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White labeled solution for Home Security or launch my own service based on open source?

Over the last 2 years I've been working with an awesome team of folks to build out and improve a very popular open source DIY surveillance solution (for CCTV/IP cameras etc). A lot of work has gone into it, and we have developed both the server side and a great mobile app. The server is developed on open source GPL (that is how the original author developed it) but the app, which is really powerful is not on GPL (I developed it and own its IP. I've open sourced it as CCSA-NC and charge for the mobile app on app/play store ). The server has over 50,000 users. The mobile app was launched in Dec 2015 and gets around 400 new paid users each month, steady run rate so far. In other words, we know the software is good and we are playing in a niche - DIY surveillance, work with any camera, own your own data (avoid cloud fees, data theft)

We have been discussing how to commercialize this. There are a few options:
a) We launch a cloud hosted version of the existing server and charge monthly subscriber fees
b) We try and make money from support to the open source
c) We break this down into a library that is white-label friendly for OEMs looking to enter the DIY surveillance market (Forbes values it at $1.2b and all that blah)

I've been in discussion with the original developer of the server software and he is building a great new "v2" of this open source which is componentized and really suitable for a headless library and fits my vision for part c. He is also open to making the license similar to my mobile app (CCSA-NC + commercial license). Going down this path would mean 3-4 months of more development while a) and b) can be done right away.


I seriously feel c) is a good option as its hard to make money with a) and b). What would you think ? Given the success of the current open source and my app, would you suggest I go the route of making it a cloud hosted product ? I am not convinced this is a sustainable area as there are many players and margins are thin.

White labeling to OEMs with an NRE on the other hand seems more attractive.


Would love thoughts there.
Thanks
The team at http://ozone.network




2 Replies

Tom Cunniff
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Tom Cunniff Entrepreneur • Advisor
Founder at Cunniff Consulting, B2B Brand Consultancy
IMO the white-label option is a fantastic option and the one I'd go with if I were you. If you go that way, then some key issues are:
  • How will you identify and sell to the channel partners?
  • What's the right balance of product vs service?
  • If you decide to have a service wrapper, how will it drive value and help differentiate you -- and insulate you -- from competition?
  • What will your value prop be?

Hope this is useful.

P.S. I looked at your website. As friendly feedback, consider dialing back the "we're disrupting" language and look at it from your prospects' POV. For them, it's all about a potentially easy way to enter a new market and drive incremental revenue. Focus on what your prospect needs.

P.P.S. If you can, do some grandmother research. Talk with four or five potential prospects and ask what their priorities are so you can reflect that in your marketing. It will be anecdotal, but better than flying entirely blind.

Neil Licht - HereWeAre
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Want To find-close Business Online without competition Before They Google Search? We solve this problem 1(508)-481-8567
RE your request for help and advice, I have 30 years of experience in the physical security business having created and then managed change from hard-wired analog to theautomated digital/ip connectivity methods that are completely web based, no proprietary software needed. I surely have the experience and perspective to offer the help you are looking for.

Relating personally and business wise to your post, next steps, what you are actually going to face and know how to do, I have worked with and been directly involved in manufacturing, product development, market understanding, customer/OEM creation-management, channel dominance creation, sales, distribution channels, hardware, software across the entire physical security spectrum.

I actually taught the entire industry how to go web based, understand IP/IT networking, deploy IT/IP networked based and web basedno softwareneeded global type of system networked in both physical security and IP type CCTVrelated IPibased systems. I know about integrated if-thens, annunciations etc, full cctv, access control physcal plant, alarm, auto management, response systems complete cause-effect design and deployment, installation, training.

Ido know and understand your intended target audiences plus the avenues to take exceedingly well as in first-handknowledge.

However.I am reluctant to offer advice to "anonymous".
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