OnSSI Co-Founders Are Out

By: John Honovich, Published on Jan 04, 2019

OnSSI's co-founders, Gadi Piran [link no longer available] and Mulli Diamant [link no longer available], are out of the company just a week after they were acquired by Qognify.

This breaks the common pattern of founders being incentivized to stay on, smooth the transition and maximize performance for the first few years after the sale.

onsi founders out2

Why were OnSSI co-founders out so quickly? An OnSSI co-founder explains to IPVM why and we look at the implication and the challenges faced.

Company Statement

While the companies have made no public announcement, they have provided limited feedback to IPVM. OnSSI confirmed that on Dec. 29, 2018 the two co-founders exited the company. This occurred just a week after the Dec. 22, 2018 acquisition announcement.

Qognify provided us this statement:

We can confirm that Gadi and Mulli are no longer part of OnSSI. We are very grateful for the founder stewardship that Gadi and Mulli provided for OnSSI. They have given Ocularis a strong architectural foundation upon which, as part of the broader Qognify family, we can now expand to support our customers and suppliers.

And OnSSI noted to us that "They have left the organization to pursue other opportunities."

Co-Founder Statement - Their Choice

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

[link no longer available]

Diamant [link no longer available] said that they choose to leave, telling IPVM:

One of the conditions we put forward to the buyer was to allow us to move on immediately and not condition a 2 year work or earn-out period. They accepted. We both are looking to be part of a new leading edge technology venture. Anything else are just rumors.

Rumors - Forced Out

Speaking of 'rumors', sources close to the company said the co-founders were forced out by Qognify, though, as noted above, Diamant says this is false. While Qognify provided the general statement above, when we asked about whether Qognify had made the decision for the co-founders to exit, Qognify declined to comment, saying that "there is no further information to share at this stage."

Problematic Handling

Whosever choice this was, it risks problems. There have been no typical farewell PR announcements thanking the co-founders for 16 years and ensuring customers that all is well, which might help publicly as well as reinforce that this was their choice. And, even if there was, the acquisition just happened, a typically sensitive period where employees and partners are often nervous about staying. Having the co-founders quietly and quickly exit may encourage more defections.

Moreover, Qognify's CEO is new to the video surveillance industry, so arguably the OnSSI Co-founders could have been useful for industry knowledge and connections.

Vote / Poll

Co-Founder Explanation Email

Separately from his comments to IPVM, Diamant sent an exit email to partners, which he started by explaining their mission and initial challenges:

OnSSI was founded 16 years ago with a mission to transform the Security industry from Analog in to IP... Back in the early 2000’s, the resistance to this change was huge. People thought we are completely crazy, that this “Internet thing” will never work. They were wrong. We had a very clear vision, and we were 100% sure that nothing will stop this revolution. We knew this change would happen and it did.

The email shares their rationale for the timing of the sale.

The industry is now maturing. The need to consolidate has been clear for some time. We believe the acquisition by Qognify, backed by Battery Ventures, is the right move for OnSSI as a company. It is the right change to best support our customers and our employees

Diamant concludes by saying that it was his decision and that now Ken LaMarca [link no longer available] is in charge:

After much thinking, I have decided that after more than 16 years at OnSSI, it is time for me to explore other adventures.
With your help, OnSSI will continue and grow even further that it is today. I will leave you at the most capable hands of Ken LaMarca, our VP Sales and Marketing and his capable team.

Never Fully Recovered From Milestone Breakup

It is our view that OnSSI never really was able to overcome its Milestone OEMing origin. OnSSI was very strong in the 2000s, but as Milestone started to compete against them in North America and as the industry began to realize that OnSSI was basically rebranded Milestone, OnSSI struggled to become their own internally developed software solution, best emphasized in 2010 when OnSSI went on the offensive, in a classic video where they compared Milestone to a 'spacebar' on their 'typewriter' and said recorders like Milestone were a 'dime a dozen':

Qognify Outlook

Even with the problems OnSSI has had over the past few years, it is hard to view the co-founders leaving so quickly as a positive for Qognify nor OnSSI's customers and partners. A fresh perspective may certainly help OnSSI but Qognify management lacks industry expertise with a seasoned, but new to the industry CEO, and a management team that turned over almost entirely last year.

It does set up an interesting 2019 for Qognify with 5 VMSes, and 2 just added with the 2 co-founders of the acquired company immediately gone.

2 reports cite this report:

2019 Mid-Year Video Surveillance Guide on Jul 01, 2019
IPVM's new 400+ page Mid-Year Industry Guide brings all of these issues and events together in a single resource to read and review. It can be...
Qognify Significantly Cuts OnSSI HQ on Feb 25, 2019
Qognify, having acquired OnSSI less than 2 months ago, in December 2018, has cut ~25% of OnSSI total employees, primarily at OnSSI's HQ in Pearl...
Comments (38) : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Milestone CEO Resigns on Mar 11, 2020
Milestone's CEO has resigned, after 17 years on the job but there is no replacement yet. We argued last year that Milestone has problems. Now,...
Motorola Solutions Speaks on Avigilon / Video Strategy on Feb 04, 2020
2 years ago Motorola Solutions acquired Avigilon for a billion dollars but what is Motorola's strategy for Avigilon plus Watchguard and Vigilant,...
Struggling Arcules Changes Chief Revenue Officer on Oct 29, 2019
Canon / Milestone spinout Arcules has struggled, now changing their Chief Revenue Officer, just a year after he came on board. The issue is not...
Milestone Has Problems on Oct 01, 2019
Milestone has problems. While the company previously excelled in the shift to IP cameras, as IP has matured and competitive differentiation has...
Schmode is Back, Aims To Turn Boulder AI Into Giant on Sep 16, 2019
One of the most influential and controversial executives in the past decade is back. Bryan Schmode ascended and drove the hypergrowth of Avigilon...
Giant Tyco Campaigns Against Startup Qumulex on Jul 25, 2019
One is a giant conglomerate that owns the world's largest security integrator. The other has no shipping products. But Tyco is campaigning...
Avigilon President Henderson Is Out on Jul 09, 2019
Avigilon's President and COO James Henderson is out, abruptly, after a remarkable ascension over the past 8 years, Motorola VP Jack Molloy has...
Verkada Attacks ONVIF on Jun 27, 2019
Verkada has now gone after ONVIF, expanding its attacks against the 'dinosaurs' of the 'ancient' video surveillance industry. In a recent...
Milestone Alleges [Now Removed], Qognify Denies VMS "Running Out Of Support" on May 01, 2019
Milestone is running a marketing campaign where they allege that OnSSI and Seetec VMSes are 'running out of support'. However, Qognify's CEO flatly...
Verkada Salesman: IPVM "Stuck In A The Stone Age" on Apr 25, 2019
Verkada is 'tackling dinosaurs' and battling those, like IPVM, who are 'stuck in a the stone age'. Verkada's recent sales recruiting promotion...

Most Recent Industry Reports

EyePark Presents Mobile Driver Authentication on Jun 05, 2020
EyePark presented its long-range QR code parking verification platform at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. A 30-minute video from EyePark...
Bleenco "Under The Tongue" Temperature Detection Examined on Jun 05, 2020
"Say aah", says Bleenco, a PPE detection video analytics company, offering a different method for measuring body temperature with a thermal...
Hikvision and Uniview Entry Level Thermal Handheld Cameras Tested on Jun 05, 2020
While most screening systems cost $10,000 or more, manufacturers such as Hikvision and Uniview have now released handheld models for $1,000 or...
Sequr Presents HID based Cloud Access Control on Jun 04, 2020
Sequr presented HID based Cloud Access Control at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. Inside this report: A 30-minute video from Sequr...
VergeSense Presents People Tracking Sensor on Jun 04, 2020
VergeSense presented its people tracking sensor and social distancing insights at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. A 30-minute video from...
FLIR A Series Temperature Screening Cameras Tested on Jun 04, 2020
FLIR is one of the biggest names in thermal and one of the most conservative. While rivals have marketed fever detection, FLIR has stuck to EST...
"Fever Camera" Show On-Demand Watch Now on Jun 03, 2020
IPVM has successfully completed the world's first "Fever Camera" show. Recordings from Both days are posted at the end of this report for on-demand...
Cobalt Robotics Presents Indoor Security and Access Robots on Jun 03, 2020
Cobalt Robotics presented indoor security robots at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. Inside this report: A 30-minute video from Cobalt...
Dahua Sues Ex-North American President, Says Legal Typo on Jun 03, 2020
Dahua's former North American President Frank Zhang claims he is owed almost $11 million but Dahua counter claims it is just a "scrivener's error",...
Smart Entry Systems Presents Cloud Multi-Tenant Access Control on Jun 02, 2020
Smart Entry Systems presented Cloud Multi-Tenant Access Control at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. Inside this report: A 30-minute video...