GE Security acquires CoVi Tech's assets

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Friday, February 29, 2008

BRADENTON, Fla.--GE Security in early February acquired certain assets of IP video systems provider CoVi Technologies -- a deal that brings CoVi's IP video technology and intellectual property under GE's umbrella.
CoVi's engineering, technical support and product management staffs also join GE as part of the purchase. Tom Cashman, general manager, video product management at GE Security, who will lead the Austin, Texas-based team, said these employees "understand the nuances of networks including the limitations thereof, and that's important. These guys have done a great job in terms of engineering a solution that is a well behaved citizen on the network."
The addition of CoVi's assets shows GE's commitment to IP-based technology as part of its solutions set. Though it has developed IP cameras and has a significant installation base of DVRs and hybrid DVRs, Cashman said the CoVi buy shows that the company is "committed to IP-based surveillance solutions. We're committed to software that's agnostic, and our hardware platform will be agnostic to the software that's out there."
When evaluating the purchase, CoVi's product line, which is primarily known for its high definition cameras that focus on recording and storing high quality video at the edge of the IP network, was a "distant third" on GE's wish list, Cashman said.
"We bought the rights of the products, but for us it is the people and the architecture," he said. "That is really what we want to take advantage of."
But that is not to say that there isn't a market for the products.
"I have heard more requests from high-def in the last six months than I did over the last six years prior," he said. "Although it's small, I think the market's growing ... we want to be prepared when the market is ready for it and when the technology is cost affordable."
The CoVi brand was not part of the deal -- Cashman said GE has a strong brand already -- and the executive team at CoVi be a shell company that will address warranty and other questions.