FLIR Acquires DVTel

Author: John Honovich, Published on Nov 30, 2015

Originally a thermal imaging specialist, FLIR is making a major expansion into 'conventional' video surveillance by acquiring DVTel. This is FLIR's second major acquisition in this space, following their 2012 acquisition of Lorex.

Inside, we examine the fit between FLIR and DVTel, share feedback direct from FLIR to us, and discuss how this impacts FLIR competitive positioning against Axis, Avigilon, Genetec, and Milestone.

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Comments (36)

How long before Genetec drops support for Flir cameras like they did for Avigilon?

FLIR is acquiring DVTel for approximately $92M USD in cash.

If I remember it correctly DVTel acquired ioimage for something like $70 - $80M several years ago.

I believe this is what you are referring to DVTel buys IOImage. See John Honovich comments.

Our coverage of the DVTel / ioimage acquisition is here.

The $80 million reported number was private stock, not cash. If that number is true, they clearly overpaid for ioimage but it is not as bad as if they paid them straight cash. However, of course, it hurt their own valuation. Since then, they got a new CEO and $9 million new funding and have restructured.

Equally importantly, DVTel did a terrible job of promoting ioimage. They acquired it and it largely disappeared, with poor sales effort and minimal development until recently (see: ioimage / DVTel Analytic Updates and DVTel ioimage HD Analytic Camera Tested). I do think it still has potential as there remains few robust analytic offerings.

It was very interesting to see how the solution partnership between VideoIQ and Flir disappeared when VideoIQ was acquired by Avigilon. I remembered they pushed the analytics and thermal camera solution fiercely. It will be interesting to see what Flir does with the new acquired analytics.

FLIR products have been used with IOImage analytics in several large deployments, as we have with most analytics products/brands.

[FLIR Regional Director]

Where?? If I may ask?

Wayne, of course you can ask. Unfortunately I can only say I was aware of a single site with over 800 channels in the utility industry.

Overall I think this is good for FLIR and good for the industry in general.

It will be interesting to see how much of an Israeli operation remains after the completion of the sale and integration. IMO, that is one of the biggest risk factors for FLIR, I could envision lots of friction in trying to integrate a West coast US company with an Israeli security company.

With this acquisition I think FLIR is in a much better position to be a true end-to-end product provider across several tiers of the industry. They have everything from entry-level product to advanced products. However I think they need to get a proper brand management consultant on board to really come up with a simple and logical strategy.

FLIR and DvTel have both historically been somewhat haphazard on their marketing. DvTel almost nonexistent, and FLIR having a variety of marketing campaigns in different segments that don't really fully tie together. They should retire the DvTel name (as well as Lorex for that matter) and come up with product line names that have some similarity among them (eg: name everything after a kind of jungle cat, not that I recommend that specific format, but as an example).

"They should retire the DvTel name"

Either you are listening to them or they are listening to you. From the DVTel website:

Whoa, that was fast.

Looks like they might not be half-stepping the merger like Milestone/Canon or similar. Could be full assimilation.

For sure, they were clear about that. The main questions are how quick and how tight the assimilation will be.

Can they make it seamless in their marketing, sales, documentation, support, etc. like Avigilon has? That's the bigger challenge.

LOL. Maybe it's "great minds think alike".

BTW, I just got an email from Sightlogix. I mostly forgot about them, but this merger can't be good for their prospects.

Related, do you think DVTel will keep OEMing DRS thermal cameras? :)

I was under the impression that was a fairly low volume enterprise. But, yeah, doubt the remaining DRS guys are too thrilled about this either.

Maybe overall this merger is BAD for the industry? A lot of collateral damage potentially going around.

Who else gets hurt besides Sightlogix and DRS? What's the other collateral damage?

They have some valuable parts but they still need to pull it together and plug the whole on the high end camera side.

Who else gets hurt besides Sightlogix and DRS? What's the other collateral damage?

Dunno. It was a joke. Maybe some rep firms?

Related, do you think DVTel will keep OEMing DRS thermal cameras?

If they were following the Canon acquisition playbook they would have named DRS 'Strategic Partner of the Year' by now.

Nah...

They would be on the phone with Genetec telling them how DVTel means nothing to them...

FLIR-TEL

FLIRitude VMS?

Flattitude by FlorexTel

Weren't they advertising for a head marketing guy just last month? I wonder if they found anybody, and what they're going to do now.

Consolidation was inevitable and is continuing. It's a good move on FLIR's part but maybe concerning to current DVTel dealers the Lorex off the shelf market. But as many have commented on a previous post, there's not much business for small-small business and DIY market where there's little to no money to be made.

I talked to FLIR about this dynamic last night. Unsurprisingly, they do not plan to make DVTel high end VMS available off the shelf or through distribution.

DVTel already had their mid or lower tier NVR appliances that were aimed for distribution though.

I suspect the FLIR / DVTel Latitude / ioimage combination will be aimed at the enterprise market, through dealers only.

The more I think about this, the less I like it. The field of independents is getting smaller by the day.

DVTel was an independent??? :)

DVTel was closer to a poor man's Avigilon - They sold VMS, cameras, analytics but without the brand nor camera range to really match Avigilon.

If Genetec gets bought, that's a whole other story.

Don't know about poor man's Avigilon. When we looked at the softwares, albeit superficially, it looked a lot more advanced and sophisticated than Avigilon's software. Don't know about the cameras though but yes, DVTel had a smaller range than Avigilon. But no one who makes cameras seems to have a version for every scenario.

Avigilon 2015 revenue is ~7x greater than DVTel's, despite them having the same basic go to market approach (end to end solution through dealers) and DVTel being at least 5 years older than Avigilon.

We can debate what causes that to happen but that's poor man in my book. Some of it is certainly more organized / aggressive sales and marketing but Avigilon clearly has a stronger end to end video portfolio that DVTel could not match across the board.

FLIR acquisitions over the years that I can remember ... Indigo, ICx, Raymarine, Directed Perception, and a software company out of Spain. I also remember working with some of the cameras from a company they acquired out of Sweden. Other than Indigo, I don't see a good end to end product that makes use of the various technologies from these companies. I'm sure Greg Cortina will disagree.

Ed, you missed a few. Trafficon, Mars, a thermal window manufacturer and Lorex. Each targeting a specific effort. Unfortunately I cannot articulate each acquisitions unique benefit to FLIR, but they were well thought out when you review our many business markets and globalization.

Hope to see you in San Diego soon!

Another FLIR advertisement / announcement:

FLIR has released a video about the acquisition. Interestingly, they position DVTel's VMS as world leading but ignore DVTel's cameras (which makes sense to us):

DVTel had been OEMing thermal cameras from DRS. Not surprisingly, FLIR is terminating that.

Oddly they don't have a direct replacement for the DRS standalone models, and instead require an additional encoder unit.

But FLIR was no doubt feeling the burn of writing checks to the competition.

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