Motorola Solutions Acquires Pelco

By John Honovich, Published Aug 03, 2020, 08:05am EDT (Info+)

Motorola Solutions has acquired Pelco, pledging to bring blue back and make Pelco products in the USA.

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3 years ago, America's Motorola Solutions had no video surveillance products, now it owns Avigilon, IndigoVision, and Pelco, clearly making Motorola one of the largest companies in video surveillance.

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But will it work? Motorola Solution's John Kedzierski, who runs their entire video security business spoke with IPVM about their plans (related, Motorola Solutions Speaks on Avigilon / Video Strategy). Inside we share his comments and examine the potential and risks of the growing Motorola video conglomerate.

Price *** *********

******** ****$*** ******* *** *****, * ******** of *** *******'* ********* **** ~$*** million ******* *** *** ****** **** what ** ********, ** ********* *** **** ** *** ** firm* ****** **** * **** ***, the ********* ******** *** *** ***** was ** *** *** $** ******* range. ** ****, **** ** ****** a **** **** *** *******, ******** Pelco **** ******* ** **** * solid ******. **** **** ******** *** financial **** *** ******** ***** ***** is ***** ***** ******* (****** ********** better ***** ***** ***** **** *********) and **** **** ******* ********** (**** Motorola **** ** ******).

******:

********, ** *** ** ********'* ****, ******** **** ********* ******* ***** Pelco *** **** **** *** ****. Motorola ******** ***** **** **** **** revenue ** ** ~$*** - $*** million *** **** $** - $** million **** **** **** ******** **** in ***** ****** ** *** *** of *** ****. **********, ***** ******* ~$200 ******* ****** *******, ***** * steep **** **** *** ***** ***** at $***+ ******* ****** *******.

****, ***:"***** ****" *** *****'* ** ****, A **** *** ********

Motorola's ******** ** *** *********** *** ***** *******

***** *** *** *** ****** ** took **** **** ******** **** ******** about *** ****:

  • ******** ***** ** ****** ** *****, positioning ***** ** *** **** ****** option ** ******** ** ******** *** IndigoVision **** *** ****** ** ***-**-*** offerings. ******** **** ***** ***** ************* back ** *** ** / ***** facilities ********* *** ********* *****'* ****** lines, ********* ********** ******** ********** **** as ***** *********. *******, *********** *** ******* ***** ******.
  • ******** ** ******* *****'* *****, ******* Pelco's ***** *** ******** **** ** having *********** *****.
  • *********** **** ** *********** ****** *** 3 ************ - ********, ************, *** Pelco. ******** ********* ******** **** **** increase ********** *** ********** *** **** of ********** *** *** ********. *** goal ** ** ********* ********* ********** and ******** ** ***** ************** ******** across *** ***** *********.
  • *** ********* ***** **** ****** *** continue, **** ******** ******* ** ******** technology ****** ***** *****.
  • *****'* ***** ************ *** ************ **** remain ******** **** ********.

Comparables *** - *********, ***/****

*** ******* ** ***** ********* ****** out ******** *********** ** ***, ** least **** ** ***** ** *** future ** *** ******** **********. ***** Honeywell *** ***/**** *** **** **** well *********** **** ***** ************ (*.*., Exacq), *** ******** **** ** ** drained *** ********** ** *********** ***********.

***** *** ****** ***** ** ********* Electric ******* * ******, ************ * ****** ****** **** a ******* ****** *** **** **** 90% ** **** **** ***** ** acquire **.

Potential *** ***** ****

**** ****, ******** *** ** **** for *****. ** *** ******** *** managed ********'* ******* *********** ****** ****, a **** ****, ****** **** ******** about ********'* *********** ******** *******.

*** *****, ******, **** *** ** good ** **** ***** - ***** needs ********** ** ******* ***********, ****** production **** ** *** ** (***** Pelco *** **** ****** ***) **** generate ******* ********, ********** **** ****, and **** ********, *** **********, *** help **** **** *****.

Executing ********** ** * ***********

*** *** ****** **** ** *** well ******** *** ******* ******** / integrating *** * ***********. ******* ***** this ** ****. ** *** ***** hand, ********'* ***** ************ ******** ** run ** ** ********* *** *** been ** ******** *** ****** **+ year ****** *** ******* ** ** engineer, ****** *** *** ****** *** experience ** ****** *******.

*******, ********* **** ** **** ******* there ** ** **** ******* ******* the * ********** ** *** ********* is ******** *** ********** ******* *********** the ****** ****** *** ************* *** struggling ** ******* *** **** **** multiple *********** ******** ******* ** ******** a ****** **** ** ***** ***.

More ** **** **** ********?

******** ********** **** ****** ** *** video ************ ****** *** **** **** would ******** ** **** *** **** to **** ***** ******** *********** *** inorganically.

Vote / ****

Comments (110)

And I though I made too many bad impulse purchases when tipsy.

Go home Motorola, you're drunk.

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Anybody taking bets on Panasonic?

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bets on Panasonic?

Panasonic still has a 20% ownership stake by Panasonic and is owned by a Japan private equity firm (see Panasonic Sells Off / Spins Out Security Business). Because of that, I think that type of deal for Panasonic is unlikely.

I almost thought of making a list of what companies that were big in the 2000s Motorola could take over next.... Who owns Dedicated Micros? ;)

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Lenovo & Panasonic Team Up For All-In-One Video Surveillance Solution – channelnews

That's really nothing too impressive. Basically Panasonic is using Lenovo to build a tower NVR. Everyone else, including Panasonic, uses Dell for most of this. Lenovo is an interesting choice for this considering all of the issues surrounding China at the moment.

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Pelco - Made in the U.S.A.

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Are you saying this would be the pitch for Pelco after Motorola takes over manufacturing?

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Motorola clearly intends to market Pelco as made in the USA after they bring manufacturing back to the USA. This element sounds straightforward.

Pelco shut down their Clovis, CA manufacturing in 2017. I searched YouTube for a video of the factory but couldn't find one. It used to be quite famous, with them doing ongoing tours (never went) including by way of the Pelco jet (also never went).

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This could be a good thing for them. If they can rebuild the brand to the point where Pelco is a viable option for secure facilities, they could very well own the entire federal and local government space by virtue of being built in the US. And of course Motorola has plenty of experience selling to Uncle Sam. But of course they have a lot of catching up to do, thanks to the mismanagement of Schneider.

Avigilon can focus on the private sector and IndigoVision can be their SMB brand.

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#2, I agree about the potential for the Pelco US sales side, though IndigoVision has never been an SMB offering, so I don't see it becoming one now. IndigoVision historically has been enterprise focused but originally more for UK analog centric systems (low latency PTZ control, distributed recorders, etc.).

Honestly, Motorola could just simply rebrand some Avigilon cameras as Pelco, I am kidding, I think.

I am curious what expertise Pelco still has on the PTZ side, an area where they were once dominant. While obviously much a smaller segment today, that could help Avigilon / Motorola overall.

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Honestly, Motorola could just simply rebrand some Avigilon cameras as Pelco, I am kidding, I think.

This actually could be an option. They could simply rebrand the same camera under multiple lines with minor differentiation like the Ford/Mercury/Lincoln or Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth model. Pelco could be their product available through distribution while Avigilon is their direct to integrator product. The Cadillac Cimmaron of the future.

How many VMS does Motorola now own? 3?

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How many VMS does Motorola now own? 3?

Yes, that's a good point, 3. Motorola did talk about centralizing engineering and finding commonalities across the VMSes for efficiency gains, etc. This is one part that I find particularly challenging. It's hard to develop / maintain multiple VMSes since they are so complex.

Qognify must be feeling good about this, lol!

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I was also thinking about the distribution side of things. Curious if Motorola will allow Pelco to remain using independent rep firms or morph them into a similar model as Avigilon with all reps underneath their company name? If they did, I wonder if they'd be willing to have one side of the company running direct like Avigilon, and the other to move underneath the Axis and Hanwha model of the traditional distribution channel?

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The Cadillac Cimmaron analogy was not lost on me and is a brilliant comparison.

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For those like myself who do not know what a Cadillac Cimmaron is, from Wikipedia:

Produced solely as a four-door sedan, the Cimarron used the GM J platform, with counterparts from Chevrolet, Buick, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac. In what would be among the controversial examples of badge engineering in the American automotive industry, the Cimarron shared much of its exterior with the Chevrolet Cavalier (which was marketed at half the price of the Cadillac).

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Not going to lie, I had to look it up. :) For those who want more color.

Cadillac Cimarron - Wikipedia

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Then there was the Cadillac Catera

”Remember Lease a Catera”

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Lisa Who???

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Not going to lie, I had to look it up. :) For those who want more color.

It's a spot on comparison, no? Badge engineering at it's finest. I would bet money that in 5 years IPVM is tearing apart a Pelco camera to see who actually made it like the old Interlogix/Truvision/Hikvision teardowns.

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This could be a very logical move if the Pelco brand still creates warm and fuzzy feelings in the FED/SLED space where MSI is already very active. Also, don't forget about the body and dash camera company that they acquired last year out of Allen, TX when thinking about their surveillance portfolio.

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don't forget about the body and dash camera company that they acquired last year out of Allen, TX when thinking about their surveillance portfolio.

Good point. I did not mention them since they are more complimentary to video surveillance, though see Motorola Acquires Watchguard, Motorola Acquires VaaS / Vigilant LPR

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I, too, was going to remind you about watchguard. We learned about the Pelco purchase from our Watchguard engineer as we are literally doing our rollout of watchguard this week.

John, I do not understand why people (not just you, our Police Chief and other public safety folks as well) consider body cams, car cams and interview room systems as a separate compliment to cctv systems rather than a specialized subset of cctv. These systems are composed of the same components as a standard cctv system cameras, DVR, VSAAS/VMS, network connectivity, local/cloud storage. I see no real distinction except for use case.

I am asking in all sincerity. I would like to be educated as to what I am misunderstanding here.

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I do not understand why people (not just you, our Police Chief and other public safety folks as well) consider body cams, car cams and interview room systems as a separate compliment to cctv systems rather than a specialized subset of cctv.

It's a good question and I don't have a philosophical position against body cams. It's simply been practical. When we have covered body cameras, interest in them has been very low so we decided to spend our resources in areas where we see greater overall engagement. Even Axis body camera announcement had a negligible impact on our members / readers.

I think it's because most integrators do not sell body cameras and most end users do not use them (though, of course, the small number that do, buy and use a lot of them). Does that make sense?

Also, things change over time. If we see more interest in body cameras, we will cover it more.

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Around 10 years ago I was selling body cameras and the public sector customers would buy them, use the docking/downloading stations daily, but the work flow for looking at the video was not really decided on or discussed. They simply had bought them to check a box, but there was not a plan for internal ownership of the units or data from them.

The private customers who bought some, casinos and a few other industries, had a specific goal in mind like customer service and security interactions or to be used to verify processes were preformed during repairs. These customers had a clear plan for the ownership and wanted to use them in conjunction with their other systems, but at the time these units could not easily integrate into the rest of the CCTV technologies.

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Because every field has a lot of unspoken assumptions and conventions. Some practitioners have the mental flexibility to think outside the box, but trying to work outside the limits of their professional expertise makes a lot of people uncomfortable.

In this specific case, physical security practitioners are used to mounting cameras on, in, and around a structure. This lends itself to certain assumptions: that you're going to have a constant and uninterrupted source of power, that you can have all the storage space you can pay for, that the data can be sent to that storage space as soon as it is generated, that the field of view doesn't really change that much, that a camera can almost always be mounted out of the way where it won't be damaged, that image quality can be sacrificed for storage efficiency, that audio is usually not used, and if it is, that syncing isn't really critical.

None of these assumptions are true in body cams or car cams, and only some of them are true in an interview system.

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The underlying current there is that it could improve Motorola's existing Access Control products and sales. Pelco leadership was AMAG's leadership 12 months ago.

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The underlying current there is that it could improve Motorola's existing Access Control products and sales. Pelco leadership was AMAG's leadership 12 months ago.

I thought all the Schneider Electric access control products (Continuum, Access Expert, Security Expert) remained under Schneider Electric when Pelco was sold off.

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They did. Pelco's leadership came from AMAG last year. Pelco CEO Out, New CEO Found

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I heard that Takahashi is out?

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Motorola and Takahashi declined to comment but various sources say that Takahashi will be leaving.

It's got to be at least a minor win for him, in that he successfully lead it to be acquired at a premium. And it's understandable that now that Pelco is part of Motorola, they do not need a CEO for Pelco.

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Takahashi is now the CEO of the Netwatch Group:

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Our prior coverage of Netwatch here.

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It's a good thought, they should have some more expertise in that area. However, both companies are using white labeled hardware currently (Mercury and Feenics), and neither of their systems invoke any kind of innovation. They pretty much just do everything that everyone else can do as well, without anything unique. As was the case for AMAG. I worked for a company that sold AMAG and to say it left a lot to be desired is an understatement.

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After many failed attempts of purchasing their products in the past 10 years there is too much of a bad taste for Pelco. They have literally burned anyone who has used their products in that time. How can anyone even consider trying to get back on the Pelco band wagon again. Fool me once, fool me twice, fool me thrice.... this keeps on going like the energizer bunny.

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How can anyone even consider trying to get back on the Pelco band wagon again. Fool me once, fool me twice, fool me thrice....

Well... our industry is not known for learning lessons.

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While I certainly understand that thought, would you decline a project if it was PELCO and handed to you?

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can anyone say GE

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Lol, I forgot about GE, it's been more than a decade but if you want an example of a failed conglomerate/rollout, see GE Security, related IPVM 2009: GE Security's Problems are Good for the Industry, in which I said back than:

In video surveillance, GE has very little advantages in IP video. A below average hybrid DVR, limited selection of IP cameras, the failed Covi HD product offering, and VisioWave's IP software (once promising but now stunted).

Indeed, the lack of strong product development certainly contributed to their problems. And now, it will cripple efforts to re-build the division for the purchaser.

And who was the purchaser? UTC, another sad story with Interlogix shutting down recently.

However, I will say the clear difference between Motorola / Avigilon and GE back then is that Avigilon has competitive products. So long as Motorola can keep that up, I think overall they will do well. But if Avigilon / Motorola starts seeing major defections on the engineering side and downtrends in product development, that will be of serious concern.

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I believe Pelco is purchased to offer Honeywell and the like US manufactured cameras, while avagillon will offer end to end solution. As for IndigoVision, they were one of the pioneers in ip video.

inthe late 90s I used IndigoVision Cameras and encoders/decoders at a time no one had them. Baxall a defunct uk camera manufacturer used IndigoVision technology and incorporated in encoders into their cams. Probably that’s the main reason behind IndigoVision acquiring.

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But, Pelco doesn't manufacture any of their cameras any longer. Every one of their cameras are OEM'd from elsewhere

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Motorola's response:

Pelco leverages third parties to manufacture their cameras based on Pelco designs and specifications. Motorola Solutions video security business has extensive internal manufacturing capabilities and we will work to leverage that across our video business.

Btw, from our testing, "OEM" is not an appropriate description, this is not like Honeywell relabelling Dahua or Vivotek, Pelco has their own firmware.

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Contract manufacturing vs labelling a white boxed product , have anyone visited Apple factory ? Contract manufacturing works especially for technology products to keep the company agile , not sure if setting up a fancy factory in the Texas and wishing the president bans foreign products is the right plan

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not sure if setting up a fancy factory in the Texas

Point of fact, Avigilon has had a Texas factory for years so no need to set one up. I agree if they were starting from scratch that would be an issue but they are not.

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Btw, from our testing, "OEM" is not an appropriate description, this is not like Honeywell relabelling Dahua or Vivotek, Pelco has their own firmware.

Im not sure that's an advantage lol. Pelco sucks so bad. Their cameras were poor performers compared to most competitors. I do hope they could revive it but its going to take some phenomenal product development to get that going. Definitely an uphill battle.

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Lol, that's quite the comeback, you'd be better off OEMing...

I don't recall all of our Pelco test results, though the most recent one, the since discontinued Huawei powered 4K line (Pelco GFC 4K Dome Camera Tested) was mediocre.

My impression, on the Pelco side, was that they were very resource-constrained. Imagine an organization that for years, every year, had fewer people in product development.

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Pelco was beaten badly by Schneider Electric for over a decade, transforming a market leader into a company dumped for less than 90% of what they spent to acquire it.

Weren't they acquired for 10% of what they spent to acquire it?

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Congrats to Kurt Takahashi. His first clean up for sale was a success.

I believe it will be two brands, Avigilon and Pelco within 24 months. That would make sense.

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I say drop the name and fold Pelco into Avigilon/Motorola's overall solution. Like John says, its not a good track record of big companies managing competing products. I can date myself back to the first failures associated with GE buying Casi-Rusco and Infographics or IFS and Fiber Options and marketing them as competing companies. Let's face it, Schneider wrecked the Pelco name and brand. Pelco cameras were good but they were never great. We integrators sold them because of the support and how well Pelco took care of issues and its partners. That reputation and the people that built it are long gone. Pelco started as a metal bender and perfected the manufacturing of camera mounts and accessories. There's still a market for this and bringing the manufacturing back to the US is a good thing for the quality. Pelco's downhill spiral began when they entered the IP market too late and the wrong strategy with Endura. The name and product don't carry the same weight and reverence it once did, sad but true. I would challenge Avigilon to really evaluate what they bought and simply bring the products together under one offering. There's enough IP cameras in the market! Quit holding on to a name for nostalgic sake.

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I agree with you in concept, but if Motorola sunsets the Pelco brand, what did they really pay $110M for? Some ODM (not OEM) cameras, and some VMS software that frankly isn't all that compelling? I don't think Motorola was lacking in cameras or VMS options, especially after the IV acquisition.

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I would push the specifiers again, "must be 100% compatible with existing". It does clearly offer a market to the non partner customers as well.

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They spent on brand and customer base. There's still a lot of Pelco customers out there that can be sold new Pelcovigilon cameras or other Motorola offerings. How much is that worth is debatable but I think Motorola is in a good position now to win those.

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Agree with this point 100%. Motorola has a lot of cross sell opportunity with traditional radios, CommandCentral Aware, Computer Aided Dispatch, Incident Management, Analytics, and etc.

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There's still a lot of Pelco customers out there that can be sold new Pelcovigilon cameras or other Motorola offerings.

Enough to justify a $110M acquisition price, plus whatever additional investments Moto makes?

It's been just over a year since Pelco sold to Transom for ~$50M. Now it's worth arguably 3 times more ($110M acquisition, plus another theoretical $40M additional investment)? Nothing has really happened with Pelco in the last year (understandably, you can't change a legacy organization like that in a year).

Pelco has been in a steady decline for a decade, I am not sure there are enough Pelco-loyal customers out there for Moto to scoop up half a billion in new business (eg: a roughly 3x return on their $110M investment + plus additional funds committed).

I don't see the math on this one.

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They bought a brand name they can leverage into government space since its STILL in tons of bids and specs. Indigovision was likely mostly engineering purchase and casino customers mostly.

My prediction:

Avigilon VMS (merge all software team and steal any needed features from the others) one team , one VMS. However they rebadge Avigilon with a new GUI as Pelco. 3x VMS is a death sentence. one code base with GUI changes is easy.

Cameras: Made in the USA Pelco/Made in the USA if needed Avigilon, AND separate low cost Pelco camera line for price points (with big name brand as a bonus!)

Servers: at some point they ditch rebadged high priced Dell and build their own. (they ARE motorola and now have Pelco side also!)

Avigilon= direct to integrator

Pelco = distribution

Motorola = whatever it takes to win end customer (direct, integrator etc)

so they can say they dont sell direct AND sell direct and win both sides.

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Does Pelco still hold a lot of patents? Or are they all kinda useless now given they may be analog based?

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Neither Pelco nor Motorola have given any indicator that patents are a key driver in the deal. Motorola did mention brand and customer base as two major factors and I think those are legitimate.

To Karas's point, the question is whether those things (plus Pelco product) are worth $110 million. I want to see how they execute on this, as they now have a lot of moving pieces they need to work through.

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Why pay 100 mil for it and the to fold it ?

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That brings me back to the question of whether Pelco has IP that could be valuable to Motorola?

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Way to go Kurt! Now you have capital to rebuild a brand.

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I think it would be good if they can sell Pelco if manufactured in the US without the dealer requirements that Avigilon has. Would be a good product(hopefully) to point customers towards when discussing ban compliance.

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sell Pelco if manufactured in the US without the dealer requirements that Avigilon has.

That's an interesting point, Steve! I am curious where Motorola take Pelco in that regard. Asking out loud, would that reduce Avigilon's competitiveness if Pelco had similar cameras to Avigilon that could be bought without restriction?

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I think that's a super important question. I don't think the customer base and dealer base that sells Avigilon are overly focused on or drawn to the brand because of incredible cameras (not to say they aren't incredible), but instead because they are a complete solution and their software is viewed so highly. Pelco on the other hand has an awful and antiquated software in my opinion. So don't see much draw in putting a great camera on that type of software.

Alternatively, I think what would reduce their competitiveness if they were to gear Pelco towards highly open platform solutions the way Axis and Hanwha do. Doubt that they would do that, but just not sure what other ways they go to market with those two brands?

I think all of the investment is geared towards owning the government verticals. Being able to take over legacy Pelco and spec'd new with Pelco or Avigilon.

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Pelco on the other hand has an awful and antiquated software in my opinion

Kyle, they do have VideoXpert, whether it's awful is opinion :) but they only started developing that one 5 years ago. Indeed, ironically, Transom viewed that as core to Pelco's offerings where Motorola (and most historically) understandably see cameras as the core of Pelco.

Pelco also previously had Endura and Digital Sentry but those are well either or both awful and antiquated...

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Would be interesting to see Pelco be leveraged as their open platform option with US based production. That’s enough to make me seriously interested in becoming a Pelco dealer.

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How do you define open platform in terms of cameras? Avigilon is already open platform by most definitions and the drivers are built on ONVIF. There is certainly an end-to-end offering, but many end users utilize Avigilon cameras with another VMS, or combine non-Avigilon cameras with ACC (Avigilon’s VMS). There’s no requirement to use Avigilon cameras with ACC and the cameras are not “closed”. I am just curious what you see as the difference between a potential “open platform” Pelco brand and the existing Avigilon/Motorola offering.

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Yeah, that's an important distinction. I'm not saying they're completely closed or proprietary, but using ONVIF profiles as the only source to draw in other cameras is pretty limited. Assuming ONVIF becomes more robust moving forward, it will certainly be a great way to do that, but if you are using any kind of analytic camera, then SDKs still seem to be the industry norm to draw them in completely. So, I'm more referring to the types of partnerships that you see when a camera company and a VMS company find it mutually beneficial to support one another's product by drawing in the advanced feature sets the way Axis or Hanwha and the like work with Milestone, Genetec, Salient, Etc. I'm not saying I love that standard because there are definitely gaps that can exist when a new product is released, but it's just more robust than pulling in ONVIF profiles.

I had an experience where we tried to move a VMS from Salient to Avigilon, but all of the cameras were Hanwha. What was communicated to us was that most of the cameras should draw in being able to do basic motion and 30fps... But different analytics offered in the Hanwha cameras that were already installed wouldn't work, and that some of the models would only draw in with MJPEG. We ended up not moving forward with that switch because of that.

So, I'm really just curious how these things will pan out. Avigilon may be setup well for the ONVIF meta data profile to become the industry standard. I don't really know what Pelco has historically done with their cameras and VMS relationships? So just interested to see where they align them with Avigilon and where/how they differentiate them.

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To clarify my first post. I didn't really mean to imply that Pelco is currently "open platform" as I'm truly not familiar. I more meant to say I wonder IF they'll leverage them as such and focus more heavily on the camera integrations.

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Open platform is more than just a product. You open the product to others, with defined and specific differentiation.

Design for the top tier and reduce features or toss in a specific channel feature. It's easier to remove features than to add them, although the support costs can be hardware intense for that option.

This also allows mobility among customers between the same manufacturer and it allows product management to garner innovative ideas from a cross platform of input.

Does it create challenges? Yes.

I have worked for manufacturers that sold direct to some large end users because that was the only method acceptable to them and they became a large installing company for just their locations. This same manufacturer had a GSA Schedule to sell to the government as needed, resell through GSA dealers as needed, sold through limited dealers direct AND still sold products through distribution WHILE having some products available to specific dealers STOCKED at distribution.

They made it work!

I had 3 dealers in the same zip code that were significant. Combined they made up at least 40% of my entire region. They NEVER bid against each other because they chased different customers.

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I agree from an end user side. If I could get Avigilon analytics performance in our Genetec environment that would make Pelco very appealing when compared to Axis.

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Correct me if I’m wrong... but I’m sure there was some sort of agreement between AVI and Genetec to allow sharing analytics information?

im sure I saw a combined technical/press release.

pro cameras are definitely compatible and the new H5 Pro is supposed to offer a lot more!

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We can confirm that Genetec Security Center supports Avigilon analytics though ONVIF. This only became available in 2019 when Avigilon opened analytics integration to third party VMS.

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Is that also when Genetec stopped charging extra license fees to use Avigilon cameras?

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I do find it amusing that Schneider Electric was taken to the cleaners for a 2nd time in the Security biz. Bought Pelco for $1.85 B, Sold Pelco to Transom for +- $50mm, and 1 yr later Transom sells Pelco to Motorola for $100mm. Obviously, the last transaction was meaningless in the whole scheme of things. The ride from $1.84B down to $50mm is legendary.

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Probably lesson is to invest in transcom :)

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What's the amalgamated name we will be using for the next 3 years until some of these brands are wholly just Motorola? I propose Peavigirola, Peareola, or Mopelon Vision.

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As an ex AVO/MSI employee I don't see this fitting much into any of Avigilon's strategies and they will have to grow their product management team significantly to be able to manage this amount of products even with existing staff from the other companies. When I left AVO product management was grossly understaffed and did not have enough PM or engineering resources to even come close to their product roadmap deadlines so adding two other very disperate product lines to the mix will only complicate things significantly more. I also highly doubt they will run all of this out of the Avigilon Vancouver office so consolidating the resources is a long way out.

In my opinion MSI has really just bought another portion of the security industry to make a play at dominating the video portion, but none of these aquisitions bring them any closer to taking over the Genetec/Axis/Milestone business that they really need in order to do that.

Whether or not they will be able to execute a paradigm shift in their favour is yet to be seen, but I do think their executive team is either extremely out of touch with our industry, or extremely brilliant and seeing something no one else is.

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none of these aquisitions bring them any closer to taking over the Genetec/Axis/Milestone business that they really need in order to do that.

I think that's a good point. Buying out Pelco + IndigiVision. Whether or not that is there aim is not clear to me. They could still make plenty of move going after lots of other opportunities. I wonder though if the complexities of pulling these various companies together will net hurt their ability to compete against Genetec/Axis/Milestone and whatever new companies emerge to be the next generation counterparts to them.

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I wonder though if the complexities of pulling these various companies together will net hurt their ability to compete against Genetec/Axis/Milestone and whatever new companies emerge to be the next generation counterparts to them

It likely will unless they're willing to put significantly more resources into product development and management than any of these companies have seen in the last 5-10 years.

If pure market share is their goal they may have got some bang for their buck here, albeit diminishing, and I doubt this is the end of the aquisitions. I know Greg Brown wants MSI to be seen as a video company so this does play into that strategy, but the amount of effort it will take to make both these companies more relevant just seems daunting to me and they may undermine their Avigilon aquisition in the process.

Another possible play I see here is that MSI may be looking to harvest data and learn from video manufacturers and and I'm sure there is a plethora of it our there in existing Pelco and IV business, but one could argue they likely could have got that for a lot less money and effort than they have put toward these aquisitions.

Clearly Greg Brown has made some good moves in his time leading MSI and I want to beleive they have a good strategy here, but I've also seen some of their other aquisitions in the public safety space like CC Aware and Ally and I was less than impressed with the actual functionality so I think they are also really good at making things look a lot sexier than they actually are.

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RIP Pelco :(

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RIP Pelco :(

They've been dead for a while now. You are only seeing a shambling undead walker at the moment.

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I heard about this earlier today and was very surprised by the news. I think that we all will agree that Pelco is not what they were and fell off the cliff when entering the IP game late. Over the last 10 years we have sold a number of brands. This included Arecont Vision, Axis, Panasonic, Ganz, and Samsung / Hanwha and Avigilon. I would be happy to have a quality made product that is made in America and I hope that they can pull this off. In my opinion Avigilon has proven that you can build a quality product in North America and the USA and hit competitive pricing within the various camera offering so I see no reason why Motorola can not do this with Pelco.

Avigilon is sold via the value added reseller channel while Pelco has been sold through distribution for years. This would allow Motorola to sell through distribution channel without disrupting the Avigilon channel and upsetting partners.

I agree that this a play for federal and government business which Pelco was tied to and was very successful in. They were the big player in casinos as well and I would imagine there is still a lot of Spectra PTZ cameras being used.

As for how to handle the sales team. My belief is right now manufacturers reps are looking for a quality camera offering to represent. In my opinion Hanwha is the only camera product that is sold via manufacturers reps and they are hitting it out the park. If Motorola can pull this off quickly finding quality rep firms should be easy and they may even be the old Pelco reps.

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History hasn’t been kind to the old PELCO rep forms that have transferred to other products, with limited exceptions. IMHO.

PELCO was more than a manufacturer, they were also the strongest marketing and support video company of the time. Rep Firms were crippled without the “mother ship” in the regular world.

I have been a part of acquisitions and while there are the obvious cost saving synergies in HR, Operations, Warehousing, MarCom, etc. Those impact the employees, but not so much the overall company when consolidated.

Can they create a Good, Better, Best product line that crosses each business unit while not creating too many issues? Yes.

Will it be easy? No. It will take a long time, some pride swallowing, some acceptance of the pitfalls by all teams, a vision and the ability to adapt quickly.

The auto industry was mentioned as an example. In a way it is. You have brands that were purchased, merged and divested. Products became so similar, the world barely noticed. Who would have the thought you would buy a Bentley from Volkswagen and a Rolls Royce from BMW?

Then came Tesla!

You could develop the core products VMS, ACS, Imagers, Hardware, Services and Sales with a vision to provide the benefits needed for each market and channel to the end purchaser.

Just the UI is a defining feature based on the market segment you are chasing.

Casinos, Hotels, Auto Dealerships, Stadiums, Prisons, Highway Traffic, City Safety, SMB, Big Box, Mobile, Law Enforcement, Military, Residential, SAAS, VAAS, Detection, Information Gathering, Storage....and a lot more.

However, I haven’t seen a good example of it in this industry, yet.

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Looking outside of the surveillance world . I agree fully there is more to it than what meets the eye . In many years from now security industry will come down to just a couple of big names and Motorola seems to be taking a leap to be one of them , canon probably another one , we need to wait and watch if these guys are doing this as just to turn around their shareholders money and make good investments that they sell in future or if they are going to be in the game long term. I am wondering which access control company will canon buy next ? Or Motorola ? Will Assa abloy enter into the software space now that they have finished buying every piece of hardware and electronics on the door ? Genetec is definitely a good one to collect ? I think it’s too early to conclude on the future of Pelco with Motorola things can take a turn depending on the next couple of months . Acquisitions is not somebody waking up one morning deciding to buy a company so let’s wait and watch the next couple of acquisitions before we judge

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If Motorola cannot bring any value to Avigilon's business (which has been the case year to date) then why buy other Video Vendor/s?

The biggest issue here is that MSI staff want their cut in commission and are unwilling to get AVO staff involved to bring their "direct" customers to them. I once saw the CEO of MSI on a US morning news program promote his brand Motorola and using its Video Brand as leverage without once using the word Avigilon.

This merge has been very disjointed and i cannot see how the other brands are going to add any value to their business from a very top heavy managed company.

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Anyone thought that Pelco used to make great PTZ... now what’s lacking is the camera element not the mechanics...

a Pelco PTZ with an Avigilon camera that’s ONVIF by default...

this overcomes Avigilon‘s reliability issues and poor performing older PTZ’s

and made in America

albeit great for the USA market who is more pro American and less Chinese... might still work in Europe and ME as they were pro-Pelco!

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Anyone thought that Pelco used to make great PTZ... now what’s lacking is the camera element not the mechanics.. this overcomes Avigilon‘s reliability issues and poor performing older PTZ’s

I can say for a fact that we have never had a Pelco camera where the plastic gear teeth for the PTZ break off and the PTZ can eventually only move up/down. If they improve upon that H3PTZ era issue that would be a great outcome. I have sent back at least a dozen of those units. The issue does not appear present in the H4PTZs, but then again we have moved very few.

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Motorola buying DM... rofl

killed themselves off and came back as immortal zombies and still not doing any better!

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I once heard someone wise say "If you tie two rocks together they're still not going to float."

It was in reference to two companies merging, and I think it's somewhat appropriate here. Not in the Avigilon + Motorola sense, but with regard to IndigoVision and Pelco. Both of those companies were struggling at the least and at worst failing. I don't see the benefit to Motorola. They seem like dead weight pulling the company down.

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The only problem I've heard with integrators and Motorola is they have gone around the integrator several times to sell their products directly.

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Sergio, yes, we discussed this here recently - Motorola Solutions Sells Avigilon Products To North Carolina Utility and "Avigilon Has Never Sold Directly To An End User Anywhere", Says Avigilon

Related, Motorola reiterated their statement from earlier in 2020:

Motorola Solutions is a large systems integrator and will continue to pursue large and complex systems opportunities as they have in the past. If an integrator did not compete with Motorola Solutions for projects before, they should not expect to compete with Motorola Solutions now.

While this may be true (only large and complex systems), the bigger Motorola gets in video (buying IV, Pelco, etc.), the more of those types of projects Motorola is likely to compete against integrators.

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I just had this conversation with him recently. I don't want to throw him under the bus, but if he could provide this information to you, would you be interested? It was just this year, and they were both for government projects. He's an IPVM member, too.

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Technology-wise, I have seen their system in the Metro Stations of Miami-Dade. It is quite impressive. A lot of analytics being used successfully.

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Well I didn’t see that one coming. I think the article discusses very well the difficulties ahead in managing Avigilon, Indigovision and now Pelco. nothing against the other two, but Pelco had the lions share of the market back in the day. In my opinion, if Pelco’s original owners were still in that position, Pelco would still be a major player.

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I'm most shocked that Pelco sold 200m last year.

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I joined Pelco a year ago, after being on integrator for 20 years. I never considered Pelco as a career option, but when a recruiter called I figured I'd listen. Like you, I was shocked at what I found at Pelco. I was impressed with VideoXpert, Optera cameras, and Pelco's Camera Link. It was better technology than I had expected.

The other thing that shocked me was how well Pelco still does in the FedGov and Enterprise space. We have huge projects all across the globe using both legacy systems and new VideoXpert systems. I learned that Pelco's reputation among integrators is that of a dinosaur.; it's a of relic of it's once glamorous past.

End users don't see Pelco that way; most of them see Pelco as an equal to most of the other competitors. The one thing Pelco has done well is keep it's relationship with it's existing customer base strong. Most of you would be surprised if you saw the list of Pelco customers.

What we need to do better is to convince channel partners/integrators to take another look at Pelco.

Do me a favor; call the Pelco rep in your area and ask them for a virtual presentation and demonstration of the products. Try to put any preconceived notions about Pelco aside and look at it objectively. If you don't walk away from the presentation saying "WOW, I didn't know that about Pelco" I'll be surprised.

If you don't believe me, then find out for yourself. I'm happy to show anyone that wants to see it.

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I am sure Motorola is buying Pelco for the accounts they have, and then Pelco will be systematically disappearing from the map.

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What accounts?

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Considering Pelco's recent direction, this may be the best solution for the brand and product. After the Schneider fiasco, Motorola may be the last chance for this once great product.

The difference between Motorola and the other acquirers mentioned (JCI and GE) is that Motorola is more focused on markets closer to the video security space. Over 60% of JCI's revenue comes from the Automotive industry and, Security was never more than a a piece of dust on a fly for GE.

I'd be interested in knowing the impact that Motorola has had on Avigilon's performance. More telling though would be the impact on IndigoVision as the latter was a product/brand that was circling the drain a few years ago.

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Dose any one remember the 70's and 80's when Motorola sold direct to the end user, and their main product line was Pelco and Cohu OEM (labeled Motorola)American made products. At that time any place that you saw Motorola radio equipment you also saw Motorola CCTV. It was a hand in hand partnership. Possibly again? Food for thought.

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Pelco still has a lot of name recognition in a country like Kuwait and is often found as an approved manufacturer for many tenders. I believe that is common in much of the Arabian Gulf as well.

I believe brand recognition is still worth a lot, especially if it can get you a foot in the door.

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Update, Transom who sold Pelco to Motorola, officially declined to comment. Though, I think the $110 million acquisition price, just 14 months later, is a happy outcome for them.

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Might be a reach, but I think a lot of this is motivated by a focus for Motorola to be the only game in town for federal, state and local government solutions/ NDAA positioning for end to end video surveillance. I think we are watching the early phases of a company laying the framework to replicate their monopoly in radios within the physical security market. Arguably, Pelco was one of the few remaining Enterprise end to end American made video solutions on the market. IndigoVision is/was also a reasonable competitive end to end solution with NDAA compliant options.

Motorola has a successful history of landing into public entities and then winning noncompetitive contracts for questionable reasons(https://www.kansas.com/news/article1138732.html). The more competitive options they remove, the easier the justification becomes. Many of these customer relationships span decades, so if they can replicate this radio market share success in public video surveillance then they can very easily see ROI on the $147M between the two companies.

Saying you're buying for brand and tech helps avoids the antitrust lawsuits, which they've already been through with Hytera. They're buying these brands and tech so they no longer exist. They're limiting options and buying market share in a very lucrative vertical market.

If Motorola successfully raises the government spec bar to enterprise "end to end" video surveillance( to now include Pelco and Indigiovision cameras) that integrate into body cams and radio, then who else is there??

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I guess now we fully understand what the ‘plus’ in ‘Avigilon Plus’ means now...

Avigilon + Indigo + Pelco + Watchguard + Motorola +...

DM? GE*?

* now that GE’s B2C and B2B servicing channel (Chubb) has been spun out to Carrier Group - they must now be a target? (My money was on Honeywell but now I’m hedging for Motorola now)

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Chubb was for sale around this time last year? No one took the bait, or maybe some offers came in much lower than UTC wanted. I think they wanted $3Billion for Chubb? I guess Motorola could still try and buy them, but why? They don't seem to really be on the hunt for an installation/service company, and Chubb doesn't operate in the US.

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I meant that GE might be more of a target acquisition now that some parts MSI wouldn’t want are now separated? It would make no sense for them to buy an installation and service business imo

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To me, this spells bad news for Avigilon sales reps if they are keeping the businesses separate. They will be competing with a very well known brand that their parent company will heavily invest in and that can leverage the sales force of distribution and manufacturer's reps, something Avigilon can't do.

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PELCO kicked ass in the mid 90’s then again against such powerful foes as Vicon and Ultrack - long live the EH3512 - I miss analog matrix switches and white balancing analog cameras.....,

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Motorola has a commendable offering in Public/City Surveillance projects with radios, command and control, video, body worn, etc. With Pelco they now get access to a major chunk of the industrial business (especially Petrochemicals, Oil & Gas) with their Explosion Proof cameras.

They have a huge customer base in the Middle East, Asian markets with a lot of Petrochemical customers (Pelco Explosion Proof + IndigoVision Encoders/VMS).

Apart from this the Metro Rail market is growing in Asia where Motorola has been strong with their radios, etc. Adding an option of Video on the same is a win-win situation - a choice of cameras, a choice of VMS, etc.

Motorola can easily walk in with other value added systems/solutions to Cities, Metros & Industrial with this acquisition.

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I haven't heard the word Pelco in Oil & Gas or industrial sectors in quite a while, but one can always dream.

I see this as a way to go after end-users and specifiers to make "Made in America" part of the mandatory spec without having to call out a brand.

It is an interesting and risky move, no matter what one speculates. MSI hasn't grown by leaps and bounds YoY, they just made a $1B acquisition in Avigilon, their revenue declined this year so far and their annual sales of around only $7B makes a $110M deal a substantial investment. All during a global pandemic and recession and they have to throw another $50M at Pelco to Make Pelco Great Again plus figure out how not to compete internally or have redundancies. Their stock price is terrible compared to the general market that has fully recovered from pre-pandemic levels. If they can pull this off successfully over the next 5 years, it will be a key achievement in security industry history. Earnings 2Q release today.

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their annual sales of around only $7B makes a $110M deal a substantial investment

I agree about the risks but this is not a 'substantial' investment. Even on the metric, that's 1.5% of annual revenue, the equivalent of a person making $60,000 buying a $900 laptop. It's an investment but it's not that substantial.

Also, their market cap is $24 billion, so valuing Pelco at $110 million is even less of an 'investment' on that more comparable basis.

To be clear, I do think there is risk with buying Pelco at $110 million, I just don't think it's that sizeable for them.

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The Motorola Solutions tagline now added to Pelco:

IPVM Image

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