Digital Audio Corporation acquires Salient Stills

Companies to integrate their video, audio forensics software into a single solution


Video forensics software provider Salient Stills announced on Monday that it has been acquired by forensic audio firm Digital Audio Corporation (DAC). Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Laura Teodosio, president and CEO of Salient Stills, said that the acquisition brings two of the “premier” forensic technology companies together and will enable them to integrate their respective solutions together into one comprehensive offering at some point in the near future.

“We’re beginning to see these forensic tools penetrate the smaller organizations, moving from larger federal organizations down to smaller organizations as video and audio evidence become more of a reality for all agencies,” she said. “I think what’s nice about bringing these two companies together is that law enforcement and the intelligence community will have a single tool to use rather than using a number of discreet tools. It makes it easier and more effective for them to do their job.”

Salient Stills’ VideoFOCUS software enables users to capture and export video from a variety of different sources. In fact, Teodosio said that the company’s cutting-edge technology was recently used by several agencies involved in the investigation into the Boston Marathon bombings.

“I think the next direction (in the video forensics market) is instead of doing just post-event analysis, it’s really moving toward the direction of pre-event analysis or real-time of how to analyze information that’s coming in to identify threats and handle them in real-time,” she added.

Teodosio said that the integration of these forensic video and audio solutions will also provide enhanced ease of use to customers.  “We work with video and one of the key pieces of video is often there is audio that is evidence in there and we currently can’t use it,” she said. “It has to be exported out, worked with in other tools and brought back in, and so what’s going to happen when we integrate is that process is going to be seamless for investigators. They will be able to both analyze the video and the audio in one session, in one tool.”   

Donald Tunstall, president and general manager of DAC, said that his company has had a strategy for the past seven or eight years to find similar companies that they could merge with, but finding the right match has proven to be a challenge given the small number of highly-specialized companies in their industry which serve the same customer base. “In order to make it more efficient to grow and offer a better integrated offering to the customers, it’s important we find other complementary companies like ourselves to combine with,” he explained.

Both Salient Stills and DAC have customers around the globe, the majority of whom are in the law enforcement and intelligence communities. In the short term, Tunstall said the main advantage the newly combined companies will see is improved operational efficiencies. “It just makes things easier from an operational standpoint if we combine sales and marketing, for example, and combine some administrative functions,” he said. “DAC’s footprint is global, Salient’s footprint is global and when your global it gets a lot easier to do things together than to be separate.”

Although the companies intend to integrate their operations, Teodosio said that Salient will retain their brand identity for the time being.  “I think Salient Stills, at least for some period of time, will still be a brand because it and VideoFOCUS are quite recognizable certainly in the video forensics community and I think we will have to address, moving forward, what will be the larger branding for the joint organization,” she added.