Ioimage perspective on acquisition by DVTel

Following Tuesday's announcement that IP video surveillance and access control firm DVTel had acquired Israel-based video analytics company ioimage, spoke with John Whiteman, president of ioimage in the Americas about what this means for ioimage.

The key, said Whiteman, is that full integration with a VMS and camera company is what makes the most sense for analytics firms.

"This is really the next natural progression of ioimage as an analytic provider," Whiteman said. "Over last couple years as IP solutions have gained traction, the end-user has been looking more toward an end-to-end IP solution. We realized that we needed to leverage analytics with a VMS provider or a camera company, and we think we got the best of both worlds [with DVTel] in that they are a leader in VMS and also in IP cameras."

Whiteman said the path that ioimage has taken -- becoming part of an overall surveillance products and VMS company -- is a logical one for many analytics companies.

"I do believe you'll see others taking the same path," Whiteman said. "You have a choice to either develop those products on their own, and we did consider that, but for us to come to market with something like what DVTel has – a full range of cameras and a VMS -- would have taken millions of dollars and years of development."

In terms of the technology, ioimage's analytics (which are embedded in the camera, a so-called "edge" approach, as opposed to the analytics model which does full processing at a server, DVR or NVR) have been integrated with a high number of VMS companies besides DVTel. Whiteman notes that there have been projects with 3VR, Exacq, JDL and many others. Those integrations typically take the ioimage API to do the integration, but the level of integration has varied extensively with each company. The integration with DVTel's iSOC video management system, on the other hand, will be full and complete.

"The technical benefit of this acquisition is that we will have full and seamless integration," Whiteman explained. "Most times people don't get the full integration because that's not specified or done by the integrator. They don't always use the full, inherent power that we have in the ioimage product."

Whiteman said that's a clear benefit for the integrators, who have often struggled with incomplete integrations between third party companies, including VMS and analytics providers. "It would certainly lessen the challenge for integrators," Whiteman said. "They now have one company as a chokepoint. No longer can the VMS company and the analytics company put the blame on the other company if the system is not working properly."

On a business level, the companies have already started the R&D work necessary to fully integrate their products. It's made easier by the fact that both companies have R&D based in Israel and the two offices have been within walking distance of each other. Besides R&D, Whiteman said the companies can complement each other in terms of worldwide positioning. While both firms have an Israel base, DVTel brings strength in North America, and ioimage brings an office and sales infrastructure in Northeast Asia.

"From the perspective of what it means for our customers, it is that we almost immediately have a global presence and footprint, and an improved support and sales organization," Whiteman said. "Our companies have a lot of synergies in different areas of the world. In the U.S. we are small, but DVTel is very big here with infrastructure for support, business development and sales. [To build that level of staffing for ioimage in the U.S.] all of those things would have cost us hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars to develop. But now we get immediate access to that infrastructure. We think we're going to be better globally. This is the next step in ioimage and video analytics in general."