Pelco / Schneider Multisight VSaaS

By: John Honovich, Published on May 08, 2014

Pelco / Schneider Electric is getting into the VSaaS market with the launch of their Multisight video service.

In this note, we answer the following questions:

  • How does this relate to existing Pelco products like Sarix and Digital Sentry?
  • What opportunities are there for Pelco dealers and how will Schneider Electric's integration business impact this?
  • How do the feature sets match up to other VSaaS offerings like Axis Hosted Video?
  • How do the pricing / terms compare to traditional video surveillance and hosted video offerings?

A New Independent Offering

Multisight is completely independent and separate from existing Pelco products like Sarix and Digital Sentry. Indeed, they cannot be mixed and matched. As such, it does not leverage or work with existing Pelco deployments. Rather, Pelco says it is "focused on operational video, designed specifically for multi-site retailers."

Multisight consists of a single camera form factor and an on-site gateway / recorder.

The cameras are a basic cube offering, a bit smaller than an iPhone (3.5" x 2.3"). They are 720p color only, with no option for WDR, integrated IR, or other more advanced features. Multiple mounting options are available, including wall, drop ceiling, recessed ceiling, and outdoor (using an additional enclosure).

The gateway / recorder is a fan less mini PC which stores video locally and connects the site to the cloud service for remote access to live and archived video. Specs claim 15 days of storage for twelve 720p cameras at 15 FPS continuous recording, or more based on motion. Minimum upload bandwidth is specified as 500 Kb/s.

Compared to Other VSaaS Offerings

The key difference to most VSaaSes is that Multisight is a managed rather than hosted video offering. In pure hosted video offerings (think Dropcam), the video is immediately and always sent off site for storage. By contrast, with a managed solution, video is recorded locally on site and 'managed' / accessed in the cloud.

The two main benefits of this are (1) supporting more total cameras per site (Multisight is targeting 8 to 12 cameras per location) and (2) reducing the cost of storing video in the cloud.

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Integration / Install - Pelco Dealers vs Schneider Electric

Upon launch, Multisight will be installed and serviced by Schneider Electric's integration division. However, Pelco says they are working out details to allow Pelco partners to offer this as well.

Pricing / Terms

One of the most uncommon aspects of this offering is the financial terms. Multisight is offered as a 3 year lease. At the end of the term, the equipment can be returned and the service cancelled. Alternatively, the service will auto-renew for a 1 year term or the customer can re-up for a new 3 year term. If the later occurs, Pelco says they will refresh the cameras and gateway for newer technology available at that time.

The MultiSight service starts at $167 per month for eight cameras, with an additional $50/mo. option to increase to 12 cameras. This works out to about $21/mo. per camera for 8 cameras, and ~$18/mo. for 12. Over the 3 year period, that is ~$6,000 for 8 cameras and ~$8,000 for 12. Installation is included, which is atypical for stock VSaaS packages.

Price Comparison

Overall, Multisight pricing falls somewhere roughly in between low end kits and hosted video offerings and in a similar range to professional DVR / NVR systems.

On the one hand, HD kits including recorder with PoE out and 2 TB hard drive, plus 8 IP66 1080p cameras with integrated IR sells for $1,399 online [link no longer available]. Even after installation (about $150 average per camera in most typical construction, $1,200 total), total cost of the kit solution (~$2,600) is less than half the cost of the three year contract to MultiSight.

On the other, hosted video offerings typically range $10+ per month per camera just for recording, excluding cameras and installation. All in, this would be notably more expensive than Multisight.

Finally, a professional DVR / NVR based system tend to be in the same price range. What's complicated here is that Multisight only includes fairly low end cameras, which skews down the cost but also the strength of the offering.

Impact?

The multi-site retail market that Multisight targets is already served by lots of mature offerings, ranging from low end kits to high end systems and specialists like DTT and Envysion. Can Multisight build out the feature sets that these retailers want (such as various PoS integrations and exception based reporting)? Will Multisight add more camera options to address different needs / applications that retailers have?

It is a fairly straightforward and not very expensive offering that benefits from its turnkey approach and no capital expense but, like with any new offering, the maturity of the feature sets and product options will likely constrain adoption. 

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