This week, GVI Security Solutions Inc., doing business as SAMSUNG| GVI, announced the acquisition of a suite of video management systems (VMS) software and related technology from software provider PacketNVR, LLP. The acquisition was effected through GVI's wholly-owned subsidiary, GVI Video Management Solutions.
Following the announcement, SDM interviewed GVI chairman and chief executive officer, Steven Walin:

SDM: Can you begin by summarizing the acquisition?

Walin: We acquired PacketNVR, LLP, which had completed the development of a mid-market VMS we will trademark as AutoIP. The company had the technology that we wanted to acquire because we saw a gap in the mid market for an easy-to-install, easy-to-use, easy-to-support VMS that could be sold not only by the systems integration/dealer channel but also by the wholesale distribution channel as well.

SDM: Can you talk about the acquisition in relation to your camera line and the impact the acquisition will have there?

Walin: The idea is to not only be able to provide a complete solution for a customer who wants to install IP simply and easily, but also to be able to drive Samsung Electronics IP cameras. We have introduced and released a lot of IP cameras in the last few months that will connect to AutoIP VMS and we believe that not only will we benefit from having the VMS sales, but it will also drive our camera revenue as well. It should be noted that our cameras and our VMS will be open to other suppliers. Samsung IP cameras will also connect to Milestone (and other) as well as additional VMS providers and cameras like Axis, Sony and others that also will connect to our AutoIP VMS. Our concept is to be completely open, but we will be on both sides – software and hardware – offering a total package solution.

SDM: Where does being “open” fit with GVI as a company?

Walin: Well, it is more important where it fits with our customers’ desires. As you get more and more into the IP part of the market, you deal more and more with IT players. IT departments and personnel are used to open systems. They’ll buy computers from one company and printers from another company and they expect to have no problems with the two working together. Customers want to be able to move among different components. Our view is that we are responding to our customers’ desires and requirements. It is not for us to decide, it is for them to decide - and we believe they have already decided that they want open systems.

SDM: How does this acquisition position you in the IP world?

Walin: It takes us into the IP space in a very big way because it allows us to offer a total IP solution, which we did not have before. We had IP cameras – and now we have cameras and AutoIP VMS software, so we are positioned very well now. Also, this acquisition fills a gap in the market where customers want to install an IP solution, but they do not want to spend a lot of money or to have a complex installation. This is meant to be a plug-and-play solution that easily installs and operates and is simply supported with Internet-based updates.

SDM: How did you decide on Packet?

Walin: In addition to the technology, Tom Galvin was an important part of the decision to acquire PacketNVR. Galvin has a long background in technology and video technology with a very strong expertise. He had done consulting work and has written articles in trade magazines.  He is very well versed in the market and the technology. Part of the incentive for the acquisition was to acquire Galvin and his expertise. He owns PacketNVR. He’ll be relocating to Dallas as vice president of product management. Galvin has a partner, who worked with him to develop the product, and he’ll also be working with us to implement the product, expand it, support it and improve it over time.

SDM: What timeline are you on?

Walin: We are about 30 days away from beginning to install the system in beta sites. We’ll go through a significant beta program over the next month or several months to get customer feedback, and then we will launch it officially at ASIS. Along with that, there will be a series of road shows – we’ll travel around the country and show the product to key channel partners and customers.

SDM: What does this acquisition mean for shareholders?

Walin: This moves GVI to a new point, especially from a valuation standpoint. The acquisition moves us from being a reseller to a company that now owns its intellectual property and also has a very strong sales and marketing logistics capability, some of which is reselling Samsung products as their strategic partner for the America. Our own intellectual property gives us a new valuation as a technology company. It has a double benefit because we have both valuations. Not only do we have technology that we own, but we also have the machine to move it through the marketplace.