Will Emerging Manufacturers Choose Not to Use Integrators?

By John Honovich, Published Feb 20, 2010, 07:00pm EST

We see new video surveillance manufacturers choose business models that eliminate the need for the traditional channel. We think this will become a major issue /trend in the industry over the next 5 years. Indeed, in our direct conversations with these new manufacturers, it's clear that they are open and cognizant of the competitive advantages.

Traditional manufacturers not only embrace integrators but need them. It would be practically impossible for VMS providers like Genetec, Milestone, OnSSI, DVTel, etc. to deploy solutions without integrators. The systems are simply too complex and require too much on-site configuration and optimization for these manufacturers to go without these services or to do it themselves.

By contrast, managed/hosted providers who provide 'plug n play' networking of on-site devices with core management functionalities housed in data centers do not require anywhere near the same level of expertise. Envysion's recent win of a 400+ site deployment [link no longer available] is a case in point. They note:

"This win is significant in that it involved absolutely zero contribution from anyone in the traditional video security or systems integrator worlds. . . . We worked directly with a forward thinking customer to understand their requirements and help them implement a service that drives material value for them that happens to use video cameras.  We are managing the entire implementation working with a good partner of ours that does traditional telecom installation services."

We see this as part of a growing trend. Managed/hosted providers can lower costs to end users, increase their margins and still deliver a functional solution because of the installation ease that managed/hosted provides.

While detractors will point that a small number of manufacturers sold direct or without integrators for some deals for years. However, the key difference is that traditional manufacturers could not scale their business by selling direct (because it required the rare end user who was very technically strong or the use of the manufacturer's own SEs). By contrast, this practice can scale for managed/hosted providers because the on-site technical complexity is much less.

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