Toughest Manufacturer Competitors 2018

By IPVM Team, Published on May 07, 2018

150+ integrators answered:

Which manufacturer, when offered by rival integrators, is toughest to compete against? Why?

The overwhelming trend from integrators was low-cost products and, in particular, Hikvision.

In this note, we examine the trend, share detailed color commentary from integrators and examine how this impacts integrator tactics.

Hikvision

The overwhelming winner was Hikvision, with 50% of all integrator responses, far above any other manufacturer.

Integrators made clear three things: (1) Hikvision's low cost was a critical advantage, (2) that they have difficulties countering this and (3) they believed many buyers were not understanding the downsides:

  • "Hikvision because it's so cheap. It's very difficult to explain why one camera is better then the other if you don't know a lot of back-end knowledge. So customers think they are the same as all the others."
  • "HIKVision, the cost difference is often hard to compete against in stand-alone video market. When competing dealers often downplay (or lie about) the government ownership and the lack of cyber protections it can often times confuse end-users, which leads to them reverting to price based decisions."
  • "Hikvision because people don't understand the security risks until we explain it. It's a harder concept for some folks to wrap their head around vs. reliability or resolution quality."
  • "Hikvision, simply price pressure."
  • "Hikvision. Mainly due to its extremely low cost. Also the competitors in our area that use Hikvision also typically have a much lower labor rate. We will go into a place thinking there is no way they would go with Hikvision after we explain the multiple security issues Hikvision has had but sometimes the dollar difference doesn't matter. Anymore we try to quickly weed out customers we suspect that will go that route."
  • "HIK because they drop the price so much."
  • "Hikvision down price is the main problem, but when explaining to the client about the details in the market, he understood and change his decision. but not always works especially when the client is price oriented."
  • "It has to be Hikvision. Because the price is the one factor that can make people abandon their priorities."
  • "Hikvision is the toughest manufacturer to compete against when the price is the most important factor to the customer."
  • "Hikvision. Usually, because the end user gets dazzled by the price. It takes a lot of explaining the vulnerabilities and costs that will be associated with on-site updates and patches to make them see the TCO will be more."
  • "Hikvision is toughest to compete mainly due to lower cost compare to Exacq, Avigilon, Axis etc. We do not offer Hikvision due to its famous Network security features."
  • "Probably Hikvision, and only due to cost advantage. Customers willing to risk "going there" are extremely price-sensitive."
  • "Hikvision for sure. Customers will first see the "great low price" and immediately start comparing our prices. You can try communicating the issues and benefits of other systems: network security, software ease of use, stability, etc. But those are harder to explain to customers who are not technically savvy."
  • "Catch 22 - Hikvision because it's cheap and always the deal of the day hardware but i would counter that easiest to compete against if you can have an honest talk with the customer about how important security is to their business."

Dahua was mentioned far less frequently than Hikvision and the majority of those mentions were said as a combination of the two companies, such as:

  • "Dahua and Hikvision because of price"
  • "Hikvision and Dahua - simple price/performance ratio.. We prefer higher-end products like Axis but regularly lose work to Chinese products."
  • "HIKVISION and Dahua, when they come with Best offer, it is hard to compete them."
  • "Hikvision, Dahua. Dumped price."
  • "Hikvision/Dahua - Price. Rivals need to clearly show."
  • "Typically Hikvision/Dahua"

Low Cost Generally

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More generally, a number of integrators cited low cost products even when not mentioning a specific manufacturer:

  • "Any of the lowest cost ones. Cost over quality sometimes is the priority for those who don't factor in what lack of quality actually costs. We tend to stay away from end users whose primary decision factor is price."
  • "Generally if the client is making a decision on money alone we try and educate them on the pros and cons the complete package."
  • "Normally rival integrator will go with a cheap solution that might not work as well, so even though the up front cost seems less the up keep cost and lack of quality in the system can end up costing the customer more in the long run"
  • "Cheap alternative are hard to compete against. A not insignificant percentage of small business owners just want the cheapest thing they can get regardless of performance."
  • "Any of the cheap one but only if the customer is price driven only. If not i can usually demo the better option and steer them away from the cheap stuff"

Avigilon

Outside of low cost, Hikvision and Dahua, the only other manufacturer to receive a meaningful number of selections was Avigilon, though with only a fraction of mentions of Hikvision, including comments such as:

  • "Avigilon; Dealer pricing."
  • "Avigilon because it's built into some specs and Avigilon won't sell to us as we're not a dealer."
  • "Avigilon, they have a superb sales force"
  • "Avigilon. They do a good job of selling the "No reoccurring licensing costs".
  • "Avigilon = cost and performance is very close to our preferred vms exact."
  • "Avigilon because a lot of people still like to use 1 product for integration as they believe it will work better."
  • "It should be Avigilon, but our local dealers are pretty awful so it really isn't."
  • "Avigilon. Performance, offerings, pretty well distributed in specs. Good integrators."

The Advantage of Low Cost

On the positive side for Hikvision, this shows that their strategy of keeping prices low and running frequent sales is having a competitive impact on integrators. Plus, the fact that Hikvision is cited far more often than Dahua (who often sells for less than Hikvision), shows Hikvision's far greater and better marketing (shows, events, parties, ads, etc.) is keeping Hikvision top of mind with many integrators. So long as they continue this combination, Hikvision will no doubt be the toughest competitor to integrators.

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