What Independent VMS Will Be Bought Next?

The Axis deal confirmed to most everyone that we are in a period of intense consolidation.

In this race, VMSes are the hotter property given their relative limited numbers (not yet acquired).

Here is a list of independent VMSes. Let's discuss which ones might be acquired and who would make a good fit:

What do you think? Who do you think should be acquired? Who do you think should acquire one of these?

JCI has made a bet on Aimetis for their go-to-market VMS. Based on my conversations with a senior JCI employee an aquisition is eminent.

I have heard similar comments about the JCI / Aimetis relationship. If it happened it would make sense, JCI is big enough that they could benefit from having their own VMS, Aimetis gets a liquidity event.

Better question: Who would ever buy NUUO? From my experience with the product its been absolutely terrible both from a performance AND a support perspective.

We've been disappointed by NUUO. Their primary VMS, Mainconsole, is not very good and hasn't much improved in years. However, their newer Crystal / Titan offering is significantly better.

Btw, NUUO is publicly traded. Their market capitalization is ~$33 million USD, down more than 70% from their high earlier in 2014. NUUO's 2013 revenue was ~$17 million USD and, for the first 3 quarters of 2014, revenue was down ~10%. Also, profits were down sharply, which is probably what pummeled the stock price.

The net/net is, if a manufacturer is going to buy a VMS, there are likely less expensive offerings elsewhere for similar or better software feature sets.

Acquisition target: Digifort???

Acquirer: OnSSI

Maybe OnSSI should buy one of the other smaller, non-US VMSes and integrate their recorder into whatever higher end functionality exists in Occularis that they actually own. Leverage their U.S. customer base to roll out a Milestone free product. Until then they can't really considered independent.

In any event, they need to have their own recorder, either by writing their own or buying someone else's. Axis might have an extra one lying around now for cheap...

And while in the past the Milestone / OnSSI relationship allowed Milestone to expand quicker and to focus on other markets by saving capital, this is no longer necessary with their new ownership. Milestone will be hard pressed now to leave any money on the table. Without a recorder, Milestone can simply raise the price to OnSSI until their customers come to them, and thereby Canonabilize the OnSSI customer base.

Where is OnSSI getting the money to buy another VMS? Seriously, I don't imagine OnSSI or any smaller, non-public, independent VMS has the means to buy another company.

That said, to your meta-point, what does OnSSI do long term given its dependence on Milestone?

It's never been clear what the Milestone / OnSSI terms were but many indications appeared it was a sweetheart long term deal. Of course, it can't be forever, can it?

When neither company can buy each other they just merge with an appropriately weighted stock swap.

OnSSI has got decent brand recognition, some nice fat client functionality, and some bright brains to boot. And maybe 15% to 30% (wild guess) of their customers don't know they are OEMing the recorder from Milestone. But the engagement is off. They need to have their own product ready soon so they can parlay all the momentum and credibility they have gotten from embedding Milestone over the years into the new version. And hope the new works well enough that no one notices.

Til they do that the only one who would buy them outright I think, would be Canon/Milestone itself. Cause of the obvious synergies. Take some Occularis, convert the sales force, and tech support, keep the relationships, both customer and distribution. That might be the sweetheart thing to do, but Canon may think it cheaper just to phase them out as quickly as possible.

If a VMS decided to merge with OnSSI, they would essentially be betting on OnSSI's ability to get bought or go public (not realistic for US companies in their revenue range).

That strikes me as difficult to swing as there are bigger companies out there that will pay cash, making those alternatives safer.

...there are bigger companies out there that will pay cash.

Though if the bigger company does not have a recording engine (or plans for one), the value of OnSSI is diminished. Maybe the cash flush company will arrange a forced marriage between OnSSI and ?

It has to be OnSSI or ipConfigure, right??? Unless Microsoft gets crazy and buys Genetec and (insert camera manufacturer)...

D, what "has to be OnSSI or ipConfigure"?

The next independent VMS to be bought.

OnSSI is risky. Obviously, a buyer will do due diligence and learn what the details of the OnSSI / Milestone OEM agreement are, but unless it's incredibly favorable to OnSSI (lifetime / unlimited license, super low cost, etc.), that's a big issue that would weigh down the valuation and increase operational risks (what do they do about getting their own 'recorder engine'?).

My gut feel is that, if it is not Genetec, who is clearly the top prize here, then it would be one of Lensec, Network Optix or Salient as those are relative 'value' plays.

How about Vanderbilt buying Salient?

Regarding Vanderbilt access control, that depends on what their parent ACRE group wants to get into video. Could happen, especially if they too want to offer a 'solution'.

Vanderbilt is already quietly OEMing Salient for a couple keyaccounts.


This is a first, a manufacturer is now predicting on IPVM that they will be sold. Thanks Smartvue!

Whoa, John! If "Undisclosed F" really is from Smartvue, then don't you think revealing that is cutting it fine? What's the point in allowing undisclosed posts if one's identity is going to be revealed anyway for comic value? (excepting of course cases of blatant product promotion)

Unless "F" is Renkis or Larson himself, which is highly unlikely as neither could possibly be so cavalier if Smartvue's "book" is out, then "F" is likely a worker-bee musing on IPVM...as so many of us are wont to do.

Manufacturers commenting on themselves have to disclose - period. If F wants to delete it, F can contact me at john@ipvm.com

Isn't commenting on themselves and promoting themselves different enough to warrant staying undisclosed?

The person is still undisclosed, the company is not because they cited their own company.

Note to manufacturer employees, you may not use undisclosed to talk about your manufacturer without disclosing that you are from the manufacturer.


Just kidding.

Smartvue is not for sale at this time. I am not sure who from our company may have made that post but is was not from the executive team.


Great Cameras

Great VMS

What more do you want? =)

(Yes, Im from IV)

"What more do you want? =)"

Well, to fit in this discussion, it would be nice if IndigoVision was actually an independent VMS :)

But IndigoVision actually would make an attractive acquisition target if simply because of its relative inexpensive valuation. The company's market cap is actually lower than its revenue (market cap ~$46 million USD vs $50+ million USD annual revenue). The company has recovered from its crisis a few years ago and is profitable.

What about Unisight?

I had not heard of Unisight before. I see them listed as OEM partners of Dahua and Hikvision. Does Unisight primarily OEM / resell software to manufacturers or?

They had a panel in Dahua booth last year in ISC West. Don't know in detail their business model, but they should be strong as they have full integration of Dahua/Hikvision hardware portfolio.

Genetec is the next i beleive !

If i would recommend one it would be Genetec. World wide customers and large presence in north america !

What about Geutebruck

Geutebruck is a 'solutions' provider, offering recorders and cameras, so they would not fall under this list. Also, they would not make as much sense for a camera manufacturer looking to expand, given that they sell (or OEM/ODM) their own cameras.

I have no idea if they would sell or not but it falls outside of the trend right now, which are independents being snatched up.

Salient - Milestone should aquire

OnSSI - Milestone should aquire

Milestone acquiring OnSSI (through / via Canon) is an interesting one. The main benefit would be consolidating overall market share and it could be attractive and relatively straightforward to get OnSSI customers to get standardized on an all Milestone offering.

That said, would OnSSI sell? For how much? And would Canon / OnSSI agree?

I think that OnSSI should be looking for an exit as the market is getting harder for every independent both because of the IP transition becoming complete and their partners being bought out.

I don't get Milestone buying Salient, it's a completely different and competitive product.

Just to put my 2 cents in...

I think ipConfigure and Salient are the most appealing and viable for purchase. They are the next inline as far as size, openness, integration with others and customer base ( yes I left out Genetec, I'll explain at the end). Salient is the best bet as they are a bit larger and have an extensive and pretty good sales force in place. ipConfigure has a few high profile customers that make them extremely attractive. ipConfigure also has a great potential because they have few sales people and have been successful despite this.

As for Genetec: they are certainly the largest but they have several things that hold them back. First and foremost they have cultural issues with several items. Genetec would be a very difficult company to absorb and match with anyone else who isn't of the same mindset (if you know them, you know what I mean). I believe their arrogance alone would keep anyone from purchasing them.

"I believe their arrogance alone would keep anyone from purchasing them."

And Axis is the salt of the earth? :)

Whether Genetec or any company is arrogant, I doubt that will keep them from being purchased if they agree. Now, maybe arrogance makes a company refuse to take a deal (See Vision, Arecont), but I presume big buyers would take the point of view, "Hey, we are going to take out management anyway, so we can change the culture, make it work, generate a return."

What about JDS? or NOT!

who should buy?

It seems the most likely buyer is someone with strong camera offerings but weak VMS / recorder lines.