DVTEL moves beyond startup mode, looks down market for growth

Stern’s goal is to grow north of 18 percent annually
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J.—One year after taking the helm, DVTEL CEO Yoav Stern says the company is eyeing the middle market for growth as it transitions from its startup phase to become a larger player in the IP video surveillance space.

Stern said his goal for DVTEL in 2013 is to grow “at least as quickly as the market,” which he said is growing from 18 to 25 percent per year.

DVTEL will look down market for that growth. Stern said DVTEL is well established in the high end of the IP video market, but he sees opportunity in less complex, middle-market applications. Loosely defined in terms of the number of cameras used, Stern considers the high-end market to be 500-plus channels and the middle market to be applications using 16 to 64 channels.
 
“What we’ve focused on in the past four quarters is changing the organization, management and culture from the mentality of an innovator and startup company into a corporation that is one of the main industry leaders, with a sizable business in the range of $40 million,” he said.

DVTEL still has about 150 employees, but Stern said about one-third of the 15-person management team has been replaced and he’s also redefined other management roles.

While a startup is typically focused on sales, a more mature company has to look at marketing, market position and branding to thrive. R&D needs to change as well, he said. Instead of just wanting “to be ahead of everyone else with the newest feature, [you also need to concentrate on] engineering systems that are stable, reliable and scalable.”

In addition to useful technology and open architecture, products have to be economical in terms of the cost of “installation, configuration and support,” he said.

Stern said DVTEL has expanded its product support structure beyond its centralized Technology Center of Excellence, which is based here, by placing employees in different regions.

DVTEL’s product road map will continue to feature new releases, including the full range of video surveillance products. Its recent releases include Meridian NVR, released last month, which is aimed at the small- to medium-sized market, and TruWitness, released at ISC West, an app that allows an Android smartphone to be used as a surveillance camera.

While Stern wouldn’t reveal privately held DVTEL’s exact revenue figures, he spoke about “eyeing $100 million.” During the past year, he said the company “grew between 10 and 15 percent, quarter to quarter, and the first quarter of 2012 was the best quarter in the history of the company.” In addition, “gross margin has steadily climbed over the past four years and the bottom line has steadily improved over the past three quarters.”