VSaaS 2014 Adoption Measured

By Brian Rhodes, Published Jan 28, 2014, 12:00am EST

Like Death Valley, VSaaS adoption remains low and flat.

The prospects of lush green profits seem a mirage.

The overwhelming majority of integrators have no optimism about the offerings, no matter which brand is represented. What is the cause of this desolation, when the segment was full of promise a few years ago? We take a look in this new survey of 140+ integrators.

A Weak Channel Weakening

Most integrators (81%) answered they were not offering any VSaaS services, even more than the 77% who answered the same question in 2012. This was not surprising, as most of the news has been negative with headlines like EMC dumps Axis VSaaS. Aside from little interest in the offering, the number of DIY offerings (eg: Dropcam, Sensr.net) are growing outside the security integration sales channel.

The reasons for not deploying VSaaS were varied, but bandwidth restrictions, pricing models, and outright lack of demand were most common.

No Demand

For many integrators, VSaaS is a solution looking for a problem. Whether because technology or economics limits the appeal, many responses explained that their customers simply are not interested given traditional (non-cloud based) surveillance system designs.

  • "No interest from clients."
  • "Lack of interest from customers."
  • "It is so rarely a fit that we simply forget to offer it."
  • "No demand from market and tech not there yet."
  • "Our market segment is not interested in it"

Bandwidth Restrictions

VSaaS is often cited as being a prime solution for very small installations, in the 1-4 camera range, which typically fall into the category of small retail. However, many small retail establishments do not have spare upload bandwidth to dedicate to this service, as many still use slower DSL or cable connections. This can lead to decreased performance (resolution, frame rate, and otherwise) or the need to upgrade internet service, neither of which are favorable options.

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  • "VSaaS has an extreme bandwidth requirement and we only do commercial properties."
  • "Our sites don't have the bandwidth."
  • "I'm a located in a rural area...people are still using DSL here. It will be a nice feature in the next decade perhaps.."
  • "ISP infrastructure does not allow it, still a gimmick offering until a) video compression drops with up and coming tech, or b) ISPs start offering upload rates at par with download rate at a fair price."
  • "Our clients don't usually have the appropriate Internet connection to support streaming video."

Pricing Concerns

We have previously expressed concerns over the pricing structure of VSaaS offerings. These concerns were echoed by a number of integrator respondents. As we previously examined, most VSaaS offerings have questionable ROIs.

  • "The business model really is not panning out and with the "dropcams" of the world gaining, I see this as "niche" area at best."
  • "The dollars are too low for the level of work."
  • "Very expensive currently with not many service providers."
  • "There are not enough customers who would pay monthly fee."
  • "I looked into it, but sticking with local storage is cost effective and familiar to me."

Security Concerns

Another concern raised by integrators was the potential security risk of storing a customer's video off-site. Indeed, many end users have cited this concern, as well, preferring to keep video from their premises in-house, where they can guarantee chain of custody, instead of storing it off-site.

  • "Customer policies do no allow off site access by 3rd parties."
  • "Security and privacy of hosted data is a major factor (preventing adoption)."
  • "Customers want control and ownership of their video.'"
  • "(Our Customers) are uncomfortable with the data leaving their network."
  • "The customers don't like their videos to be hosted outside because of security and privacy issues."

Jumped the Shark, or Still Too Early?

While there are still a number of integrators who still feel VSaaS is too new to offer as a mainstream product, there were a number of responses that indicated their VSaaS offerings were a failed experiment. 

  • "It should die. With limited bandwidth it doesn't make sense. If all you get is low resolution SD, then the cost isn't justified.."
  • "We offered it to test the appetite for it, and never really took it off the menu."
  • "It offered no value to the customer."
  • "Accept it or not.....its a future of CCTV technology"
  • "I don't believe it is appropriate for the moment."
  • "No mature solutions available yet."
  • "We are starting to pursue and evaluate hosted video solutions and hope to be hosting video by the summer."

The Future?

So either integrators are completely missing the next big thing or VSaaS has struggled to make progress solving its problems. Your take?


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