Mixed reac to Pelco deal

SSN readers split down the middle as to impact on market
Monday, October 1, 2007

YARMOUTH, Maine--Shortly after the announced purchase of video manufacturer Pelco by French conglomerate Schneider Electric, Security Systems News polled our readers as to how the deal will affect the security industry at large. After more than 200 readers weighed in, the results were decidedly mixed.
Asked whether the Pelco sale would have a positive effect on the market, 37 percent said yes, 41 percent said no, and the remaining 22 percent said the sale would have no effect. The naysayers focused on Pelco's reputation for service, which is near legendary in the security industry, and worried it would not continue as part of Schneider, despite Schneider's assurances to the contrary.
"Pelco has always been looked at as the shining example of a private company that bucked the acquisition trends in the security industry and was very successful doing it," said Paul Broome, founder of consultancy Compair. "Their service attitude was always the first positive mentioned when the Pelco name came up in conversations. Although real service is a costly issue, Pelco has been willing to eat the service costs in order to sit at the banquet of increased market share. Having worked in the service and support end for smaller companies who were later bought by larger entities, I can only wonder how long the 'service' will continue as in the past. Yes, I know Schneider indicated that the Pelco operation would continue as is, but I have heard that answer a couple of times before."
For those looking for positives, most focused on Schneider's stated push toward IP video.
"I think that the sale of Pelco will do a lot for the company as a whole," said John Eddy, of Global Security Services in Pooler, Ga. "Pelco is a great product that can only get better. They do not currently have any strong products for the IP video market, as the times have changed from what they used to have in the market. With the foreign ownership, the IP market should open up for them to expand their products in the near future. Don't get me wrong, I hate to see a company go to foreign owners, but sometimes this can be a plus and it should be in this case."
Eddy here speaks largely for the group of respondents. Just 35 percent said they saw Pelco "as a leader in IP video," while there was no clear opinion on what foreign ownership means for Pelco going forward. Only 52 percent saw it "as a problem."
Eric Taylor, owner of Prevent Security and Technology, is a Pelco dealer and clearly a glass-half-full type of guy. "I think the sale of Pelco to Schneider will have a positive impact on Pelco's R&D," he said. "I hope we see new products, such as IP cameras, come out faster, which will allow us to compete with the new players in the market, such as Cisco."