Panasonic Free VMS Licenses Program

By: John Honovich, Published on Apr 21, 2015

Looks like Tyco is a trendsetter.

Weeks after Tyco starting giving free Exacq licenses, Digital Watchdog followed suit and now the biggest camera manufacturer yet is offering free VMS licenses.

In this note, we look at Panasonic's move, what it includes and how this is likely to impact the market.

***** **** **** ** a ***********.

***** ***** **** ******** giving**** ***** ********, ******* ******** ******** suit *** *** *** biggest ****** ************ *** is ******** **** *** licenses.

** **** ****, ** look ** *********'* ****, what ** ******** *** how **** ** ****** to ****** *** ******.

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

********

** ******** ****,********* ****** ** *** manufacturer ***** *******. ** **** ****, Panasonic ********** *** ***** for ** *** ********* in ***** ******* *** that **** ********** ******* for ***** ***** *****.

**** **** * ******, Panasonic *** ********* **** for **** ********* ****** models ******, * **** Video ******* *** ******* would ** ********.

How ** *****

***** ******* / ********* explained *** ** ****** to **:

"******** *** *** **** license ** *** ******* and ******* * ** serial ****** *** *****.  During *** ************, *** customer **** ****** “********* Bundle” *** *** *** will **** *** ******** cameras (** *** ******** can ******** ***** *** IP ******* ** *** cameras.) ** *** ****** app ** ** * workstation **** *** ***** the ********, *** *** will **** *** ***** and ****** ******* ** VI *** ** ***** activated.  ** *** ****** is *******, *** *** will ***** *** **** to ******** * **** and ************ ****** ** to *** ** ******* within ** ****."

*** ******* ****** ** May *, **** *** does *** ******* ********** purchased ********* *******. *******, VideoInsight ***** **** **** "******** ** ***** * perpetual **** $** *** camera *********** ******* **** allows ********* ******* ***** VMS ******** ** ****** to ** *** ******* not ******** ** *** bundle."

** **** *** ******* buying ************'* ******* / appliances (****** ******** *******), ******** ********* ***** to ****** ***** *** COTS ********.

************ ********* **** ****** ******* software *** ****** ****.

What ******* ** ******

***** *** ~*** ********* cameras *******, ********* **** we ******* ** *** of ***** ************ ******* and **** * *** of ***** *** / consumer ********* **** *** **-*****. ** **** ***, it ** ****** *********. On *** ***** ****, Panasonic **** *** **** $100 ** *******, ** almost *** *** ******* eligible *** **** ******** are ***** ** ** $300+, **** **** ~$*,***.

Competitive ******

*** **** *********** ********* impact ** *********** *** growing ******** **** *** software ****** ** ***** away ** **** ** a ****** ****. *** since **** **** ********* started ****** *** *** ***** level ***, *** *** ****** seen **** ****** ***** pressure.

*** *********, **** ******* a ****** ***** ****, since ** ***** ******* a ******* ***** / offset **** ***** **** no *** ****. ** course, *** ***** *******, it ***** *** **** people ****** / ***** their ********, ** ** taps **** *** ****** large ********* ** ****** customer ****.

*** ******* ** **** will ** **** *** can *** **** ********* that ******* **** ***** manufacturers *** **** ***** VMSes *** ****** ****** or ****** *** ***'* needs **** ************ (**** would ** * ********** Genetec response, *.*.).

**** ******* ** ** seen ** *** *** manufacturers ** **** *** free *** ******. ************ manufacturers ***, *******, ********** to ****, ** **** might ** **** ********* to **** **** *** software ** **** ******* it **** ******** ***** camera *****.

What ** *** *****?

Comments (6)

Chris,

While we have you here, as one of the last independent VMSes left, I'd be curious to hear your specific pitch against the free VMS bundles.

From an outsides perspective, I would be weary of using anything free for such a critical process. More importantly how will the customer react when they learn the software selected to secure their facility was free?

From an insider's perspective, IPConfigure invests blood and treasure into developing innovative software solutions with a team that's passionate about the important work they are doing. I could not imagine how the team might react if I told them we are selling the business to a camera manufacturer who will be giving our software away for free. Needless to say their best work would be behind them.

The consolidation of VMS manufactures went all wrong and will negatively impact the rate of innovation in the market. Silicon Valley was suppose to make the big move into this space, not the old guard who have been getting it wrong for so long.

Innovation and great customer support can only come from independent VMS companies. For they have everything to lose if they don't get it right.

I think it's a mistake to simply take the fact that vendors are offering their cameras with 'free' VMS licensing to mean that they don't recognize the value of VMS software. Just the opposite.

The reason bundling is attractive to buyers is because they save money, of course. And the reason it is attractive to the vendors is because they can make a sale that they may have not made otherwise.

And if that were all there were to it, then there is definitely an argument to be made saying the VMS license is worth so little that it can be just thrown in for free.

But another big vendor benefit, apart from the initial $ from the sale, is the channelling of the user into a controllable eco-system of the vendors choosing. And that can translate into many times the profit down the line as the end user is more likely than not to continue on their initial path with respect for to purchases.

Since the vendors cameras will always be supported first and best by their own VMS, this adds stability to the system that the end-user may not want to risk.

On the other hand if one were to buy one Panasonic cameras, and seperately purchase Christopher's IPConfigure product the situation changes. Even assuming that IPConfigure were to be an overall better VMS, there would be times when integration with Panasonic would be behind VI.

That's when the customer starts to think, "maybe I should buy the cameras that have the best features AND are supported by IPConfigure", instead of thinking Panasonic automatically.

This unrecognized eco-system affinity is a large part of the value of the VMS for a camera manufacturer, and bundling is the natural way to derive maximum value from it.

"But another big vendor benefit, apart from the initial $ from the sale, is the channelling of the user into a controllable ecosystem of the vendors choosing."

We call this vendor lock-in, which makes for a difficult exit if the customers finds the solution inadequate or seeks features not available in the Free VMS.

"Even assuming that IPConfigure were to be an overall better VMS, there would be times when integration with Panasonic would be behind VI."

This is where ONVIF profiles -S and -Q address integration gaps with VMS manufacturers. Note, not all integration is equal but the VMS should have those risky manufactures identified for their resellers.

"This unrecognized eco-system affinity is a large part of the value of the VMS for a camera manufacturer, and bundling is the natural way to derive maximum value from it."

If you are in a race to the bottom then I completely agree.

Regards,

Chris

Thanks for the insightful response.

The customer saves money while the vendor/reseller makes more money? Actually, the vendor is losing the VMS revenue opportunity under the free model.

The customer appears to save money, the 'free' VMS appears to be a total loss. Neither is necessarily the case.

Yes, this is vendor-lock in strategy, and I'm not advocating it, only recognizing its overlooked contribution to the vendors decision to bundle in the first place.

Yes, ONVIF has made great strides in reducing the degree to which one is limited by such an arrangement. That is why I used the term vendor affinity instead of lock-in. But still there will be at least some benefit for some time to come.

And from an independent VMS manufacturer's perspective, it might seem like it is purely a 'race to the bottom', but from the point of view of someone who sells both cameras and VMSes, it may not be the case.

Imagine you are Panasonic and want to increase sales, you could just discount your hardware and charge fairly for your VMS, or instead keep the hardware the same and give the VMS away 'free'. Its a trade off from their point of view, not necessarily a race to the bottom. Anyway it's not a race because $0 is the bottom.

But I do agree with you that the appeal is lessening everyday as interoperability increases.

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

Exacq Raises VMS Software Pricing Twice in Less Than a Year on Feb 18, 2019
Most VMSes regularly release new features, but rarely increase their prices. For the 3rd time in 4 years, and 2nd time in 8 months, since being...
Milestone Launches Marketplace Where Nothing Is For Sale on Feb 26, 2019
The central announcement at Milestone's annual conference MIPS is Marketplace, which Milestone compared to Uber and Match.com for its ability to...
BCDVideo Expansion And Switch From HP To Dell Examined on Mar 11, 2019
BCDVideo says they have more than tripled revenue in the past 5 years and are continuing to grow, powered most recently by switching their lead...
Avigilon Launches 'Renewed Products Program' on Mar 19, 2019
There are lots of 'pre-owned' cars but pre-owned IP cameras? While such programs are common in other industries, in video surveillance, they are...
Airship VMS Profile on Apr 03, 2019
Airship has been developing VMS software for over 10 years, however, with no outside investment, and minimal marketing, the company is not well...
Manufacturer Favorability Guide 2019 on Jun 12, 2019
The 259 page PDF guide may be downloaded inside by all IPVM members. It includes our manufacturer favorability rankings and individual...
Bluecherry Open Sources Entire VMS on May 13, 2019
Bluecherry announced they have "released the entire Bluecherry software application open source with a GPL license". We spoke to Bluecherry's...
Axis Will Not Block Resellers on Jun 10, 2019
While Axis generally has strong favorability amongst integrators, the biggest complaint is their channel model, which results in smaller integrator...
Giant Tyco Campaigns Against Startup Qumulex on Jul 25, 2019
One is a giant conglomerate that owns the world's largest security integrator. The other has no shipping products. But Tyco is campaigning...
Ionodes Company Profile on Jul 31, 2019
What happened to Ionodes? With seasoned leadership from Jean-Paul Saindon founder of SmartSight and Dr. Michael Gilge, founder of VCS, back in...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Masks Cause Major Facial Recognition Problems on Feb 24, 2020
Coronavirus is spurring an increase in the use of medical masks, which new IPVM test results show cause major problems for facial recognition...
Every VMS Will Become a VSaaS on Feb 21, 2020
VMS is ending. Soon every VMS will be a VSaaS. Competitive dynamics will be redrawn. What does this mean? VMS Historically...
Video Surveillance 101 Course - Last Chance on Feb 20, 2020
This is the last chance to join IPVM's first Video Surveillance 101 course, designed to help those new to the industry to quickly understand the...
Vulnerability Directory For Access Credentials on Feb 20, 2020
Knowing which access credentials are insecure can be difficult to see, especially because most look and feel the same. Even insecure 125 kHz...
AI/Smart Camera Tutorial on Feb 20, 2020
Cameras with video analytics, sometimes called 'Smart' camera or 'AI' cameras, etc. are one of the most promising growth areas of video...
China Manufacturer Suffers Coronavirus Scare on Feb 20, 2020
Uniview suffered a significant health scare last week after one of its employees reported a fever and initially tested positive for coronavirus....
Cheap Camera Problems at Night on Feb 19, 2020
Cheap cameras generally have problems at night, despite the common perception that integrated IR makes cameras mostly the same, according to new...
Milestone Launches Multiple Cloud Solutions on Feb 18, 2020
Milestone is going to the cloud, becoming one of the last prominent VMSes to do so. Milestone is clearly late but how competitive do these new...
Video Surveillance Architecture 101 on Feb 18, 2020
Video surveillance can be designed and deployed in a number of ways. This 101 examines the most common options and architectures used in...
UK Stands Behind Hikvision But Controversy Continues on Feb 18, 2020
Hikvision is exhibiting at a UK government conference for law enforcement, provoking controversy from the press, politicians, and activists due to...