Recently in 2009, IMS Research acknowledged ioimage for the third straight year as the leading provider of intelligent video surveillance cameras and other devices, noting a 13.1-percent market share in 2008.
Now the Herzliya, Israel-based company, regarded as a video analytics pioneer, is under the umbrella of video management system (VMS) specialist DVTel following word this week of a stock transaction reportedly worth $80 million.
Established in 2000, ioimage first carved out a niche for its edge devices and hybrid encoders mainly in helping secure the perimeters of critical infrastructure facilities. The company’s innovative applications have continued to attract customers in new market niches.
I caught up with John Whiteman, ioimage’s president, Americas, to get his take on the acquisition and what the deal says about the video analytics market in general.
Whiteman explains in the time since ioimage first came to market, the growing prevalence of tightly integrated IP solutions now has end-user customers clamoring for end-to-end solutions.
And therein lies the rub for ioimage and surely other third-party IP technology providers.
“From the ioimage perspective the one piece that we brought to the puzzle, which was a very compelling value proposition for video analytics, in and of itself is no longer being deemed worthy as a standalone component,” Whiteman says.
In a nutshell, Whiteman says today’s enterprise-level IP solutions are being driven by selection criteria for VMS capabilities and at the top of the list is the IP camera. Everything else in an IP solution flows from there.
“It’s important for us as a component of the overall solution to have a strong partner that we have a tight integration with on the VMS side. From that perspective, DVTel being one of the early pioneers and global leaders in IP solutions has an awful lot on the ball when it comes to products and capabilities that make us even more valuable,” says Whiteman.
So what will become of ioimage? The decision has been made, so says Whiteman, to maintain the brand and products indefinitely. “We have actually been working for months on several projects that include integration with their VMS platform and the future steps in the roadmap are taking our analytics and embedding it into their full line of IP cameras.”
Despite the many factors that have conspired to hinder market penetration of video analytics (high false alarm rates, limited success stories, recession, among others), Whiteman says a wider variety of end users will increasingly see value in the technology.
Small to midsize integrators take notice. All things considered, Whiteman foresees continued growth in video analytics applications in such smaller markets as schools and universities, car dealerships, high-end residences and other uses for remote video monitoring.
“An awful lot of what happened in the first few years was misapplication of the video analytics technology and misunderstanding by the integrators that were deploying it,” Whiteman says. “Today we’re reaching that tipping point where IP solutions are becoming more and more prevalent. The acceptance of video analytics, after all of the hype and all of the early disappointment, [is being realized] now and most providers are putting forth a viable analytic product.”
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