The Battle For The VSaaS Market Begins 2019 - Alarm.com, Arcules, Eagle Eye, OpenEye, Qumulex, Verkada, More

By John Honovich, Published Jan 02, 2019, 09:31am EST

2019 will be the year that VSaaS finally becomes a real factor for professional video surveillance. While Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) has been around for more than a decade, it has always been relegated to the fringes of the market and not a mainstream competitor to VMS software and NVRs.

the battle for the vsaas market2

Money Behind It

However, the big difference in 2019 is the emergence of a group of well-funded entrants seriously focused on pushing commercial VSaaS. The technology is not that much different than it was a few years ago but the money being invested in selling and developing commercial focused VSaaS offerings is far far higher.

With commercial video surveillance, for new technology to gain acceptance, it cannot sell itself. Rather, it takes a lot of money in proactively selling and convincing users to switch. Only until there is a critical mass of large players doing so, will a significant number of buyers seriously consider adopting it.

Trends and Players Analyzed

While it is way too early to fairly assess who is going to 'win', the overall battlefield is shaping up as follows, as we explain inside the report:

  • Tens of millions being spent on sales and marketing
  • Viable technology
  • Better for analytics
  • Incremental improvements in bandwidth problems
  • Player - Alarm.com
  • Player - Arcules
  • Player - Eagle Eye
  • Player - OpenEye
  • Player - Qumulex
  • Player -Verkada
  • Member Voting on the most likely successful entrant
  • Not a player now - Dahua and Hikvision
  • Opted out - Milestone
  • Genetec Different
  • Outlook Positive

Spend ** ***** *** *********

****** ***** ****-***** *********, tens ** ******** **** be ***** ** ***** and ********* ** ****, significantly ********** *** ********** and ********* ** ***** offerings ** *********** *** end *****. **** ****'* reviews ** ******* ********** and ************ ********** *********, significant ***** ** ***** and ********* ** ** absolute ***-********* ** ******** and *********.

Viable **********

***** ** ********** ****** and ******, ****** ****** recognition, ******* *********, **** analytics *** ***** ************ where ******** ******** *** cause ****** ** ****** products. *** '*****' **** not **** ********* (******* happen, ******* ** *********, etc.) *** ** ** typically ******** *** ****** enough **** ** **** not '*****' ** ***** buyers ** **** **** the *******. ************, ** improves ** **** ** the ******* ******* *** / *** ******, **** as ***** ********** (*.*., opening *****) *** ************ in ********** ****** ****** for *****.

Better *** *********

*** ***** **, ** least *** ***** ***, generally ******** *** ********** video *********. **** *********** the **** *** ***** of *****, ** ***** VSaaS ********* **** *** potential ** ********** **** higher ******** ***** *********. In **********, ** ********* two ******** - (*) the **** ** ********** power / '************' ****** of ******** *******/********* *** (2) *** ********* ** efficiently ***** *** ******** analytic *********** *******. ******, our ********* ******* ***** that ******** ** ******* generally **** ****** ********'* performance **** ************ **** since *** ****** *** cloud ******** ********** (******* our******** ********* ********************* ******** *******).

**** *** ****** ***** in **** *** **** as *********** ***** (*.*.,***** ******** ********* ********* **) *** more ******* **** ** regular ** ******* *** at ***** *** ***, a ********** ********* ****** for *****-***** *********.

Incremental ********* ************

******* *** ******* ******** to ***** *** **** insufficient ********* ** ****** surveillance ***** **** *** local ******** ** *** cloud. **** *** ********, year ** ****, *********:

  • ******* ******** ********* ******** - * ****** ***, a *** **/* ** upstream ********* *** ***********. More ********, **** ** Mb/s ** ******** ********* is ************ ******, ** improvements ** ****-**** ********* provided (*.*., ***** ** the ****, **** ** business) *** *********.
  • ***** ****** - ***** into ****,***** ***************** *** *** ***** (****** **** ********* **** launch). ***, ********* ***** IP ****** *** * smart ***** *****-** ********. These ************* ****** ********* consumption ************* *** ***** it ****** ***** ** scene **********, ********** ** 50-90% *** ******.
  • *.*** - ***** *.*** has **** * **** time ******, *** *********** of ***** ****** **** the ****** ********** ******** of *.*** **** *********. However, *.*** ******** **** smart ****** ******* ********* consumption **** *******.

*** ** **** *****, almost *** ***** ********* still *** **** **** of ** **-**** ********* (often ****** * '******') or ***** ******* ****** their ***** ******* (******* that ** ******* ** recorders). **** ****** ******** allows **** ** ***** larger ****** ******.

Alarm.com ********* *** **********

*****.*** *** ***** **** a ***** ****** ** the ********** **** ** security, ************* ** *** residential **** *** ** plans ** ****** **** commercial *** (********.*** ******** ****** *****************.*** "**" ***** ********* Tested). ********, **** ** a ****** ******* **** relatively **** ******* (~$*** million ** ****) *** a ****** ***** ******** base.

*** ******* ** ******** a '*******' ******* ******** with ***** *** *********, automation, ****** *******, *****, etc. ** **** ****** business *********, **** *** leverage ***** ******** ***** residential ****** **** ** well ** ********* **** commercially ******* *******.

Arcules ******** *** **********

***** ** ********* **** of ******** ** ******* with *********'* **** **** in **** **** *** calling * '****' *** company. ******* **** ******* shipping ******* ** **** 2018 ******** **** ******* ******* it *** ************ *****, ****** ******* ** Milestone *************.

** ****** ******* ** spend ************* ** ***** and ********* ** **** that **** **** ***** awareness ** *****

****** *** ****: ******* struggled **** *********** ******** at *** *** ** 2018 **** ********* ** headcount ****** ** *** in ****:

** *** *** ***** whether ******* *** ** will **** **** ****** around, ****** **** ********* continue ** ******* **** their ********* ******* / relationship.

Eagle *** ******** *** **********

***** ***, *** *** founder **** *****, *** spent *** **** ****** of ***** ** *** physical ******** ** * service ******. ********** *** many ********* ***** ** willing ** ***** ******* $** ******* ********* cloud ****** ******* ******** ** *********** ****** to*** * ***** ******** from *********** ******** ** *** tens ** ******** **** Eagle *** ****** *** likely ****** ** ***.

******** ** *** ***** 5 ********* ******** ****, Eagle *** *** **** at ** *** ******* and *** ** ********* in ****. *******, ***** Eye's ******** ****** ** rather ************* *** ***** competitive ********** ** ****** (see***** *** ******** ***** VMS ******).

OpenEye ******** *** **********

******* *** ******* ***** a ************ ************ ******** and *** ***** ******** over *** ***** (********** **** *** ******) *** *** *** name *********** *** ********** low *** ********.

******** **** ****, *************** ***** **** *********, the ****** **** ** Milestone, ** ** ***** Executive ********, ****** **** a ****-********* *** ******* to **** **** ******* expansion. *******, *** *** never ******** ******** *********** ** *** ******** Capital ******** ************* ** *********** ***********. These ***** *** ******* OpenEye *** *** ** needed ** ******* **** competitors **** *** ****** substantial *********** ** ***** own.

Qumulex ******** *** **********

*******'* ******* ********** *** that ** *** ** product *** ** **** months *** (******** **-******** ******, ***** Qumulex).

*** ******* ********* *** that ** *** ********* video ********** *********** ********** and * ***** ****** of ********** *** ***** integrator ******** **** ******* Exacq.

******* **** ****** ***** the ***** ****** ** dollars ** *** * companies **** (********* ** their ******* ********, ********* because **** ** *** need **) *** ** believe **** ** *********** will **** ** *** chance ** **-******* **** the ****** ***** **** (recall ***** *************'* ******** *** ** 2014**** ***** ***** **** to ****, ******** *** slow ******* *** *****). Since ******* ** **** planning ** ******* *** first ******* ** *** second **** ** ****, we ****** **** ** have *** ********** ***** impact ** **** *** a ****** ********* *** 2020.

Verkada ******** *** **********

***** **** ****, ******* has *** ******* ***** team ********* ** ******* commercial *****. **** *** sound ********** ***** *** company ** **** ********** new *** ******* *** the ******* *** ***** 40+ *********** ** *** past ****, ****** ** inside ***** ***** ** their ***-**-*** ***** ******** and$** ******* ** ** funding. **** **** **** salespeople ************ ******* *****, it **** *** **** more *** ***** *** integrators *********** *****.

*** ******** ** **** it ** * ****** system, **** ** *** party ****** *******, *** no ***** *********** *********** to *** ******* ******* already ** *** ******. The **** ********* ********* is *** ****** *** recorder ********* **-**** ** storage ** ******** **-***** their *********** *******. ******* of **** *** ******* almost *** ***** **** extensive ******** ****** ************** that ***** **** ** be ****** ****, *** company **** ** ********** to **** ** ********** users *** ** ******* can *** ***** ***** machine ****** **, **** may ** **** ** pick *** ********* ** selling ****** ** ********** pricing.

****** *** ****: ******* has ********* ***** *** most ** *** ***** company ** *** **** year,******* $** ******* ** a **** ******* ****** valuation, ******* ******* ******* ***** surveillance ***** ************ ****, *********** ** ******.

Poll / ****

Dahua *** ********* *** **** ******* (***)

** *** ******** ****, Dahua *** ********* *** clearly ***** ******* ** cloud-enabled ****** ******, ********** their ***** *** / DVR ***** *** ***** cloud ********** ********* (*.*., Hikvision ***-*******).

*******, ** ** *** believe **** *** ********* will ** ***** ******* in ***** (** ***** in *** **** **** for * *** *******):

  • ***** *** ************ **** never **** **** ******, as *** ********* **** tended ** ***** ** camera *********** *** ********.
  • ***** ****** *** ************ have ******* ** ****** CMS / *** (*.*., HikCentral) ****** **** *****.
  • ******* ***'* ***** **** a ******* ********** ** the ******* ********** ***** raise ************* ******** **** many.
  • *** ********* ********* *** in ** **** ********** (from ********* ** ***** vehicle *********** ** *********** to ************* *****), ** would ** **** *** them ** ***** ** the ********** *******, **** difficult ***** *****.

** *** ***** ****, while ***** *** ******* indications **** ***** *** Hikvision **** ***** ** this ****** ** *** near ****, ***** ***** relatively ********** ****, ** they ******* ** ********** this, ***** *** ******* and ***** ***** ***** potentially ******* *** ***** players.

Milestone ** *** ** ******* ** **

*** ** *** ******* VMS ******* ** *********** out ** *** ***** market, *** ** ******.********* *** **** *** Arcules ***** *********** ******** with ************ ***** ********** *****, in *** ** *** 'boldest' ***** ** **** seen ** ******** ****** make. ** **** ** interesting ** *** *** Milestone's *** ***** ***** team **** ******* **** rivals ********* ***** *** spin.

Genetec ** ** *** *********

***** ** **** ******* Genetec, *** ** *** largest *** *******, ** this ******, ******* ** certainly *** ** *** most ****** ***** *********, though ***** ********** ******** and *** ********** **** Genetec's ********* ********, ******** Center. **** *******, ******* has ***** * '***** first' ******** ** *** past *** ***** ************ development ** *****-***** *** features **** **-**** ****.

*******, * ***** ********** of ******* ****** ***** other ********* ** *******'* very ***** ***** ***-**** focus, ***** ***** ***** more ******** *** **********, where ******** ***** ******** to **** ************* (***** the ******* *** ******** functionality, *******, *** ***** record).

** ** *** *** Genetec ************ ***** / VSaaS ** *** ********** commercial ****** ** **** is ****** *** ***** focus, ****** ***** ******* mentioned ** **** ******.

Outlook ********

***** ********* *** **** attention ** **** *** may ** ** ***** in ****, ** *** quite ********* **** ***** attention **** ****, ****** by * ***** ** entrants **** **** *** money *** ***** ** push ***** ** *** broader ********** ****** **** year *** ** *** near ******.

VSaaS *********

****'********** ** ***** / Cloud ***** ************ *********** * **** ******** list ** ************* **** analyzed ** **** ******, with ********* ***** *** updated ************.

Comments (42)

Shouldn't Avigilon BLUE be on this list? 

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Exacq looked like it would be one of the first (Exacq Cloud Is Coming / Now Here), now it looks like they never got off the ground.

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I'm an Exacq employee.  We launched Cloud Drive in version 9.8 on December 19th.  You can buy storage at any of our distributors.  It uses the same Exacq client and doesn't require any add-ons.

https://www.exacq.com/products/cloud-drive/

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Apologies Brian.

In my defense, I did look for an update at the Exacq cloud page, which shows:

Do you plan on renaming the monitoring service, or will you just leave it as exacqCloud?

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Btw, we reached out to Exacq on Dec 19th after they announced this. Due to the holidays, we had not been able to schedule a call with him. Now that the holidays are over, we are hoping for a call soon and plan to do a test.

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No worries, U1.  There is obviously some confusion that was created by the naming of the cloud monitoring service exacqCloud versus cloud storage, Exacq Cloud Drive.  I believe there is a plan in place to reduce the confusion.

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I voted for OpenEye because I believe they have the best product, leveraging the most valuable management capabilities of “cloud” systems. However, they are not a SaaS provider. Neither is the most popular application of Eagle Eye. VSaaS sounds cool, but perhaps a more appropriate generalization for this product category would be ‘cloud managed VMS’.

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I work for one of the companies mentioned here, but I don't want to show bias for this question.  

You said that OpenEye is not VSaaS and neither is the most popular application of Eagle Eye.  I wonder why you say that.  Is it because both companies have an onsite component and you believe that true VSaaS is a camera connected directly to the cloud?  Or is it something else? 

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I believe he means that in its purest sense, VSaaS requires no purchase of "physical" software or licensing since the Software (and licensing) is provided as a service within the monthly (yearly) fees. Since these platforms requires software/licensing in addition to the "cloud service" it is more of a cloud management utility than true VSaaS. You could argue that the VMS CLIENT is VSaaS...

I believe we will see a grey area in the near future of exactly what manufacturers are offering and where integrators are loosely using terms to achieve the same desired customer result...a cloud connected system. 

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Is Axis no longer a VSaaS player?

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No.

 

:)

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Good comments about Avigilon, Axis, and Exacq, who all clearly offer VSaaS / cloud video and are major players generally in video surveillance.

My thesis is that the companies that are going to drive this market segment in 2019 are the ones that are focused on it. For the incumbents mentioned, VSaaS is more of an add on or one option of many, which reduces the drive to sell / push VSaaS over their conventional options.

No doubt, if those companies strongly focused on VSaaS, they could beat many, if not arguably all of the companies profiled here. However, if or when they will do that remains to be seen. Some incumbent will be to VSaaS what Pelco was to IP cameras, etc...

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Interesting related comment from the Verkada Salesperson Sends Unsolicited Bottle Of Champagne To IPVM discussion about Verkada's aggressive sales team:

End user here with large global/enterprise physical security systems.

I guess they found me on LinkedIn and unfortunately I took one call from them at my office.

The sales pitch was from a young man who obviously didn't know the business. He hit his bullet points but he had no answers to my technical questions. I told him I was not interested but I continued to receive calls and voice mails at the office.

Eventually he Facebook stalked me and sent private messages until I blocked him.

Very unprofessional.

No doubt that particular incident is a negative but, from a pure sales perspective, having a team that will 'move fast and break things' is a value in Silicon Valley where the goal is to drive sales numbers as fast as possible. While these tactics may hurt Verkada's long term reputation, it will help them drive sales in the short term.

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"No doubt that particular incident is a negative but, from a pure sales perspective, having a team that will 'move fast and break things' is a value in Silicon Valley where the goal is to drive sales numbers as fast as possible. While these tactics may hurt Verkada's long term reputation, it will help them drive sales in the short term."

so, short term sales are the goal - at the detriment of long-term reputation?

imo, sacrificing long-term reputation for short-term sales is a recipe for imminent failure and loss of all of the investor funds.

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...unless, of course, they are the early investors who can hedge against something like this because they are already on-board.

future investor monies end up being sacrificial to the end-goal - which is early investors getting their money back + profits.

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Why would the current investors worry about such long-term issues? For a startup investor, the biggest risk is going out of business due to lack of sales / traction.

If Verkada grows 300% this year, no matter how many end users they individually offend, they are still going to get more funding. However, the opposite is not true. If Verkada grows 30% this year but no end users are mad at them, their company is out of business.

Anyway, what do tech companies do in such cases? The 'Sorry if you were offended' routine.

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"If Verkada grows 300% this year, no matter how many end users they individually offend, they are still going to get more funding. However, the opposite is not true. If Verkada grows 30% this year but no end users are mad at them, their company is out of business."

I am not arguing the early investor growth scheme - instead, I am arguing the morality of the representations/transactions involving future investors that these same people engage in (which is a virtual requirement of growth on top of the backs of these initial investments).

If the goal is to grow the company, then fine... try and get new investors to fund that growth.

But if the goal as an early investor is to just get the money + profits out of the investment, then I don't think they are being genuine to the future investors when trying to convince them to spend their moneys on 'the vision'.

These practices may all be (and most likely are) perfectly legal - but it still looks and smells like flim-flam to me when it comes to convincing 2nd and 3rd tier investors.

 

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But if the goal as an early investor is to just get the money + profits out of the investment, then I don't think they are being genuine to the future investors when trying to convince them to spend their moneys on 'the vision'.

Sure, like Facebook VC investors in 2005 vs Facebook retail stockholders in 2018. Early stage investors tend not to be worried about how their startups 'change the world' as long as they do, since that means short to mid-term huge returns.

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Very true...

Case in point...ADT📉

 

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Interestingly enough, I used to work for a company which I won't name that was offering "cloud video" and "live remote monitoring".  They developed a line of cameras that were going to "storm the industry" and they were going to be the "leader in VSaaS.  While I was arguing for a more traditional approach to sales, the management wanted the "move fast and break things" model.  They hired a couple of guys who did that kind of sales and guess what - within 2yrs they were out of business.  Coincidence to the sales style?  

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An interesting counterpoint from a small VSaaS developer who criticized this post on LinkedIn saying:

That company only has 1 employee listed on LinkedIn and a remarkably bad website:

Point is: There are lots of small VSaaS players but size and money matters. These small companies (regardless of their individual strengths or intelligence) simply won't be able to compete unless they secure more resources. The advantage of money and marketing is too great.

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Having dealt with Brock and his company, I would call them a "VSaaS integrator" rather than a developer.  It is my understanding that they offer traditional VMSes and host them in a datacenter and offer bandwidth packages with a monthly subscription model.

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Thanks #7. We have seen the 'VSaaS integrator' model in various places. It can be a good local business but it's hard to scale over larger areas, whether or not the integrator is based in New Zealand or New Mexico, etc.

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the major caveat i see in cloud services is that they basically "lock you" forever. i believe the costs (time and money) if you want to switch vendors will be prohibitive for many.  

i also predict  resistance from the traditional channel players, most of the work (and money) will go to the cloud vendor and there is a bigger risk for the channel players to be left outside of the deals.

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#6, interesting points.

most of the work (and money) will go to the cloud vendor and there is a bigger risk for the channel players to be left outside of the deals.

I do agree that there is a bigger risk for the manufacturers / developers / providers to cut out the integrator since VSaaS provides a (literally) more direct connection.

However, for most of these players, there is still significant (most) of the money in the cameras, on-site infrastructure and maintenance of the cameras.

they basically "lock you" forever. i believe the costs (time and money) if you want to switch vendors will be prohibitive for many.

That's a risk for sure, depending on which provider one picks, e.g., Alarm.com, Verkada, Meraki all lock one in for cameras. However, Arcules, Eagle Eye, OpenEye, Qumulex are 'open' platforms with general 3rd party camera support. Given that and the reduced amount of on-site recorders, I'd actually argue it would be easier to switch from e.g., Eagle Eye to OpenEye (and vice versa) that it would be from Exacq to Avigilon, etc. Yes / no?

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The unknown factor is the storage migration.

Lets say you have 100 cameras and need 30 days retention.

How much data is that to store, how much will it cost to download it after you disconnect from eagle eye and move it to some one else? 

And how does it scale? If u need to migrate 10 cameras I guess its ok, but if you have 100, or 150?

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How much data is that to store, how much will it cost to download it after you disconnect from eagle eye and move it to some one else?

Why would you download it? Let's say you want 30 days retention as you mention. Just pay for the old VSaaS and new VSaaS for one overlapping month. When that month is done, cancel old VSaaS and the old storage now over 30 days is deleted. Am I missing something?

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Some data on the improvement of Internet speeds and the average now, from Ookla a company that does ongoing speed test reports for various countries.

In the US, 32 Mb/s upload speed average:

They say the US is ranked 27th in upload speed, up 22% from the previous year.

While it depends on many factors (resolution, codecs, scene, other applications on the network, etc.), with 32Mb/s, you are in a range where a 16 camera (or possibly higher) system might be able to send to the cloud.

 

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We setup some Verkada demo cameras and these have been the easiest cameras to setup and deploy in the cloud world. They are offering "unlimited" archiving and their sales team is very aggressive. My concern is how much they include the integrator. They claim to give points off MSRP and also points off when clients renew their annual subscriptions. It feels like they are selling direct to end users and bypassing integrators, which naturally startups in this market do to gain marketshare, but this scares me.

With the aggressive sales team and simplicity, I feel Verkada will make some waves this year :)

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True but their salesforce very green.  When talking with them I ask them if they have a camera we can use to ID license plates.  The reps response was "I have never heard that request before"    

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If you look at the average buyer of this camera product, they aren't asking those kinds of questions unfortunately :)

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John, I think Ookla's report falls short on several fronts.

1: They aren't accounting for residential versus business.

2: They aren't accounting for metro versus rural.

Outside of major metro, getting above 5Mbps upload still appears to be a hurdle; and for smaller rural towns, 1Mbps upload is still common. Inside major metro areas, if no new infrastructure has gone in there are still locations limited to 5Mbps upload; and some ISPs that do offer more will charge a commercial business a significant monthly fee for anything faster.

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#10, I don't know their exact methodology but there are more details on their US 2018 report here.

However, they are reporting an average. It's like saying the average income is $50,000 a year. That can be true simultaneously as some people make $15,000 a year and others make $150,000 a year.

Outside of major metro, getting above 5Mbps upload still appears to be a hurdle

Not sure what you consider to be 'major metro' but offerings like XFINITY, with 20+ or 100+ Mb/s, are pretty broadly available in residential suburbs.

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I’m the product manager for Genetec Stratocast our cloud-based video monitoring product. I want to address a misconception about the user base of Stratocast. On average, our customers have a small number of cameras, between 3 and 4. It is true we have some larger deployments as well, typically from cloud-first companies, but the core of our customers remain in the small to medium-sized businesses.

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We have small and large customers using Stratocast. Its been a great product for customers just looking for 1-2 cameras.

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what were some of the other options you offered your 1-2 camera customers?

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I'm actively in the buying mode for VSaaS. I'm getting the feeling that 2020 might be a better time to shop, everything is so infantile and expensive right now. I still have 18+ months on my existing VMS license anyway. What say the experts? 

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Yes, 2020 will be better. It's still ramping up and if you have time on your existing system, then waiting is probably best.

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Agreed, unless there's an overwhelming use case/ROI, no need to rush it. 

U12 is in a great position, as a committed buyer with a time-frame, to test various offerings over the next 18 months and see how the platforms perform, evolve.  I'd subscribe to that podcast, youtube channel.

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I intend to let IPVM do the testing, get my $300's worth out of them. I was about to pull the trigger on Meraki as a small POC, but the license fees are ridiculous for my application. It's a big system. And my integrator got them down significantly from List, much less than what IPVM paid, and when I did the math, it was still too much money. Whack me on the upfront price that I can depreciate, fine, but give me a break on my opex. 

Here's the deal.... alot of enterprises are getting blindsided by Microsoft's abandonment of Server 2008 and upcoming 2012 abandonment. IT organizations are forcing users to migrate to public cloud (google, msft Azure, AWS, etc). This kind of environment is very clunky for VMS servers, and storage costs are ridiculous. 

Whichever of these VSaaS companies gets it figured out first, and is willing to operate at a loss on pricing for a little while, is going to make billions of dollars. 

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Good piece, John.  This list will likely double or triple for your 2020 assessment - especially since many of the technology providers that haven’t returned IPVM’s calls will as they get more mature and they realize the impact this report will have on their penetration.  

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haven’t returned IPVM’s calls

Chris, it's important to clarify two things:

(1) We don't shape our coverage by who 'returns' our calls. We picked these companies because in our analysis of the market they had the strongest overall sales and marketing backing their offerings, which we see as a critical differentiator.

(2) Startups contact us every week looking to be covered, most we do not cover in the beginning because they are not yet ready for public release. Related, we do have a Directory of 59 Video Surveillance Startups.

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