updated 03:17 pm EDT, Sun June 15, 2014
Milestone to remain standalone company, will utilize Canon's business channels
Digital camera maker Canon announced Friday that it is acquiring open platform video surveillance software company Milestone Systems. Canon Europe picked up the Denmark-based startup to diversify its offerings, specifically carving out a niche in the surveillance market. The company said that buying Milestone will "significantly enhance Canon's software capabilities" in the sector.
Milestone Systems was founded in 1998, and has since risen to a significant market share thanks to its XProtect software platform. The management software has been installed in over 100,000 systems worldwide, and is compatible with hardware from 150 vendors. Milestone posted revenues of $73 million (407 million DKK) in its 2013 fiscal year.
"Canon is aiming to take a leadership position in network video surveillance and we are making an important strategic investment today to realize our objective to expand in this market," said Canon Europe, Middle East and Africa CEO Rokus van Iperen. "Together with Milestone, we can accelerate our growth by delivering new advanced products and solutions for new sectors, through new channels, to offer greater customer value. We are very excited about working with such a talented and innovative company, and we welcome Milestone into the Canon Group."
Analyst company IHS Technology recognized Milestone Systems as one of two worldwide leaders of video management (VMS) software according to numbers from 2013. Milestone has been one of the biggest suppliers for the last five years. However, the market is competitive, with no company having a market share above 10 percent. IHS Technology puts Milestone's market share with around 8.2 percent.
"Milestone is extremely excited about the huge potential that being part of a global group will provide," said Milestone Systems CEO Lars Thinggaard. "Canon respects how we built our business with our partners, and supports our strategy of providing open-platform solutions, and therefore the need to remain a standalone company within the Canon Group. We feel this step is right for taking both our business and support for suppliers and partners to a new level."
For Canon, the purchase allows for further growth in commercial offerings, giving the company the opportunity to utilizing existing channels to build its surveillance sector. Canon said that it supports the open-platform model that Milestone releases their VMS under. However, Milestone also sells hardware and offers training and consultation.
Surveillance is a growing industry globally. IHS expects the surveillance video management software market to grow to more than $3 billion in 2018. It makes sense for a company that has a large focus on consumer- and professional-grade cameras to move into a sector they may already have an edge in with optics. Canon already offers a series of network cameras that it could bundle with Milestone's VMS.
Milestone Systems will be kept as a standalone company within the Canon Group. Canon said that Milestone's management team will remain on board.