Qognify Acquires OnSSI, CEO Pitches Exciting Future

By John Honovich, Published Dec 23, 2018, 08:29pm EST

Qognify is a VMS / PSIM company, with a tumultuous 2018, that has just acquired a VMS company (OnSSI) who itself acquired a VMS company in 2015 (Seetec).

How will it all work?

[link no longer available]

Qognify CEO Steve Shine [link no longer available] (who joined this April 2018) spoke to IPVM about the acquisition and the exciting future he sees for the combined companies with its backing by Battery Ventures.

Inside this note, we share his outlook, examine key details and notable challenges for the combination.

Announcement *** ******, **** ******* **** ******

*** *********** *** ********* the ******** ****** *********, at ** ** ** time, ** ********* *** time *** ** *********** announcement, **** **** ****** typically ******** *** ******* bad ****.

*******, ***** **** **** was *** *** ****. Instead, **** ** *** deal *** **** ****** (e.g., ** *** ******* heard ***** **) *** the ******* ******* ** issue * ***** ******* immediately ****** **** *** the **** *** *** informally.

Terms *** ********* / ********* ** ********

*** ********* *** *** disclose *** ***** (***** paid, *******, ***.). ***** did *** **** ******* was ** ************* ** 2018 ***** ************* **** previous ***** *** **** challenging *** ***** ********* *******. ** ******* *******'* revenue *** **** ** 2018, ********* ***** ** significant **** ** ********* in **** (******** ******* later ** **** ****).

** ******** *****'* ******* (including ******) ** ** in *** $** - $30 ******* *****, ****** estimation ** ********* *********** the *******'* ***** ******** from *** ********* ******* offset ** ******'* ******** from *** **** ***********.

*********, ********* ** *********, but ** ******* ** would ** ******, ** the ** ** *.** revenue *****, ***** *** challenges **** ***** *** faced *** *** ******** maturity ** *** *** software ******.

Battery ******** *******

*** **** *** ****** by *******'* *****,******* ********, * ******* ****** firm **** ********* $*.* ******* ***** management(*** *$*.** ******* *** ***** this ****).******* ******** ******* ** 2015*** ** ********** ** back *** *******.

More ************ ** ****, *********** *********

*** ******* ** *********** buying ** ******** ********* that ***** ********** ***** VMS ********* (*.*., ** believe ***** ** ***** be * ******** **********).

Growing "****** *** ******"

*******, ****** ** *******, intends *********** *********. ** Battery ******** *********:

*** *********** ** *** OnSSI ***** – * high-profile ***** ** *** security ****** ** *** own ***** – ** a ***** *********** ** its *******, *** **** importantly **** **** * marker ********* ***intent ** **** ****** *** ******.” [emphasis added]

Pitch ******** ** * *****

******* *** **** * VMSes -********************* ***** **** **********,************ **** **** *** existing ******* ****.

***** *** **** ******** from **** - ** particular ****** * ***** that *** ****** ** different ********* *** *** cases, ****** **** ** single *** *** *** every *** ****.

***** ******* ******* ** keep *** *** ***** with ******** *********** *****, the ******* **** ***** benefits **** ********* **/* support ****** *** ***** and ************* ** ******* interfaces ** ****** ************** across *** ******** **** developing ** ********* ********.

Challenges ** * *****

******** *********, ****** ** many ***** **** *********** problems ** *********** (****** time ******** *** **** feature **** *** **** again), ***** (********* ***** or ****** ********* ******* salespeople ***** **** *** does **** *** ***** to **** **), *** support (*********** *** **** VMS ***** *** **** specific *******). ***** ** do *** **** ****** about *** ** *******/*****'* VMSes, ** ****** ******* about ****. *******, ** is **** ** ******* any * ***** (*.*., pick *** * '****' VMSes) ***** *********** *** productively **** ** * single *******.

***** ***** *** ********** managing ******* ********** **** software *************(** **** ******* ***** Actian ** ** ****** asses **** **********).

Qognify's *** ********** - ********** *******

************* ***** ** *** Qognify's *** **** *********. In *** **** * years, *** ******* *** had *********** ********, **** notable *** ******** ** headcount, **** ******** ********** it ** **% ** the **** * *****:

***** ************ **** *** directionally ********, ****** **** given *** *******, ***** were ******** ** ******** leaner.

****** ****, ***** ***** joined, **** ** *** of *** ********* **** left *******, *********:

  • **** *******, (********) *** [link ** ****** *********]
  • *** *****, *** [**** no ****** *********]
  • **** ******, ** ** Marketing [**** ** ****** available]
  • ****** **********, ** ** Sales **** [**** ** longer *********]
  • ******** *****, ** ** Strategic ******** [**** ** longer *********]
  • **** ****, ** ** Strategic ************ [**** ** longer *********]
  • ****** ********* ** ** Sales ****, ********* *** Africa [**** ** ****** available]

***** ******** **** **** was **** ** *** process ** ******** **** being **** ** * larger ******** ****** ******* to ******** * ********** software *********.

** **** ***** * lot ** ******** **** Qognify ********, ********* ****** with ***** (**** ********* given *** *** ***** turnover) ** **** ** on *** ******* ****, including *** **** ****** VisionHub ***.

Outlook - ***********

*** *** **** ********* are **** *** ******* has **** ******* ******* it *** * *** who ** ******* ********* the ********* ** ******* this *** ********.

*******, ** ***** **** is ***** ** ** hard. ***** *** ** many ***** ** **** and ** **** **** things *** ** *****. Qognify *** *** *** problems. ***** *** ******. Putting **** ******** ** likely ** ****** **** problems ****** **** ******* the *** ********** ****. Plus, **** ** * mature ****** ** ** is *** ** ** there ** **** ****** to **** ********* ******.

** **** ** ******* provides *** ******* *** funds ** ******* * turnaround *** * ******-**** approach, ******* *** * chance *** ** ******* / ******* ******* ******* on *****-**** ********* *******, this *** *** ********* to ****** **** * Frankenstein ** ***** ********* struggling ** ******* **** more ******* ********** ***********.

Vote / ****

Comments (22)

Godspeed to them. Will be surprised if this stabilizes out to something viable.

anyone who can be convinced that selling/supporting 5 different VMS's is a good thing - is an idiot.

sorry to be blunt, but come ON... seriously?

I expect that in the next short period of time, that Qognify will standardize on 2 - maybe 3 for one off applications.

Supporting 5 separate and unique VMS's is a sales and support nightmare that only a masochist would take on... and try and convince others is a good thing.

posted in the other Qognify/OnSSI post - reproduced here:

Qognify - formed in 2015 and HQ'ed in Paramus, NJ - moved it's HQ to the same building as OnSSI's long-time HQ in Pearl River, NY in January 2017. (1 Blue Hill Plaza, Pearl River, NY - look it up)

OnSSI - 7th floor

Qognify - 10th floor

I'm curious how they chose to move their HQ to the very same building as the company they are acquiring, less than 2 years later.

Especially since OnSSI has long called themselves a 'PSIM-like' VMS... just like Qognify's Situator (VMS/PSIM application).

Coincidence?

No future in ONSSi unfortunately. Never heard of Qognify. 

Background: NICE Is Out Of the Video Surveillance Business / Now Qognify

NICE / Qognify has historically focused on the enterprise market so they are generally not well known. Even, for us, we generally do not hear about them, only on intermittent occasions.

NICE was one of those brands no one on a budget could use.  The only customers I ever knew that used it wanted very good surveillance and didn't care what it cost (and the value of the assents under protection validated this need).  It was however, the first true digital video system I ever worked on and the first one I ever worked on that used disk arrays to get a couple of terabytes of storage.  Yea, crazy how things have advanced in the last 20 years!

Yea, crazy how things have advanced in the last 20 years!

Yes, NICE was certainly one of the earliest. The question / challenge now is how competitive they remain given the overall market advances and development of now much larger competitors such as Genetec and Milestone.

Nice was early; when they made their name your only option was a large analog matrix tied to multiple VCR units.  They were strictly analog back then.

It was a long and painful process to move to an IP solution; that's where they got passed up.

Don't forget Loronix, fun times with windows NT.

In our market I have only seen Qognify once, but it is at a very large institution.  Likely 2-3 thousand channels.  However, aside from that one account where IT refuses to switch there is zero sales presence.  Qognify must be living off SMAs and camera/licensing adds. 

Even if you look at their case studies, it is all airports, train, cities, etc.

That is one of the reasons for the acquisition so that they have a mainstream presence / offering. Now, how well they manage both 'sides' and various offerings will be interesting to see.

Honest to God conversation today

Wife: I saw you got an email from ONSSI saying Qognify and ONSSI are merging, but it doesn’t look like you read it. Have you heard already?

Me: No, I hadn’t. But that’s kinda strange, Qognify is acquiring ONSSI, hmmm.

Wife: I didn’t say that, it says they’re merging.

Me: Real mergers are rare.  The e-mail is from ONSSI; everyone spins, so therefore ONSSI is being acquired.

Wife: Show me on IPVM then.

Me: Sorry, looks like John didn’t make it public...

Wife: SMAAAACK!

U3, I’m thinking this is one of those ‘had to be there’ to be funny scenarios. 

However, Shine says this was not the case. Instead, news of the deal had been leaked (e.g., we had already heard about it) and the company decided to issue a press release immediately rather than let the news get out informally.

Perhaps they mistakenly leaked it?

via google cache, but now the cache says 404.  

This doesn't look  look good ...Since the breakup, OnSSi has been shaky ... Their ship seems to be sinking fast ..  

will not be as mean :) .. : Anyone who thinks that having 5 VMS in this market is an advantage, is well  ... not Sincere.

Anyone who thinks that having 5 VMS in this market is an advantage, is well ... not Sincere.

From talking to him, I get the sense he is sincere. 

The bigger issue is that he is new to this industry. Maybe having 5 competing software applications works in some domains is an advantage (since I am not an expert in those, I cannot tell). But I am with you that having 5 VMSes in video surveillance is not an advantage.

What do you think will happen? Will they continue to develop the ONSSI VMS?

Will they continue to develop the ONSSI VMS?

Yes, they said they would. Also, I think they genuinely do need / want a mid-market offering, which they don't have with the existing Qognify ones.

Excellent, happy to hear, I think it is possible to make the ONSSI VMS an excellent product with a few new features like video analytics, integration to 3rd party devices and more options for the map-based navigation. The latest version of the software is very stable and works really great.

UI 8, if you already had all of that in place, would you just release Onssi back into the wild? Cards are on the table and listening to customer's scream is no fun. Perhaps explain to the customer, no upgrades or SSA until stable releases and stable prices are out. 

Question is if you have to update your integrations(access, intercom, analytics, videowall, intrusion)and Onssi is stuck in the past then the whole system ages. So what if a major event happens, such as a cyber security breach where you need to upgrade and you cant? - Black Swan.

Does not matter, Seetec took the money and ran. Milestone left around version 3.5 SP1a, Now Ocularis is at 5.6, really how much progress and change did you really see from 5.0 and up? They spent all their energy in keeping the Milestone backwards compatibility afloat the end user received only a handful of new features underneath Seetec development. 

Ocularis does work, it is functional, has a few integrations however they are have only treaded water in comparison to Milestone or genetic(notice the lower case). Can Qognify break them out to the next level? Do the technicians need new certifications, sales reps, VAR qualifications.

I suspect Qognify to revamp the OC client, share all the recorder feeds with your PSIM and Analytics and tap into any data fields left over. Is Qognify already certified with Lenel, Software House or genetec?(wish I could use smaller font on genetec). 

Good Luck.  hrmmm.

 

HOLD THOSE PO's DO NOT RENEW YOUR SSA.

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