In July Arecont Vision Costar was formed after Costar Technologies acquired Arecont Vision. Arecont Vision Costar is now a business unit of Costar Technologies a Texas-based corporation that designs, develops, manufactures, and distributes a wide range of proven products for the video surveillance and machine vision markets. Most of the employees and the executive leadership team transitioned to the new business, as did all existing products, technologies, patents, and trademarks of the original company. We asked Raul Calderon, President of Arecont Vision Costar, about the first months of the new formed company, the next steps and Arecont’s plan to go forward.
GIT SECURITY: Early after the acquisition you said that it is a great strategic fit to combine Arecont’s pioneering legacy of megapixel camera technology with the resources and expertise of Costar Technologies. Can you reflect upon the first months and tell us what are the next steps for Arecont?
Raul Calderon: Change is a constant today, and the security industry is no exception. Launching just a few months ago as Arecont Vision Costar, we offer an experienced leadership team, strong R&D, and new investment, while continuing to offer industry-leading products. We’re continuing to bring the news to our customers and the market overall, and recently announced our new executive team and product strategy, while adding to our team all around the world.
What benefits to you expect from the cooperation with other parts of the Costar business?
Raul Calderon: Costar is a very experienced player in the security market, and that addition of Arecont Vision Costar broadens the company’s overall capabilities. Each of the Costar companies has a very different focus, product mix, and target market across security, allowing for significant new opportunities for all of us. In 2019, we’ll be working together very closely to leverage those strengths and capabilities, and you’ll see more joint efforts such as at major industry shows and other activities.
On the product side, can you describe Arecont Vision Costar’s camera offering and what Costar brings to the table?
Raul Calderon: Arecont Vision Costar offers two product families of professional surveillance cameras.
Our MegaIP proven series is based on our patented MPIP architecture that uses a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) IC at the heart of every camera. These Made in USA single, dual, and multi-sensor cameras offer a wide range of configurations including dome, microdome, bullet, micro bullet, and flex, and bring maximum upgradability and unmatched cybersecurity. Our second, complementary megapixel family is the ConteraIP line. This new series offers superior image quality, high performance, advanced features, and the latest security and network protocol stacks combined with affordability. ConteraIP cameras are based on system on a chip (SoC) technology and is available in single and multi-sensor configurations. For those applications requiring a PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom), with our sister company CohuHD Costar we now have access to advanced, highly capable cameras of that type.
You have integrateda video management systems and NVRs into your portfolio. Can you explain what is behind the new concept of the Arecont Vision Total Video Solution you introduced recently?
Raul Calderon: Arecont Vision Costar offers our “Total Video Solution”, for the first time going beyond the design, manufacture, sale, and support of megapixel cameras. The market has changed, and more of our customers were asking to buy a more complete offering from the company, rather than always choosing to piece together an integrated solution. We addressed what our customers were telling us, and introduced our advanced ConteraVMS, which leverages our ConteraWS webs services to be a modern surveillance system that records locally but can be administered and video accessed and shared entirely over the cloud. We also added Contera cloud managed recorders, to offer further choice to our customers. We remain fully committed to ONVIF compliance for 3rd party hardware and software to be used with our products, as well as validation through our MegaLab, customers rely on our cameras in such solutions all around the world.
How was the reaction of you partners and customers regarding the new start and the new direction?
Raul Calderon: Our partners have reported being quite pleased with our new direction and the financial stability of being part of Costar Technologies. We now are able to invest much more in product quality and customer support, which is appreciated by our partners and customers. We’ve already made big changes which they are starting to see in this area, and there is much more to come.
Costar’s CEO said that the acquisition supports Costar’s strategy to become a leader in the video surveillance industry. Will you address the industry under the Costar brand or as Arecont Vision Costar?
Raul Calderon: Jim Pritchett and the Costar Technologies executive leadership have, as you say, a stated goal to become a clear leader in the surveillance industry. Each Costar company is continuing to offer their products to the markets they target, as both individual businesses and as the Costar corporate entity. This mix gives us the flexibility to work under both the corporate banner and that of our subsidiaries, like Arecont Vision Costar, in the markets we are best known, and also in markets into which we wish to target and grow.