The West Coast Mobotix Partner Conference kicked off last week in Las Vegas (they hold two per year, East and West as well as some 20 internationally) with a reception welcoming integrators and giving attendees a cool peek at new technologies and what’s happening with the Germany-based surveillance company. Known for its hemispheric (panoramic) lens technology and decentralized camera approach, the company had some 170 partners in attendance, with more than half new to Mobotix high-resolution video products and solutions.
In the crowded and competitive megapixel market, having a differentiator is critical. But reaching that goal isn’t easy. Mobotix has made significant headway in this regard (the company reported 25 percent growth in earnings before interest and taxes). Part of the differentiator and also key to the company’s success is its focus on bringing the omnipresent integrator and VAR succinctly into the fold.
The value proposition
Many of those attendees, about half in a show of hands, were new to the program. About 70 percent come from the IT/networking/VAR arena, but I did talk to more traditional security dealers in attendance, like Rick Moore of Moore Security Solutions, based in Tucson, Ariz., and Tony Stampfer of Sound Security Systems in Sherman Oaks, Calif., who said they were there to learn more about surveillance and help grow their businesses.
Overall, the theme of the conference was giving these attendees a differentiator. That theme is definitely by design. Mobotix bills itself as a special type of high-resolution network camera provider, which with a hemispheric device first launched in 2001, the M1, (the M15 generation, next up from the M12 due out in April 2013) in a decentralized configuration where all smarts are in the unit; a unique and patented compression algorithm, MxPEG, that is purposed to provide better image quality and storage capabilities than H.264 compression as well as openness to other video management systems; built in software with no license fee; and storage at the edge. While most IP cameras are tied to a central recording computer, Mobotix was “all in” when it developed a way to move the DVR functions from computer to camera. With the decentralized concept a high-speed computer and if necessary, digital long-term memory (microSD card) is built into every camera, providing several days recording.
Mobotix also used the partner conference to talk about new products, applications and feature various case studies from the partners. New to the product portfolio and released earlier this year and gaining traction is the S14 FlexMount, a flexible, double hemispheric camera available in mono and dual versions that features miniature lens units for a wide range of applications. For instance, the S14D (dual) comes equipped with two hemispheric lenses with an integrated microphone connected to the main housing via cables. This makes it possible to secure two rooms located next to or on top of one another with just a single S14.The product is the first in a series of platforms soon to be released.
And while the Mobotix solutions may be priced higher than many cameras on the market and higher than those the end-user sees on the Internet (and we know they are shopping there), Dr. Magnus Ekerot, chief sales officer said that the quality, built-in software with no license fees and other inherent advantages like the compression codec offer the installer a better profit and their customer higher quality images for identification. He also semi-chastised those in the audience who continue to sell analog cameras, after a number in the audience sheepishly admitted just that. (Watch for my blog, integrator insights, http://www.securityinfowatch.com/10832343 for more of his candid comments and insights secured from a follow up, one-on-one interview).
To be sure, Mobotix believes in leveraging the power of the integrator-VAR market and offers training assistance, rebates, buying programs and other benefits like its new Partner Program. Key to the program is the project design and specification assistance, designed to help them sell more products.
“It’s a two-way street,” said Steve Gorski, general manager of the Americas for Mobotix. “We don’t sell direct, so this is a critical program. It is our way to officially manage the channel loyalty to Mobotix and show our loyalty to you.” Integrators and VARs have to register for the program on the website at http://www.mobotix.com/other/Partners.
“There are different levels and we are not allowing Web shops to participate,” Gorski continued. “We will do the due-diligence on the companies in the program and provide project assistance—those will be yours and we will register the projects so you get credit and we make sure they stay with you. The other benefits will be information flow, a dedicated Web portal, training, sales/marketing support, monthly newsletter, train-the-trainer and direct technical support. With this program everyone can improve their business and become much more stable in the marketplace.”
The tiered program basically is the more business you do the more the benefits. The three levels include:
- Entry level Partner; registration required but no revenue requirements,
- Certified Mobotix Partner or CMP; the participating company has a $50,000 per year commitment to product and training,
- Advanced MxPartner or AMP, the highest level/VIP. Here, Mobotix works to put a business plan together with the integrator.
It is a competitive marketplace—up and down the channel, from installation to manufacturing. So when a differentiator can help make more sales, it might be the way to go.