Video Surveillance Week
Sam Shalaby charts new course for Wavestore
October 4, 2023 By Neil Sutton
Since acquiring U.K.-based VMS company Wavestore earlier this year, Sam Shalaby has put the wheels in motion to expand its presence in North America.
Shalaby is an Ottawa-based entrepreneur and a well-known face in the Canadian security market. His previous company, Feenics, a provider of cloud-based access control systems, was acquired by ACRE in 2021. He is also the founder of systems integrator Future Security Controls, which became part of Convergint in 2013 via acquisition.
Shalaby closed the deal on Wavestore in July of this year, becoming the new owner and CEO.
“My whole interest [in Wavestore] was driven by a combination of factors, primarily centred around the company’s product line,” he says, describing the software as user-friendly and highly scalable. “They have an innovative approach on their video management platform. They do it a little differently. That intrigued me.”
Shalaby says he was also taken with Wavestore’s approach to customer service and attention to detail, which can help to elevate a company in the highly competitive market of video management tools. “They’re very passionate about what they’re doing. I was impressed by their expertise,” he says.
Originally founded as Wavelet Technology in 2000, Wavestore has historically served U.K., European and Middle Eastern markets with limited exposure in other parts of the world. Shalaby says one of the first steps for Wavestore under new ownership will be to raise its profile in North America. The company has opened a new office in Ottawa as a platform for growth and increased its headcount.
Toronto-based security industry veteran Richard Coombs recently joined Wavestore as vice-president of sales for the Americas, along with seven other new-hires in Canada and four in the U.S. The company has also hired several more people in Europe and plans to add more staff in the new year.
“Our recent hires in the U.S. and Canada will bolster our sales in North America,” explains Shalaby. “Our focus is really to make the North American market a much, much bigger footprint than we have currently… My focus is Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.”
Shalaby says he is also changing the company’s approach to selling by going to market with dealers and value-added resellers rather than through distribution. A former integrator himself, Shalaby says close partnerships can make a big difference in raising a company’s profile with potential customers.
“You have to give the integrator the respect they need and keep supporting them. You need them,” says Shalaby.
Wavestore will introduce a new dealer program in the coming months and has also hired a marketing company to assist with promotions.
In a few short months, Shalaby has reset Wavestore for growth in North America and shaken up its go-to-market strategy. However, the company remains based in the U.K. and almost of its employees have made the transition to new ownership. New products will be introduced into the market soon and Shalaby says Wavestore will be leveraging cloud-based technology to drive innovation.
A serial entrepreneur, Shalaby says he is thrilled to be in the driver’s seat again at a new company. “Embarking on a new venture is an exhilarating journey,” he says. “It’s both exciting and challenging. It’s maybe the challenge that drives me. I’m going to give it all I’ve got.”
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