Avigilon Acquired By Motorola Solutions

By John Honovich, Published on Feb 01, 2018

Avigilon has finally been acquired. The acquirer is Motorola Solutions, a $16 billion market cap publicly traded company who sells direct and has their own integration group but primarily an outsider to video surveillance.

In this note, we examine the acquisition, how Avigilon fared, how we anticipate this hurting Avigilon dealers and which Avigilon competitors stand to win or lose from this deal.

Agreement ****

**** ***** *** **** *********** agreement ******* ******** *** Avigilon.

Purchase ***** - $**, *** ****** **** ****** *** ** $*

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Valuation - ********** ~*.* *****

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Motorola *** ****** **** ********

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Shift ***** ** **** / ****** ********

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** ** ******* **** Avigilon's ********* *** ******* can ** **** ** those ************ **** **** not **** ** ****** a **** ** ********'* sales ************.

Losers - ******** *******

******** ********* ******* ** selling ***** *** ********* (e.g., ****** **** *******) direct ** *** *****, as ***** ******* ***** here:

*** ** ********'* *** deck ** *** ******** acquisition ***** [**** ** longer *********]:

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**** ** ***** ** be ** ******** **** Avigilon's *** ******* *** we ******* **** *** priority **** ** ******** Avigilon ** ***** ***** that ******** **** *******.

Motorola *** *** **-***** *********** *****

*** **** **** ******** sell ******** ******, ******** has***** *** *********** ***** in-house:

**** ** *** *********** and *********team ** ******* ********, ********* *** ******* ********* who understand the full range of your mission-critical technology ‒ from infrastructure and devices to applications and software ‒ with proven capabilities and a disciplined approach to successfully ********* *** ****** ******* ******** ** *** ****. [emphasis added]

Avigilon ****** ******

******** ********** * ****** ** its ************* ** **** ***** new *************:

***** ************* ******* ******** selling ******** ****** ** end *****.

Winners - ******** *********** **** **** *** *********

*** ******* ****** ** likely ** ** ****. With ******** ***** ******* to ******* ********'* ******* solution ***** *** ********, Axis **** **** **** competition *** ****-**** ***** surveillance *********.

**** *******, ** ******** becomes **** ******* ** day ** *** (** 'run ****') ***** ************ business, **** ***** **** many *********** ******* *********, Hanwha, *********, ***. *** are ******* ** **** opportunities.

Mixed *** *******

**** *********** *** ***** impact ** *******:

  • ** *** ******** ****, Motorola ********* *** ******** in ******* ***** ******* deployments, ********* *** **** of ******* **********'* ******* **********. ******** ** ****** to **** ** ******** for ****** *********** ******* of *******.
  • *******, ******* *** ** able ** *** ******** from ******** ******** ******* who *** *** ************ about ********* **** ********'* direct ***** *** ******* other *** *******.

*******, *******'* ******** ****** currently ******** **** ********** features *** ***** ** Avigilon ******* ****** (******* *******,***** ***/*******, **** ********* *******, Federation,*********, ***.). ******* ********* R&D (***** ******** ********* has *** ************ ***** heavily **), **** *** will ******** (** **** given *******'* *&* *****).

Motorola ** ******** ******** - ******/************** *****

*** ** ********'* **** notable ********** ** ******** security ** ****** ******, including* **** ************* ***** ************ "************ ****** CSIM ******* *** ******* Series ************** ********."

**** *********** *** ** development ** ******************* *************, * **** ** "Intelligence ********" ******* ***** ties *****, *****, ********, text/voice *********, ********, *** other ********* **** * single *******. *********, ******** Control ****** ***** ****** the ***** ********* ** this ********.

Question - **** ******* ** ****** ********* ********?

*** *** ******** **** is ******* **** *** initial ************** ** **** happens **********'* ************* ****** ********* business. ** **** *** yet **** ********** ******** to ******** *** ******** will ********** (** ***) that ******* **********.

Low ********** ** ****** *** *** ********

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******** **** **** ** pay * $** ******* CAD ($** *******) *********** fee ** ** ****** the ****, *.*. ***** another *****. *******, ****'* ~3% ** *** **** price ***** ** *** much ** ******* *** seriously ********** ** ****** more *** ********.

*** ********* ******** **** Avigilon *** **** ******** itself ** ***** ******* in **** ******:

**** *** ** **** secret ** *** ******** for *** **** **** or ****.

Great ******* ******* *** ******** ***

*************'* ***'* ********* *** personality **** **** **** debated**** *** *****, *** while ** ****** ******* at *** ******** *** 4 *****, ** ***** founded *** **** * company ** ~** ***** for ~$* ******* *** - * **** ********** achievement ****** *** ***** surveillance ******.

Vote / ****

Acquisition ********

** ***** **, ****,******** ********* **** ******** has ********* *** *********** of ********.

Comments (161)

Well. We all saw that coming.

Just not from Motorola....

I did not guess Motorola. However, in retrospect, though, what makes sense is that Motorola did not have an existing video surveillance offering which made it easier to integrate / less overlap than if a large incumbent like UTC, JCI, etc. did.

I wonder what is will bring for the brand. At first glance as a dealer I wouldn't be happy. It takes away focus from the cctv part with no upside in motorola products for the average security company.

Im concerned, but withholding judgement. 

 

John, I thought you wrote off this acquisition talk last year as a failure? 

I thought you wrote off this acquisition talk last year as a failure?

A year ago, at this time, Avigilon absolutely was being shopped/working on acquisitions (discussed here - Who Will Buy Out Avigilon?). After that, sources indicated that the obvious video surveillance buyers backed out. 

In the meantime, Avigilon aggressively cut costs and effectively froze headcount. Evidently, in the year since, Motorola worked out a deal.

I still believe that Avigilon's Founder was determined to sell and not operate Avigilon long term.

What I think will be interesting in the years to come will be how it effects their R&D. Will they just look to profit strip the company or will they continue to really develop and evolve the products. 

I hope they do as it would be a shame to see a good solution going the way of so many others after they have been acquired. 

anyway it is better than be bought by Dahua or Hik ....

Hmm.. nice... let's see now...

I personally don't expect any impact on Avigilon solutions or to their dealers. There are many big names sold to unusual buyers and still going strong.

There are also many who have sold and lost what it was that made them strong in the first place. 

Like Pelco? :)

It is too early for me to decide if it is negative or not.  Neutral for now.

i am having definite flashbacks to the Panasonic push to cross-sell toughbooks and monitors.

It is not quite as disconcerting as some of the potential purchasers mentioned (Schneider, Hik, Dahua) in the past.  I still would be a bit more excited if it was a company with an industry relevant past that may boost one or the others product line - Hanwha for example.  My biggest concern is what this means for any future product development and how soon we will be competing against Motorola radio dealers. If product development stalls for a year Avigilon will die on the vine... the H4A line is aging rapidly, the multi-heads are the last H3 products, and the Pro series has stagnated for a while. 

As long as they leave us alone, keep the same distribution model, and continue to develop the product in a logical manner I could see it being neutral.  Let’s call this the Canon model.

Come on, Avigilon dealers, be honest, this is your real reaction:

Im more like the frog man in the background...

Not really.  There have been enough sales rumors that it was eventually due to occur whether now or in 2 years.  There could have been much worse companies to purchase them that would have been a instant stop to further sales from me.

I do hope Motorola decides to force more enterprise features into the VMS and develop ACM beyond the current state.

Well, now...

Motorola is finally back in the video business. We sold a ton of it. They use to make the best cameras back in the day (late 60's early 70s). They had their own integrated FSK control, with audio channel as well. What goes around, comes around. It will be pure nostalgia to see that logo on a camera once more.

The big question is commitment. They use to own the 2-way biz, had all first responders. Would seem a natural to get heavy into city surveillance. Time will tell.

 

As regards radio dealers selling CCTV systems, it will probably not happen.  A few years ago, we represented a product line that required us to call on radio dealers, both Motorola and their competitors.  Many were interested in our security lines, and some tried to bring security products to their end users, but I am aware of only one dealer who both succeeded in adding security to their customers, and is still doing so five years later.

I suspect Motorola corporate, rather than their dealers, will be trying to leverage security into their very large customers.

If memory serves me, Motorola tried this decades ago.

Agreed. This product line requires too much R&D and marketing and product support investment to maintain it as a "bolt-on" offering to their radio solutions. And radio dealers, in order to be able to respond to (often) complex municipal and government RFPs, would have to pretty much become security integrators who also offer radios. With the security integrator market segment already crowded, and the limited market for radio, the prospects for cross-overs in either direction are dim.

This was a bad investment. I think Motorola probably would have been better off choosing a VMS manufacturer to partner with as part of an interoperable ecosystem solution, or as an OEM to be packaged into Mototola's console solutions. 

Well I am a Motorola dealer and have been selling CCTV the entire time I have been in the Motorola world.  Often times the people who make the mission critical communications decision are the same people who make the security camera decisions.  Not all dealers have been selling cameras, but many have been for years.

As an integrator, it concerns me greatly that Motorola is ready to go direct to the end user. If there is no 'protection', the big clients can circumvent the integrator. 

the large tech manufacturing  companies who have been gobbling up access, intrusion and video companies over the last 5-10 years all have their own security integration  arms - Tyco, UTC, Johnson Controls, Schneider Electric, etc.

there is no “protection” for small integrators who carry said manufacturers’ lines. Never has been any. The only way to mitigate this is to try carrying only lines that are not owned by a parent company that does integration work. And that list is always changing without notice, as we see here with Avigilon.

Motorola has several ways to engage customers (including dealer, dealer MR, federal MR, and direct).  Yes they go to some customers directly, but in many of those instances they are supported by local partners.  Most customers are engaged by dealers or with dealers.

What about thier larger implementations like Chicago? Are those done directly? 

I would have to check, but you have to realize Chicago will always be special as that is home of the mothership.

Thier Command Central Aware platform is in the high seven figures. That's where the video component comes into play too.

It would be interesting to know if the dealers handle those types of implementations 

Don't see why not. Some of us are smart cookies.

Oh, and I am guessing Avigilon's Founder / CEO Alex Fernandes will be stepping down soon enough. Anyone particularly agree / disagree?

He kind of already did with the announcement of James being lined up as the next CEO. Not sure what the future for James looks like under Motorola, but he will most likely not be CEO.

 

Agreed, about the announcement.

Though on the Q3 2017 investor call just 3 months ago, Fernandes emphasized that he was staying involved longer term:

with really the scale of our business now, it's really a big job to run the entire operation balancing day-to-day activities, day-to-day operations, execution of the long-term strategy and then of course always keeping our eyes on the horizon looking into the future. And so, what this does is it really allows me to spend more of my time and energy on long-term strategy, long-term vision helping to set the course along with the at the rest of the leadership team here as well. I'm not saying I'm going to pass through anytime soon, but I've been at it for a long time and sometimes it's good to pass the torch on and get some young blood in there. So really, I'm going to really be doing more or less the same I've been doing but operating at a higher level. [Emphasis Added]

So now, I think he's going to 'pass through' soon.

 

Globe and Mail reports that James Henderson "will stay on to run the business for Schaumburg, Ill.-based Motorola." 

Not surprised at all. However, does anyone have any input on the other paragraph about the CFO resigning iimmediately "in contemplation of the acquisition"?

 

I'm also a bit disappointed that there hasn't been a letter or other official communications to partners aside from the initial press release.

Since Avigilon will no longer be a privately traded company, there's less need for a CFO. I don't know what specifically is going on internally with the CFO but that's the general rationale when such an acquisition happens.

Their outgoing CFO though should be happy with the outcome. He went from a controller to publicly traded company CEO in literally a year.

Since Avigilon will no longer be a privately traded company, there's less need for a CFO.

In a perfect world maybe...  But after an acquisition like this I think it’s highly unusual for the CFO to not transition at all.

Typically they would have been deeply involved in the negotiation process and their domain knowledge about the transaction and the obligations of both parties would be wanted.

Its strange.

This will be part of thier Command Central Aware platform. 

They are pushing integration with video into this platform as seen more recently in Detroit and New Orleans.

They have been using Genetec mostly. 

Could this be a winner?

I see a couple things coming out of this, first the continuation of National integrators acquiring and leading with their own product lines  - JCI being the most recent example with Tyco / AD / Exacq / SWH

I also foresee them trying to open up VMS relationships to move their camera lines. While the Avigilon VMS is a decent product, it's not truly enterprise level. Fernandes didn't want to integrate / work with anyone else and that ultimately lead to their demise.

IMO Motorola will try to cut into Axis market share on the upper end lines, if the cameras at are able to compete at that level

 

Transparency - I like avigilon.

Kindly clarify, “and that ultimately lead to their demise.” 

Avigilon is a pretty successful company and solution, no? Where does “demise” fit in?

UM9 - They (you?) were just sold to Motorola. I don't think you can spin that as anything other than the end of the company. 

Now, like Exacq before them, they are simply a product line within a much larger Corporation.

Now, like Exacq before them, they are simply a product line within a much larger Corporation.

Are Milestone and Axis just product lines within a much larger corporation?

Are Milestone and Axis just product lines within a much larger corporation?

Canon runs itself more like a non-profit for Scandanavian companies...

I don't think Canon is a good counter example simply because it is so atypical. So far, Canon has left Axis and Milestone virtually untouched for 3+ years, which is not common.

Motorola, even in their announcement, is saying how they are going to directly integrate / offer Avigilon products within their broader portfolio, something Canon did not do when they acquired Axis and Milestone and still have not done. Also, Canon paid about twice the price / sales valuation for Axis and Milestone than Motorola paid for Avigilon or Tyco paid for Exacq, so Canon is really an outlier.

I don't think Canon is a good counter example simply because it is so atypical. So far, Canon has left Axis and Milestone virtually untouched, which is not common.

Trying to keep hope alive here...

UM #8, of course, is correct that there are so few purchases work out.  I am struggling to think of any others that were successful.  I suppose VideoInsight is doing OK selling free licenses...

 

As John points out the Canon / Axis / Milestone deal is different - simply because Canon doesn't own a services / integration arm. 

IMO Motorola made this acquisition to Have more control & pricing leverage in Major Opportunities vs. competitors like Siemens / Convergint / JCI 

What is yet to be seen is if Motorola Integration will now want to compete across the same spectrum as the SI mentioned above. 

Since the name merger will start as soon as the Undisclosed person who is great at Photoshop jumps in:

Motolon?

Avigirola?

Areola?

Don’t know much about Motorola’s offerings. I would assume this could potentially mean more cameras with more robust integrated wireless capabilities. If anything this will be interesting to watch. 

This is all about computer vision driven smart cities.  You don't make a billion dollar acquisition taking a public company private to worry about double digit percentage fluctuations in monthly P&L's.  This is long term, large scale.  Entire mega cities will be driven by public sector cameras, fixed mounted all over public infrastructure, and fully connected with (for Motorola's big interest) mobile cameras on every public sector vehicle and employee.  All unified with Motorola communications and network infrastructure and it's a long range match made in heaven.

In short term I believe that makes it good for current Avigilon dealers, main body employees, and overall maintenance to their existing channel, which they'll likely only want to see grow on top of their megaproject combinations.  And now they can custom tune all the products to their exact integrated computer vision needs.

overall maintenance to their existing channel, which they'll likely only want to see grow on top of their megaproject combinations

If megaprojects are so mega, why worry or care about small dealers? Why put development or sales resources into those areas when, as you say, Motorola is so much naturally stronger and more focused on smart city mega projects?

Again, I think they're looking long range.  Company is profitable, stable and with a product and IP suite that lines up very strong in Motorola's 25-year plans for smart city technology consolidation.  I doubt they'll even use that many cameras as part of projects they're not already teamed up on the first years.  It will be more about making the software IP tuned for their various currently major city clients, heavily integrating it for use in their city control systems and wireless transmission tech.  And they'll try and also sell Motorola solutions into existing Avigilon customers.  With cities, airports, hospitals, PD's, military bases, stadiums etc already using Avigilon, which of those wouldn't be interested in a fully unified solution of cameras, analytics, wireless, dispatch, control center and a big helping of future AI stuff?

A good cross-pollinating solutions sales team and those mega projects start getting rolled out as soon as some majors are proven with it.  Again...  I'm basing this al on very long range thinking.  Not this year or next.  My aforementioned mega projects are 2020 and later.   

It will be more about making the software IP tuned for their various currently major city clients, heavily integrating it for use in their city control systems and wireless transmission tech.

That sounds sensible to me.

It does beg the question of whether it places R&D focus/priority relative to products and features (like lower-cost cameras and recorders) that are more important to mass market sales.

Company is profitable, stable

Avigilon's profitability is heavy driven by them cutting costs hard over the last 2 years. The downside of that is that it has weakened Avigilon's once formidable sales organization.

Not to mention it has greatly weakened their support organization as well. 

A number of areas within Avigilon were weakened.

However, it was successful in Avigilon's immediate goal of maximizing their acquisition price. When the stock was beaten down to $8 per share, a major complaint was the lack of profitability. A key part of the recent share rise to ~$22 was Aviiglon's cutting costs across the organization.

Now, what will be interesting to see is how Motorola funds / budgets for Avigilon headcount. In the past 2 years, Avigilon headcount has been essentially flat, so they should be allowed to increase staff if they want to maintain their competitiveness.

Avigilon headcount has been essentially flat, so they should be allowed to increase staff if they want to maintain their competitiveness.

Especially if one of the things they did to cut costs and increase profitability was to let R&D go by the wayside, which I don't know if they did but suspect might have given some dealer's comments about some of the lines having gone "stale".

If product development stalls for a year Avigilon will die on the vine... the H4A line is aging rapidly, the multi-heads are the last H3 products, and the Pro series has stagnated for a while.

... It is sometimes a tactic of CEO's to boost short term profit results by cutting R&D, the affects of which can sometimes take time to become apparent but also have long term consequences.

John,

What are your thoughts on what Motorola paid for the company? The P/E is 51

I don't think the P/E ratio is that important for the deal.

The main reason for that is Motorola is making a strategic, rather than a financial, bet. If Motorola succeeds in transforming Avigilon into a smart city deep learning powerhouse, the $1 billion will be worth it. And Motorola does have contracts, relationships and infrastructure in place to pursue this. The risk is making Avigilon, a company today with few public surveillance wins into such a solution.

The other thing that concerns me is that Avigilon built a strong channel in the mid-market (not the public sector) so Motorola will have to try to maintain that while doing this shift if they do not want to burn Avigilon's main revenue / growth engine historically.

I don't think any of us saw this coming and no amount of aggressive research and speculation could have led us to this conclusion... Reality really is stranger than fiction.

What does this say about the state of the industry as a whole? Is everything bound to be absorbed by conglomerates sooner or later?

What does this say about the state of the industry as a whole? Is everything bound to be absorbed by conglomerates sooner or later?

It is a good question. I think it is more of a statement about how modern business is structured. Hard charging startups focus hard on building something new, making their customers and partners happy. The startup grows, it becomes a bigger business. While the startups founders get tired / desire a payday, the conglomerate sees the now big independent as a happy cog in their machine.

The cycle hopefully repeats since the conglomerate will almost always grind down the former startup, making decisions that prioritize the conglomerate's money making machine rather than their customers and partners (here's looking at you Tyco), allowing new startups to come along and take their place.

In some way, what is happening to Avigilon in 2018 is similar to what happened back in 2007 when Schneider bought Pelco, which helped clear the way to allow Avigilon to grow, though the Avigilon dealers surely hope for a better outcome than what happened to Pelco...

I wonder which takeover would have resulted in all positive comments.

having worked for AVO for close to 5 years I am happy so far with the news. I can understand where Motorola is coming from and the future will tell. The rest uttered here is 99% speculation.

The rest uttered here is 99% speculation.

It always is after a purchase.  Since purchases are so secretive and the reps have no details what the intentions are it's all we have to go off of.  The official statements are not reassuring as cited in the article and underlined.

And if they need to expand, they can load-up on pre-trained, experienced Avigilon personnel by buying IndigoVision.

Update: Here is the 101-page acquisition agreement between Motorola and Avigilon. Analysis to follow later.

Some initial highlights from the agreement:

Avigilon will have to pay a $38 million CAD ($31 million) termination fee if it breaks the deal, e.g. finds another buyer. However, that's ~3% of the deal price which is not much if someone was seriously interested in paying more for Avigilon.

The agreement confirms that Avigilon has been shopping itself to other suitors in this clause:

This was an open secret in the industry for the past year or more.

There is certainly a chance someone else tries to acquire Avigilon but given their efforts to be acquired recently, most likely suitors have already considered and rejected to pay that price.

Finally, a clause talking about hiring freeze for high pay roles while the acquisition is being finished, mentions that Avigilon is hiring a VP of Sales EMEA currently:

Dave Dalleske was most recently VP Sales, EMEA but he had recently been promoted to VP of Global Sales, replacing Ryan Nolan who previously had that role but was promoted to SVP Business Operations.

Out of interest any western companies still in this business

japan

china 

korea

genetec Canada 🇨🇦 

qvis uk 🇬🇧 

the worlds national security being handed over to Asia 

"Losers - Avigilon Dealers

Motorola Solutions focuses on selling their own offerings (e.g., radios most notably) direct to end users, as their website shows here:"

 

By this simple fact they were aquired how you came to the point all dealers MUST sell radios?

Attila, we are not saying Avigilon dealers will have to sell radios or any other Motorola products.

The point is the opposite - that Motorola itself, who regularly sells direct to end users, will sell Avigilon products to end users.

Sorry I was in between calls, and readed falsely, but the question is the same with the "new" understanding.

 

By this simple fact they were aquired how you came to the point all dealers MUST sell radios cameras?

 

Large deals are usually happens over distributors, they always had suffering things like this since capitalism is an existing concept.

all dealers MUST sell radios cameras

Again, not sure where you are getting that from or who you mean by 'all', i.e., Avigilon dealers or Motorola dealers.

Again, I am simply saying what their CEO and the deal presentation said, that Motorola will leverage their direct enterprise sales force to sell Avigilon products:

Might happen your interpretation or the lack of proper presentation of the acquisition leave a huge room for speculation. Regardless off the understandings I think if you say:

Losers - Avigilon Dealers

This is a general statement that avigilon dealers will lose. In any term any meaning they will lose. 

 

But who knows really who will sell what? In which size businesses and when. As I said. Large scale vusinbus almoat always happens between manufacturers and end users.

Interesting, but they are not known for their innovative spirit.

100% about the integration of body cameras to their radios. 

Didnt read the whole string, someone might have already mentioned,  but as someone who worked in Schneider Electric's Buildings Business on the Security Side, during the entire Pelco buyout and re-organization, Im here to tell ya, Avigilon and its dealers and customers will suffer from this.  A company that does only one thing, being acquired by a conglomerate that does many things, usually ends up in an organizational s***show.

 

Who here thinks Pelco got BETTER after the SE acquisition?  The same will hold true for Avigilon, mark my words.  And if Motorola finds it to be not as profitable as their shareholders (or CEO) likes, it will get re-shopped and re-sold, etc etc.

 

Avigilon will now be nothing more than a pawn piece to be moved around at the will of the player/s.  Gook luck on the R&D and innovating side, Avigilon. Hard to get funding for that when there are 2 dozen other divisions that have nothing to do with CCTV who are fighting you for the same limited funds.

You must have the lottery numbers I hope so. I was working at Pelco that time, and that is a totally different story as I think it is important to "divide" Pelco to 3: Pelco; SE aquired Pelco; SE aquired but verticalized Pelco. Things are changing, and the operation was totally different amongst the 3. We can have a speculation in any way, but the result will be driven by the motivation of the parties.

The Avigilon board on StockHouse has some entertaining comments from people thinking this will be the start of a bidding war for Avigilon:

I think Avigilon share holders, and several integrators, are in denial right now, hoping there is a better end to the AVO story than this.

 

Yeah,...........Ok.   So, lets take something that was really good, working fine, getting better and better every year, had a singular purpose and direction, was well respectedat a global level, employed countless numbers of American citizens, and was considered, at one time and by many in the industry, to be the crown jewel of the CCTV industry.

Lets take that, buy it out by a Mega-Giant, run by the French, based in Paris, and whose core business has nothing to do with Security or CCTV, cut off its R&D, split it up into smaller parts,  close its manufacturing doors in the US, lay off countless number of loyal and in some cases life-time employees, reduce its customer support funding and staff, move at least some of that manufacturing over seas to....where?.......China, and all to quantify something as "important" (comparative to the lives and customers impacted)  as shareholder value?

We should agree to disagree that the whole SE/Pelco experience was a good one for all concerned and to be emulated when and where possible.  The employees of Avigilon are, no doubt as we speak, are listening to someone, somewhere, saying that "Nothing will change and this move is really a good thing for Avigilon and its employees".

Time will tell either way.

"Time will tell either way." 100% agree.

On the other hand, I think nobody ever did something what SE and Pelco. It was the first mega CCTV acquisition. And we can have a hope the industry learned from the mistakes.

Reading thru everything it was said: "even in their announcement, is saying how they are going to directly integrate / offer Avigilon products within their broader portfolio."

The press release said:  

The company holds more than 750 U.S. and international patents.

“This acquisition will bring Avigilon’s advanced video surveillance and analytics platform to the rapidly evolving public safety workflow, while also expanding our portfolio with new products and technologies for commercial customers,” said Greg Brown, chairman and CEO, Motorola Solutions.

Maybe Motorola knows something about the patents and see's the real value hidden in the patent portfolio?

Maybe Motorola knows something about the patents and see's the real value hidden in the patent portfolio?

Maybe.  Then again, there is this statement from a investment management firm commenting on the deal:

Surely one point of concern who actually owns these companies

if Lenovo is the ultimate owner they will be looking at the very large scale and lucrative opportunities in china

which dwarfs any sales in the west

fitting a war on 2 fronts never easy

so they may just want to focus on domestic turf fighting hikvision

where overheads will be smaller and sales larger

will this be just another case of a Chinese manufacturer throwing its old partners under he bus

Lenovo has nothing to do with Motorola Solutions.  Motorola Solutions is a US company.  

Maybe Motorola knows something about the patents and see's the real value hidden in the patent portfolio?

IMHO, the greatest value Motorola could derive from the patents would be to sell them to a NPE, who would agree not to sue them, but would leverage them against anyone else that might pay up.

That way they get two things they don’t have today, cash and material impact to their competitors.

 

Yes, it was my distinct recollection that Schneider Electric also had a PR division which invested 18-20 minutes producing an announcement-day statement of similar content and with equally dubious results.  Pelco also had many patents.  Even though Avigilon was publicly traded, it was tightly-controlled and operated in a singularly-focused way much like a privately held one.    Like I said before, publicly-traded companies with many divisions function in a fundamentally different way than people realize.  With this merger, Avigilon dealers and, especially employees, are going to absolutely find that it most certainly will NOT BE business as usual.

Ironic is Motorola was acquired by Lenovo. A China based company.

Wrong Motorola. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorola#Split

Thank you,
I didn't know about the split.

I mean I'm just saying....

Major share holder

Blackrock  Inc. has known to publicly back the Chinese Party.  

Tin foil hats everyone!

Surprised no one has mentioned this possibility - perhaps Motogilon cameras become much more open with other VMS (actually integrating their analytics into other VMS, rather than relying on limited ONVIF connections).

The software doesn't seem to play at the true enterprise level, and perhaps it's easier / more profitable for Motorola to bring the cameras and analytics into other systems rather than hope for Avigilon software to get to the big time?

Surprised no one has mentioned this possibility - perhaps Motogilon cameras become much more open with other VMS (actually integrating their analytics into other VMS, rather than relying on limited ONVIF connections).

Exclusivity of features is what separates them from Axis and assists with VMS sales.  If they were to compete against Axis as an open camera company the camera product diversity does not compare well to Axis, who has niche products for everything.  They would become another commodity player.

This has a particular nostalgia for me, since I was a Printrak employee when (then) Motorola acquired Printrak (primarily for the computer aided dispatch business). More significantly, the "solutions" side of Motorola subsequently acquired Symbol Technologies.

Later, as the ups and downs of the phone side of the business went down, Motorola/Motorola Solutions subsequently spun off many of these acquisitions to concentrate on core businesses. (The fingerprint part of Printrak is now within IDEMIA, while Symbol and other enterprise-related business ended up with Zebra Technologies as Motorola concentrated on its public safety business.)

I wouldn't be surprised if Motorola Solutions redirects Avigilon towards more government sales. It still seems to view the market as (a) police radios, and (b) things that complement police radios.

I'm going take the contrarian route and say that this will be a good deal for Avigilon, it's resellers and Motorola (at least for the next 3-4 years.)

I believe Motorola's direct end user sales concerns are seriously overblown.  Most of these 'direct' sales are long term, negotiated, infrastructure (proprietary wireless) sales to municipalities/public safety entities with extensive service contracts.  There's no shortage of Motorola 'radio/device' dealers out there and they are almost universally uninterested, unwilling or unable to pull off enterprise projects for IP video surveillance systems. 

For Motorola to execute an end around Avigilon dealers to sell/install/support city wide surveillance systems they would require a massive, bottom line punishing investment in manpower and skill sets.  As a public company, I don't think Motorola would be willing to make such an investment in fixed costs.  I see it much more likely that the Motorola infrastructure sales teams work with preferred Avigilon dealers to get equipment specified and roll up projects as part of negotiated, long-term agreements with which they are so successful. 

On the commercial/enterprise side, I see virtually no conflict with Motorola's existing products/services/channels and Avigilon's.

On the downside, we can expect the usual consolidation in back office, manufacturing operations and possibly R&D.  This will likely result in slowing the pace of innovation in Avigilon video hardware products and some customer service hiccups but nothing like Pelco experienced.  While I agree with UI14 that the vast majority of acquisitions by mega conglomerates have been soul destroying 'sh**shows' (been there for three of them), there have been exceptions. 

For all the Schneider, Honeywell, GE, Tyco, etc acquisitions that have had the life blood squeezed out of them, there's a Canon that gives us hope.  In addition, Avigilon immediately becomes the networked video center of excellence for Motorola Solutions.  Many of the previously mentioned acquirers bought innovative, fast growing video companies to make up for their lack of internal development and/or loss of market share.  However, since they were mere rounding errors in the quarterly income statement, they soon became bureaucratic road kill, squeezed for profits and not viewed as a growth engine for the mother ship.  Even our beloved old Pelco made up less than 3% of Schneider's global sales at it's height.  Avigilon is closer to 8% of Motorola's global sales and has a faster rate of growth then the parent company which gives me hope for how Motorola handles Avigilon.  

Conversely, it's not hard to envision additional investments on the software development side as tighter integration with Motorola's infrastructure solutions as well as body cam and in-car video systems becomes a competitive differentiator.  And if Motorola's ultimate goal in acquiring Avigilon is to be the 'Safe City' company they will have to make regular investments in software development as well as acquiring key technologies in sensors, analytics and machine learning.  If so, these should benefit Avigilon and Avigilon resellers.

My biases include a long time admiration from afar of Avigilon, several of its key personnel that I've worked with at different companies and their successful, methodical global expansion.  Specifically, I admire how they executed with a high-end/high performance/high cost model when the market aggressively commoditized.  I admire how they protected their resellers/brand while the integrity of industry distribution channels became questionable (to be kind).  Finally, I'm still amazed that they succeeded with end-to-end, relatively closed systems when the industry screamed for 'open'.  True, the founder's deep pockets played a big part in helping them establish a beachhead where so many others withered and died but it also took some serious mettle and discipline to believe and keep at it until they became profitable.  I have not worked for nor competed directly with Avigilon.

Wow! You just wrote a piece that I was about to write (except last sentence)! Are you left handed too? LOL!

For all the death and mutilation speculators out there (went through the SE/Pelco nightmare so I get it), does anyone actually know the Motorola Solutions culture? What have they done with their other acquisitions in last handful of years? Have they buried them or built them up?

 

Well stated!  I think you may have offset my 20 alarmist posts.

I'm in the bidding stage of investing approximately $250,000 on an expansion project for a 75 camera system using Avigilon and replacing the head end of a 450 analog camera system with Avigilon. Then the goal is to have all analog cameras replaced with Avigilon IP cameras in five years.

Okay, what would you do? Go with it or look at something else?

Go with it. This doesnt change any of the reasons why you probably decided to buy it in the first place. The software is still fantastic. The analytics are still arguably the best. Motorola isnt going to spend a billion dollars to intentionally gut something this good or to destroy the legacy, and my gut says your integrator will fight for you if it is ever needed. Every Avigilon integrator I have met has been fantastic to deal with, there is a reason we are vetted before we can sell this equipment.

UE#17

* Disclosure I'm an Avigilon Competitor

One of the things Avigilon neglects to tell customers is their cameras are NOT supported by any other major VMS. This means you are going to have virtually no alternative but a full HW replacement should the company or product fail to meet your expectations, now or in the future

That may change, if Motorola indeed decides to open up the platform and work with other VMS companies. But that is a big "if".

Even if I did not work for a competitor - putting my consultant hat on, My advice would be to look at open architecture cameras and VMS for your project. 

That is untrue. I have avigilon cameras running on multiple systems from various manufacturers in my own office.

 

There is already enough uncertainty, there is no need to muddy the waters with untruths from competitors.

Read what I wrote again Armando - 

 Avigilon cameras are NOT supported by any other major VMS

This is an absolutely true statement. You can't call any of the major VMS companies for support on an AVO camera. They don't support feature sets of those cameras or any firmware upgrades. They don't support multi streams or motion vectors.

Congratulations on pulling a single stream from an AVO cam into a 3rd party VMS. We've done it too for a major customer that didn't have budget to replace those cams right away. 

But UE#17 is making a large investment in an Enterprise level system and will need to live with his decision well into the future. For you to suggest he move forward with zero knowledge of what the future holds for Motorola / Avigilon is disingenuous and self serving.

 

Milestone actually lists Avigilon as supported, officially, including substreams. Video Insight and Axxon list support. Not quite as major as Milestone, but not nobody.

That being said, I have not seen any third party support of the built in analytics. So if analytics are a major part of the Avigilon project UE#17 is looking at, future support should be a consideration. 

The problem for competitors is: Avigilon's on-board analytics have a much better reputation than others. A lot of cameras have on board analytics but performance varies widely and integrator favorability is nowhere near as strong.

Good information Ethan - I was not aware Milestone was supporting AVO cams.

With that in mind, I'll amend my previous statement that UE#17 would have an Alternative down the road, albeit a very limited one

I have pulled multible streams from Avigilon cameras and have motion working in other VMS solutions.  

I would agree if it was my project. It is not, so it cannot be self serving. I gain nothing from UE17 sticking with it or ditching this project. You as a competitor to Avigilon however, do have something to gain.

 

When was the last time you called Exacq for help with a "supported" camera that wouldnt work on motion detection? Happened to us last week. We, the integrator, replaced it on our dime after Exacq washed their hands and didnt even update the list of supported cameras. This is standard for any VMS manufacturer I have worked with.

 

It is not disingenuous. The product he is buying, from the integrator he is buying it from will not materially change between now and the forseeable future. To instill fear because of a condition that is mostly true of all VMS manufacturers is irresponsible. MOST VMS manufacturers will tell you to call the camera manufacturer for support. Making it bold does not make it a genuine statement.

Also, Do you know what the future holds for Genetec? Milestone? Any other VMS? Even being employed by one unless youre at the top of the food chain I doubt if you have the insight you're implying is needed to make a suggestion. By your definition making ANY suggestion is disingenuous.

Armando 

Given that you list only Avigilon (& Bosch) on your companies website under vendor alliances, that does make your reply self serving in that you would trumpet Avigilon in every instance

Unless you have a working crystal ball, You did Not provide an unbiased, consultative opinion to this End User:

"The product he is buying, from the integrator he is buying it from will not materially change between now and the forseeable future"

That is an incredibly irresponsible statement to make in light of this acquisition.

Also you appear to have overlooked the fact UE#17 said he is in "The Bidding stage" which generally means he's looking for quotes from multiple integrators. Again, you're projecting that whomever wins this bid would continue to support AVO long after the sell

He is looking at a 450 cam system which will be on his companies books at least 5-7 years if not longer. While I will agree no one can truly see that far down the road for any Manufacturer, You can only go on the facts we have today - which is Avigilon has been acquired by a major systems integrator and manufacturer and is no longer in control of their own direction 

 

 

Thanks for checking out the website.

Bosch and Avigilon are listed because they are the harder partnerships to acquire, however, on the video side we've worked with and continue to work with Exacq, Milestone, March, Airship (remember them?), NX, and a few others. We've also used a good amount of Dahua (unfortunately) and Uniview product. However, we maintain a manufacturer agnostic approach to the design stage. So if a client is a best fit for avigilon we absolutely sell them avigilon. If they are better suited to a simple NVR setup, we have no problems going that route for them, despite the major dollar differences. This generates a culture that serves the clients needs instead of any vendor minimums. I am clear with our vendors about this on the outset of any partner program. That said, weve had some large Avigilon projects so we are not at risk of losing our partnership. I am far from an avigilon cheerleader, I do like them very much and value my relationship with our rep... even though he and I have butted heads, he is an awesome guy to have on our side. However, compared to the other vendors I work with, avigilon always come through. Point is, we do not trumpet avigilon or any individual manufacturer, and especially not in every situation. We are firecely independent. Thanks for the opportunity to trumpet why my company is different than most. I do it at every opportunity.

 

As a side note, if this were bosch, or exacq, or any other VMS I would not have made the same reccomendation. This comes down to my experience with other avigilon dealers, not because of avigilon themselves. Avigilon partners (atleast the non-nationals) are a different breed and Ive not found a subset of our industry that has the same drive to satisfy a client, the same grit to simply get shit done and the same aversion to stagnation that I see in every avigilon partner Ive sat down with over the years.

 

You are right, I should have said "should not change". I, as you, dont have a crystal ball and cannot claim his integrator wont change, nor can you claim that any other VMS manufacturer is not going to undergo a sudden change.

 

I will never sell him anything. I dont know what market he is in. I wont see a dime or a potential for a dime regardless of what he chooses, and I have a record of being manufacturer agnostic to back me up. As a competitor to avigilon, you simply cannot say the same thing. I do applaud you for noting that in a disclaimer at the beginning of your post though.

 

 Edit: FYI, youre welcomed to call me since youve already been on the site. I enjoy a spirited discussion and am not blind to the fact that motorola does change things, and as Ive stated, we are manufacturer agnostic.

also, youve still not edited your intial response.

I would if I could - but IPVM only allows edits within a specific time frame of the original post. I apparently missed that window. I'm sure UE#17 will read Ethan's comment and my subsequently amended statement

There was the point I was going to make. The dealer network is very inclusive. Once you start a system with an Avigilon dealer, you are married to them. How do you feel about the integrator?

This is equally if not more important than the manufacturer question.

Also, while it is not the easiest to become an avigilon partner, there are almost always more than one in a geographical area, so they're not exactly stuck with them if the experience is bad. I know of atleast one end user who uses atleast three different avigilon integrators in our area.

"Once you start a system with an Avigilon dealer, you are married to them"

 

That is so not true.

To the person that disagreed.  If the end user is married to there dealer how have we be able to take over numerous other Avigilon systems over the years?  That statement is false. 

 

Because they will sign up a trunk slammer to convert an end user so they can then flip them to their regional kingpin. Maybe its a no-coast thing.

Does Avigilon list their dealers by location on the website?

One other thing Armando, you actually helped make my exact point with this comment:

When was the last time you called Exacq for help with a "supported" camera that wouldnt work on motion detection? Happened to us last week. We, the integrator, replaced it on our dime after Exacq washed their hands and didnt even update the list of supported cameras. 

Exacq is a perfect example of what happens to a good product when it's acquired by another company. They used to provide wonderful support and timely upgrades to their line.

Now?.... well let's just say you're not alone in your most recent experience. I hear it from their dealers and end users alike. It all started within months of the acquisition by Tyco 

To be fair, I disliked Exacq long before the acquisition because of this exact (pun?) thing. Its happened before Tyco too. They (were) based in Indianapolis, so I have lots of experience with them and Integral. Some of the original prototypes exacq built used capture cards I supplied. Never liked the software and always thought the support was overrated. It is however a workhorse VMS that has its place.

I have Avigilon camera tied into Milestone sites without issue.  No analytics, but that is to be expected.

No analytics, but that is to be expected.

Is it really "to be expected"? Considering how much Avigilon has put into promoting analytics, and claiming to be open.

 

claiming to be open.

Where do they claim to be open?  If you mean that Avigilon will gladly support third party cameras... sure, it's additional license sales.  No where do they claim analytics are open nor do they allow the Pro (e.g. 30MP) cameras to be supported on other VMS.  Exclusivity of features is part of their business model.

Avigilon has been preaching an open approach for several years.

Avigilon webpage on open-ness

ONVIF Spotlight Sheds Light on Avigilon's Open Platform for Integration

Avigilon dealers and sales people will tell customers they are not a closed system, they embrace ONVIF and openness, etc. In regards to the Pro cameras for a long time they claimed those weren't *really* closed, but that they did not trust other VMSes to handle such high resolution cameras properly, and they did not want to get the blame for those companies failing to handle high resolution video efficiently (believe what you want on that).

You are right, they really do not claim analytics to be open. They create the illusion that they are an open platform company and "get along with everyone", but the reality is that they do not. 

To my previous comment on this, I agree with you that it is "to be expected" the analytics would not work in Milestone, given Avigilon's true nature. But I do not think it is "to be expected" from a company that claims to "get along with everyone".

 

They support ONVIF. (Eye roll.)

Thanks for all the responses and dialogue. I'm in the casino industry and have been so for 27 years and have used American Dynamics from day one. That being said I've seen what has happened to AD since Tyco bought them and now a merger with Johnson Controls. I can only guess what may happen to AD down the road and it seems like it's starting already as I was recently notified that Tyco/AD will no longer provide tech support to the end user. I just don't feel comfortable going forward with them and that's why I'm looking at Avigilon.  

I'm also an end user and I feel your pain.

Lots of vendors in the WA area push Avigilon, but they have never interested me. I've been using OnSSI for over 10 years and every two years I get recertified on it which allows me to get full tech support. Luckily I don't need to call them much anymore. The only other VMS I'd consider is Milestone.  

Hello Undisclosed End User #17, For transparency, you may or may not know who I am.  I worked at Avigilon from 2011 to 2017 and many of our customers choose Avigilon because of the recorded video quality. My team and I installed Avigilon at quite a few Casinos.  Just thought you should know.

I am curious if you are using PTZ cameras in your existing Casino surveillance system? Are your operators happy with the PTZ control, regarding latency. Typically with an analog PTZ camera there is very little latency, you move the PTZ controller and the camera moves, making it easy to follow someone with an analog PTZ cameras.   With many IP Camera systems one of your challenges will be, how to deal with the "potential" of added latency with new IP PTZ cameras. 

I have personally seen Casino Surveillance Operators and others who routinely used analog PTZ cameras complain about the added latency controlling their new megapixel IP PTZ cameras.

I'm sure you have thought of this yourself, as you search for the right upgrade/replacement, challenge your vendor(s) to set up working system's at your Casino so you test and compare every aspect of the different system's performances. Look at the live video viewing and make sure to compare the recorded video quality. Do a side by side comparison of the latency in live camera views and the latency with PTZ controls. Then compare how long it takes each system to export a two hour video clip from multiple megapixel cameras. Do this same test for each system. In the end with all this added knowledge you can decide for yourself what is best for your Casino.  I hope this helps in your search.  All my best, Gary

Interesting poll differences, with 400+ total responses, just 11% of integrators say that the deal with help Avigilon's competitiveness but 26% of manufacturers do. So while overall both are negative on the deal, manufacturers are more positive than integrators. 

Ok, Avigilon dealers, don't aim your pitchforks at me but this is Motorola's CEO on the investor's conference call emphasizing how they are going to use their "large direct sales force that serve enterprises in the commercial markets, so it's got very attractive channel synergies" [emphasis added]. So at least according to their CEO, they are not just going to sell direct for military and government but for commercial as well.

So at least according to their CEO, they are not just going to sell direct for military and government but for commercial as well.

The more I think of it, the more this seems plausible.  For example, Lowe's utilizes Motorola wireless equipment, at least as of a 2011-2012 rollout.  It would be very easy for them to convince IT to take over security functions, particularly with Verint being the product deployed from what I can recall.  Essentially everything compares favorably to Verint.  I see this as being their likely target demographic.  It does not affect us greatly but is more likely to harm larger players like Anixter, Tyco, and others that actually provide the equipment currently.  This is likely true for many in this thread.

[IPVM Note: Avigilon Employee]

Can we think a little more critically here and be more consistent please?

First of all, no one knows the future of any company 5 years from now.  Who would have seen the almost complete departure of Dedicated Micros?  Or the train-wreck that was to become the current ONSSI post law-suit with Milestone?  Or in another industry - the complete demise of Motorola's cell phone sales in 2007 after being on top prior to that.  There are so many factors that will effect any company 5 years from now that are completely unknown to any of us.

Secondly, please be consistent in comparing apples to apples.  All of the "failed" acquisitions of security technology companies being used as evidence of the certain demise of Avigilon have been by physical security companies (i.e. Tyco, Scheider, etc).  The successful acquisition was done by a non-physical security company (Canon).  Motorola Solutions is not a Physical Security company.  If we are going to compare past acquisition history than this comparison needs to made to Canon and not to any of the others.  

Third - R&D.  Motorola has historically spent over 12% of revenue on R&D each year.  I'm sure that we can all agree that $900M is hardly a small pot of money from which to fund future R&D projects at Avigilon.  Let's remember that Motorola has the largest market share of public safety critical communication in North America and their goal is for Avigilon to also reach the top market share position and they know that will require R&D as well as not only continuing but growing even more in all the areas that have brought Avigilon to where they are today.  

Finally, go-to-market strategy.  Motorola has NOT said they are going to change Avigilon's go-to-market strategy.  They have never said that they will "sell direct" to anyone.  What they have said is that they will use their direct sales channel to bring Avigilon to their current customers.  That is, they have a team of 600 sales people customer facing on a daily basis.  Those 600 people will now be advocating for Avigilon with those customers.  This in no way implies a direct sale to those customers much in the same way that any manufacturer who pitches their product directly to the buyer is not conducting the transaction when that buyer decides to go with their product.  In essence, what just happened was Avigilon got 600 new salespeople who have over 1,000 public safety jurisdictions that they are going to try to introduce Avigilon to.  The result will be Avigilon's existing dealer base receiving gift wrapped sales - not being circumvented.  

Let's be fair in our assessment of this announcement on what is only the 3rd day since any of us became aware of it.  We will all see what the future holds in due time.  But if anything, my opinion is that the competition should be afraid of the money that will be infused into Avigilon's already impressive R&D as well as their increased exposure and that integrators who are currently Avigilon dealers should be excited about the potential for future growth and anyone who is not currently an Avigilon dealer would seriously consider trying to pick them up as a new product in their line.  

Thank you for some sanity!

Sounds like SOMEONE was at the meeting... :) grapevine corroborates for whatever unconfirmed value that has.

This entire thread starting at the top is speculative and unconfirmed and probably of little real world value no matter your point of view. It’s an exercise in trying to predict the future. Time will tell. 

The “sell direct” topic always raises the temperature and rightly so. If the avigilon partner channel is violated by direct sales of Avigilon product (transactions with an end user without a partner conducting the sale with profit), then there will be revolt. It is known Motorola solutions does this, but in a different and fairly specific markets. If Motorola’s sales force is used to leverage new opportunities for the avigilon partners, then avigilon partners should be pretty darn happy.

Motorola has their own integration group in-house:

rely on our experienced and dedicated team of project managers, engineers and service personnel who understand the full range of your mission-critical technology ‒ from infrastructure and devices to applications and software ‒ with proven capabilities and a disciplined approach to successfully integrate and manage complex projects of any size. [emphasis added]

I am sure the Avigilon dealer counter is going to be something like "well they are only going to install and integrate really, really big projects and never my jobs because they love me". And, as you say, time will tell but prudence dictates being concerned about them having their own integration group.

This might be the first time I've seen a post where I can't find anything to disagree with. What in the world is going on around here.

What they have said is that they will use their direct sales channel to bring Avigilon to their current customers.

I was thinking about this last night.  In the short term, this could be very good for current dealers.  If Motorola uses their current sales team to introduce Avigilon and bring in leads to dealers this could work out very well. Long-term who knows how this is going to play out.  

 

If Motorola uses their current sales team to introduce Avigilon and bring in leads to dealers this could work out very well.

Only if Motorola trusts Avigilon dealers, and they'll only do it if an incentive structure can be worked out. Otherwise, it's likely they won't bother. Those details can you harder to work out than it seems.

Why would they not trust the dealers which helped build Avigilon to what it is today?  Also, does Motorola have enough of an install team to replace all of the Avigilon dealers and be able to support all the currently installed Avigilon systems? 

Also, does Motorola have enough of an install team to replace all of the Avigilon dealers and be able to support all the currently installed Avigilon systems?

The real concern is not replacing all Avigilon dealers, it is Motorola picking and choosing which opportunities they want to take. Is a hospital fair game for Motorola to sell and install Avigilon? Is a city? Is a 100,000 person city enough? Does it need to be a 500,000 person city? etc.

Is it possible to create clear rules of the game where Motorola will never compete against traditional Avigilon dealers? 

Why would they not trust the dealers which helped build Avigilon to what it is today?

Example: You have a 15 year relationship with a client for your radio communications equipment that brings in half your six figure commission alone. Now you are asked to put that relationship on the line to ask the client to consider having an audience with a salesperson from the CCTV division who you don't really know or are familiar with, and about CCTV technology you don't really know anything about and maybe you never really trusted big brother, and your being asked to do it without any clear benefit to you.

Not only that, if your client does decide to buy a CCTV system, it might be done with funds that could have gone gone to buying more of your radio equipment, so your own sales to them takes a dip.

And what if that client decides he likes that CCTV person a lot, and he doesn't like dealing with two different people on this "converged" product line. Why can't he just deal with one person, and maybe that person isn't you!

--

Maybe Motorola will have a plan to mitigate that kind of scenario, but if they don't, it's not unlikely to occur, because I have seen to play out before.

On the Gov sales, Motorola is very trusted. If they offer a police department CCTV products, they will work with them. Motorola always finds the money too.

They are starting to aggressively push their Real Time Crime Center offering to the PDs. They have invested and work with Briefcam.  Genetec thus far for the CCTV component.

They are getting more into analysts and facial recognition. None of this comes cheap, but there always seems to be money for them. 

 

#20, thanks for the detailed feedback. I've added a note to your comment to clarify to readers that you are an Avigilon employee. To be clear, I welcome what you say but for fairness, readers need to know that relationship.

In terms of your pitch of 600 Motorola sales people to help sell Avigilon products and "Avigilon's existing dealer base receiving gift wrapped sales", that's interesting. I am skeptical that it happens that way (channel conflict and R&D reprioritization are offsetting risks) but it's certainly worth considering. Related to that, your marketing department refused on or off the record to make such a pitch to defend the deal. You should go back to them and ask them why you did a better job than they did.

As for failed acquisitions:

All of the "failed" acquisitions of security technology companies being used as evidence of the certain demise of Avigilon have been by physical security companies (i.e. Tyco, Scheider, etc). The successful acquisition was done by a non-physical security company (Canon). Motorola Solutions is not a Physical Security company

That's simply not true on multiple levels. Canon did have a video surveillance manufacturer / division. They were never great but they were a smaller existing player in the market. More importantly, even if Canon was not from the industry, the material difference is that they have left Axis and Milestone alone. Motorola has made it clear they will not leave Avigilon alone.

Another outsider company who bought video surveillance manufacturers was Cisco - Sypixx and Broadware and tried to merge them with their sales channel. It was a disaster. To be clear, Avigilon is a far better company than Sypix and Broadware, one of the best in the industry, but outside companies trying to incorporate even strong companies presents risks.

Again, thanks for the feedback. And, in all seriousness, a healthy Avigilon is good for the entire industry so I am not hoping Motorola screws it up but I think it is a significant risk.

Secondly, please be consistent in comparing apples to apples. All of the "failed" acquisitions of security technology companies being used as evidence of the certain demise of Avigilon have been by physical security companies (i.e. Tyco, Scheider, etc). The successful acquisition was done by a non-physical security company (Canon).

All I know is I have first hand experience in an industrial manufacturer not in the security market acquiring a security company and it failing miserably. They didn't understand the market, were used to dealing direct rather than having a channel, and their division heads refused to buy into the idea of having a security division, actually calling the security division "creepy". Time will tell, but I'm not holding my breath for good results.

Disclaimer: I do consider Avigilon a competitor product.

A proprietary product purchased by a proprietary company is a good match.

I knew that Avigilon would eventually sell but disappointed that it is to a company that sells direct.  Looks like our company is in the market for a new VMS.

Change is always good, for someone or others. I foresee consolidation to continue and eventually end-user shall have to choose from 4-5 top vendors if they are looking for an intelligent solution; else there shall be lots and lots of small fishes. Nothing in-between.

Most if not all product related responses have concerned the AVO cameras. Any opinions regarding the access control?

Any opinions regarding the access control?

Financially and strategically, access control has been a lower priority for Avigilon since they bought RedCloud access control nearly 5 years ago.

And, from Motorola's perspective for smart cities, smart cameras, deep learning and command and control software is much more applicable and widely used than facility based access control.

To that end, I would expect access control to continue to be a lower priority for Motorola / Avigilon going forward.

Related IPVM coverage: Avigilon Access Control 2017 Examined

Actually the last couple of ACC releases have added significant intergration with ACM.

Did not take long for other manufacturers to start capitalizing on this:

Maybe clever but Orchid is not really competition for Avigilon VMS + cameras + analytics. I am sure Uiterwyk will tell me off now...

With camera partners like Axis, a non-proprietary VMS architecture always wins making Orchid a formidable opponent to Avigilon.  Also, don't underestimate the demand of a Linux based VMS with CIO's.

Agree and disagree. There are enough respected brand name cameras that having an "end to end" VMS with cameras is probably not as important. Also, iPConfigure has a head start on a browser based interface, having been a mainstay for years, and that's where I feel a lot more security software products are going.

#22...I have found that, in most cities and towns, there is one "go to" person for radio communications.  That person has built up a personal relationship with the PD and Fire entities. That dealer has been there at 3:00 AM when the Fire department has a communications issue, or when the Police need to borrow an extra radio pre-programmed to work with their their system. 

If that Motorola dealer does not want to get involved with CCTV, it will be very difficult for another Motorola dealer to inject themselves into the relationship.  In spite of the public bid laws, these departments ensure that the dealer who has been there for them over the years is the "go to" dealer. 

It is a different story for very large government agencies, of course, where corporate Motorola can have influence on the CCTV segment, but as the old saying goes, "All politics is local"

Update: Avigilon shareholders approved the acquisition with 98% vote, now just final paperwork. Avigilon expects it to be completely closed in the next week, just in time for ISC West! :)

Motorola's EVP of Sales Jack Molloy did an interview this week about closing the Avigilon acquisition noting:

Avigilon historically has sold video solutions primarily to small and medium-sized businesses, Molloy said. Motorola Solutions wants Avigilon to continue this work, but a primary goal is to expose the Avigilon video solution platform to the public-safety and government customers that Motorola Solutions serves regularly, he said.

“That’s why they [Avigilon officials] said, ‘Wow, you guys [Motorola Solutions] have long-standing business with the U.S. federal government and have relationships at the state level and CIO level everywhere. You guys can really bring us into public safety, and we think we have the best solution for public safety,’” Molloy said.

In the NYC metro area have already seen radio dealers incorporating security in several municipal police departments and town facilities, so there is definitely some truth to what Molloy is saying.

whether or not government customers will benefit from this closed single source approach rather than integrating open platforms remains to be seen. 

Can someone give me an example in in the last 20 years where a large multinational corporation bought up a bunch of highly, but narrowly, focused smaller companies with the long-term intent on being "all things to all customers" -  and where it all worked out for the best and that global company actually became and retained their new found position as "all things to all customers"  I think even Apple, who has more resources at their disposal to try anything, has tried that and found it to be challenging. 

Cisco Systems would be the multinational that has had the most success in doing that  

Int #25, in which of the technologies they bought? It hasn't been video surveillance. In my opinion it hasn't been WebEx which I think doesn't work nearly as good as GoToMeeting. I don't know anyone who uses Cisco storage.

Over the past 20 years Cisco has done at least 100 major purchases of companies in a wide range of niches ranging from VoIP, wireless, small business networking, broadband, video conferencing, video surveillance, cyber security, cloud infrastructure, etc

 I know Cisco has made hundreds of acquisitions over the years. You did remind me they seem to do alright in VoIP and technologies that were already similar to what they do. Buy you said Cisco had success to making acquisitions that were being all things to all people, not just that they have made lots of acquisitions. And they have not been all successful. I've know professional wireless network installation companies that say while Cisco wireless is on for indoors, they are subpar for outdoor applications. They are bigger names in cybersecurity than Cisco. I'm not sure what product you are talking about in video conferencing, if it is WebEx, I already mentioned that and we agree to disagree, and I already mentioned video surveillance, which is the joke of the security world, so again, we agree to disagree. They have not had all or I think many successes, though yes they have had a few notable successes.

Or, as a shorter point or question,  in our business, is "All things to all people" a truly viable business model?  It has been our experience that just keeping the salespeople and technicians in the classroom as often as we need to to maintain quality in every aspect of what our industry touches is difficult and costly enough.   Metaphorically speaking, why do customers insist on having or seeing a General Practitioner to address a heart ailment instead of a cardiologist?   With all of these technologies changing and advancing at a very fast pace, and where technician proficiency is of the highest importance, is the value of one stop shopping really quantifiable or merely perception?

I agree. After all, isn’t the entire concept of “integration” based upon the practice of assembling best in class subsystems and components and creating an overall solution that provides maximum flexibility and customization and performance?

the “all-in-one box” , in my experience, is usually mediocre, proprietary and leaves the customer locked in with less options to adopt future technology as it becomes available. 

This is great discussion! 

When does simplistic system implementation and maintenance of an end to end solution out weigh the benefits of some sort of disruptive, unique, compelling technology that is a struggle to integrate and maintain? Or visa versa?

New Avigilon CEO video interview

Most noteworthy new comment made is that Avigilon is looking for a 'seamless experience' from video straight through to communications and devices first responders use. The latter is Motorola's core historic strength and implies deeper integration with that as a priority, which makes sense.

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