Top Manufacturers Gaining and Losing Ground 2014

By John Honovich, Published Oct 27, 2014, 12:00am EDT

IPVM survey results of 100 integrators show what manufacturers are gaining and losing ground in 2014.

Integrators answered 2 questions:

"Added: This year, in 2014, what new product lines have you added? Why?"

"Dropped: This year, in 2014, what new product lines have you dropped? Why?"

They described what product lines they are adding and dropping, including their reasons for their moves.

In alphabetical order, here are the companies most frequently cited:

  • Analog
  • Arecont
  • Avigilon
  • Axis
  • Dahua
  • Hikvision
  • Panasonic
  • Pelco
  • Samsung

Big Winner - Hikvision

Hikvision won in a landslide, with more than 20 integrators saying that they had picked them up, more than 3x any other manufacturer.

Answers were very consistent: low prices, acceptable quality.

  • "It is reasonably priced, and has decent quality."
  • "Good compromise price/quality"
  • "For the price you pay there very good."
  • "We needed a cost completive line to compete."
  • "Quality product great price point."
  • "Price and decent performance"
  • "Low prices for bid competition."
  • "The cameras so far have performed well and have a price our customers can afford."
  • "As good or better than any of the High End camera with a ridiculously low price"
  • "Low cost, great picture quality and availability of product."
  • "Looking for a cost-effective product that I can provide for my customers."

No doubt, Hikvision has very low cost products (see our Hikvision 2013 IP Cameras Tested, Testing Hikvision High End Camera, Hikvision HDTVI Cameras Tested).

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However, a major contributing factor to such rapid adoption is that Hikvision has built up local sales, marketing and support teams. Hikvision USA alone has 55 employees listed on LinkedIn (who are focused on sales, marketing and support). Though that is nowhere near as big as Axis (who reports 50 RSMs and 200 American employee), for a budget / Asian manufacturer, it is fairly huge and bigger than all but a handful of surveillance manufacturers.

Poor Showing Dahua

By contrast, Dahua did poorly, especially since Dahua's product offering and price points are quite similar to Hikvision.

Just a few integrators cited picking up Dahua:

  • "Dahua HDCVI = good replacement of old analog cctv for small systems"
  • "Switched all our analogue business to Dahua's HD-CVI products."

We believe the issue is Dahua's business / channel model, that makes it very difficult for North American integrators to purchase / get support from Dahua. Though Dahua has a patchwork of OEMs, Hikvision's far better showing demonstrates the power of having one's own sales team in place.

Avigilon Strong

Mirroring the company's overall revenue growth, Avigilon had a strong showing.

Integrators had a variety of reasons for moving to Avigilon:

  • "Competitive advantage and the hardest working sales rep."
  • "I feel Avigilon cameras are fantastic with lots of innovation taking place !"
  • "Access and video integration"
  • "Price competitive, ease of use"
  • "There was a huge project with this product, and about 2 years ago, we tested the cameras, etc, and the results where ok"

The most frequently stated one was their recent acquisition of VideoIQ analytics:

  • "Due to their purchase of VideoIQ"
  • "I became an Avigilon dealer this year because of their acquisition of videoiq"
  • "Avigilon Analytics, new market opportunities"

It it difficult to contrast Avigilon's momentum to Hikvision, because Avigilon has a restricted dealer model and has been longer established in Western markets.

Samsung Moderately Strong

A number of integrators cited Samsung, with cost being the top factor:

  • "Cheap, was able to get Gold status on first install"
  • "Cost"
  • "Cost and performance"
  • "Feels like a coming out party even though they've always been here?"

That is probably not what Samsung, as an aspiring premium brand, is hoping to hear but Samsung WiseNet III is certainly emerging as a low cost, strong brand alterantive to Axis.

Analog Losing

The most commonly cited product being dropped was analog, in general.

Integrators focused on lower cost IP and analog HD alternatives expanding:

  • "We have stopped quoting for and installing old analogue cameras. With the introduction of HDCVI there is no reason to use simple analogue systems anymore."
  • "Analog installations, and focused just on IP cameras. Better technology and quality, plus prices have come down."
  • "We dropped Analog CCTV, To much competitors from china in My Country. Is not profitable any more"
  • "I have completely dropped analog cameras thanks to low cost HDCVI and Hikvision products."
  • "Slowing down analogue sales due to price of Hikvision IP products"

This is a positive sign in the further transition away from (SD) analog as HD analog and IP products get close enough to enable the even the most cost constrained to make the switch.

Axis Moderate Issues

A number of integrators said they had dropped Axis, though given how many integrators historically have used Axis (far more than any other surveillance brand), this is not that bad.

Two key issues were cited: support concerns and high pricing:

  • "Axis, because the are over priced, however i have to say that they are a quality product as far as longevity is concerned"
  • "We dropped axis due to camera companions poor performance. Also because of there high price point."
  • "Too many issues with Axis Companion and has cost me a lot of dollars and Axis only help to a point, their answer is to put in a VMS unit, costing me more money."
  • "We have had hundreds of quality issues and very little support from them."
  • "Axis. We have no complaints about the hardware or customer service. However, the price point is so high where many of our customers can no longer afford it and our margins are not high enough. With Hikvision we can double our money, with Axis/Bosch we only profit about 15%."

Though this shows that there is pressure on Axis, it is not a flight away from them.

Pelco Issues

Pelco had a similar number of integrators dropping, though we see this as more significant given that Pelco does not have as many dealers as Axis.

Integrators had a variety of reasons, with not any consensus theme:

  • "Pelco fading analog line. We will still sell them if they are on bid specs. Just not an everyday product anymore due to higher cost and better products out there."
  • "Pelco Sarix..... I always have service issues with them."
  • "Don't like the way they do business since Schneider Electric bought them."
  • "They seem to be so far behind the competition"
  • "Our local distributors are not carrying many in stock but that's only one of many reasons."

Panasonic Issues

A handful of integrators reported dropping Panasonic. They were not terribly vocal nor opposed to Panasonic, just more indifferent:

  • "No need for their product"
  • "We have made the decision to move their product to our secondary offerings. Aside from a few cameras, there has been no real development or "game-changers" in their portfolio."

Where is Exacq, Genetec, Milestone?

Amongst all 3 of these companies, there were very few integrators dropping or adding them. Indeed, this was a pattern across the board for VMS manufacturers.

We believe this reflects, primarily, a lack of change in the VMS marketspace (e.g., no aggressive new entrants). Secondarily, there is a general tendency not to change VMS lines as easily as changing cameras, given the training / learning needed to manage / support different VMSes.

Arecont Still Losing

Integrators continue to struggle with Arecont, voted as the worst camera in 2011 and 2014.

Quite a number reported dropped Arecont with quality and support concerns remaining key:

  • "Given up on Arecont. Cost and reliability."
  • "Arecont. Poor quality"
  • "No quality improvements to their line"
  • "Resources hungry both human to support and network to make it work."
  • "Arecont was never a first choice in our portfolio but we've given them too many chances and we keep getting burned by reliability and support issues."

The positive side for Arecont includes their multi-imager line, where they continue to innovate (e.g., the Omni) with few competitors, and relatively speaking, less quality / support problems than before.

The bigger structural problem for Arecont is that Arecont used to be a low cost / high resolution top choice just a few years ago. Now everyone offers megapixel with many far lower cost options on the market (Hikvision the most notable). Arecont is just not attractive anymore for low cost buyers, pushing them increasingly into the niche of multi-imager / panoramics.

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