Cisco Admits Failure, Partners with Pelco (v2)

Author: John Honovich, Published on Sep 20, 2009

Less than 3 years ago, Cisco threatened the physical security industry with disruption and innovation. Spending more than $100 Million USD, Cisco bought companies manufacturing video management systems and encoders as well as developing their own IP/HD camera line. Pundits predicted Cisco would crush the dumb security dinosarours.

Today, Cisco announces a partnership with incumbent CCTV leader Pelco. The Press Release frames it as a "co-branding" of Pelco's Sarix cameras with future potential for incorporating Cisco's "networking functionality" which seems to be basically an OEM of Pelco's Sarix line. This follows Cisco's partnership with behemoth security integrator/installer ADT earlier this year.

Here's the video of the announcement at ASIS:

Of course, Cisco did not admit failure - this is only my interpretation. Giant conglomerates do not admit failure but when you start off with plans to dominate an 'antiquated' industry and then a few years later decide to partner with the leaders of that industry, well then, you failed.

Earlier this year, we examined Cisco's struggles. Since then, Cisco has undergone an internal reorganization plus the CEO of 1 of their 2 video surveillance acquisitions, Pete Jankowski, left Cisco and has started a new video surveillance company.

While Pelco's partnering is a part of a coherent long term strategy of broad base partnering, Cisco's recent tactics are harder to understand. They obviously have a lot of money but they still seem to be trying to figure out how to be successful in video surveillance.

Update #1: IT analyst claims Cisco may buy Pelco (premium)

Update #2: Official response from Cisco below in the comments

Update #3: Examining Cisco's Defense of their Video Surveillance Strategy (premium)

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Impact ** *****

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Impact ** ****

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