GVI looks at next phase of evolution, with analog and IP offerings

Organic and inorganic growth strategies on drawing board for 2011
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

CARROLLTON, Texas—Following the dissolution of the partnership between GVI Security and Samsung Techwin America, GVI execs say they’re looking forward to the next phase of the company’s evolution in 2011.

GVI and Samsung Techwin America announced Dec 17 that GVI would no longer be the master distributor for Samsung, effective Jan. 1. Executives from both companies said the 11-year partnership had run its course and characterized the split as amicable.

The separation will end some market confusion and enable new growth opportunities, GVI Security CEO Steve Walin told Security Systems News on Dec. 28.

A key phase in the partnership came after Samsung Electronics sold its CCTV business to Samsung Techwin America in October of 2009. In January of 2010, GVI and Samsung announced an agreement where the two would share the market in North America for three years. “Samsung planned to focus on the large systems integrators, while GVI would go after wholesale distributors and small- and medium-sized dealers and installers who normally buy from wholesale distributors,” Walin said.

Despite their best intentions, the arrangement “didn’t work for any of us: customers were confused. Our growth was limited because of the way we were segmented, and it probably didn’t work well for Samsung either. Frank [De Fina, head of Samsung] wanted to build a team, and work on a direct basis with everyone, so we had a change of strategy,” Walin explained. The two decided to end the agreement after one year rather than three.

How does this separation affect GVI?

GVI has always had its own branded security products, Walin noted. About a year ago, GVI acquired a company called PacketNVR. Its owner, Tom Galvin, an industry veteran who had previously worked for Verint and run GE Security’s video security business, was developing a “mid mass-market video management software for IP,” Walin explained. “We acquired them a year ago, finished the product, added hardware and introduced it as GVI’s autoIP line.”

Recently, GVI introduced its razberi device, which is designed to simplify IP video deployment by combining the functions of a network video recorder, powered Ethernet switch, network router and video management software with auto setup features as part of its autoIP product line.

“The line is for the small- to medium-sized dealer, integrator or installer who wants to do IP video, but doesn’t have a lot of time and resources to train [its employees],” he said. The products are designed to be easy to install, operate and maintain, he said.

GVI also is introducing a new analog line of products to its Video Plus line. This will expand the “scope and depth” of GVI’s analog offerings to include a “full line up of cameras and DVRs,” Walin said. “With about 70 percent [of camera sales] still analog, many of our customer still want analog.”

Other than its focus on these product offerings, what will GVI be doing in 2011? “As we part ways with Samsung and the next year begins to unfold, our plan includes both organic and inorganic growth strategies,” Walin said.

GVI is owned by GenNx360 Capital Partners, which purchased the formerly public company about a year ago. Among the security experts at GenNx360 is managing partner Lloyd Trotter, a former long-time executive at GE Security, who headed up the acquisition of Interlogix.