDVMS was a clear re-brand of Milestone Enterprise but Ocularis Client Lite was OnSSI's own user interface. In the interim, OnSSI has released an Ocularis server. We have not yet reviewed the OnSSI Ocularis server.
We disagree with OnSSI's stance on recorders. The spacebar/keyboard analogy is absurd - even for marketing material. For the majority of users, recorders are not simply low level components but first rate, complete systems. Secondly, the recorders they allude to (Milestone and Genetec) are much more than just recorders (as are many other 'recorders'). These 'recorders' offer integration with numerous security systems, video distribution, multiple advanced user interfaces, etc.
OnSSI needs to provide value beyond what 'recorders' can - meaning PSIM / command and control software. The success of the PSIM market is clearly debatable (as we examined after the NICE / Orsus acquisition). PSIM providers fight against access control and VMS systems offering advanced functionalities and to deliver turn-key software in a industry lacking interoperability standards among security systems (see PSIM's problems).
OnSSI could face a crisis: (1) Why should you buy a recorder from OnSSI anymore? They have clearly acknowledged that they are just a reseller. (2) Can their PSIM software get good enough fast enough to contend on its own? and (3) If they get there, given PSIM's small market size, can they generate sufficient sales?