Will Taser’s body camera and storage business continue to flourish despite increasing competition and high costs?
Report Available: October 26, 2016
Blueshift’s initial research shows TASR continuing to dominate the body camera market, achieving significant contract wins in Q2 and Q3. However, the Axon line of body cameras has a lower profit margin that negatively affected the company’s bottom line. TASR’s digital data management solution Evidence.com carries an attractive margin that could balance the scales, but it also comes with a high price tag, which is leading some to consider competitors or delay purchases altogether.
- TASR saw Q2 sales increase 26% overall, with its body camera segment seeing revenue increase 49% in Q2 and bookings more than double year to year. The company easily beat Wall Street expectations but disappointed regarding profit margin, which fell from 66% to 63%, reflecting the shift to the body camera segment. At the same time, operating expenses rose 45%. TASR’s weapons segment boasts a 68% margin, while the body camera division has a 47% margin. For future margin growth, TASR is banking on the 71% margin generated from its Evidence.com storage and data management of information collected from the lower-margin Axon body cameras.
- Recent TASR contract wins include the El Paso County AZ Sheriff’s Office which purchased 250 Axon Body 2 cameras, 393 TASER X26PSmart Weapons, and a five-year subscription to com. The Queensland Police Service in Australia purchased 2,200 Axon Flex cameras adding to the 500 purchased earlier, and signed a three-year subscription to Evidence.com. The Cincinnati Police department purchased 1,050 Axon Body 2 cameras with a seven-year subscription to Evidence.com and the Atlanta Police Department purchased 1,015 Axon Flex and Body 2 cameras with a five-year agreement for Evidence.com.
- TASR competitors also performed well and announced contracts wins. WatchGuard reported an 80% increase in body camera sales leading to a record Q2 for the company. DGLY secured a three-year supply contract worth over $1 million in cameras, services, and digital data storage.
- New laws affecting data management and storage costs could hinder TASR’s growth. Data is required to be stored for longer periods of time, driving up costs and leading some departments to forgo the use of their body cameras. Others police departments have put their body camera deployments on hold. TASR’s technology has not kept pace with retail camera and digital data management available to everyday citizens, leaving the company vulnerable to competitors filling the technology gap.
- Blueshift’s June 16 report showed rapidly growing and improving competition beginning to challenge TASR and will result in share loss for the company as soon as late 2016 or early 2017. Nine of 15 sources cited competition as a looming threat to TASR. Key competitors now offer solutions comparable to TASR’s, including in body cameras, storage, and data management. These developments have changed the environment, showing a departure from Blueshift’s Feb. 12 report, which was more positive on TASR.
What factors are being considered when deciding which body camera provider and digital storage solution to choose? Are competitors taking any share from TASR? Are heavyweight newcomers to the body camera and storage markets coming in with viable products? Is TASR making any concessions in its storage and pricing models? What role is Evidence.com playing in the decision to choose TASR? Are high data storage and management cost slowing body camera usage? To answer these and other questions, Blueshift will issue a market research report by gathering data from independent sources in the following areas: Police departments, Non-police law enforcement, Vendors/competitors, and Industry specialists.
Companies: Taser (TASR), Digital Ally (DGLY), Motorola Solutions (MSI), NetApp Inc. (NTAP), EMC Corp. (EMC), IBM Corp. (IBM), Sony Corp. (TYO:6758), Panasonic Corp. (TYO:6752), Amazon (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT)
Research Begins: Oct. 10, 2016