Updated March 5 with interviews with DW's Wade Thomas and Ian Johnston of ISD.
Whenever a big company like Digital Watchdog acquires a start-up like Innovative Security Design (ISD), as happened earlier this week, a common concern is whether the acquired company will be allowed to continue to innovate. Executives from both DW and ISD told Security Systems News, there’s no need to worry.
Most companies want an acquisition to “assimilate into [its] culture, revenue and business model,” Wade Thomas, Digital Watchdog president told me. “We want to let ISD do what they do best and give them runway to grow.”
Digital Watchdog, a privately held manufacturer of video surveillance products, on March 3 announced that it had acquired ISD.
ISD will remain an independent entity within DW, and it will continue to work with OEM partners.
ISD was founded by Ian Johnston, former CTO of IQInvision, in 2012. Here's an interview I did with Johnston when he launched the company. ISD turned some heads at ISC West last year when it introduced its netSeries camera—the first IP camera that uses Microsoft Windows as its base operating systems. Here's an interview I did with Johnston about the netSeries camera last May.
This week, Johnston said that most of ISD’s suitors were established IP camera companies, were he would have to “go in and change their minds and break up their notions of what an IP camera is.”
In some ways, ISD is more of a “design house or solutions factory so-to-speak,” Johnston said. And, DW will let ISD continue that way. “DW has great manufacturing experience and depth that will help us be price competitive,” he added.
It will also allow ISD to “build inventory and be attractive to really large companies that are looking to partner with us on an OEM [basis].”
DW's products include: IP and analog cameras, DVRs, NVRs, software and apps. It has been in business since 1987. In addition to its corporate office in Tampa, Fla., it has an office in Cerritas, Calif. It will keep ISD’s office in Irvine, Calif. Its business is concentrated in North and South America and has about 75 employees in the United States.
DW has engineering and manufacturing facilities in Seoul, Korea. Its products are assembled in the U.S., however.
Thomas declined to release terms of the deal.