Excellent operating results in first year
Genius Vision Digital: advanced IP surveillance systems in harmony with growing HD trend
Genius Vision Digital (GVD) has not accidentally found its place on the pages of our first edition in year 2011. Such a decision has been reasonably supported by good reasons, all of them based primarily on outstanding business results achieved by company GVD in the first year of its presence at the global security market. A&S Adria's interlocutor in this mission was Mr. Achim Hauschka, Sales Director, GVD Europe
Founded by a group of experienced and passionate professionals, who have been in development of advanced and innovative IP surveillance systems, operating at the global market of enterprise-dedicated security video solutions, Genius Vision Digital (GVD) becomes a company fully dedicated to the development of the next generation of HD IP surveillance systems. By integrating high quality and performance computing platforms for in Genius Vision's video solutions, GVD's engineers have proved their capability in developing and installing the state-of-the-art video surveillance HD technologies, at the places where the highest mission-critical requirements were of the biggest priority. Many large scale IP surveillance systems were installed by GVD's engineers worldwide, including Taiwan High Speed Rail, Taipei Subway Projects, Taiwan IC Foundry Projects, Dubai Shopping Mall, USA Casinos, Banks in UK, and City Governance Projects in UK, that speaks a lot in favor of quality, usability and future-proof level of GVD's video equipment, which brings break-through technologies for the upcoming Full HD Surveillance age. By providing robust video storage and management systems for the mission critical applications in banking, hospital, retailing, government, gaming and many other environments, GVD's HD surveillance systems are bridging the CCTV and IT Network world together to leverage the IT infrastructure and high performance network systems. All of above mentioned looks as a quite strong reason to take them a space in our magazine, in order to hear more about the politics of the company and its management's considerations related to certain issues which we put before them. Our knowledge source on two occasions was Mr. Achim Hauschke, Sales director, GVD Europe, thanks to whose patience and understanding you have this interview in front of you today.
A&S Adria: Mr. Hauschke, above all, we would like to thank you for your time dedicated to our magazine. Could you be so kind to explain to our readership your professional background that has leaded you to your present position in Genius Vision Digital? Just in order to avoid any possible uncertainties, could you explain what are the connecting points between Genius Vision Digital and VidiCore, since your name is presented in both company's managements profile?
Hauschke: 6 years ago we have seen several camera manufacturers working on technologies offering more than the standard VGA resolution, which has been a standard for more than 30 years, and we have decided to focus on these technologies. Our experiences at companies like Ikegami and Dedicated Micros has helped us understanding the market needs for cameras and DVR`s, but it was our desire to go a step further and to search for manufacturers, who are offering a professional and reliable solution in the area of Megapixel. We have established Arecont Vision as one of the leading MP camera manufacturers in Europe, but we have also noticed, that there was no NVR/DVR solution available with the focus on megapixel. The 2nd issue was the weak implementation of IP and IP Megapixel cameras, so that most of the NVR manufacturers have only integrated the basic features, which affects the efficient use of cameras, especially MP cameras. The advantage of a higher resolution with more than 1 or 2MP can only be used, if the NVR supports features like regions of interest, image cropping, bit rate control and multi streaming. Finally we had to find a solution that could offer the right performance covering the high amount of data and streams. After a year of investigation an extensive tests we have noticed GVD, a Taiwanese manufacturer, with the focus on megapixel cameras, who has fulfilled almost all requirements.
With regards to your 2nd question Vidicore is a European representative, supporting manufacturers, who want to establish business in Europe. We are not a reseller or a distributor, but to be seen as an agent, working in behalf of the manufacturers and responsible for sales, technical support, marketing and repair services. GVD Europe is driven as a subsidiary of GVD Taiwan, Vidicore is just the organization, helping GVD to achieve their goals and to making GVD a success.
A&S Adria: How successful was GVD in 2010? How did you overcome the business challenges in this difficult economic and financial business conditions globally?
Hauschke: Since we have started in 2010 in Europe, it is not possible to say, how the economical crises has affected us. We have seen a growing interest in standalone solution and because of the enormous growth of Megapixel cameras we are very optimistic, that GVD as a manufacturer of IP DVR`s will be established as one of the leading players already in 2011/2012.
It is very important for us to introduce a new technology with the right arguments, which shows the advantages as well as the disadvantages. New technologies can only be a success, if the customer, end-user or installer knows the limits: With seminars, technical training sessions, sales trainings and webinars we try to prepare our partners as good as possible, so that this new technology will not cause big appointments. This is, I assume, one of the keys and a reason for the fact, that some manufacturers have had a good year and others struggling in 2010. Our key points are product quality, support quality and a feeling or a good quality/price balance.
A&S Adria: Beside of offering its own proprietary system components, in order to enable the end-users to create more flexible solution in accordance with their own requirements and needs, GVD cooperates with world leading IP camera manufacturers such as Sony, G5, PiXORD, Lilin, iCanTek, APPRO, ArecontVision, ACTi, IQinvision, Pelco, Vivotek, Messoa, etc. How important you estimate the role of standardization bodies such as ONVIF, PSIA or/and HDcctv Aliance in further development of interoperability between security products?
Hauschke: ONVIF and PSIA is certainly an essential tool, which has been introduced right in time. The majority of the investment of NVR manufacturers and the most time consuming activity is the implementation of new cameras. If leading camera manufacturers are introducing more than 30 new camera types at once and all these cameras can only be used, if the video management systems support these cameras, you can imagine, how many hours are needed to integrate these types in a reasonable time frame.
ONVIF and PSIA as a standard also need a certain time to define and realize the features, that are required for an efficient use of IP an IP megapixel cameras. Starting with the basic features, it will help the NVR manufacturers to save time and costs and it will help the camera manufacturers for a faster launch of new products. I am sure, that the CCTV market needs a standard and I hope, that both organizations will focus on a fast and reliable progress and not struggling with internal difficulties.
HDcctv Alliance and the opportunity to use the SDI technology is certainly an option and an efficient way of using the classic transmission standard, but the next 2 years will show, if it is to be seen as an alternative to the IP standard or just as an additional option.
A&S Adria: According to your opinion, in which one of the vertical markets HD video solutions will continue to path the highest positive trend in the coming years?
Hauschke: HD and Megapixel resolution will have affect in all vertical markets: the benefit of a higher resolution can be used in the retail sector as well as in bank-, traffic-, government- and transport projects. The biggest growth I actually see in the logistic sector: the benefit of covering large areas with a very few cameras and the growing number of internet shopping platforms, which are supported by solution centers and warehouse hubs (UPS, DHL, etc) will show an increasing number of projects in this sector. Healthcare is also an interesting and growing market, but with more smaller projects.
A&S Adria: The competition in the global market for HD video-security products is very strong. It looks like all video surveillance manufacturers have become aware that the point of most interest in security surveillance over the next few years is guaranteed in HD video. What GVD is offering in this segment to its users and what is not already offered by other manufacturers? What is it that separates GVD's products from other products in HD class?
Hauschke: Apart from the excellent implementation of real useful camera features (image cropping, dual- or multi streaming, bit rate control, etc) it is the stand alone solution, offering IP recorders as “all in one”, “out of the box” and “easy to use” systems, entry level recorders for 4 and 8 cameras, mid range for 16 and 24 cameras and enterprise solution for 32 an 64 cameras. With the E-series a number of recorders can be combined an controlled from one single point within a wide network area. Another highlight of GVD is the so called “Time Sector Engine TSE”. It allows the user to simultaneously control, record, view and playback the streams, without any delay and reducing the latency time to a minimum.
A strong argument is the high performance of GVD recorders: All products are designed for a reliable usage of high data streams, even with 5MP cameras or more the system and its resources guarantee 24/7 usage without stream issues of data loss.
A&S Adria: At fairs IFSEC 2010 and Security Essen 2010, GVD has elicited a wide attention of visitors by presenting its comprehensive solutions for megapixel IP video surveillance. Demonstrating its high performance M series HD NVR, including new models M105 and M200 Series, designed for megapixel cameras, GVD proved once again its readiness to cope with very tough competition. The investment in R&D, as it is visible in the example above, gave rise to very positive results. How much GVD have invested in R&D in the year 2010? Was that enough to surprise us with some new products by beginning of the next year?
Hauschke: Due to the economical situation in various regions worldwide it was not easy these times to recruit high educated developers and good HW and software engineers. GVD has invested a lot in a good R&D team to ensure, that all tasks can be done in time. Apart from frequent updates (new feature implementation) and an enormous number of new camera, which needs to be integrated as fast as possible, it is important, that GVD can meet various project requirements. Whenever possible, GVD is able to integrate new features and tools to communicate with 3rd party products such as access control, fire or alarm systems and make it a complete management solution. We will introduce the latest innovation M150/155 and the larger version M350 as stand-alone solution with front panel control for an even easier usage; We expect the launch by latest end of January.
A&S Adria: In which direction you can predict the most important developments of security HD video in the near future?
Hauschke: Video analytics will be an affordable tool, whereas the detection on the camera side will release the stream and the NVR will be able to configure the settings. Video analytic modules (tracking, lost luggage, people counting, etc) can be purchased at less than 50€ per module.
H.264 codecs need an improvement since decoding and displaying streams requires CPU performance, I expect a lot of improvement here.
On the lens sector most of the lens manufacturers are already working on high resolution lenses; there is no value for a 5MP camera, if the lens does not support a resolution o 5MP. Therefore this market will move quite fast.
A&S Adria: How GVD managed to keep in accordance the HD resolution factors, the bandwidth matters and video compression models in order to offer the cost-effective and feature full solution at the market, still a step forward in front of the competition?
Hauschke: It is very important, that prior to the system selection all project details will be taken into account: number of cameras, camera type, camera resolution, images per second, recording duration, light situation (H.264 compression factor goes down at weaker light situations due to noise), percentage of motion detection, storage requirement, recording and/or displaying/monitoring, etc. If all factors are known, a serious calculation and selection can be done. Our support team will assist and calculation charts will help finding the right solution. It is a very simple procedure and a limited number of questions, which need to be answered, but very important for a success. It is almost impossible to re-create a system, if it is installed once and the end-user is not excited about the results. As mentioned at the beginning, new technologies need trust, and if the result is a reliable working solution, there is much less work to convince the end-user, that it is a good idea to use this new technology.
A&S Adria: Making the "Megapixel solution partnership" with Vivotek, GVD enables its ControlWorkstation to handle with Vivotek's high quality megapixel cameras, enabling both companies to better serve their customer needs and yield greater benefits to their respective businesses. Both partnering sides were excited with this partnership. Beside Vivotek itself, GVD enabled the usage of cameras produced by some other megapixel camera producers with its CMS workstation. Can you point out to our readers some concrete indications that these were a good business decisions?
Hauschke: It is important to build partnerships in this new technology world: For camera manufacturers with NVR partners and the other way around. With the past technology it was easy to run your own business and you did not care about peripherical products, but IP products are relying on 3rd party companies and the better the communication, the easier the integration. Vivotek is a good example, no competition thoughts and no reservation, both partners know, that it is important to work together and to go for opportunities. Unfortunately there are manufacturers in the market, who are too sensitive and not able to deal with it. Too much arrogance and mistrust does not help in a co-operation; I would like to see manufacturers more taking care about the needs of their clients rather than to approach as an autocratic institute, always keeping their profit in mind and forgetting the value of a partnership.
GVD is of course focusing on megapixel, but we have integrated a wide range of different products, standard resolution IP cameras included. Furthermore we are closely working with some leading alarm/access control and analogue recorder companies to ensure, that these protocols are also implemented for a wider management.
In 2010 we initiated so called “benchmark tests”, where we met camera manufacturers ie Arecont Vision and IQinvision for extensive tests in special labs. With both vendors we did these tests with 64 Megapxiel cameras connected to find out the GVD performance. Both tests were very successful and it was very excited to see the performance of GVD systems.
The co-operation with Axis in the San Francisco Freeport project and the Malaysia motorway/toll surveillance, the Tirana city center project and the Malta harbor surveillance with Arecont Vision cameras, Vivotek co-operation is a large retail chain in Belgium and in various banks in BeNeLux and France has shown, how important a close co-operation for succeeding in large opportunities.
A&S Adria: Despite from the statements of the local economy experts in Adriatic region about the possible presence of the global economy crisis tail-traces even until 2012th, the reports of some market research companies such as IMS Research testifies to the fact that the security market in the Adriatic region is slowly awakening up. When you are estimating some new market, what market markers are of interest for GVD? What positive markers are you looking for in order to mark some region as a region of interest for GVD?
Hauschke: The biggest advantage for us in this region is the fact, that the technical attitude is far more advanced than in a lot of other European regions. It is for any manufacturer essential, that their partners understand the technology, identify with the arguments and able to sell these products with the right background. It is important for the manufacturer to sell quality and with regards to my experience the past 20 years in the Adriatic region it is much easier to sell technical products: I have often relied on your experts and it has never been a disappointment.
We have noticed a difficult time the past 18 months, but we have also seen, that, as you have said, the market is growing again. So it is one of the European region, which will get a lot more focus than other countries. 2011 will be a very successful year in the Adriatic region for us and I am very positive about finding the right partners.
A&S Adria: Bearing in mind your answer on our last question, how interesting you see the Adriatic region as a market for GVD's HD Video equipment and do you have some new plans and market strategies to implement in Adriatic region in coming years?
Hauschke: Our strategy is the appointment of key players in each of the countries. It will be a very limited number of partners, so that we can focus and guarantee a good support. This is a strategy, which has always been proven the past 20 years. We have already realized a few bigger projects (airport, city centers) with some of our partners and we value these partnerships as the most important step to be successful. We will establish the sales channels in all different countries within 2011 and we are actually preparing a partner program, which includes introduction meetings, sales trainings, technical seminars and certification procedures. It will be a mix of distributors and system integrators, whereas distributors need to be close to projects and their customers. So we look forward to new partnerships!
A&S Adria: Genius Vision’s Surveillance Systems are installed in New York Newark Airport, the city surveillance project in Richmond City, Richmond Port for USA Homeland Security Project, Ford's central control system in Detroit, El Centro School District in Southern California and many other projects and installations, where the need for high quality HD and future proof video surveillance systems has been identified. How do you estimate the market role of your local partners in the Adriatic region in 2010? Are you satisfied with their placement of GVD equipment? Are there some market "black-holes" which should or could be improved?Hauschke: As mentioned earlier we have been placed in a few large projects in Europe already. The US projects of course are a good reference, but for us it is important to be successful here in Europe. We are actually involved in 40 different projects in Middle Europe, whereas we have an actual number of more than 10 projects within the Adriatic region: communication, government, city parks and retail projects, where we are selected and in the final stage. Taking into account, that we have started in 2010, it is very surprising and I look forward to a very successful 2011. Our regional sales manager is supporting these countries from Slovenia, so we guarantee a good and fast support with a short response time. We have 2 engineers, supporting the sales team during the project preparation, helping our partners with the design of the project and joining them, whenever necessary, onside, during setup and configuration. I do not see any black-holes since we have been active in all parts of the Adriatic region. I am surprised to see projects coming from regions, where I have not seen larger projects in the past. This has shown the potential of this part of Europe, often under-estimated and with a weak focus, but I am sure, that the strategy for a lot of manufacturers have changed: People speak about the potential in your countries, people remember to high educated people, who understand the new technologies and who are honestly interested in learning new technologies and I have no doubt, that the Adriatic region we will be one of the top3 regions European-wide. It is now 20 years ago, that I have supported my very first CCTV customer in Slovenia and since then it has been a pleasure with good friendships and the assurance, that business in your region is exciting and a highlight in Europe.