We asked a few industry leaders to share their thoughts on what Cisco's forthcoming acquisition of BroadWare means. Here's what they had to say:
"Based on what we are seeing, the video surveillance infrastructure market is experiencing phenomenal growth across multiple industries. Cisco recognizes the market opportunities, and the acquisition validates this important market. I predict that you will see an increasing number of more innovative technologies giving customers scale, flexibility and performance needed for intelligent, integrated IP video networks."
-- Richard â€œChipâ€ Howes, CEO, Steelbox Networks
"Expect Cisco to keep learning, growing and acquiring to expand its physical security business. Traditional security industry companies who in the past have grown their product lines and customer bases by acquisition, have done so in a somewhat clumsy fashion. For the most part they have not done a very good job of reconciling their products to eliminate the confusion caused by product overlap.
In contrast, Cisco's acquisitions are strategic, directly support their market share expansion, and fit into Cisco's Intelligent Converged Environment (ICE) framework. That's a new twist for the security industry -- a technological framework into which acquisitions can fit. Cisco can hit the ground running from both a technology and a marketing perspective.
Cisco does not stop there, however. With its Cisco Connected Real Estate (CCRE) it is also doing something very important that traditional security industry manufacturers are struggling with but have so far failed to do. Cisco is defining and enabling convergence-based business models for its business partners and customers using Cisco technologies.
All of these things give Cisco a very powerful position, and the company is nowhere near done yet. I don't think traditional security industry companies are examining the breadth of what Cisco is doing closely enough."
--Ray Bernard, industry consultant, author of The Security Minute, and contributing editor for Security Technology & Design magazine
"I can see how the Cisco/Broadware acquisition fills a bit of a strategic hole at Cisco. So, in that way itâ€™s not much of a surprise, but I don't think it's a deal that customers were clamoring for. Much like Ciscoâ€™s SyPixx acquisition, Broadware requires a routed IP network serve as a back-bone for their video distribution technology. Thatâ€™s important for Cisco, because in-the-end success in the security market will be measured in switch and router sales. Thatâ€™s not a metric customers typically use, however. And thatâ€™s probably why the end-user response to this deal has been so muted.
Instead, today, successful innovation in key security markets, like retail, banking, and critical infrastructure, has focused on leveraging technology to provide specific applications and value propositions not possible before. Computer vision, search, biometrics and other technologies all hold the potential to meaningfully impact fraud, crime and loss, for example. Cisco sees that too, and plans to offer those kind of solutions eventually, but not until customers put their video on a Cisco network. In the meantime, companies like 3VR are selling those solutions today."
--Steve Russell, CEO & Founder, 3VR
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