Struggling Speco OEMs Dahua

Author: John Honovich, Published on Jan 31, 2017

Many incumbent manufacturers have been hard hit by the expansion of Chinese manufacturers.

Once fairly large US provider Speco has been one of them.

Now, Speco has begun OEMing some Dahua products, confirmed by IPVM testing. In this note, we examine the challenges for Speco and 3 reasons why OEMing from Dahua is a bad idea.

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Comments (20)

Wondering if they just copied Dahua's datasheet or actually verified themselves (3rd party lab) that this camera is in fact IP67 rated (submersible down to 3ft). I used to have a lot of respect for Speco. They were a worthy competitor in the analog days. Things have changed a lot. It's unfortunate

CEO Says "I have never shared information with anyone outside of Speco about my sources or what makes my company different and special on anything i make or buy."

Maybe that's why Speco is not doing so well. If you don't promote what makes you special or different outside your own company why would anyone decide to buy from you outside your company?

Why bother? why not just sell the company to Dahua?

why not just sell the company to Dahua?

Michael, would Dahua buy Speco?

It seems the cheaper move is to let Dahua sell Speco products and than use their USA sales team to take over Speco dealer by dealer. Yes/no?

John, I suppose so - I guess it depends on what Dahua's motivation/plan is - is it to gain maximum market share under its own brand, or is it to sell the maximum number of cameras, regardless of whether it is under its own branding or as an OEM..

I would tend to think that this trend of OEM'ing Hikvision and Dahua is creating an alarming lack of differentiation among so many once-leading brand names and that is a silver lining for companies like Axis who do all their own R&D and manufacturing..more and more distance is being put between them and the gaggle of re-branded Chinese cameras all competing on price only.

this trend of OEM'ing Hikvision and Dahua is creating an alarming lack of differentiation among so many once-leading brand names and that is a silver lining for companies like Axis

Yes, strongly agree with you on that. It is not great for Axis but it's a lot less terrible than it is for Nuvico, Everfocus, Speco, etc.

Axis is challenged to grow revenue but the older names / budget companies have seen revenue drop ~50%, which is far worse.

What I find ironic is that Dahua uses the Axis API for their products. Whether that is official/licensed or not, I don't know. All I do know is that Axis software will identify and control Dahua cameras if allowed, due to the common API. If you look at the file structure of a Dahua camera, there is even an Axis folder.

Would you need a license to copy a API! Assume there is no patent elements made by Axis. And you got to be sure they don't pay Axis anything what so ever.

Could you say the same thing for all those Onvif cameras which don't pay membership fee, but just have the protocol on device.

I'm not saying it's right. But we are in an Industry which had not protected itself in many ways.

I hear what you're saying, but I am the wrong person to ask about whether or not it is required to license API.

Could you say the same thing for all those Onvif cameras which don't pay membership fee, but just have the protocol on device.

The ONVIF element is trademark infringement since companies need to get permission to use ONVIF's mark in their commercial advertising. Now whether ONVIF would actually enforce it is another story.

I doubt Axis would even bother trying to patent an API since the entire purpose of the Application Programming Interface is to make it open to work with other companies software. That is just my option though.

Link to the VAPIX description

Same argument can be made about Speco as, say, Digital Watchdog, who has also been approaching everyone for a buyout these last few years, which is, what is there to buy, other than the name? A customer list?

Hell, why write a check, OEM for them instead. Get their customers acclimated to your products, Speco tanks, now the OEM reaps the benefits, all the while taking money in, but never sending money out.

This all seems too frighteningly logical.

Digital Watchdog, who has also been approaching everyone for a buyout these last few years

Can you confirm that they are looking to sell to someone?

I sure can. This arose in May of 2015, and again in February of 2016.

Once more, what is there to buy, other than a customer list?

why not just sell the company to Dahua?

Because its more profitable to first entice Speco into a dependent relationship, which can then be abandoned once Speco's customer's become aware of the true origin of the product.

The Chinese don't buy companies, not over here anyway. They just cut your throat by selling for 10% less than you just to take your customers.

This is one popular camera model:

Even in the press ;)

Lol, that's funny. Actually I gave our graphics person a link to a different dome design / camera but he must have googled it and picked that one to emulate / design.

Speco at one time had only a portion of their products offering allocated to video, the balance devoted to commercial audio products. They've maintained that to date so it makes sense in some ways to OEM their video products with the advent of low cost Asian video lines. Choosing with whom to ally and avoiding those that tend to eat their own may get really interesting especially in this case.

Speco's CEO is a bit behind the times.

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