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CommentaryEngel VokersMatterport Capture Services ProgramMatterport Competes with MSPsMatterport Kerfuffle

Matterport Capture Services: Dan Smigrod Recommendations | Part 311620

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Screen Grab 5 | Matterport Capture Services Webinar | 16 April 2020

Matterport Capture Services: Dan Smigrod Recommendations | Part 3

Hi All,

In Matterport Capture Services: Dan Smigrod Recommendations | Part 2, I wrote that in Part 3 - this installment - I would write about how Matterport should have handled enterprise companies seeking an "easy button" to order from Matterport Service Providers.

First some backstory. In the Matterport Capture Services Webinar (16 April 2020), Matterport Chief Revenue Officer Jay Remley described both the challenges and opportunities, including:

Originally Posted by @DanSmigrod
... we've gotten a lot more demand from large enterprise customers, where it's not about going out and just scanning a home for an open house or a residential property.

It's enterprise companies coming to us, wanting us to scan a 1,000 of their restaurants across the country, or 800 of their retail stores in the western United States or across Europe. And, they really were looking for us to have a better experience for them to manage these large, scalable requests with negotiated pricing, and terms and services upfront, with centralized billing and other capabilities that we just weren't able to support through the initial, or through our current MSP referral program.

And, Matterport Senior Director, Business Development Brendan Dowdle added:

Originally Posted by @DanSmigrod
The goal of the program is to target enterprise customers that span multiple geographies, and who require a fully-managed solution with one-click access to scheduling and standardize pricing.

It's through this program that we're able to connect these enterprise customers with experienced and reliable Matterport professionals to scan their listings in a very consistent way. Many of these customers actually require this one-click access to exist within some of their intranet or internal systems.

Think of it as an 'easy button' that their own workforce can click to order scans and execute on the scanning to deliver models into their accounts. So, as Jay mentioned on the previous slide, this puts us in a position to bring in net, new customers to the Matterport ecosystem. Customers that have a lot of value in the Matterport model itself but have faced a lot of barriers in acquiring those models due to not having a single point of contact or a fully managed solution that they could acquire models through. And, that's what the Matterport Capture Services is design to solve for. So, how does the Matterport Capture Services program work?

Matterport Capture Services is a fully dispatched, managed program where executable jobs are sent directly to those that have joined the program

The Matterport Capture Services Webinar slide 5 (Screen Grab 5 above) highlights the above:

Large enterprises:

✓ Need to scan hundreds / thousands of locations across wide geographies
✓ Want negotiated services, price terms and centralized billing

And, just this morning (Wednesday, 22 April 2020), a Matterport Service Provider posted this to the WGAN Forum: (portion quoted)

Originally Posted by @briangreul
Global Enterprise is on the scale of Exxon Retail. There are 12,304 Exxon Mobil stores. If Exxon came to you (or any other MSP) and asked for a scan of every location Worldwide in the next 30 days you wouldn't be able to do it. Frankly, all of us working together might have trouble.

Take someone like Dollar Tree, they have 15,115 stores. 8 to 12K s/f stores. Assuming they are on a 7 year remodel/refresh (doubtful, but play along). that's 2160 stores a year that they might want to scan. This approaches doable for a large MSP, but then you get into data ownership/hosting/travel.

Matterport is simply going after the big accounts and telling service providers pretty clearly to buzz off. It makes sense from a business standpoint. It sucks, it's a bad deal, but there is still opportunity out there. On the bright side, larger clients tend to treat Net/30 as Net/90 or Net/120. They will pay you when they pay you because they can.

Matterport will expand the market. As the "big guys" do this, the little guys will take interest, creating opportunity that is more profitable to replace the big guys.

I promise that it will be good for us in the end. It will solve issues around MP's lock on data storage, processing, etc. Right now they are hooked on the InkJet model where the printer is reasonably cheap (possibly subsidized) and the ink is stupid expensive (hosting/processing). That has to change for their long term viability. Enterprise clients aren't going to pay the rates, and they aren't going to allow their data to sit in someone else's data center. When WalMart or some other large retailer dangles $15M of scan business at Matterport contingent on self-hosting / processing it will happen.... Keep In mind MP did $43.4M in revenue. Nice, but hardly a large company. Microsoft did $33.7Billion..... Oracle $11.1 Billion....

WalMart's average store is 180K s/f. Even at 5¢/sf that's $9K/scan. They have 4756 of them. That's $42M to scan all of them at 5¢/sf So $15M in scan business isn't out the of the question, it's just bigger than anything any of us are looking at.

If anything, the MP scan program makes them an acquisition target for someone like AWS or Microsoft or Google.

Clearly, there is a need for one order/multiple markets - as I said so in my 2014 We Get Around blog post -- Analysis: How the We Get Around Network of Matterport Pro 3D Camera Photographers Will Accelerate Adoption of Matterport 3D Showcase Cloud Processing and Hosting -- (and reprinted here in the WGAN Forum), I identified this problem.

So, we are all agreed – Matterport, Matterport Service Providers, enterprise companies and me.

That said, Matterport’s strategy – build and implement the solution internally – is the wrong strategy to achieve the goal. While it likely Matterport will achieve the desired goal in the short term, unfortunately, in long term, it is not in the best interest of:

✓ Matterport
✓ Matterport Investors
✓ Matterport Service Providers
✓ Enterprise Clients

So, what strategy should Matterport have implemented for enterprise companies seeking an "easy button" to order from Matterport Service Providers?

What strategy would have resulted in dramatic, long-term growth for Matterport, including:

✓ processing
✓ hosting
✓ 2D schematic floor plans
✓ MatterPak
✓ Publish to Google Street View
✓ Matterport SDK/APs
✓ TrueSketch™ & TrueSketch™ PLUS for Xactimate
✓ Other services to be announced

And, would also result in happier:

✓ Matterport Investors
✓ Matterport Service Providers
✓ Enterprise Clients

Matterport should be in support of the photography agencies - and not compete - such as:

HouseLens (Seek Now)
Shawn May Photography

Matterport should be in support of companies - and not compete - such as:

Adaptive Property Solutions
IFTI/PROvision Solutions

There are many photography agencies – and companies – around the globe that specialize in different verticals (hotels, residential real estate, construction documentation) and understand the local countries and languages.

In the long run – Matterport would scale faster – working with photography agencies and companies to offer Matterport at scale.

By competing with these (and many more) photography agencies and companies, it is likely that some – if not all – will:

✓ stop offering Matterport as a solution
✓ start offering competing 3D/360 solutions

Two photography agencies that reached out to me on this topic:

1. one said he had already lost dozens and dozens of jobs to Matterport Capture Services; jobs that he said he paid more to the Matterport Service Provider than Matterport. He's not sure how to deal with competing with Matterport.

2. another photography agency that was planning to add Matterport to their services - and source Pros via the WGAN Find a Matterport Pro Map - has decided not to because it doesn't make sense to compete with Matterport.

(I also talked with a Matterport Service Provider today who said that he was near to closing a deal for 40 properties and the Matterport Capture Services program won the business at half the cost.)

Plus, Matterport handed a gift to 3D/360 hosting platforms like EyeSpy360 (building out a Network of service providers to service eXp360 Tours powered by EyeSpy360) and iGuide for professional real estate photographers. Matterport Service Providers are already selling their Matterport camera and seeking other 3D/360 cameras and other 3D/360 hosting software/platforms.

While Matterport Service Providers may still feel that they are not being paid fairly via a photography agency or company, clearly the following would have been an unlikely scenario:

Originally Posted by @immersivespaces
Our local Engel & Völkers office has been a long time client of mine, pretty much since the day they opened their doors. I was just notified today that their agents are no longer permitted to book scanning services with me because they now have to book directly through Matterport. To add insult to injury, they had to cancel all of the scans they had previously scheduled with me through next week so they can reschedule them through Matterport.

I don't imagine I have much of a legal leg to stand on, but I am meeting with my attorney on Friday. There are some questions as to whether or not Matterport may have violated Florida's Sale of Business Opportunities Act. We'll see, but it appears that Matterport has basically screwed me after being an early adopter of their product and investing thousands of dollars and countless hours into their business since their inception. Really wish GeoCV would have worked out.

Originally Posted by @immersivespaces
Here's something to consider after my short talk with my attorney today... Matterport says they are working with "enterprise clients," however, when we are talking about brokerages like Engel & Völkers, we are talking about independent franchise owners operating under the Engel & Völkers name. The franchise stipulates that they follow guidelines set forth by Engel & Völkers corporate, including authorized service providers. (This is the same for every major brokerage house.) Matterport has approached the franchisor and offered prices that are almost half of the local going rates in our area, effectively undercutting every MSP who doesn't want to be part of their program within 50 miles by 40-60%. Nearly every one of our brokerage clients are independent franchise owners of national brokerage chains that fall under the Matterport "enterprise client" classification. If Matterport makes agreements with any of them, they have no choice but to book with Matterport directly, even if the local brokerage owner or agents don't want to. The franchise contract supersedes any arrangements I may have with the local broker.

What we are looking at now are two things... First, the Business Opportunity Act angle at the State level, which I haven't fleshed out yet but will when I talk to the State Attorney next week. And next, a broader Federal price-fixing case with the Federal Trade Commission, which could ultimately lead to a larger class-action suit. There could be a case for saying the Matterport sought to collude with MSPs in their new program to price independent providers out of the market intentionally by agreeing with those MSPs to fix prices at a rate substantially below the average retail cost of a product or service provided in an area while charging independent MSPs higher fees (i.e., processing and hosting) making it impossible to compete. That suit would likely be brought against Matterport as well as any MSPs who agreed to participate in the program since they knew the rates were below market value. The hope is that we put pressure on Matterport to either at least offer fair market rates, reduce participation costs, or risk their new enterprise clients being listed as material witnesses in an embarrassing lawsuit with plenty of negative press coverage. Most brokerages would not want to have any part of this. Either way, this opens Matterport up to a Federal Lawsuit as well as a State lawsuit that would serve as a template for other State Attorneys should it get that far.

So all that to say, there are some considerations we looking at from a legal standpoint. We'll see what happens. If it does end up in a class-action lawsuit and we win anything, I'd be willing to invest my part in getting the GeoCV guys back in the game.

In this WGAN Forum post from a year ago ...

Matterport Survey: a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing?

and discussed here too ...

Is Matterport a Service Company or is Matterport a Software Company?

... @MeshImages correctly predicted the Matterport Capture Services program:

Originally Posted by @MeshImages
Well, from my point of view the question is:

Is Matterport a Service Company or is Matterport a Software Company?

The Matterport Service company wants to sell scans plus extras and someday it will also set the prices for these services. The Matterport Service Company will actively compete with the MSPs and other Service Providers (Photographers, AEC, etc) on a global scale. For an MSP there will not be much left to negotiate with his clients, because the standard scan prices will be set by Matterport. As a Service Company Matterport will be pitching the large scan volumes. This MSP survey is heading in this direction.

On the other hand the Matterport Software (and camera) company, which grows with an unbeatable product and a portfolio of extra services. It mainly focuses on software development and service innovations. The software company grows with the network of MSPs who buy the camera and sell Matterports services. Among MSPs there can be large aggregators like Meero, who do the bulk selling. But you will probably never see any market intervention from the Software Company, because the Matterport Software company is only competing with the other Software and camera companies like nctech, cupix, geocv, etc.

My opinion: I doubt that Matterport can be a successful Service company. Because if Matterport looses the MSPs, who should then make the cheap scans for them?

On the other hand I am very disappoited with Matterports software company. Were there any service innovations in the last 12 months? Oh yes, cortex, wow... But the great innovations came from other providers, who hit the stage, like geocv with their outstanding showcase experience (interior plus exterior) and like cupix with highspeed video capture. Or from Mpembed with a super, super, super portfolio of extra services for Matterport. Great job, thank you Chris

Therefore I am so upset with this survey. I would like to see that Matterport focuses on Software development again. There is so many possibilities and there is still so much on the to-do-list.

Something inherently seems wrong with the scenario where the company that sells you the camera, processing and hosting competes with you by sells scanning services.

By empowering photography agencies - and companies - to offer an "easy button" to order from Matterport Service Providers, Matterport would have scaled its business exponentially – without trying to become a service business – and with Matterport Service Providers having a choice of whether to participate - or not - in the 3rd party solutions to scanning at scale.

As I wrote a year ago here ...

Matterport Survey: a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing?

Matterport should be championing Matterport Service Provides getting the most money for our services.

What are your thoughts?

Matterport Capture Services: Dan Smigrod Recommendations | Part 4

In Part 4 of my Capture Services: Dan Smigrod Recommendations to be published the week of 27 April in the WGAN Forum, I will talk about how Matterport investors might still salvage their investment in Matterport, help Matterport reach its full-potential and win back the hearts of Matterport Service Providers.

Stay healthy,


WGAN Forum Related Discussions

Transcript: Matterport Capture Services Webinar | Thursday, 16 April 2020
Matterport Capture Services: Dan Smigrod Recommendations | Part 1
I Apologize. I Made a Big Mistake.
Matterport Capture Services: Dan Smigrod Recommendations | Part 2
Long-Time MSP Client Cancels Scans to Book via Matterport Capture Services
✓ WGAN Forum discussions tagged: Matterport Competes with MSPs
Post 1 IP   flag post
izoneguy private msg quote post Address this user
If anything, the MP scan program makes them an acquisition target for someone like AWS or Microsoft or Google.

LOL - if Google bought Matterport then it would be dead. The way Google Street View works is a joke.
Post 2 IP   flag post
CharlesHH private msg quote post Address this user
@izoneguy. You’ve just given the perfect reason for Google to buy MP. Imagine every GSV inside was the quality of a MP tour.
Post 3 IP   flag post
Changesin3d private msg quote post Address this user
Dan: Looking at screen capture 5 you posted, Matterport is addressing that most MSPs do under 4 scans a month. Do you figure that is because people purchased it as a business opportunity and expect to get the leads that were promised as part of the purchase. Was it part of the failure, who would have purchased the cameras if the leads were not promised. This was a promise on their website and in their promotions until just a few months ago. Salesmen used that line on me.

To become and MSP we had to jump threw some hoops, like build websites, prove we could do scans and more. And now we cannot even get the promised logo for all we did. Does that sound fair to you?

Some time back someone mentioned a lawsuit, someone named Chris was he talking about GEo CV or are their any other legal issues you have heard about?

Have you invited the CEO of Matterport on to your weekly TV to do a town hall, I loved it when you had those guys on, what happened?
Post 4 IP   flag post
MeshImages private msg quote post Address this user
Another question that arises from my point of view:

Why should enterprise customers let their thousands of properties be scanned with a 4 year old MP2 camera?

For Engel Volkers and all other realtors this can make sense (short term perspective).

But for large stores like Walmart or Ikea with room heights, that sometimes exceed 15 meters and sizes exceeding 10.000 sqm fully packed with stuff? Or outdoor businesses like Exxon and many others - with a MP2 camera, seriously?

Or any other enterprise customer with a longterm perspective: would you spend millions for scans with this proprietary 4-year-old Matterport system? Scans from kinect sensors?

The more I read about Matterports latest move towards a service company, that is actively competing with their clients, the more I get the impression, that they are simply desperate.

RJ Pittman invested all the investor's money in the wrong direction, because nobody wants to scan cheap looking 3D models with 360 cameras. By the end of the year he will be gone. And maybe Matterport will be gone, too.
Post 5 IP   flag post
Los Angeles
Home3D private msg quote post Address this user
Maybe it’s a minor point but one of the biggest problems I see in the way all enterprise scan brokers function is the inequity of rates paid for the work done by MSPs. The internet has many cost-or-living calculators based on the ongoing economic research done by trusted institutions. It would be simple to harness any one of these to provide predictable costs to an enterprise customer while paying MSPs equitably according to their individual cost-or-living indices, so they are truthfully paid equally rather than being offered poverty wages in major cities.

The COL calculators are there. Why not use them? If anyone knows an enterprise scan-aggregator that is doing this, let me know so I can compliment them.
Post 6 IP   flag post
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Thanks all! Other thoughts!

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