The Most Misleading Announcement of ASIS 2014

By John Honovich, Published Oct 02, 2014, 12:00am EDT

One magazine called it "the biggest news to come out of the first day of ASIS 2014." Another described it in biblical terms.

What could get them so excited?

Answer: a struggling small analytics company partnering with Axis.

In this note, we examine Sightlogix's struggles, the meaning of the 'partnership' and what drove this fawning coverage.

The Announcement

Sightlogix issued an announcement about a "Strategic Partner Program with Axis".

Sightlogix, a company with ~$5 million revenue, claims that they will help Axis, a company with ~$800 million revenue, "build a new revenue stream where none previously existed." 

Axis Partners Anyone

Axis partners with pretty much anyone:

Even competitors partner with Axis. For example, Avigilon is an Axis 'partner'. And Axis and Sightlogix sell competing lines of thermal cameras, both with analytics, including Axis many existing analytic ACAP partners.

Sightlogix Struggles

Despite a decade since its founding, Sightlogix continues to try to find success.

Sightlogix has struggled in its heretofore core market of critical infrastructure with recent annual revenue in the $5 million range and a private market capitalization of ~$10 million, according to documents IPVM has attained.

A key challenge has been product / market fit, with products that are far more expensive than their analytic competitors. The company has tried to justify it by claiming longer range and lower total infrastructure costs but, evidently, not enough customers have (literally) bought into that.

They are hoping to pivot / expand into the commercial space with an RMR offering that automates guard patrol services. This certainly has been tried before, and VideoIQ had some success with central monitoring stations, though even they only managed to hit $10 million total company annual revenue before acquisition.

Sightlogix has raised a modest amount of new funding in the past year.

Enter De Fina

Sightlogix's most public recent move was hiring Frank De Fina, the former sales executive at Samsung.


If you are wondering why the trade mags so quickly covered this in the middle of a trade show and had such gushing things to say, SSN admits it:

"Frank De Fina, SightLogix EVP of sales and marketing, described the program during a media dinner here at the ASIS show."

That is how 'journalism' is done in this industry.

And that's not a single dinner. De Fina has been building this for years. Here is a 2010 trade magazine article describing it:

"The Dark Restaurant Society is the brainchild of Frank DeFina of Samsung, and is a collection of security industry editors, who do one of two things they like the most -- we eat together."

Besides eating, the other thing they like to do is write glowing articles on those who take them to eat.

Do this, show after show, year after year, and you transform a meaningless announcement into an industry milestone.

Key Lessons

For manufacturers, we see two key lessons:

  • Tout your partnership with Axis. Even if the partnership is meaningless, you have validated yourself by giving the impression that the biggest brand in the industry endorses your product. People will look more seriously at you.
  • Take trade magazine editors to dinner or vacation. It works.

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