Panasonic Acquires VSaaS Company (CameraManager)By John Honovich, Published Jul 12, 2013, 12:00am EDT
The first deal in the VSaaS market has occurred with Panasonic acquiring Netherlands based CameraManager. We spoke with CameraManager on the details of their business and the deal to get a better sense of the impact and future of this move.
Almost all major camera manufacturers have been looking at VSaaS options, especially since Axis has so relentless pushed their own hosted video offering (AVHS). Of course, there has been much debate over what to do, considering the questionable market growth / opportunities.
CameraManager is an independent hosted video provider who integrates with Panasonic, Axis and Hikvision cameras. They sell the web service but not hardware (unlike e.g., Dropcam). CameraManager reports that they originally developed firmware for connecting Panasonic cameras to the cloud and now that is included in Panasonic cameras generally.
CameraManager reports managing 40,000 total cameras, 95% of which are through their wholesale partners that primarily sell to business users in Europe. Direct web site sales, while available, are the remainder of customers. CameraManager was founded in 2006 and reports being profitable since 2010.
The Deal and Its Potential
Panasonic Europe, not the Panasonic security business unit, has acquired CameraManager.
CameraManager says that the 'CameraManager' brand will remain and that their service will continue to be an open platform supporting non Panasonic cameras.
Panasonic could help CameraManager extend into the residential / consumer market, an area that it has not targeted in the past and one that Panasonic is fairly strong in with their extensive consumer network camera offerings.
Given that Panasonic Europe was the acquirer, it is not clear what expansion or efforts will be put into the rest of the world. However, the potential is certainly there to make it easy for Panasonic cameras to easily connect to CameraManager as an 'out of the box' option.
This is certainly not a game changer but worth a shot by Panasonic to see what they can do with cloud video. In the greater scope of the IP camera market, 40,000 cameras is not a lot but CameraManager has built a viable service. Ultimately, Panasonic's execution of the deal and how CameraManager is integrated and marketed will determine its success.
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