Mobotix financials review: "High Profit Margins" "Their profit margin is up to 14%..." "Gross profit increased 2.6 points from 69.3% to 71.9%"
By comparison, (for example) Walmart's recent gross/net profit margins were on the order of 25%/3.6%.
Video surveillance is substantially more complex and challenging to integrate than a toaster or a banana. Compared to surveillance, Walmart's market is much closer to the theoretical "perfect market" with commodities that are interchangeable, lowering barriers to entry and driving down profit margins. Much of Walmart's success, and a standing barrier to new entrants, has been as much their very low margins enabled by substantial levels of vertical integration and by volume purchasing. How is (for example) Amazon taking a piece of that pie? Even lower margins, on the order of 1% net after taxes.
IPVM is a testament to the complexity and lack of commoditization of video surveillance. Many many users are asking simple to complex questions about challenges and expectations with various pairings or, indeed, even with very "intuitive" implementations.
So, with sweet margins and enough complexity to lock in the captives, what can possibly force a consolidation? It reminds me of the early days of computing with the Osborne, Kay, Apple, Commodore, Sinclair, Atari, and, oh yes, early IBM computers. None terribly compatible. Fairly complex. With tools like Visicalc and WordStar, it was easy to understand the promise, but difficult to achieve it simply.
Somehow IBM became a de-facto standard, and they effectively created Microsoft when they outsourced the operating system. Even in the heyday of IBM PCs, I recall going back and forth from DOS 5 and 6 to Windows 3.0 several times - the promise of common user interface and clipboard data exchange was compelling but the obstacles, immaturity, and crashes still daunting. Remember "plug and play?" That alone must have taken 5 years to refine, with the whole journey from IBM PC/PC JR to grandma emailing the grandkids probably taking about 15 years.
Computer "killer apps" varied from early mostly business uses (spreadsheet and word processor) to rapid communications (early internet, both business and personal email) to a huge knowledge base that almost everyone uses every day.
New adopters for these "killer apps" were the real ground swell that moved the market forward, since many die-hard legacy owners struggled onward for a time.
I wonder what might be likely killer apps within video surveillance or security? Something that meets a price/performance that every home will want?
Who could be a likely "IBM" of the video surveillance or security world today?
Do you see current users abandoning their Timex Sinclar or Atari some other not yet clear "global" standard? (VHS vs Betamax comes to mind)