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

OnSSI Founders Return, Start Corsight on May 25, 2020
The OnSSI founders are back, less than 2 years after selling OnSSI to...
Favorite Access Control Manufacturers 2020 on Sep 28, 2020
200+ Integrators told IPVM "What is your favorite access control management...
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...
Salesforce Drops Dahua and Hikvision on Aug 12, 2020
Salesforce has dropped Dahua and Hikvision as customers, forcing the two mega...
Avigilon / Motorola VS Virtual ISC West on Sep 29, 2020
ISC West has historically been so dominant that no player would think of...
Avigilon Now Available At ADI In EMEA, Not Americas on Jul 21, 2020
ADI, the home for Dahua and Hikvision flash sales, is now selling Motorola...
Costar Technologies / Arecont H1 2020 Financials Examined on Sep 16, 2020
Costar's financial results have been hit by the coronavirus with the company...
SimpliSafe Business Security Launched Examined on Sep 22, 2020
SimpliSafe has launched "SimpliSafe Business Security" that the company...
The NOT Outstanding Security Equipment Manufacturer 2020 on Oct 02, 2020
The "OSPAs" promised to be credible, transparent, and respectable. They have...
Integrator Acquisitions 'A Good Market' During COVID-19, Says Greybeards on Jul 28, 2020
Industry broker Ron Davis of the "Greybeards" says that the integrator and...
Fever Camera Sales From Integrators Surveyed on Jun 01, 2020
Fever cameras are the hottest trend in video surveillance currently but how...
UN Agency Buys 'Swiss' Fever Cams From Firm That Faked Accreditation, Sales, Marketing on Oct 06, 2020
A Swiss company claims to have "fully designed and manufactured" the world's...
SIA Coaches Sellers on NDAA 889B Blacklist Workarounds on Aug 05, 2020
Last month SIA demanded that NDAA 899B "must be delayed". Now that they have...
Brazil's Biggest Domestic Surveillance Company Intelbras Profile on Jul 29, 2020
While Intelbras is not widely known outside of Latin America, Intelbras is a...
Intersec 2021 Is Open In Dubai [Now Cancelled] on Sep 03, 2020
While ISC East November 2020 just cancelled and CES January 2021 has been...

Recent Reports

Avigilon Aggressive Trade-In Program Takes Aim At Competitors on Oct 20, 2020
Avigilon has launched one of the most aggressive trade-in programs the video...
Mexico Video Surveillance Market Overview 2020 on Oct 20, 2020
Despite being neighbors, there are key differences between the U.S. and...
Dahua Revenue Grows But Profits Down, Cause Unclear on Oct 20, 2020
While Dahua's overall revenue was up more than 12% in Q3 2020, a significant...
Illegal Hikvision Fever Screening Touted In Australia, Government Investigating, Temperature References Deleted on Oct 20, 2020
The Australian government told IPVM that they are investigating a Hikvision...
Panasonic Presents i-PRO Cameras and Video Analytics on Oct 19, 2020
Panasonic presented its i-PRO X-Series cameras and AI video analytics at the...
Augmented Reality (AR) Cameras From Hikvision and Dahua Examined on Oct 19, 2020
Hikvision, Dahua, and other China companies are marketing augmented reality...
18 TB Video Surveillance Drives (WD and Seagate) on Oct 19, 2020
Both Seagate and Western Digital recently announced 18TB hard drives...
Watrix Gait Recognition Profile on Oct 16, 2020
Watrix is the world's only gait recognition surveillance provider IPVM has...
Intel Presents Edge-to-Cloud Ecosystem for Video Analytics on Oct 16, 2020
Intel presented its processors and software toolkit for computer vision at...
Microsoft Azure Presents Live Video Analytics on Oct 15, 2020
Microsoft Azure presented its Live Video Analytics offering at the September...
Worst Manufacturer Technical Support 2020 on Oct 15, 2020
4 manufacturers stood out as providing the worst technical support to ~200...
Clorox Announces, Then Pulls, Fever Camera on Oct 15, 2020
For almost one week, Clorox was marketing fever cameras. The booming...
Faulty Hikvision Fever Cam Setup at Mexico City Basilica and Cathedral on Oct 14, 2020
Donated Hikvision fever cameras (claiming screening of 1,800 people/min. with...
Directory of 211 "Fever" Camera Suppliers on Oct 14, 2020
This directory provides a list of "Fever" scanning thermal camera providers...