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...
Qognify Significantly Cuts OnSSI HQ on Feb 25, 2019
Qognify, having acquired OnSSI less than 2 months ago, in December 2018, has...
Comments (38) : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Pivot3 Mass Layoffs on Mar 27, 2020
Pivot3 has conducted mass layoffs, the culmination of grand hopes, a quarter...
CANCELLED: IPVM Conference 2020 on Feb 13, 2020
CANCELLED, May 6th: We are canceling the IPVM September 2020 Conference and...
Wyze Fails To Deliver Own On-Board Analytics, Launches Novel Name Your Own Price Service on Jul 24, 2020
While Wyze failed to deliver their own onboard analytics to replace the...
OnSSI Founders Return, Start Corsight on May 25, 2020
The OnSSI founders are back, less than 2 years after selling OnSSI to...
Fever Camera Sales From Integrators Surveyed on Jun 01, 2020
Fever cameras are the hottest trend in video surveillance currently but how...
Disruptive Free Lead Generation Added To IPVM on May 15, 2020
IPVM has added lead generation for sellers, for free, disrupting the...
Milestone Drops ISC West on Mar 06, 2020
Milestone has dropped ISC West, joining a long list of companies to cancel...
Favorite VSaaS Providers 2020 on Apr 17, 2020
VSaaS is starting to become mainstream but who are integrator's...
Every VMS Will Become a VSaaS on Feb 21, 2020
VMS is ending. Soon every VMS will be a VSaaS. Competitive dynamics will be...
Axis Discontinues Companion Hardware, Fully NDAA Compliant on Feb 03, 2020
Axis will be fully NDAA compliant, as the company has confirmed to IPVM it is...
IPVM For PR / Marketing People on Apr 29, 2020
Since IPVM does not accept advertising nor sponsorships, etc., PR / marketing...
JCI Slashes ISC West Booth 88.8% on Mar 05, 2020
The mega-booth at the main entrance of the ISC West show floor is now...
Anyvision Presents AI Facial Recognition and Mask Detection on Jun 08, 2020
AnyVision presented its AI facial recognition and mask detection at the May...
Avigilon Open Analytics Tested on Apr 16, 2020
After years of effectively closed analytics, Avigilon decided in late 2018 to...
Beware Of Feevr on Apr 14, 2020
Beware of "Feevr". The company is marketing a 'Feevr' solution that...

Recent Reports

Video Analytics Online Show September 2020 Opened - Axis, Avigilon, Bosch, BriefCam, Genetec, Milestone + 30 More on Aug 12, 2020
IPVM's sixth online show will feature 35+ Video Analytics companies...
The German Company Powering Many China Temperature Tablets (Heimann) on Aug 12, 2020
Many fever tablet suppliers market German-made Heimann thermal sensors while...
Salesforce Drops Dahua and Hikvision on Aug 12, 2020
Salesforce has dropped Dahua and Hikvision as customers, forcing the two mega...
Access Control Course Fall 2020 - Register Now - Save $50 Last Chance on Aug 12, 2020
IPVM offers the most comprehensive access control course in the...
Genetec CEO Declares "We Don't Negotiate Payment With Patent Trolls" on Aug 11, 2020
Are patent trolls like terrorists? Genetec's CEO is coming out strongly...
Hanwha AI Analytics Camera Tested on Aug 11, 2020
Hanwha has released their Wisenet P AI camera, adding person and vehicle...
Alabama Schools Million Dollar Hikvision Fever Camera Deal on Aug 11, 2020
The Baldwin County, Alabama public schools purchased a $1 million, 144-camera...
Dahua Taunts Australian Government, Continues To Sell Illegal Fever Cameras on Aug 10, 2020
Dahua is effectively taunting the Australian government by continuing to sell...
HID Releases VertX Replacement Aero on Aug 10, 2020
HID is replacing two established and broadly supported types of access...
NDAA Compliant Video Surveillance Whitelist on Aug 10, 2020
This report aggregates video surveillance products that manufacturers have...
Telpo China Temperature Tablets Tested on Aug 10, 2020
The provider for overseas companies ranging from Canon Singapore to US'...
Dangerous Hikvision Fever Camera Showcased by Chilean City on Aug 07, 2020
Deploying a fever camera outdoors, in the rain, with no black body, is...
"Grand Slam" For Pelco's PE Firm, A Risk For Motorola on Aug 07, 2020
The word "Pelco" and "grand slam" have not been said together for many years....
FLIR Stock Falls, Admits 'Decelerating' Demand For Temperature Screening on Aug 07, 2020
Is the boom going to bust for temperature screening? FLIR disappointed...
VSaaS Will Hurt Integrators on Aug 06, 2020
VSaaS will hurt integrators, there is no question about that. How much...