Go east, everyone?
Riffing on some of the themes of John Honovich's trip to the Far East for SecuTech (this is a good discussion of OEM practices, and you'll see I chime in), I just got notice that MDI is now the exclusive master distributor in the U.S. for Truen, a Korean IP video company. IP video products are commoditizing quickly, and I think you'll see more Korean/Chinese/etc. companies making inroads into the North American market through well-known manufacturers and integrators. With all of the great reference designs being supplied by chip makers like Stretch and Texas Instruments, it wouldn't surprise me, really, if the big integrators just started contract manufacturing their own cameras and software. For mid-sized jobs that don't require the highest of high tech, why give up the margin on a camera and software to another company? Just keep it yourself. At this point, making a decent DVR is pretty easy, from what I can tell. Remember when your DVD player cost $200? Now I get one from Wal-Mart for $19.95. Sure, it breaks in six months, but who cares? It's $19.95. (This, of course, is the unethical non-Green me talking. In the real world, I feel guilty about doing something like that, and probably avoid doing it at all. But, hey, it's $19.95.) Mike Garcia says the NVR and VMS that Truen makes are good enough for mid-sized jobs, up to 128 cameras or so. Then, for the enterprise systems, the Truen cameras talk to ONSSI and Milestone, which are then unified into the MDI ONE platform (MDI's secret sauce). And you'll remember that MDI is selling direct to the end user pretty much all the time now, so, for all intents and purposes, they're an integrator just like you - the competition.