Vicon CEO Losing Strategy

By John Honovich, Published Sep 30, 2014, 12:00am EDT

They got the Milestone exec to be their CEO, but his strategy is shaping up to be no better than the failing ones of the previous Vicon / IQinVision regimes.

In this note, we examine the strategy and its weaknesses.

Strategy - Mimic Milestone

The plan is to have the camera and recorder businesses run independently, as open platforms.

Basically, he is bringing the Milestone / Canon model to Vicon / IQinVision.

Here are key quotes from Vicon's CEO Eric Fullerton:

  • "We’re going to have to run the capture side and the video management side as two, independent business units internally in the company for several different reasons."
  • "We can open up Vicon from being a proprietary solution to being an open solution – both on the video capture side which is the cameras and on the video management side – and build solid APIs and interfaces to third-party interfaces such as access control, analytics, building management, etc., so we can have a next-generation platform that provides more value for end users through integration of third-party applications."

Weaknesses

The strongest advantage of a manufacturer having both camera and VMS lines is to package and cross-sell them. Avigilon is the poster child for success here, but this is the accepted practice of pretty much every conglomerate. While each line can be 'open', the focus is not to keep them independent but to benefit from selling them together.

Packaging means greater revenue per sale, improved sales efficiency, simpler support, etc.

Equally important, trying to compete individually (as cameras alone or VMS alone) faces much tougher competition. Can Vicon VMS really compete against the massive investment companies like Milestone and Genetec have made in open VMS software? Can Vicon / IQinVision cameras really compete against huge companies like Axis, Hikvision, et al? They have struggled for years trying to do so. What changes now?

Maybe with time and money (i.e., years and tens of millions of development), they could compete against the top individually but Vicon clearly does not have those luxuries.

This approach is what Fullerton knows best. But it is very hard to understand how this is the right fit for an underdog company like Vicon / IQ, that just merged, presumably and hopefully for the benefit of combining the two together.

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