Veracity, the Scottish company specialising in IP video transmission, storage and display, has made a small but significant acquisition that has the potential to impact its business profoundly, according to the company. Known for its COLDSTORE surveillance storage system and other video products, Veracity is expanding its scope with the acquisition of I-Comply Ltd. (icomply), a provider of command-and-control software whose UK customer base includes universities, hospitals, cities and power and water utilities.  

Veracity and icomply have previously worked together on several projects, so the technologies are already integrated, and Veracity plans to leverage the acquisition to introduce a new command-and-control product line to the US market, likely to be announced around ISC West.

Icomply command-and-control software

Icomply’s product is a command-and-control software system (sometimes called a PSIM, or physical security information management system). Veracity plans to sell software based on icomply’s technology under the Veracity brand in the US market, but will keep the separate brands in the United Kingdom, where icomply is better known.

Icomply has existing integrations with many third-party systems from international brands, including major access control, video management, fire and alarm systems such as Bosch, Honeywell, Axis and Hanwha Techwin. Entering the US market, Veracity expects to add additional sales support and maintenance personnel, and a development team will expand integrations to third party systems that are more common to the US market. In addition to command-and-control functions, the software offers a suite of modules to provide functions such as key management, lone worker protection, mapping, and guard tour management. The configuration of the system to be introduced into the US market is still to be determined.

Potential growth

Icomply has about 20 employees, which will be added to Veracity’s 50 employees. The icomply team will remain, and will move into larger premises near Leeds (UK). At current sales levels, icomply will make up about 10 percent of Veracity’s revenue, but hopes are high for rapid growth. Alastair McLeod, group CEO of Veracity, says the small company has plenty of unrealised potential. He projects sales could double this year, and then double again in 2018 (admittedly from a small base) – and that doesn’t even count any potential sales in the United States.

We know the engineers, and the
product has developed considerably
until it is now mature. The architecture
is quite elegant, which makes it easy
to add on modules.”

We have worked with this company for some years, know them, have done projects with them,” says McLeod. “We know the engineers, and the product has developed considerably until it is now mature. The architecture is quite elegant, which makes it easy to add on modules.” The acquisition will provide icomply the needed cashflow and capitalisation to jump-start sales, and to deliver needed technical support and rapid response to customer requests, he adds.

Stability and longevity are important elements in the command-and-control systems market, notes McLeod: The systems are seen as a long-term investment that involves integrating various systems over a five- to 10-year period. “The backing of Veracity will make more customers comfortable moving to icomply,” McLeod notes.

The icomply acquisition also includes a subsidiary in India that will boost Veracity’s presence in that market. Technical resources in India will help Veracity grow in the lucrative Middle East market, just a short plane flight away, where the need for long video retention times are a great fit for Veracity’s existing video storage products.

Moving away from commoditisation

McLeod sees the acquisition as a reflection of the need for companies in the security industry to move away from commoditised products. It will expand Veracity’s presence from one of supplying components to the system to supplying complete integrated solutions. “With this acquisition, we are moving up-market in terms of being able to supply whole systems,” he says. “And it’s a category that cannot be easily commoditised. There is an element of customisation and services. We want to become a part of the market that has more stability and resistance to price cutting.”

We want to control our own destiny,” McLeod says. “Our customers are asking us for a complete system – for everything to come from Veracity. They know the vagaries of buying bits from several companies – what if something doesn’t work? We can now approach customers that want an integrated solution.”

The all-cash acquisition was closed in December 2016.