Cisco Restructuring Physical Security Business

Author: John Honovich, Published on Sep 17, 2011

After a rough 5 year period in the physical security industry, Cisco will be restructuring their Physical Security Business Unit (PSBU) that includes video surveillance and access control offerings. In this note, we share our findings from speaking to Cisco officially and to our sources.

Here's what we know:

  • Officially, Cisco will be holding a major presentation at ASIS on Tuesday at 8 am EDT at their ASIS booth that they say will unveil their next generation safety and security innovations.
  • Officially, Cisco is conducting layoffs throughout the company as part of planned, previously announced, cost reductions. Cisco would not comment about any specific cuts in the physical security business unit.
  • Our sources indicate that a majority of employees within Cisco's physical security business unit have recently been let go as well as the GM of the Division [Update: Cisco officially denies both claims]. We are told that this happened just this week. They believe that the business unit is being shut down.

Update: Cisco sent us a prepared response, which we have copied verbatim: “As part of our overall portfolio review process, we have made the decision to evolve our strategy in the physical security market. Cisco is not exiting the physical security market but instead will work closely with our customers and partners to accelerate the focus of our strategy on a solutions-led and services-oriented approach. We do not have any additional details to share at this time."

What does solutions lead and services oriented approach mean? It sounds like they may develop less of their own products in the surveillance market and take more of an integration approach. However, this is just a guess. We will need to learn more and report later in the week.

In a situation such as this, it is difficult to get an exact account. The company may want to obscure details. Likewise, our site has been a long standing critic of Cisco so readers should factor in bias or our desire to see this happen.

Besides Cisco's general market struggles and their inability to dominate physical security as they expected, Cisco has recently discontinued a large number of video surveillance products, including 1 of their 2 VMSes, the 2000 and 2500 IP cameras, SMB VMS software and a variety of SMB cameras.

Beyond that Cisco has often mentioned their desire to focus on markets that they are the top 1 or 2 suppliers in. For surveillance, they are nowhere close. They are not even in the top 10 for IP cameras and do not have a real offering for the VMS software market (their VMS is primarily a NVR appliance offering - see our review).

Update 9/19/2011:

Take a look at Cisco's booth design from the ASIS 2011 showfloor:

A few key things immediately are evident:

  • The slogan of "Improving Safety and Security Together" demonstrates the focus more on integration than on particular solutions.
  • The minimal role of individual products: On the right side, you see that IP cameras have a single stand and share that with video analytics.

Cisco seems to be morphing into more of an IBM style provider, with less and less of their own products and more of bundling third parties. However, just like with IBM, we question how succcessful this can ultimately be.

Update: See our interview with Cisco on their new strategy and the launch of their open MediaNet architecture.

2 reports cite this report:

Cisco Surrenders Access Control on Apr 11, 2016
After a history of errors, Cisco has finally raised the white flag in access. But in a smart move, they have partnered with a veteran access...
Winners and Losers Fall 2011 on Sep 25, 2011
Now that the dust has settled from the new announcements of the last month, we can better understand the impact on the overall video surveillance...
Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Directory of Video Surveillance Startups on Jul 18, 2018
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known entity...
Axis ~$100 Camera Tested on Jul 17, 2018
Axis has released their lowest cost camera ever, the Companion Eye Mini L, setting their sights on a market dominated by Hikvision and Dahua. Can...
Axis Perimeter Defender Video Analytics Tested on Jul 12, 2018
Axis 'high security' video analytics offering is Perimeter Defender, OEMed / developed with Digital Barriers. But how good is Perimeter Defender?...
Drops Dahua, Fenner Becomes ISS CMO on Jul 09, 2018
Hired to improve Dahua's miserable marketing just last year, Janet Fenner has quit Dahua, joining VMS manufacturer ISS as Chief Marketing...
UK VSaaS Startup Ocucon on Jul 03, 2018
Decreasing exposure to fraudulent slip-and-fall insurance claims and lawsuits is one of the oldest selling points of video surveillance for retail....
Digital Watchdog Low Cost 4MP Camera Tested on Jul 02, 2018
Based on member 4MP testing requests, we bought and tested Digital Watchdog's low-cost 4MP DWC-MTT4Wi to see how it performs in real world scenes,...
IFSEC Competitor The Security Event Launches, Same Week As ISC West on Jul 02, 2018
IFSEC is facing competition. Led by an ex-IFSEC head, partnered with mega-exhibitor Essen and hosted in IFSEC's old city, Birmingham, "The...
Panoramic Fisheye Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Oncam And Vivotek on Jun 27, 2018
IPVM tested Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Oncam And Vivotek 12MP panoramic fisheye cameras head to head, as shown in the test setup...
Snap Surveillance Profile on Jun 26, 2018
There are not a lot of video surveillance companies that survive 9 years with only one feature that makes their product stand out. In the case of...
OpenEye Apex VMS Tested on Jun 26, 2018
OpenEye is a US company, founded nearly 20 years ago. In the past few years, OpenEye has been one of a few VMS providers that have pivoted to being...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Directory of Video Surveillance Startups on Jul 18, 2018
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known entity...
Ladder Lockdown and Ladder Levelizer Tested on Jul 18, 2018
Ladders are a daily necessity for surveillance and security installers, but working on an unstable surface can be extremely dangerous. In addition...
FST Fails on Jul 17, 2018
FST was one of the hottest startups of the decade, selected as the best new product at ISC West 2011 and backed with tens of millions in...
Axis ~$100 Camera Tested on Jul 17, 2018
Axis has released their lowest cost camera ever, the Companion Eye Mini L, setting their sights on a market dominated by Hikvision and Dahua. Can...
Amazon Ring Alarm System Tested on Jul 16, 2018
Amazon Ring is going to hurt traditional dealers, and especially ADT, new IPVM test results of Ring's Alarm system underscore. IPVM found that...
Hikvision Wins Chinese Government Forced Facial Recognition Project Across 967 Mosques on Jul 16, 2018
Hikvision has won a Chinese government tender which requires that facial recognition cameras be set up at the entrance of every single mosque...
Installing Dome Cameras Indoors Guide on Jul 16, 2018
IPVM is producing the definitive series on installing surveillance cameras. This entry covers one of the most common scenarios - installing dome...
Security Sales Course Summer 2018 on Jul 13, 2018
Based on member's interest, IPVM is offering a security sales course this summer. Register Now - IPVM Security Sales Course Summer 2018 This...
US Tariffs Hit China Video Surveillance on Jul 13, 2018
Chinese video surveillance products avoided tariffs for the first two rounds. Now, in the third round, many video surveillance products will be...
Last Chance - July 2018 IP Networking Course on Jul 12, 2018
Registration ends today, Thursday. Register now. This is the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact