Unlimited Enterprise VMS License for Just $32,000

Author: John Honovich, Published on Oct 14, 2015

If you have 1,000 cameras and want enterprise VMS software, you would probably pay $150,000, maybe more, plus tens of thousands additional each year for software updates and support.

And for even larger systems with thousands of cameras, you would routinely pay hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Now one VMS vendor, ipConfigure, is releasing an unlimited enterprise VMS plan for just $32,000.

In this note, we share details of this offering, assess its competitive impact to companies like Genetec and Milestone, and debate its value / effectiveness.

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Comments (25)

I think ipConfigure needs to re-brand themselves ASAP. Their name does not invoke thoughts of "VMS", it makes you think they specialize in some kind of networking or setup tools or services.

The price is also way too low for an enterprise account. Those kinds of customers tend to expect (which is a polite way of saying "demand") frequent visits from sales people, lots of on-site support and training and similar requests that are costly to support. I would wager that over the course of 3 years they easily spend $32,000 just on incidental costs for these customers, where do they make money? (I know you mentioned pro services, but that's probably closer to a break-even, net net).

It is interesting that we are seeing a VERY strong trend of price drops on both the hardware and software side. This is, IMO, bad for manufacturers but possibly even worse for integrators. When the labor costs of a basic camera job become 3x or 4x the hardware costs, customers will have a stronger tendency to DIY things and want to just buy all the equipment direct and have the IT guy install it.

I agree about the price being too low risk. Besides professional services, they will most likely try to cross-sell LPR and their NVR appliances but still not sure how much they can make on this approach.

Interesting point about who it is worse for. My gut feel is that it is worse for manufacturers, because all manufacturers have are their products to sell. Even if integrators make nothing on products, they can still sell their labor. Tougher, for sure, but not as cataclysmic as it will be for many manufacturers.

My gut feel is that it is worse for manufacturers, because all manufacturers have are their products to sell.

To some degree, yes, but I disagree. We will see a lot of consolidation and companies dropping out of the game. Canon scooping up Axis and Milestone for example. Or the Vicon/IQI merger (and slow fade out).

Even if integrators make nothing on products, they can still sell their labor.

Yes, they can, but likely at a much reduced rate. I know several sales people at larger integrators making $400K+ per year right now. And lots of smaller integrators that have pretty nice comp plans across the board. But you'll see that go away. When the labor value is perceived as being lower (because nobody really believes you need to hire a $100K/year guy to install a $50 camera), it will affect a lot of integration companies in a potentially larger way because they won't see it coming.

You will also likely see manufactures trying to sell more pro services, cutting into what would have previously been squarely in the integrators job.

IMO all integrators really have to sell is their labor, where nothing but courtesy (for the time being) prevents manufacturers from selling labor as well as products.

However, we think this is bad for the industry, as it furthers the race to the bottom, with competitor after competitor cutting costs, rather than focusing on selling and developing differentiated value.

Ding Ding Ding!!

Oops. Somehow posted before completing my thought.

If the manufactirers in the video surveillance space do not innovate all they have left to compete on is price. Guess where that leads? Right to the bottom, single digit margins or right out of the industry altogether.

We need the manufacturers to innovate!

had these guys in here for a sales pitch a few months back. neat product but it was like any other VMS except the were trying to run mostly linux services on a windows server platform. while i love linux this was a bad idea as they were trying to move away from siverlight to VLC. I informed them that VLC had problems running on windows in large scale apps but they said "nah its seems pretty stable to us we will make it work"

its an interesting concept full suport and upgrades for all of the cameras you have and or add on to your system. they are nice guys seem knolwdgeable (way more than the honeywell dudes) they just dont have anything that sets them apart from established brands though

They are smart, dedicated video people, they do have a fairly standard product, they do have some odd bugs to squash because of some choices they've made. Pretty much everything you listed can be neatly filed under the heading "Why ipConfigure needed to make a move like this".

This market has begun a long-overdue wave of consolidations, and if you don't have the cash to be a buyer, the best you can hope for is to have a user base big enough to be able to choose from multiple offers when you do finally sell.

I am VP Engineering for IPConfigure.

Undisclosed 3, it sounds as though it has been a little while since you looked at our products, please allow me to clarify a couple points.

We have two VMS offerings, both with browser-based UIs. One is a cross-platform (Windows and Linux) and multi-architecture (Intel, MIPS, ARM) VMS that offers identical features, functionality, compatibility, testing, etc. across all platforms including embedded devices.

The other VMS, which is the subject of this unlimited offering, is an enterprise Windows-only .NET platform.

Early versions of both products briefly used VLC, but neither do currently; GStreamer is the foundation of our video streaming and processing functionality. Our products have not used Silverlight for quite some time -- for video rendering we support a plugin-less browser interface, and we also have a GStreamer-based browser plugin.

Best,

Cort Tompkins

Got to hand it to IPC for being disruptive and using press releases to get attention. Not all enterprise deployments need advanced functionality or integration... sometimes organizations just want to set it and forget it...

ERM.... $32,000 MSRP...Does this suggest a discount as well...Of course it does. As it's now public.

Why do so many companies continue to publish disruptive headline prices to get attention (obviously) then it's only once you drill down that you see that intergration will be $XXX (Suck finger hold in air).

The big VMS companies have to battle this sort of thing as the black noise it is... A company trying to be disruptive by headlining an unrealistic price.. Remember the good old days of buying a BMW... The radio was an extra... SO sir is your intergration.... REALLY... Good luck with that one...

WIthout ONVIF,integration, account base for reference

this is not much of a threat to any mid to large size company account, prospect.

It is a marketing gimmick to garner recognition. Not a bad move. If they gain any momentum, will help them get what they need in terms of compliances, ect...

Unfortunately, there are enough companies being managed by uninformed personnel so they may win a few

I find it interesting that many of the conversations posted are focused around the cost reduction as compared to the market. As a sales manager for IPConfigure, when I visit with the integrator community, pricing is one of the top 3 questions I get asked as a comparative question against other VMS solutions. I would be happy to discuss this in more detail with anyone interested in doing so; however, I think it is more important to address how a price play like the Unlimited license $32K deal can actually help integrators increase margins. This pricing model allows an integrator to focus sales on selling more cameras, more servers, more workstations, more switching & cabling, and most important more services.

This is also the perfect opportunity to branch in to the MSP (managed service provider) world by offering video as a service to customers, allowing them to grow within their means where camera licenses can be turned on at no additional costs. Through Enterprise Surveillance Manager reporting, you can schedule a camera health report to be ahead of downed cameras and dispatch a technician to your customer before their office opens.

There are many positives to the pricing provided by IPConfigure in today’s market place. Choosing how to use this pricing model for the benefit of the organization depends on how far someone is willing to take it. Browser based user interface, remote administrator access, camera support of major manufacturers and ease of use through reduced training are just the tip of the benefits of IPConfigure. Now, if one prefers to purchase a base license with no camera licenses included, or back pay for licenses out of support before being current on support than IPConfigure VMS is not the right choice.

First – IPConfigure is taking the risk – not the integrator

I understand the point you're trying to make, but this statement doesn't really cover the entirety of the risk involved.

Most of the integrators I've worked with over the years (in the process of launching a startup company in the security industry) were very concerned with the longevity of the company (note that I'm speaking in the context of larger/enterprise type customers, not 1-and-done installs).

The more established integrators have sold themselves as trused advisors to most of their customers, and they do not want to risk recommending a product that may not be around in 3 or 5 years, or one that might be around but has stagnated. They also don't want to sell the customer something for the price of $X, and then find out the real cost is $5X once you factor in pro services or other fees.

Integrators ask about cost because they know customers can be price sensitive, and also because for a lot of the mid-tier market most of the big-name VMS's are fairly comparable, so cost is one of the major differentiators.

IPConfigure is taking some of the risk in the up front transaction by offering a massivle reduced price, but the integrator is also taking a lot of risk in hoping that the product and company will continue to evolve and they won't look bad in front of their customer in 3 years.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's a bold move and probably a good way for IPC to generate some visibility, but it's far from a "no risk" proposition to the integrators.

The UNLIMITED pricing model is about re-orienting our market strategy to address needs that are common to the overwhelming majority of VMS customers while spending less energy on odd, one-off requirements for which there is little market demand.
80% of support and engineering time is spent on 20% of the customers who have special needs.
IPConfigure can now focus on selling ESM, our flagship VMS, to the remaining 80% of customers who want a solution that solves their video surveillance needs in a simple and scalable way.

I don't understand this reply.

How does unlimited pricing orient your market strategy to address common needs?

Are you saying that you feel your development work is essentially "done" and you don't need to spend a lot for new R&D so you can just take what you have and churn out $32,000 copies?

Large, high-dollar projects tend to come with a tremendous amount of "baggage" in the form of special configurations, customizations, etc. that are not useful for any other customer.
By replacing some of this large project-based revenue with a higher volume of $32k unlimited license revenue, we spend our time developing features that will appeal to that broad $32k customer base, not one-off features that are useful only for a single project and ultimately provide less long term return to IPConfigure (and the majority of our customers).

Large, high-dollar projects tend to come with a tremendous amount of "baggage" in the form of special configurations, customizations, etc. that are not useful for any other customer.

I think there is an error in your thinking here. Whether the project is high-dollar or not doesn't determine the customization or configuration necessary, the complexity does.

If you cut your price on your high-end product your likely to attract other high-end users, with the same high-end needs. You'll just get less money from them.

Where would be your opportunistic quick gain market strategy for enterprise projects if one of a big VMS producer offers tomorrow the same but cheaper? I am sure they can survive it longer.

I know you would go lower and someone will go even lower and then another segment in security will be damaged.

Your only advantage to do so is the small partner base so you do not need to care about your old partners and protecting their investments.

The response from our partners have been overwhelmingly positive. If you understand the principals of "Cost leadership" our strategy will become clear.

Cost leadership is essentially offering the lowest cost product, which typically comes about from reduced corporate operational costs (eg: reducing COGS, reducing R&D, essentially cranking out a lot of very identical copies of a simple thing at very high volumes).

I don't see how this is long-run sustainable for IPConfigure. This sounds like the strategy that BRS Labs tried a few years back, fire all the engineers and just try and sell what you have. There really isn't enough of a "high-volume" market segment to leverage this optimally.

You didn't address this question in my previous comment, so I'll ask it again slightly differently: Are you continuing to invest in R&D and bring new feautres and functions to your VMS platform (beyond just sustaining engineering)? Do you share your roadmap with customers or potential customers?

Yes, the development team continues to grow along with our products capabilities.

Our roadmap... Continue building "Simple, Smart, Scalable, and Cross Platform" (Windows/Linux) VMS for the small, mid, and enterprise space with a cloud offering coming in Spring '16.

I think Asians are excellent in the cost of leadership concept.

They have also always a great response from their partners, sometime they offer enterprise VMS for free but you need to buy at least 20 kg of IP cameras:-)

There is another Unlimited Enterprise VMS already available with the name of Luxriot ... i hope you guys heared about it.

and it is very cheap as well.

I am aware of Luxriot Enterprise (which is unlimited) but my understanding has always been that is unlimited per server. Am I wrong?

ipConfigure is offering unlimited for the entire system, e.g. 10,000 cameras across 500 different servers is one flat rate.

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