What to make of the storage companies
Storage may be the most difficult aspect of the video surveillance industry for me to get a handle on. I can see the performance of cameras. I can play with the features provided by different types of software. I can even push the buttons on a DVR. But it's so hard to evaluate storage solutions side by side. And now that more and more are entering the security industry because of the great sucking sound caused by all that data megapixel cameras are creating, it's even harder to know whom to listen to and pay attention to. Check out Overland Storage, as just one example. Security Director News did a story on their work with ADT and Mobotix to secure the Rock and Roll Annex in NYC. Now InfoWorld is giving them some kind of award for the installation, which seems pretty ordinary to me, but what do I know. But then you look at Overland's finances and it's pretty clear why they're interested in video surveillance all of a sudden. They need something to float their boat. Or, to quote them: "We reported net revenue of $105.6 million for fiscal 2009, compared with $127.7 million for fiscal 2008. The decline in net revenue resulted in a net loss of $18.0 million, or $1.41 per share, for fiscal 2009 compared with a net loss of $32.0 million, or $2.51 per share, for fiscal 2008." So they're losing less, but they're losing a lot. Now they're reverse splitting their stock to try to get it worth more (maybe to retain NASDAQ listing?). But, hey, five years ago they were worth $20 a share, and they clearly have a history in storage. Should a security integrator take a chance on working with Overland, thinking they'll right their ship and figure out surveillance and make it into a new profitable business? Or would a security installation be wary of a company that seems strapped for cash and grasping for revenue wherever it can get it?