Seemingly in one fell swoop, thermal imaging specialist FLIR Systems has gone from a niche player in the high-end video surveillance space to a major provider of end-to-end solutions following its purchase of DVTel.
Consider, briefly, what FLIR is adding to its portfolio from the much respected — albeit historically brand-challenged — DVTel:
In May, DVTel announced a $9 million capital infusion investment that the privately held firm said it would use to fund its corporate growth plans. This included significant R&D efforts for the continued development of its global enterprise-class Latitude network video management systems (NVMS), mid-market Horizon and Meridian NVMS, distributed cloud-based-VMS systems, and cyber defense technologies. And you will recall DVTel made waves in 2010 with its $80 million play for ioimage, a key developer of video analytics in the market.
“For FLIR this really represents a very significant move by them to develop a full-service offering for video surveillance-related solutions in the commercial sector as opposed to government and defense where they had been to date for the most part,” John Mack, executive vice president and co-head of investment banking at Imperial Capital, told me. “They now have a commercial offering, from SMB [small and medium business] all the way up to enterprise-class customer solutions for cameras and VMS and all the related equipment that goes with a full solution.” (Imperial Capital served as DVTel’s financial advisor in the transaction.)
Aside from FLIR’s big entry into the software side of the business, the acquisition brings with it a host of notable synergies. Namely, DVTel’s commercial security solutions can now be sold through FLIR’s sales channels that they have developed across the globe. And of course there are synergies just in the product lines between very effective thermal cameras and solutions and the more traditional commercial camera solutions by DVTel.
We are seeing the rise of a very large, new competitor in the full video surveillance solutions marketplace. [FLIR is] no longer just a specialty camera player in the market.— John Mack
“I think [the acquisition] is meaningful to the industry as well because effectively we are seeing the rise of a very large, new competitor in the full video surveillance solutions marketplace,” Mack said. “They are no longer just a specialty camera player in the market. They are going to have a full solution set similar to what maybe an Avigilon and Axis/Milestone/Canon and others are coming to market with now.”
The drive to provide the marketplace an end-to-end solution is necessitated, in part, to create a more cost-effective and product-effective solution. By building the camera and the VMS at the same time — and building in the engineering to optimize the solution from the start, as opposed to putting together disparate pieces — you can create a solution that more effectively delivers on what you are looking for in the application. Secondly, Mack explained, you can potentially make that more cost-effective by virtue of the integration. You potentially end up with two levels of increased success by bringing that solution-selling approach to the market.
“DVTel has been selling their cameras combined with the [VMS]. They do some pretty clever things by integrating some of the software functionality with the camera at the manufacturing level, which obviously goes well beyond what you can do if you just buy an camera here and a VMS there and an analytics solution from another guy and just put them together in the field,” Mack said.
RELATED:SSI spoke with DVTel CEO Yoav Stern about the latest in video technologies, markets and particularly ensuring video surveillance systems are cyber secure from hacking threats.
John Distelzweig, general manager of FLIR’s security segment, told me the company is hustling to incorporate DVTel’s technology into the FLIR portfolio. The timing of ISC West on the 2016 calendar seems ideal for a big launch, no?
“We will go as fast as we can go. We feel the integration and the power of both organizations is really crucial to the value proposition of the integration in general, and we won’t hold back any of that,” Distelzweig said. “But, yes, ISC West is a reasonable goal for a public unveiling.”
Already a specialist in critical infrastructure, and having made inroads in the low-end and consumer space with its Lorex-branded security systems, look for FLIR to particularly flex its newfound portfolio muscle in the middle market.
“FLIR is clearly playing in the high-end in the security business and at the low-end in retail, consumer DIY and the low end of SMB,” Distelzweig said. “We have in-house software offerings at either end of that spectrum, but from a hardware and software perspective the middle was something we have been missing. [DVTel] is very complementary in that regard.”
DVTel’s products and solutions are based on open-system capabilities and bring to FLIR a wide range of SDKs. Distelzweig emphasized the open platform concept will not change.
“We will have an open architecture and open SDKs and be providing hardware to installations that already have other VMSs, as well as provide interfaces for everybody’s hardware from a VMS perspective,” he said “But we hope we are competitive at every price point for camera hardware.”
Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for latimes.com. Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician. Contact Rodney Bosch: [email protected]View More by Rodney Bosch
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