How suite it is for Viisage

New product, acquisition part of focus
Monday, November 1, 2004

BILLERICA, Mass.- In an effort to build its business beyond the biometric market, Viisage launched a suite of identity solution products in August and then turned around in September to buy the manufacturer of the technology that is embedded in its new offering.

The back-to-back announcements are part of Viisage’s efforts to broaden its reach in the security market. The company has traditionally been known as a biometrics provider and focused on the facial recognition market. But with the pair of announcements, company officials plan to shed that image and replace it with that of an identity solutions provider.

“We’re really focusing on the bigger issue. That is, the integrity of identity,” said John Dorr, vice president of marketing for Viisage. “We’re seeing that biometrics is part of a bigger end.”

Viisage’s new offering is the Viisage Proof product, which is part of the Viisage Identity Solutions Suite and one of several new products slated for launch. It enables people to check credentials, such as a passport or driver’s license, against a database of images and information. It can also read security features on identification items to check for counterfeiting.

To shore up its transformation, Viisage acquired Imaging Automation, a Bedford, N.H., firm for $5 million in cash and 3.9 million shares of Viisage common stock. It also assumed $2.9 mil-lion of Imaging Automation’s debt.

Imaging Automation reported unaudited revenues of $6 million for its fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, 2004, a 100-percent increase over revenues for the prior year.

Not only does the transaction give Viisage access to Imaging Automation’s document authentication technology, it also provides greater exposure to government agencies in the United States, Canada, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Officials from Viisage expect to leverage those relationships as the company broadens its identity solutions products.