As ISC West opens today in Las Vegas, many companies will be introducing new products. But the announcements today from Arecont Vision will have a larger impact, and they involve much more than new products. In fact, the megapixel camera company is staking a claim to a broader slice of the market, and expanding its go-to-market strategy in the process.
“The industry has changed, and the amount of competition out there today is significantly different and more pervasive,” says Raul Calderon, Arecont Vision’s Chief Operating Officer and General Manager. “We decided essentially to meet the market head on. It’s like a rebuilding and reshaping of our organisation to be more competitive and solutions-based for the future.”
The details of that reshaping are playing out in multiple announcements at ISC West. Arecont Vision is announcing a new group of cameras, the Contera line, made in China, which includes single- and multi-sensor megapixel dome and bullet cameras. Also, expanding beyond its core camera business, Arecont Vision will introduce a Contera video management system (VMS) and cloud-managed video recorders (ConteraCMR) to round out a complete solution to address traditional and cloud-based video surveillance project requirements.The industry has changed, and the amount of competition out there today is significantly different and more pervasive”
Remote access and management
The cloud component of the new Arecont Vision platform is ConteraWS (web services), which enables local video recording and stores user profiles and cloud information for remote access and management. Management through the cloud means local administration is not required, thus reducing complexity and staffing needs. The system can be securely operated from a thick client, mobile app, Apple TV app, and/or a multi-browser web client. To ensure cybersecurity, ConteraWS has multi-factor authentication, NIST-compliant data encryption, transport layer security and requires no open inbound ports.
Providing multiple system components enables customers going forward to buy end-to-end solutions from Arecont Vision. The online SysCon System Configurator simplifies selecting the best ConteraCMR platform for specific project requirements.
The VMS, CMR and Web services components of the new end-to-end solution are rebranded by Arecont Vision in an OEM agreement with OpenEye.
Providing multiple system components enables customers going forward to buy end-to-end solutions from Arecont Vision
Enabling seamless integration
As historically a camera manufacturer, why has Arecont Vision decided to embrace the trend toward end-to-end solutions? “The industry has spoken,” says Calderon. “Customers want to have a seamless integration with one provider of goods and services. We are adopting the mentality the broader industry has had for some years now.”Customers want to have a seamless integration with one provider of goods and services. We are adopting the mentality the broader industry has had for some years now”
The “hybrid” platform involves video recording locally on premises (no bandwidth issues), but managed through the cloud by Amazon web services. There is an active connection between each recorder and the cloud. All administrative and access rights are managed in the cloud. A user can log into a web services account, which makes a connection to the recorder. This alleviates the requirement for any port forwarding or VPN. From an integration management standpoint, customers can manage all their clients and their recorders through a web services account. They can give permissions to local users to access only the recorders on their premises, but they can access centrally all the recorders they have deployed.
From a maintenance and management standpoint, the approach allows an integrator to offer a true recurring monthly revenue (RMR)-based video solution. An integrator can charge for the web services access on a monthly basis, and/or provide other services such as health monitoring, or archiving critical video clips in the cloud. “This is a new take on the way VMSs work,” says Calderon. “It’s a new take on how we are delivering solutions to the market. We are driving toward a new way of doing business. The right integrators will see it as an opportunity to grow and develop their business — before someone else does.”
The Contera cameras, the existing Mega camera line, and the Contera VMS, CMRs, and Web services are integrated for sale as end-to-end solutions. In addition, each component could also be deployed alongside other third-party components using ONVIF standards and leveraging Arecont Vision’s MegaLab program that tests and certifies third-party systems in the company’s Technology Partner Program.
The Contera cameras will be assembled overseas and use industry-standard ASIC IC architecture
We were able to develop, design, implement and manufacture the product in a more fast-track kind of way"
New surveillance camera technology
Unlike Arecont Vision’s existing Mega IP camera family, the Contera cameras will be assembled overseas and use industry-standard ASIC IC architecture, a system on a chip (SoC) platform that allows for a more affordable price point. The new cameras will also use Sony sensors. “We were able to develop, design, implement and manufacture the product in a more fast-track kind of way,” says Calderon. In contrast, the Mega IP camera family is Made in USA and uses Arecont’s MPIP (massively parallel image processing) architecture and FPGA IC chips, which offer “ultimate” cybersecurity, says Arecont Vision.
“On the camera side, we have always had parts of our cameras manufactured in Asia, and did all the final assembly and PCB programming and even fabrication in the United States,” says Calderon. “With the new line, we decided to have some designs manufactured in Asia so that we can compete from a labour cost perspective. A partner we have worked with for 10 years — a Taiwanese company with a factory in China — is doing the turnkey assembly work for us. It is a collaborative development, and we are able to reduce costs significantly. We are concentrating on 10 models for which we can drive volumes and drive prices where they need to be. We will not compete at the lowest end of the market; we will be competing in the mid-tier. That’s our goal, to maintain a mid-tier presence in the market with a more competitive product.”
He says some 300 units in the existing Mega camera line will continue to be assembled in Los Angeles.