Lee Caswell is founder and CSO of Pivot3
Pivot3 has seen tremendous financial gains in 2012 and could even double its revenues from the year prior.
Photo credit: (Photo courtesy Pivot3)
According to a statement issued this week by video storage solutions provider Pivot3, the company’s 2012 third quarter year-to-date revenues have “significantly exceeded” those of its full 2011 fiscal year and that the company may even double its revenues from the prior year. To date, the company has recorded more than 370 transactions in the surveillance market, having won notable contracts in the gaming, corrections and transportation markets.
Lee Caswell, founder and chief strategy officer for Pivot3, said that when the company first entered the industry back in 2003, they had to educate a lot of people in the market about the associated costs and the important role that storage played in the overall deployment of a surveillance system. However, with several industry trends emerging since that time, such as the continued migration to IP-based video technology, increased footage retention times and just an overall explosion in the prevalence of surveillance cameras, getting buy-in from customers on quality storage solutions is not the challenge it used to be.
“A lot of people when we started were like ‘why do we even need a new storage company in the surveillance market?’ Given that storage and servers are, in most cases, half or more of the costs of a full-blown installation, we had to educate people about how important it was to look at storage strategically instead of just a tactical commodity,” Caswell said.
Caswell said that Pivot3 has also established some strong partnerships in the industry along the way. In fact, surveillance solutions provider Samsung recently made a minority investment in the company, which Caswell says will help expand Pivot3’s global footprint. “That investment gives us a fair amount of reach into the worldwide surveillance market,” he explained.
While the company’s early successes were in the gaming market, Caswell says that Pivot3 has since branched out into other markets such as the federal government and transportation sectors, which have subsequently become the company’s two biggest verticals. Getting the government to adopt Pivot3 solutions over traditional brands in the IT space wasn’t always easy though. “Even though our company had a very compelling value proposition around higher performance, better availability and lower costs, the fact was that conventional IT products were sometimes deployed even though they were substantially higher cost simply because their brands were better understood,” he said.
However, the market for video storage products has changed in several significant ways since Pivot3 first arrived on the scene. According to Caswell, people are now more knowledgeable about storage and video evidence is more heavily relied upon that at any point in history, making the need for dependable storage options paramount.
“First off, everyone has had to gear up or load up on storage because everyone knows that storage is the key element of the solution. When we started, we were talking about things like RAID, for example. RAID was not even being used,” Caswell said. “If you look across police forces, for example, the reality or the high impact where video allows you to leverage your security force in really important ways… that leverage of surveillance is markedly different. The video systems and storage that’s part of it became a mission critical system. “
Despite advances in cloud technology and the ability to store video offsite, Caswell said he doesn’t expect it will substantially impact the need for the physical storage appliances like Pivot3’s, which are typically used for high-end security applications. “For now and for security purposes, the public cloud is really restricted to more small retail establishments, who would never have been a Pivot3 customer or certainly weren’t the customers we target,” Caswell says. “If what you care about is high-resolution video, then that video is simply too big to send up over the cloud.”
Going forward, Caswell said the company plans to focus on expanding its geographic reach and coming up with new and innovative products.
“If you took our core business today, there’s certainly a natural extension where we are expanding the geographic reach of the company. We’ve got offices now in Australia, Singapore, the UK and Dubai. Certainly that geographic expansion means that video expansion is happening across the world so we have to go and be at those spots because you have to have a local presence in order to provide an open systems solution,” Caswell said. “We’re also listening really closely to our partners about ‘next’ products and what those products need to look like. We’re reinventing how video will be displayed.”