Cisco MerakiFeatured Vendor
IDC estimates that there are in excess of one and a half billion video surveillance cameras currently in use globally. This population of cameras has an average per unit lifetime of nearly 10 years. As a result, the global surveillance camera population is characterized by a large, embedded base, and although demand is increasing as new uses are found for video data, the challenge to video surveillance camera manufacturers is to sell into a market that has largely defined its operating parameters.
Demand for cameras is driven by the applications to which video data can be applied. This is dependent on the analytics that utilize video data to produce actionable information. Because of this software dependency, much of the competitive terrain is defined by the degree to which cameras are compatible with analytics that matter to users. Cameras which can apply analytics locally or which can communicate with centralized analytics have an advantage over those that don’t. In fact, it is the very question of compatibility that drives users to seek new video camera solutions; even when the cameras that they currently use are still perfectly functional.
This symbiosis between cameras and software, as noted, is driving growth in the market. However, when selecting video surveillance technology, users must be sensitive to the type and quality of data that a camera can provide. Parameters such as frame rate, resolution, weather hardening, and so forth become important if, for example, a camera must be able to read license plates in heavy traffic along a roadway that may suffer significant changes in weather conditions. Since the number of and type of applications can vary significantly from user to user, manufacturers must have a substantial quiver of potential camera types and camera solutions to satisfy the specific needs of each customer.
This IDC MarketScape is focused on the ability of camera manufacturers to address this evolving market. Especial attention has been devoted to technical capabilities, breadth of camera offerings, and ability to support the increasingly detailed needs of analytic engines. While actual analytic capabilities are not the focus of this study, some attention has been given to whether manufacturers have or can interface with analytics applications.
IDC has noted that technology purchases should always be made beginning with an evaluation of the intended outcomes and a comprehensive assessment of technology requirements. In the case of video surveillance cameras, this notion is especially important. As video data becomes an important source of business telemetry, selecting cameras strictly based on safety and security needs may be short sighted when contemplating future uses for video data.
However, there are several considerations that should apply to any selection of video surveillance technology. These include:
It also bears noting that there are many new entrants in the video surveillance camera space. This is good for innovation but comes with risks that these new entrants may not be compatible with existing infrastructure. Care must be exercised when adopting a cutting-edge solution.
This section briefly explains IDC’s key observations resulting in a vendor’s position in the IDC MarketScape. While every vendor is evaluated against each of the criteria outlined in the Appendix, the description here provides a summary of each vendor’s strengths and challenges.
Cisco Meraki (Meraki) is positioned as a Leader in this 2023 IDC MarketScape for worldwide video surveillance camera.
Meraki is a provider of cloud-managed video surveillance and physical security management solutions. In the area of surveillance cameras, Meraki offers a wide variety of camera types and formats, including MV smart cameras with built-in video analytics and custom computer vision (CV) capabilities. Combined with cloud-based VMS and analytics, Meraki cameras are noted for ease of installation and control.
Meraki MV smart cameras place storage and processing on the cameras and management in the cloud. This eliminates the need for digital video recorders (DVRs), network video recorders (NVRs), and video management systems (VMS) and improves scalability. In addition, hardware security, video encryption, and over-the-air updates help ensure end-to-end system security without requiring additional configuration or complexity. This simplified architecture enables organizations to realize savings in installation and ongoing maintenance costs when compared with traditional systems.
Meraki MV cameras require a subscription that enables management from the cloud. This service offering can be acquired in a variety of subscription plans, making budget planning straight forward. The cameras will record without the subscriptions; however, they will not be able to show video footage or be managed via the Meraki cloud-managed Dashboard until the subscription is current.
Cisco Meraki MV smart cameras enable organizations to transform their security with a scalable, enterprise-grade cloud-managed platform. With models to suit a variety of deployments and tools to make video access and incident response, it is easy for organizations to adopt and implement large camera and sensor deployments. With automatic firmware updates, including new features, MV smart cameras offer a future-proof platform that enables the delivery of security events and relevant object detection data to business applications.
The MV product development team is focused on simplifying complex tasks for camera users without compromising security and privacy, which are core to MV smart cameras. This provides engineering with interesting customer problems to solve using the latest software and hardware technologies to elevate end-to-end video experience with MV smart cameras and enhance the ML/CV applications for operational simplification. MV team encourages innovative solutions through internal hackathons, technology training, and workshops and regular recognition for impactful projects.
Meraki, as noted previously, requires subscriptions for each managed device so that it can communicate with the cloud-based management applications. This means that Meraki is less well suited to extensive, existing surveillance environments, being a better match to greenfield or nearly greenfield installations.
Meraki solutions are an excellent choice for new surveillance installations where there is little to no existing surveillance infrastructure, or when the customer already deploys existing Meraki solutions. For organizations that have an existing physical security ecosystem, Meraki solutions can coexist, albeit as a parallel solution. Since Meraki is based on a subscription supported platform in the cloud, it provides a painless way for organizations to migrate their camera management to the cloud, reducing operational costs and overall infrastructure costs.
To be included in this study, IDC asked vendors to satisfy the following requirements:
Although many vendors were approached to participate in this study, not all could satisfy the requirement or chose not to disclose information that could be used to assess their qualifications. Despite this, several vendors, with a substantial impact on the market, were included anyway by assessing their qualifications through secondary research.
For the purposes of this analysis, IDC divided potential key measures for success into two primary categories: capabilities and strategies.
Positioning on the y-axis reflects the vendor’s current capabilities and menu of services and how well aligned the vendor is to customer needs. The capabilities category focuses on the capabilities of the company and product today, here and now. Under this category, IDC analysts will look at how well a vendor is building/delivering capabilities that enable it to execute its chosen strategy in the market.
Positioning on the x-axis, or strategies axis, indicates how well the vendor’s future strategy aligns with what customers will require in three to five years. The strategies category focuses on high-level decisions and underlying assumptions about offerings, customer segments, and business and go-to-market plans for the next three to five years.
The size of the individual vendor markers in the IDC MarketScape represents the market share of each individual vendor within the specific market segment being assessed.
Once again, it is important to note that an IDC MarketScape is not a “beauty contest” where relative positions in the IDC MarketScape graph compare one vendor to another. In fact, positions on the graph denote the relative positions of the vendors against market needs as disclosed by IDC user surveys. This means the readers will need to decide to what extent their acquisition plans conform to current needs or future needs. Once that has been decided, vendors should be selected that most address those requirements.
IDC MarketScape criteria selection, weightings, and vendor scores represent well-researched IDC judgment about the market and specific vendors. IDC analysts tailor the range of standard characteristics by which vendors are measured through structured discussions, surveys, and interviews with market leaders, participants, and end users. Market weightings are based on user interviews, buyer surveys, and the input of IDC experts in each market. IDC analysts base individual vendor scores, and ultimately vendor positions on the IDC MarketScape, on detailed surveys and interviews with the vendors, publicly available information, and end-user experiences in an effort to provide an accurate and consistent assessment of each vendor’s characteristics, behavior, and capability.
Video surveillance cameras are those fixed and mobile cameras that are used to monitor secured and production environments. Fixed cameras include IP and CCTV cameras that are mounted in strategic locations. IP cameras capture digital video and use Ethernet networks to stream video to onsite or offsite networks. CCTV cameras are analog cameras that utilize coax cable to stream video to onsite and offsite facilities. Fixed surveillance cameras solutions can be configured based on location topography, weather conditions, and changes in daily light conditions. Mobile cameras can include body cams and vehicle-mounted cameras.