Qognify Significantly Cuts OnSSI HQ

By John Honovich, Published Feb 25, 2019, 09:28am EST

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 River, NY.

qognify onssi cuts

This has created a significant amount of concern about the future of OnSSI but OnSSI tells IPVM that:

All our customers and partners will begin to feel the benefits of the integration of our companies and we are excited about how we see the future shaping out.

How likely are these benefits to occur and what problems may arise? Inside this note, we share more from OnSSI's CEO as well as details and analysis of this move.

Cuts **********

***** *** ********** *** employees **** ****** ***** cuts. ***** ****** **** Milestone *** ******* **** 500 - *,***+ *********, OnSSI *** **** ***** 100, ** **** ******** trend ****:

***, ***** ***** ******** 2019 **** ** ~** employees, ***** ** **** even *******.

** **********, *** **** at ***** ******************* *********** ************ ****, with **** ** *** OnSSI ******** ********** ***** let **. **** ******* among *** **** *** Morten *** ******* [**** no ****** *********], *** created *****'* *&* ********** and *** **** *** Chief ********* ** ********, who********* ** ** ********:

* *** ******* **, with ** **** ****-**** Ocularis ********** ***** *******, what ******* ** ******** development?

** ******** ** **********, sources **** ** ********** cuts **** **** ** support, *********, *****, *** business ***********.

Qognify *** ******** ****

******* **** **** **** they *** ********* ***** R&D ** ******* *** Israel, ******* ********** *********** OnSSI *********** *** **** done **** ***** *****, NY, **** *** ******* explaining:

*** ******** ***** ***** office (**** ******* *** OnSSI **** *** ** in *** **** ********) is ********* ******* ****** commercial ********** (*****, ********), customer ******* *** **************. Our *&* ******* *** primarily ** ******* *** Israel *** ** **** have ******** *&* *********.

******* ****** ********'* ** ** *******. ******** ***** **+ Seetec ********* ** ******* with * ****** ******** in ********* **** *** past * *****:

****** ******** *** *** VMS ********* (******) ** **** ** the '********' **** *****************.

********, ******* ********** **** this ** ***** ********** efficiency ** ***********, *** reducing ******** *********** *********:

** **** *** ******* the ***** ******** *********** headcount. ** **** **** been **** **** ********* about *** *** ** which ** ****** *** investment. ** **** ****** in * ****** ******* for *** ******** *** partners.

******* ********* **** **** of *** ***/********** ******** development "*** ******* *****, some ** *******."

*** ******* **** ** would ******** ** ******* Ocularis ****** *** *** specify **** ******** **** would ** ******* *** 5 *****:

** ******** ** ******* and ******* *** *** offerings *** ** **** the ********* ** ***** able ** ***** **** of *** ************ ****** platforms (****** ************, ********, UI, ******, ***). ******** will ******* *** ********** in *** **** *** as *** **** ** the *********. *** ******** and **** ** ********** across *** ********* ****** over **** ********* ** customer *****, ****** ******* and *** *** ***** factors **** ********* * product **** **** ****.

*******, ******* ********** **** this *** **** ** eliminating ************ ** **** Qognify **** *********:

***** ** *********** ****** all *********** **** *** bring ***** ********* ******** as ***. ************ **** one ******* ******* ****** our ********* ******** **** result ** * **** efficient ******** ***** ***** us **** *********** *** benefits *** *********.

US ***** End ** ** ***

** ***** **** *** perspective ** *** ** organization, **** ***** ** be *** *** ** an ***. *********'* ******** ******* *** ** **** of *** ** ****, whatever ******* ** *****, the ******* **** ** different.

*** * ****** ***, OnSSI *** *** ** the **** ****** **** VMSes (****** ******* ** top ** *********'* '********) in ***** *******. ***, the ******** ** **** future **** *****'* ******** have?

Ocularis ************* - *** ******

******** ** *******'* *********, we ******* ******** *********** will ** *************. *****, cutting *** ********** ******** development (*** ** ******** as **** ***) ***** it **** ** ****** for *** ********** ** get ** ** *****, make ******* *** ************ on ** ******* ******** code ****. **** ** Qognify ********* *** **** number ** ******** **********, that ***** ***** ** comparatively *** *** ******** to **** ***** ************. Moreover, ***** ******** **** Seetec's '********' ****** *** since ****** *** *** own *****-*** / ********** platform ******, ***** *** cuts ** *****, ** would ** **** *********** to ********** ******** ****** to ******** *********.

**** *******, ******* *** a *** ** **** to **, ** **** are ** ********* ********* VMS ********* **** ******* and ********* *** **** hundreds ** ********** ************ on * ******** *** each. ** ********, ******* is ****** ***** **** amongst * *****. *** with *** ******** ** cloud ********** *** ** becoming **** ******* ** modern *****, ******* **** need ** ****** ** that, ******* ********* ***** limited *********.

Financial ******* ** ***** *********

** ******* ** ******* and *** ***, ***** focus ** ** **** this *** **** ***********. OnSSI ********* **** *** last *** *****, ******* ********* *******, ****** ****** *** trying ** *** ****** back ********. ** *** not ****. ***, ******* is ****** * *** combination **** **** ***** the *** *****. ******* it ***** *********** ******* to ** **** *** we ****** ********** ** Ocularis ***** ***** ** the ****** ** ****.

Vote / ****

Letter ** ****

*******'* *** **** *** following *** ****** ** IPVM ***** ** ***** to ***** ** ****:

** *** **** ** have ***** *** ******* to ********** ********* **** one ******* ** ****** serve *** ********* *** partners. ******** ** ****** yourself ****** *** ** feared. ***, ** ***** we **** ** ******* the ***** ** ******** commentary *** ** *** are *** ****** ******* then *** ***, ** definition, ******* ******.

**** *** ******, ** have ****** ** *** committed ** *** *** products *** **** ************ that ** *** ********* and ********.

**** *** ***** ******** 3 ********* (***** *** SeeTec ******** ** *** separate ********* **** * shared ********) ***** ** an *********** ** **** for *** ******** ** shared *********** ********* (*******, QA, ********, ****** ************ etc) ** **** ** shared *********** (**********, *********, performance/scale, **** ********* ******, mobile ***) ** **** as *** **** ******* set ** ******. *** same ******* ** *** coordinated ****** *****, ******** and ******* *****. **** of ***** ****** ********** result ** ***** **** to ******* **** *********** while ****** ***** ** to ***** *** ****** more ****** * ****** customer ****.

*** ******* ***** *** each ******* ********* ** be ******** ** **** us * ******* **-** month **** ** *** investments. **** ******** ********. Our ********* **** ******* from *** **** **** our ******* ************ ******** and ************* ************ **** now ********* ************* ****** integrated *** *********. ** are **** ********* ** the ******** ********* ** deliver **** ****** ****** of ******* ** * global **** ***** ** our *********.

* **** ** ** very ***** **** ******** we *** ****** *******,** *** *** ******** our ******** *********** *********. ** *** ****** what *** * ****** distributed *********** **** *** consolidating ** ****** *** two **** *&* *******. This ***** ** **** more ********* *** *********** cooperation ****** * *** greater ****** ** *** skills *** *********. ******** customers **** ******* ****** all *** ****** ********* and *********** * *********** earlier *** ** *** also ***** ** ******* from *** **** ****** mobile *** ** ************ in ******** ****** *** other ********* **** ****.

**** ** ***** ***** you ***** ** ***** I *** *** ****** focus *** ******* *** how **** ***** ****** with *****/****** ******* *** team.

** *** ****, *** customers **** ** ** those **** ***** * premium ** ***** ******** security ******** ****** ******* of *** ********** ** their ***** ** *** specifics ** *** ********** they ******* **. **** attracted ** ** ***** and ****** *** ** saw * ******* ******** philosophy *** **** ** customer ****.

*** **** ******, *** primary ***** **** ******** to **** ** ******** on ******* **** ******* their ******* ******** ******** outcomes.

** ******* **** ******* focused **********/******** ** **** more ********** *** *** customers **** * ***** sighted **** ** *** many ******** *** *** squeeze **** * ******* (a ********** **** ** often *********** ** ********* who *** ** **** feature ***** **** **** will ***** ***).

*** *** ********* *** partners **** ***** ** feel *** ******** ** the *********** ** *** companies *** ** *** excited ***** *** ** see *** ****** ******* out.

**** **** ** ***** this ******** ****** **** your ******** *** ** always, *’* ***** ** talk **** ***** **** we *** *****.

Comments (77)

"if you are not moving forward then you are, by definition, falling behind"

Only a genius would come up with something so profound.

I have complete faith in this arrangement.

Agree: 5
Disagree
Informative: 3
Unhelpful
Funny: 18

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 3

Pro boxers, especially "sluggers" often suffer from brain damage as they take too many heavy hits. I'd be careful about taking advice from Mr Balboa at this stage in his career - especially as he suggest you just get up and keep taking punches.

It's up to each and every user/integrator to decide for themselves if they believe that you can just replace devs over a few months and have the same product. If we're cooking hotdogs, you might be able to replace the "chef", but is that what we're doing?

Agree: 8
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 6

"if you are not moving forward then you are, by definition, falling behind"

wait, what happened to the time-honored tradition of “barely treading water” ?

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 4

So where is the list of all the stuff that does not work? Give us that and we can call tech support all day long while we sit in traffic.

Milestone, genetec where are the bargains on flipping systems? Free IP camera licensing for onboarding 100/200/500+ camera systems for the first year.

Sometimes you just got to nuke and pave to remove legacy systems. 

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Undisclosed #3,

I work for LENSEC, manufacturer of Perspective VMS. We offer competitive displacement pricing and I would be more than happy to show you our HTML 5 based product. We have plenty of large deployments around the world.  There are other options other than Milestone & Genetec. 

Agree: 1
Disagree: 1
Informative: 1
Unhelpful: 8
Funny

Now there are 2 Lensec employees (Michael and Heather) promoting Lensec. Please stop. What this is going to do is motivate other smaller VMSes to post promotionally as well.

So here is your chance though, new discussion: Why Should Anyone Consider Lensec's VMS? Take this as an opportunity to make a substantive case for Lensec vs OnSSI, Genetec, Milestone, etc.

Agree: 11
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny: 1

I guess Lensec used all the marketing funds for IPVM memberships

Agree
Disagree: 1
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 8

I look forward to meeting you at ISC West in April! Please stop by our booth to say hello, I will only know you as "Undisclosed Integrator #8" so please remind me when you introduce yourself. All the best and take care until then!

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 5

#love

undisclosed takes a bit from the convo

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

so does people who use the word convo

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

So do*

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 1

Morten, were you giving a veiled warning when you posted Lambs to the Slaughter back in January? I just realized that it was tagged Ocularis.

Maybe we should have been paying more attention...

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny: 2

IPConfigure is hiring sales folks and would love to speak with any ONSSI staff looking to make a move. Email me @ chris.uiterwyk@ipconfigure.com

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 5
Unhelpful
Funny: 13

As a long time and fairly large OnSSI customer, the Qognify merger concerned me and the cuts last week just add to those concerns. I'm not ready to jump ship but only because I've gotten reassurances from a couple OnSSI people that I trust. Yes, they are both still with the company. Time will tell I guess, but also time to look at other options just in case.

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative: 7
Unhelpful
Funny

I'm in the exact same boat. My thoughts are, what a P.I.T.A. to move to a different VMS and OnSSI v5 has matured with v5.7 to the point where it needed to be. Now the company needs to mature and show us stability.

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny: 2

Why doesn't IPVM offer a "migration matrix"?  (or maybe they do, I just recently came back to the site)

There's got to be a lot of customers out there who are basically hostages of their VMS. They can't move because it's just too hard.

The first thing would be to say: what features am I really using? Then determine if those features are 1:1 represented among the alternatives. I'm not talking about "theoretically possible", but real 1:1 mapping of support.

Then there are a few other points that are painful:

1) Existing recordings, often in proprietary format (beware if you're being sold on that as being a good thing!), and often not trivial to convert. It may not be an issue for some customers.

2) Motion detection rules. Even though A and B supports motion detection, their parameters are not the same. If you have 1000 cameras, then reconfiguring them is going to be painful.

3) PTZ presets. Again, often stored in proprietary formats, some are even stored in the camera etc. they may need re-configuration too.

4) Maps and other assets.

And then there's the subjective, un-measurable aspect. The user is used to their old system. They know where the buttons are, and what they do, and they're not interested in a different system.

Furthermore, one company may have strong technical supporters who can actually help with issues in the systems, whereas others might just stick you in a 120 minute phone queue before they tell you to send the logs, w/o ever really solving the problem.

I guess there's a product in here somewhere  :)

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

I want to be very clear that although we are making changes, we are not reducing our Ocularis development headcount.

we’re not reducing headcount, just heads. 

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 6

A head is a head

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Very, very concerned. And to think that a few years ago, OnSSi was the darling of the integrator world ...

We are at a difficult crossroad too. Want to just drop them and move to something else... but how do you have q customer swallow the price for 400 licenses ... ?

I hate to be in that position .. They (OnSSI) were showing signs of instability... Now I am even more worried. OnSSI is not doing great .. That much can be said ...

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Undisclosed Integrator #4,

 

please see my my answer to Undisclosed #3 above. Would be happy to share our solution with you. We are looking for select VAR partners in certain regions.  

Mtrask@LENSEC.com

Agree: 1
Disagree: 2
Informative
Unhelpful: 8
Funny: 2

Think about the license costs when I consider my 1700+ licenses. Scary thought...

Agree: 5
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Just as Michael stated earlier, I too work for LENSEC, manufacturer of Perspective VMS. We offer competitive displacement pricing and we would be more than happy to demonstrate our HTML 5 based product. We have deployments around the world in various market segments.

Agree
Disagree: 5
Informative
Unhelpful: 9
Funny: 3

What a time to become a platinum dealer...

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 4

Morten, now that you are a free agent, maybe you can answer the question that has always stuck out:

In all your years at ONSSI, how come you didn’t write a recorder, like the one you wrote for Milestone?

Was it for legal reasons, because of your work for Milestone?

Considering the disadvantageous position that not having its own recorder put ONSSI in, and knowing your intrepid coding instinct,  I can’t imagine you didn’t start writing 3 or 4 new and improved recorders over your tenure.

Curious...

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 3
Unhelpful
Funny

See the OEM clause here:

https://ipvm.com/reports/milestone-onssi-oem

As you can see, OnSSI couldn't do their own recorder.

I didn't write the recorder at Milestone all on my own; I'd say I wrote the very first one on my own - only supported JPEG images and stored everything in an Access database. It would interface with a Siemens M20 modem so you could dial up your camera and get 1 fps 320x200 JPEG images from an Axis 200+ camera. Good times.

It would have been trivial to write a basic recorder that supported the top 5 camera manufacturers, and sell that as OnSSIs own, while using Milestone recorders for legacy or unusual cameras, but as you can see, that wasn't possible.

I didn't know about the clause until after it was leaked to IPVM, so I had a lot of heated discussions with management about not doing our own recorder. At OnSSI, no attempts were ever made to write a recorder.

I do however, have some spare time, and I did write one or two apps that can record video from an IP camera. But over the years, I've come to accept that the recorder is a very small piece of the entire project. A good UI for the operators is important, as well as good 3rd party integration with access control systems etc.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative: 7
Unhelpful
Funny

IMO Qognify made the right move here. The market in general has too many VMSes, and Qognify certainly has too many. They need to do some consolidation across the board if they hope to get any long term gain from this acquisition.

OnSSI and SeeTec still operating as two separate companies probably didn't help things either.

I am not familiar enough with OnSSI and Cayuga to say which is "better", but there needs to be a cage match of "2 enter, only 1 leaves" if either is expected to survive.

No matter how you look at it, the future of OnSSI as a platform is questionable at best. If I was an integrator doing a lot of business with OnSSI, I'd be looking at alternatives ASAP and making a decision on my own terms, before those terms got dictated by additional market forces.

Agree: 5
Disagree: 1
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

I agree.

I just disagree with the approach Qognify is taking, and I can only assume they had no other choice as they are basically taking the most risky approach possible.

You have to understand that the OnSSI R&D team was minuscule for the product mix we were supporting. Take a look at LinkedIn, and see how many new R&D hires you can find over the last 4 years vs departures. The savings they're getting from firing (almost) the entire team is pretty small compared to the risk involved. 

Having distributed teams is not a problem unless you're an incompetent manager/architect; e.g. you can do 3rd party access control integration in Kiev, camera drivers for X, Y and Z in Bruchsal, AI research in NY as these components are completely orthogonal. Milestone has a pretty strict driver interface definition, and so in principle, anyone can write their own DLL and plug it into the recorder. This allows Milestone to scale the operation, and do driver development without having everything done in one place, by one team.

If you're Google, Apple, Facebook or Amazon, you're attractive enough that people will re-locate to work for you (and Amazon offers to pay for it too). These companies understand the value of getting the right people for the job. For them, it's not just about headcount, but what's inside those heads. To Qognify 5 devs are 5 devs, and that's really all you need to know.

It's the opposite of my philosophy; we hired people who worked from their home in California and Florida. For example, the iOS app was written by one guy, and he did it faster, better and cheaper than the consulting firm that was being proposed (who passed off a github project as their own work!) - and he did it while supporting SDK users, fixing bugs etc. We have been pair-programming while I sat in a hotel in the middle east late at night, while he just made his morning coffee - if you have the right people, it works out fine.

I do not care if people were in the office from 6 am to 9 pm, or worked from 10 am to 4 pm from home. What mattered is the output. What good is it to force people to come to the office every day from 9 am to 5 pm, if they spend all their time at the water-cooler, or worse - in endless meetings without ever getting any real work done? The people that are motivated will deliver the output, those that aren't won't - it's not a matter of where they are physically located. Is it better to hire a terrible dev who comes in every day and just wants something on his resume or a genius who loves the job, but lives 1000 miles away?

So, yes, Qognify needs to reconcile their products, but that's not that they say they'll be doing. I can only speculate as to why they say so - perhaps because they know that changing VMS is a P.I.T.A, and current Ocularians are just not going to be happy if that's the message.

I think there WAS a cage-match, and for current Ocularis users, they just didn't want the Cayuga client to replace Ocularis. If you want to test this, just call up OnSSI, get the instructions to enable Cayuga as a client, and tell the customer that this is the UI they will be using from now on. Pay attention to their face.. do they look thrilled?

Agree: 6
Disagree
Informative: 9
Unhelpful
Funny

So Qognify doesn’t want the founders around, nor the senior developers, nor the brand.

Why buy them in the first place? 

Agree: 8
Disagree
Informative: 3
Unhelpful
Funny: 4

Lol, I gave you a funny and an informative!

First, the founders said leaving was their choice, though my opinion, based on no inside information, was that this was mutual.

One aspect that is less considered is Seetec. Seetec has zero brand and presence in the US (outside of it being OnSSI's recorder but that's under the hood). However, Seetec is a modest European VMS. Here are Seetec's 2017 financials that show they did ~$12 million USD. And Qognify has noted that Seetec's HQ has been chosen as one of the 2 ongoing R&D centers. And Seetec does have an engineering team there. How good Seetec's VMS or engineering team is we don't know as we have not tested or tracked Seetec.

So I think they see value in Seetec.

The other value is OnSSI's customer base. They still have quite a number of enterprise accounts in the US and that has value. What they ultimately do I don't know. Try to upsell to Seetec Cayuga or a Qognify VMS are reasonable things to consider.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative: 4
Unhelpful
Funny

First, the founders said leaving was their choice...

I believe them, since leaving is any founder’s first choice, but usually you want 1-2 years of commitment, even if you don’t really want much more from them than to sit there and look pretty.

For example, if Qognify wants ONSSI’s customer base to not to get alarmed, there’s an accepted method of calming; the founder’s claim how excited they are by the new possibilities and how this makes the new company stronger, and how committed they are, blah, blah, blah.

You might think, does anyone ever believe that crap?  

Sure, most people discount such statements, but it’s funny what happens when you DON’T or CAN’T even make hollow statements like that.

Customer’s get rattled, integrators consider alternatives, and Lensec smells blood in the water...

Agree: 5
Disagree: 1
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 5

I don't know. I agree with the logic about not rattling the customers. But what would they have done? Paid the co-founders a million combined for the next 2 years ($250,000 x 2 people x 2 years) just to smile? And then still heavily cut the staff? Were the co-founders supposed to just smile when that happened?

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

But what would they have done?

No, you’re right; if the plan has always been an Al “Chainsaw” Dunlap deal, the founders may not be worth keeping.

However, that only makes sense when the asset(s) you’re after are relatively unaffected by the resultant negative cloud over the company.

Like if you were really interested in the product/intellectual property.  But it doesn’t look like that was what they were after.

But if it’s true that

The other value is OnSSI's customer base.

then it might have been worth it to retain at least one of the founders for a bit, and let him expend his accumulated goodwill in reassuring their enterprise customers.

“In Gadi we Trust”

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 1

Look at page 6, last 3 lines of the financial report. It seems they lost (another) 1.7 mio euro and now have a loss carry forward of 15 mio. euro. I don't know how this all adds up; if an OnSSI customer buys $100 worth of licenses does it count towards both OnSSI and SeeTec?

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

if an OnSSI customer buys $100 worth of licenses does it count towards both OnSSI and SeeTec?

I have not seen a disclosure about the percentages but SeeTec says OnSSI is their largest customer so some portion of the OnSSI license fee clearly goes to SeeTec.

It seems they lost (another) 1.7 mio euro and now have a loss carry forward of 15 mio. euro.

The loss carry forward is common with investor funded tech businesses, i.e., loss money for years and eventually become profitable, etc.

The bigger problem is that they continue to have annual losses. Why they have those losses I am not sure, as I am not familiar with their business or German reporting structure.

Note: their operating loss was half that, at 878,623 Euros vs sales of 10.9 million Euros.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

The loss carry forward is common with investor funded tech businesses, i.e., loss money for years and eventually become profitable, etc.

But do those metrics apply to a 20 y/o company? It might as well be the hallmark of a dying company. Most struggling companies seem to take un more and more debt hoping that the business will turn around next year, but when that fails, even more debt is piled on. Debtors are hesitant to take the write-off and so you get these zombie companies that stumble around the landscape.

I think the cutbacks should be enough to put the company back in the black, but the question is if it sustainable.

SeeTec says OnSSI is their largest customer

"Customer" is the key word here.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

What an absolute mess and imbarasment. 

They just released Ocularis 5.7.  What will happened to all the customers that have active intergrations?  

Do we sacrifice the customer safety and security because OnSSI has reduced its R&D to nothing and offloaded it to some programmers in Israel stairing at an SDK?  

They have no presence here in the United States but we expect them to deliver?  I’m sorry, as a long time empoloyee I say no.

Agree: 4
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

deleted 

Agree
Disagree: 2
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny: 2

I think they rushed the release of 5.7 to get it out before word of the layoffs got out. I love OnSSI, they have been VERY good to me, but the new management scares the hell out of me.

Agree: 3
Disagree
Informative: 3
Unhelpful
Funny

Brian,

Yes scary, I like to say this when it comes to keeping systems running smooth.  It's just like changing the oil on your car, if you don't change it, eventually your engine will fail and you will need a replacement.   

I have OnSSI systems that are running 100% perfect, because we monitor the health of the system daily.  I know your system, it's large and you monitor it, you have nothing to worry about because the Support Team is vested in supporting you.

The unknown is what we will expect next, what if we want a new Ocularis Feature, now it gets vetted through NY to be programmed in Israel?  That's just for the front end, the back end Germany. 

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

imagine how many of their end user companies just paid their 2019 annual Stay Current fees....

...right before Qognify gutted the US dev team in Pearl River. 😲

 

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

This forum is something else. ONSSI Client and Base was better with Ocularis compared to NetDVMS. The See-Tec recorder was a massive upgrade over the Milestone system. Sure there were some hiccups but not ones that caused us any problems. Being able to centrally manage all recorders in one app instead of RDP’ing to each machine was a broad leap from the Milestone recorder. The scuttlebutt is amplified due to this competitive market- I get that, competitors jump on the guy that’s exploitable. But as a guy who was around since NetDVMS it only got better. Way better. They keep improving the product every year, what else do people want? 

Agree: 1
Disagree: 2
Informative
Unhelpful: 1
Funny

Jason, I concur that centralized management and other Ocularis v5 changes are way better than NetDVMS. I think the product was rough around the edges until 5.4-5.5. I'm glad I stayed with OnSSI. Now I'm worried about their ability to keep growing the product to stay competitive.

To answer your question, I want the product to keep improving every year.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

When NetDVMS was loaded at your BMOF, it literally came overnight in an envelope on a printed CD. That printed CD was blurry.

I have lived the 3.5 Milestone era, went thru the Seetec overhauls, which was not really stable until being able to run side by side conversions.

Underneath the 5.0+ hood, there are still config files you must check or edit when updates such as adding a new base and redirecting device managers to it using that Seetec splash app. It works sometimes and others you have to dive in and compare data in those files, manually type in the base ip address.

Onssi support is ok, not that that there is much to support. Most of the answers I get are No, we cannot do that with Ocularis (dead end).

The only problem I have now is other software wanting to tap into the Seetec engine. It is clunky and cumbersome and does not have any easy pipes to go with my docker mongodb to share/pull and retrieve data. Milestone plays better these days, not that their integrations are truly bi-directional and...written by one or two people /cough.

Onssi 5.7 does have some much needed updates, however those that authored the 5.7 release are they still there or are they down the road? How much of 5.7 was tested? Just the other day we get the email broadcast release of 5.7 and now the IPVM broadcast of all the turmoil.

Going back to that side by side conversion, worst case was a school system with 2200+ cameras, vendor A decided to upgrade the base and leave more than half the recorders as legacy and others not upgraded to the current revision sold. I took a look at the system and suggested they should find a vendor B, to clean up the job. The temporary base station licenses expire, not the recorder attached to a newer base.

I also see Lensec jumping up and down in this thread, going to try their stuff for fun. Just loaded Shinobi, which is very intuitive to the geek side however it is has way too many configuration after configuration for most to add one stream correctly.

I have played around with at least 50 other VMS, when it comes down to it the top players all have a balanced pro /con ratio with no one really winning in my book. Nothing new under the sun.

Will Onssi keep improving every year? I would like to hope so, but reading IPVM it just seems to become Whack-A-Mole season, which I do not mind at all (troll at heart). I have other integrations that I can think of that I would like to do, no one supports them. I am too old to go out and start writing code when most of these systems are locked down or warranty exempt if you tamper with them. Bummer, for the industry but not for me. Take care.

 

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

what else do people want?

I want them to continue development on camera drivers.

I want them to improve the way they integrate with access control, analytics, etc.

I want them to keep the Desktop Client and make the web client and mobile clients more like it.

But the biggest is probably just continue working on Ocularis. If they put Ocularis on the back-burner, doing just bugfixes and support, other integrators might will try to steal our customers by saying, "They're still selling a VMS that isn't even being developed anymore; let me set you up with a real VMS..."

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

They’ve done a great job so far, no reason other than the competition being opportunistic, to think they won’t continue. And for goodness sake, there are contracts that bring renewal revenue every year. That’s the value for Qognify, the good news about a VC group being in the game is that they look for profits. ONSSI has tons of licensed products out there and that’s a large part of that value. I don’t see them cutting that. 

I haven’t dealt with Milestone in the last couple of years but when I did they still hadn’t caught up with what ONSSI did better than them on their own recorder. The industry seems to hold ONSSI to a higher standard than Milestone, it’s crazy. Again, last I checked it was a better system than Milestone- the Milestone reps are welcome to reach out to me and prove me wrong. If I switch it will be because it’s a better product not because IPVM, Genetec, Milestone or other reps or end users say they are going to fail because they got a huge influx of cash and got rid of the top heavy parts of the organization.  

Agree: 5
Disagree: 2
Informative: 1
Unhelpful: 3
Funny

They’ve done a great job so far, no reason other than the competition being opportunistic, to think they won’t continue.

While the 'competition' may be opportunistic, ex and remaining OnSSI people seem to be quite concerned about the moves so I don't think the fear here is just from competitors.

say they are going to fail because they got a huge influx of cash and got rid of the top heavy parts of the organization.

I don't see the huge influx of cash. Clearly Qongify has some cash vis a vis their investment owner but if they were really operating as if they had a huge influx of cash, these cuts would not be consistent with such a cash-rich position.

As for getting 'rid of the top heavy parts of the organization', does that mean you think these cuts are beneficial? I am curious to hear if you do as I have not seen anyone (outside of Qognify's CEO) make that case yet.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

Mergers create redundancies right? Do we need to discuss the most basic parts of M&A?

Have you seen their Balance Sheet? Have you talked with anyone there about how the acq affects specific cash related parts of their business? I’ve done the latter. Are you just shooting from the hip? What employee doesn’t get a little nervous when the guys they worked for sell out and leave? Yes I’m saying that losing the top two was a good thing, don’t need CEO salaries anymore right?

Look, no one has a crystal ball here but this article is pure conjecture. Will they turn their back on millions in annual software support? I guess they could, but my entire point is that you guys aren’t considering basic dollars and sense and focusing on nothing  beyond water cooler talk. I’m sure the folks there appreciate you piling on

Agree
Disagree: 3
Informative
Unhelpful: 2
Funny

Yes I’m saying that losing the top two was a good thing, don’t need CEO salaries anymore right?

The top two leaving are understandable, in this situation. But cutting 15 people out of 50 or 60 is quite a lot. I don't see how that is simply 'redundancies', especially when so much knowledge of the Ocularis code base is now gone.

this article is pure conjecture.

We have a letter from the CEO to us. You can feel free to disagree without making clearly false accusations. I can see from your various comments, you strongly hold to your beliefs. That's fine. Let's see how it works out over the next few years.

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

You do have a letter from the CEO yet you draw your own conclusions to the contrary and say so clearly in the second to last topic of the article. It’s a hit piece and the hyenas came running to scavenge. That’s on you. 

 

Agree
Disagree: 4
Informative
Unhelpful: 3
Funny

Overall, it is a forum news post.

I don't see conclusions being drawn, only variability.

The suspects of that variability are not yet known.

So who is drawing the conclusions? The letter, the poster or the responders?

Agree
Disagree: 1
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Are you serious? Deprioritizing Ocularis: Our Belief is written in bold. 

Agree
Disagree: 2
Informative
Unhelpful: 2
Funny

Insert<Windows 2000 error.wav>

I am normally serious. However the deforestation of the US Ocularis base has happened. How can one forecast positive speculation for Onssi moving forward? Bold or not what do you got? 

The characteristics of failure, should it become reality for Ocularis burdens the integrator to contemplate that move of a big piece on the chess board.

Some may not have the overhead to idle on a once trusted platform divergence without feedback. Some may look around for a button to push to see what happens.

I suggested before and will again, if you have upcoming SSA renewals on the horizon WAIT. If you can afford to wait, wait. Large end users should be informed and the sky will not fall the day after the SSA/SUP lights go out.

The Onssi new owners need to draft a plan to ensure success without a huge disruption or forced cause and effect change in the near future. Clear stipulations, scope and intent. Not the typical 'oh dear' MBA answer, coverup sweet talk.

There is now clear reason to starting planning an alternative matrix consisting of Onssi's competitors to show new solutions and pricing. Negotiate options and outcomes with your customers now not later, have a plan in place. Use some brain mapping diagrams to plan. plan. decide. 

I am not speaking for the 16 camera system located at the end of the earth. I am speaking on leaving that large system that sat undefeated for the last decade. Upgrades Happen, seriously. This is crucially normal logistics to remove all the unbalances of all the red flag perspective siding of arms.

 

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

Back off for Crist’s sake!

Agree: 2
Disagree: 1
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 4

Awesome, you gave me a chance to go back and edit some typos found after this awesome PBR and PRB.

Pabst Blue Ribbon coupled with Prime Rib in Butter.

Ciao~!

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Also John- you have my email hit me up, you’ve visited my Linked In profile twice in the last few weeks. I just installed the app, don’t keep up with it really. 

Agree: 1
Disagree: 1
Informative
Unhelpful: 1
Funny

You do have a letter from the CEO yet you draw your own conclusions to the contrary

Yes, because we can think for ourselves and are not here to parrot what companies say. Sometimes we agree with company statements, sometimes we do not, e.g., our criticism of the Milestone (non)marektplace.

Keep in mind, company statements, especially when doing cuts, almost always spin positively yet things frequently continue to get worse in such situations.

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Onssi, Cayuga, Seetec, Qognify and whomever else being missed needs to show a dendrogram on how the associations that have had their control constraints changed post firing, whacking, changes into a new hierarchical cluster that shows success analysis based on their decisions. No crystal ball needed.

If all things remain the same and consistency of service and their integration competency holds bar, I will stick with them for now. Otherwise the shaft is coming as soon as the barn door has been left open. There is nothing random here, I am quite sure their business leaders have fed into an algorithm, even if it is a greedy one.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Thanks Jason - It's rare that the R&D team receives any praise for anything we did. Naturally, it did happen from time to time, but as a developer the most common comments are:

"Why the hell doesn't that work" (most of the time, those words came from me)

"Why the hell isn't it done yet"

"MY customer is important and needs this feature" (feature is never used)

"Milestone can do it" (Milestone doesn't do it)

When customers have issues we are sometimes brought in - not when the smoke first starts billowing, but when the entire neighborhood is a raging fire, and sometimes it's just too late and all we can do is shrug and say "let it burn to the ground, and save the rest of the village instead".

Contrary to popular belief, coders/developers can actually derive joy from the work - especially if we're working on something that makes sense. "Makes sense" means that it is something that the user will value, it's something that is technically possible, and something that is within our means to accomplish. We are not thrilled by just punching keys looking at a screen all day - something of value/purpose should emerge on the other side too (I'm sure there are exceptions, but they're rare).

However, Intent and ability is two very different things.

Intent is the easy part; the challenge is to phrase things so that people believe you have the ability. Whether you do or not, is a different matter.

Ability is the tricky part. Actually delivering on the promises is an entirely different story. You might make a typo here and there, and your voice may break as you're stating your intent, but code has to work and it needs to get written. It's not open to interpretation - it works, or it doesn't. And without knowing who you spoke to, let me ask you - did you talk to anyone who is actually going to do the work?

I guess that what Qognify is attempting to do might work.

I stress the use of the word "might" here.

This puts us on a gradient; your experience may equate "might" with "very likely" while others may equate it with "almost certainly will not". In this forum, where people post semi-anonymously, you'll find a lot of people who have absolutely no basis for giving any sort of qualified guess, but will offer their opinion anyways. So the posts and votes you see here can't be used as a reliable gauge as to what's going to actually happen. Votes are cast - primarily - by people who have an commercial interest in seeing this succeed or fail. The votes are not based on deep insights into the company's inner workings, nor based on the new managements ability to execute (googling may offer a little insight here).

Picking a new VMS is not easy.

In fact, one of my (many) vulgar analogies is about bakeries.

Imagine that customer are presented with 7 different piles of shit. No customer is going to be happy to take a bite, so the bakers start covering the shit in condiments. One baker covers the "cake" in glazing, and immediately customers prefer his offering. The others observe this, and demand that the poop gets glaze too. Then a cherry is added, then sprinkles, and so on. Eventually people forget what they are eating. Sure, they're genuinely happy when a new layer is added, but it's not the deep, fundamental satisfaction of biting into a freshly baked danish they're experiencing.

Then, one day, someone proposes to offer a cupcake. Just a no-nonsense boring cupcake. It might sell just fine, next to the awful concoctions on offer today.

The C-suite guys initially think that this might be a good idea, but then someone says - I don't like cup cakes. I like chocolate cake, someone says they're diabetic and can't have cupcakes, and research shows that glazed turds is what sells these days. No-one ever asked for a cupcake. "The market want's poop" the report says.

so it doesn't go anywhere.

Instead, another layer of topping is added to the cake.

Oh, btw. if anyone is interested in cupcakes, give me a call.

 

Agree: 3
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny: 2

MTN, your latter mentions of closure is perfect proverbial poop cupcakes. I like it. I will have mine with sprinkles. However sweety(BBT):

Disagree on:

1) Your gradient posture analysis, pending incomprehensive IPVM cognitive diagnostics or guesses.

2) Votes being cast, is neither here nor there, it is involuntary and unregulated. Guesses are a whim, deterministic worth is inferred to the readers own discretion.

3) Stipulations describing 'INTENT' vs 'ABILITIES' analogy has no focus or deducible means for the construct of argument Hence I will leave it be as it is vague/vain compilation of said argument(s).

4) AGREE! to the terms of selecting (picking) a new VMS with a customer is work.

5) Trolling lags out once poop bakeries producing feces became TYPE of customer.

6) If all that Onssi has left in the next few months is glazed turds and sloppy tech support the system internals have spoken.

 

Agree
Disagree: 1
Informative
Unhelpful: 5
Funny

..I guess..

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

"but it's not the deep, fundamental satisfaction of biting into a freshly baked danish they're experiencing"

Interesting. Milestone is pure Danish ...!

 

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Milestone is pure Danish ...!

And ONSSI is toast ...!

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 2

Camera drivers- I’ve had decent luck on that, we are a Sony, Axis, Bosch in that order. Just a thought- aren’t you guys seeing a movement to more generic drivers, we see that with Sony and Axis as well as a move towards ONVIF generic  

Access control- I would love for them to partner with a good provider for a real integration, something more than a sku with some commands that don’t work when either system changes firmware. We’ve started using devices like the Axis 8221 to being events into the system without relying on a canned and part numbered integration. Who do you like out there with a true integration? We have looked at some AWS based partners. 

Web- with you there. The way the media server works is secure, that’s not a bad thing with what’s going in the market with less secure systems, but it’s not easy.

 

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative: 3
Unhelpful
Funny

We like Sony and Axis also.

However, there are a few Axis cameras (fisheye and door station) that we were testing recently that were really hit or miss. Some firmware versions worked, some didn't. It was a little frustrating. (Plus my boss had already ordered the cameras after very little testing and we were having to work out the problems with them on the customer's system)

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

But as a guy who was around since NetDVMS it only got better.

My first VMS was NetDVR maybe version 4?  This was back in the day when the recorder and the interface were basically Milestone.  Though for a long time I thought ONSSI was the manufacturer, and never heard of Milestone.

You get a funny feeling when you find out that your beloved product x is actually product y.

Before I got clued in though, I remember I had a problem with a camera that I had used a inverted bungee pole-mount inside a trampoline,

and couldn’t figure out how to flip the picture on the VMS.  So I called tech support, on a Sunday nonetheless, and someone actually answered! (Not Morten).  Anyway, I remember the guy saying that NetDVR can’t flip the picture, and no VMS ever should.  Because VMSes are seriously busy with many streams and it’s just wrong to make the software do a transform in real-time.

We argued for 30 minutes, and I gave up.  Years later, I realized maybe some of the push back was because they weren’t in control of the development then.

Anyway, the camera soon died regardless, because it’s an indoor pt model, and the inversion makes a nice rain catcher :) 

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 2

Qognify ...has cut ~25% of OnSSI total employees, primarily at OnSSI's HQ in Pearl River, NY.

Perhaps a floor consolidation is in the works as well?

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Is that the default image from Ocularis? /Maps/Images or whatever that pathway is? LOL.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 1

I’m sorry to say but why has OnSSI or the new owners taken the time to comment?  

We can speculate until we were blue in the face but where are the comments coming from OnSSI.  

WE HAVE CUSTOMERS TO RELORT TO!

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 1

Have you talked to your rep? 

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Jason,

I have not yet, but just read the Press Release that was sent out and it put me at ease and my customers.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

We can speculate until we were blue in the face but where are the comments coming from OnSSI.

Compliments of the new owners:

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 6

Just in Qognify’s Euphemism Bingo Scorecard latest statement:

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

I resisted, but looks like I better learn to pronounce Qognify

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 1

Interesting... the headquarters will be in New York but, all of the importance "stuff" will be done in Germany, Israel or "offshore".  I hope they can make it work!

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

The Press Release that just got sent out by them is all I needed, all a customer needs.  It is reassurance from all the Buzz that has been going on.  They actually answered a lot of questions that came from this thread.  

This forum is a "public meeting place for open discussion."  Nothing more nothing less.

My statements are based on emotions for a lot of my previous colleges of 7 years, getting laid off that have family's, homes, newborns and I personally care about them, because we were a family.

My decision to move on from OnSSI 7 months ago was just part of my 7 year plan to master the rest of the industry. 

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Qognify/ONSSI Reorganization Plan Explained

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 4
Read this IPVM report for free.

This article is part of IPVM's 6,953 reports, 927 tests and is only available to members. To get a one-time preview of our work, enter your work email to access the full article.

Already a member? Login here | Join now
Loading Related Reports