Axis Acquires Retail Analytics Developer Cognimatics

Author: John Honovich, Published on Jun 03, 2016

Two acquisitions in a week and the third in three months for Axis. At this point, it is pretty clear - Axis is on a buying spree.

On the other hand, they are buying pretty small companies.

In this note, we examine Axis acquisition of retail analytics company Cognimatics, looking at how this impacts Axis and the market.

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Outlook - **** *********

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Comments (15)

It's an expected news, and I fully agree with the sentence "The story here is not that they acquired Cognimatics but that they waited so long".

The question now is : what's going on with the Open Analytics Platform Program ?

For us as an integrator, Axis is a company we just don't want to deal with. They sell their cameras all over the place, tell customers to buy their cameras direct from other places and encourage them to install them themselves, and their expensive. I know we're probably a minority and there are lots of Axis dealers and customers. Just couldn't help throwing out what immediately came to my mind.

The other thing that came to my mind is, why was Axis buying them and not Canon?

The other thing that came to my mind is, why was Axis buying them and not Canon?

That part seems sensible to me. Cognimatics directly slides into Axis application platform, while Canon video surveillance does not have such a framework. Also, it seems to build strength upon strength with Axis rather than shift things under Canon direct. Related: Axis / Canon Conflict

"They sell their cameras all over the place, tell customers to buy their cameras direct from other places and encourage them to install them themselves, and their expensive."

Unfortunately, I agree, the margins on Axis products are slim simply because there is zero exclusivity or loyalty. However, they truly do make great products and I'm very impressed with their maneuvers as of late. This is one more purchase that I see as being beneficial to them if executed properly. In some ways the "open platform" nature of Axis has to be painful for them as they have had to neglect certain value adds so as not to tread on their partners.

The other thing that came to my mind is, why was Axis buying them and not Canon?

Because Axis was offering them a better deal. ;)

what's going on with the Open Analytics Platform Program ?

Jean-Baptiste, as an Axis partner, shouldn't you know? ;)

I passed that question along to Axis to see what they have to say.

One thing is clear is that the open platform, which I am pretty sure they will keep, is going to have to compete against Axis own analytics now (that includes Citilog, Cognmatics that they now own and Digital Barriers that they now OEM).

Rumor is Axis has been told by Canon to spend the cash that was slated for dividends on acquisitions to punish the firm holding the remaining stock.

That does not make sense to me. If they really wanted to spend cash, it would be a lot more efficient operationally to buy one big company rather than 3 little ones that now all require separate integration.

I do not know what Axis strategy is here, but it seems like a way of simply strengthening areas complimentary to their core business, which is weakening.

Like who and why? Their current approach gives them the much needed domain knowledge with limited risk.

...to punish the firm holding the remaining stock.

Elliot?

Correct. The idea is to limit the up-side for Elliot Mgmt to encourage them to sell their 10.9% of Axis stock.

Who would have thought that they were long term investors?

You would think they need the cash; surely there are other deals out there waiting to be held up...

I would just like to point out that it is incorrect to call it the Open Analytics Platform. This pre-supposes that all applications run on the camera will be analytics. The official Axis name for the platform is ACAP, or Axis Camera Application Platform, which is broader in meaning and more accurate.

To answer the obvious question about what other types of application there might be, I provide, as an example, our own TRINITY Direct To Storage system architecture, with it's COLDSTREAM application running on the camera, writing directly to our COLDSTORE storage hard disk array, thereby negating the need for an NVR and with a choice of third-party client systems (which include PSIMs).

There are other application types under development too (which I can't currently discuss), so do not assume that the only applications run in the camera will be analytics. They will be by far the most common application type of course, but not the only ones.

Just FYI: I represent, Veracity, the manufacturer of the TRINITY, COLDSTREAM and COLDSTORE products.

Financial numbers of Cognimatics

Financial numbers of AXIS

Andrius,

Thanks! If I read that correctly, Cognimatics' revenue is the realm of a few million USD, which would make sense to me considering they have a dozen employees and sell software only.

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