PennyAlerts is Pretty Interesting

By John Honovich, Published Jun 25, 2015, 12:00am EDT

We have criticized Intransa / Viakoo pretty harshly. And they deserved it.

Quietly going out of business, dropping all warranties, the Intransa leaders then starting Viakoo, launching a false marketing campaign and pricing their service unreasonably.

Now, the company has done a 180, offering a radically lower cost service that we think has potential. In this note, we examine it.

The First Try

Viakoo started out with a cloud video surveillance health monitoring service at $60 per year per camera. That's a hard sell considering (1) they were not going to fix anything for that, just notify, (2) most video surveillance users are hard pressed to spend more for health monitoring and (3) Viakoo was pricing itself more than most enterprise VMS software packages.

The Second Try - 'PennyAlerts'

Now, Viakoo has added a second subscription package [link no longer available] - called 'PennyAlerts' [link no longer available] - that cost a penny a day, or just $3.65 per year. That is 94% lower cost than their original package.

PennyAlerts includes basics - such as push notifications to phone, real-time alerts, probable cause, 'etc'. Unlike the higher end, what they call 'Viakoo subscription', it lacks live chat, commissioning reports, video retention compliance, video retention histograms, etc.

Positioned at Integrators

Viakoo says they are aiming this at integrators:

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"PennyAlert was designed as a tool that every integrator should have on their toolbelt.  It helps you to more rapidly find and fix problems, and lets you manage your business more efficiently (and profitably). To be clear, PennyAlert is not meant as a product for resale from an integrator – it is meant to be used by integrators."

Their marketing pitch:


At $60 per camera per year, this is likely a hard, if not infeasible sell, to most users.

At $3.65 per camera per year, it is inexpensive enough to consider.

It is a smart move overall for Viakoo as it opens up the market for them and lets users start at a relatively low cost. If they prove value, they can upsell some users to higher tiers.

The challenge will be Viakoo making money. At $3.65 per camera per year, they will need to get a lot of cameras to cover their costs. Just to generate $1 million in annual revenue, will require 273,000 cameras - no small task.

3 reports cite this report:

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