Interview to Đorđe Baćić, regional manager for VIVOTEK
Dear Mr. Bačić, you are a regional manager for VIVOTEK’s business development. Still, behind you is a long-standing experience. Can you introduce our readers to what jobs you have been doing, education, experience, and what is your current role?
First of all, I would like to thank you for this interview. My position is a Business Development Manager for the Balkan region. As my educational base are electro-technique, in work related to security I have work on most of the positions in this branch. I started out as a technician, so after time I would switch in sales, maybe this is a natural way in this industry. Before VIVOTEK I worked for more than 10 years in KING ICT, one of the largest System integrator in Croatia. After 10 years, I need new challenges, and VIVOTEK is just that, a brand that can offer a lot to the security market.
In spite of the strong growth of Chinese companies and a substantial fall in Taiwan, VIVOTEK continues to grow, gradually strengthening its position on the market. The latest Security 50 survey tells us that you came from the 17th place last year at 14th in the global security arena. What are the reasons for this success, how can you resist ever-increasing competition, what do you offer your customers to continue to recognize you as a worthy investment brand?
We fosees the abundant opportunities in the Internet of Things (IoT) for IP video, and the boundary of security applications has also been broken by the IoT that played a big part in forming our vision to become “the eye in IoT” for the next five to ten years. To achieve this gogal, we invested more on the Artifical Intelligence, deep-leanring technology and cybersecurity, which expands to new applications beyond traditional security and differentiate ourselves from other competitors. Moreover, we place value on ecosystem partnerships and work closely with local partners through our training program. Operated by a dedicated professional team, providing courses to understand benefinits of VIVOTEK solutions, as well as offering more tailored, effective and timely service.
Can it be said that one of the main reasons for growth is actually its own development of chipsets, as well as deep learning algorithms? What advantage did you get for that?
Going beyond traditional security applications and listen to your cusomers are main reasons of the growth. We keep an open-minded attitude to collabrate with different chipset companies including our Spin-off SoC company based on customer requests.
On the other hand, in your growing market in the Adriatic region, your portfolio has stagnated or slightly decreased. This is one of the reasons why you are also employed. How do you intend to fix the condition?
We will try to bring our products and solutions closer to this market, through closer collaboration with existing distributors, through seminars, education for existing and new system integrators. We will also be very active in preparing projects, and making a connection with the HQ in Taiwan so that we can make the best project preparation. Finally, we will present our solutions through regional media and fairs.
Which products would you highlight as the best-selling in the last year and why? Do some of their built-in technologies allow better penetration in the market? What are Customer Feedback?
By following our strategy See More in Smarter Ways, we do observed the growth and demands of 180/360 degree cameras. This solution both maximizes the field of view and reduces the total number of cameras required, thereby saving on both installation time and maintenance costs for customers. To provide more added values, we developed deep-learnign technolgy developed a series of smart video content analysis based on People Detection deep-learning technology on our 360-degree fisheye cameras, such as Crowd Detection, Heat Map, Smart Motion Detection. With People Detection functionality, only activities of persons will trigger an event, significantly reducing false alarms and improving the total accuracy of video analysis in ever-changing environments. Our customers are impressed by this smart solutions and we expect to discover more opportunities from demands.
Has the “See More in Smarter Ways” strategy shown in 2017 in Panoramic Cameras proved successful?
Ans: please refer to the answers of Q4.
We have seen on the basis of last month’s regional research that integration is still one of the main trends in security. How many of your products are integrated with the devices of other manufacturers and with which?
Integration is vital in IP surveillance industry, this is how manufactures can offer added values and localized functionality with third party. VIVOTEK’s solutions now integrated with more than 100 partners, including video software partners, application partners and harware partners. We launched our VADP (VIVOTEK Application Development Platform) to enhance the features of VIVOTEK Network Products by adding third-party stand-alone applications or plug-in modules for specific security, business and storage requirements.
Intelligent Intelligence (AI) marked the last year in the security industry and many companies started to work intensively in that segment. But, Owen Chen, CEO of VIVOTEK, said, “Most people misunderstand that AI only relates to identifying the person and the ability to identify a person in a kind of environment.” Technology is not the focus of VIVOTEK. we make people safe by artificial intelligence by creating something that will respond to the actual needs of the user and protect privacy. “What do these words mean, and what is your company’s relationship to AI technology, or in what direction will VIVOTEK evolve?
Facial recognition has been boomd in IP surveillance industry in recent years. What we want to elebroate is the facial recognition is one of AI technology, and there are more video analysis technology in this field. Besides, there is a privacy concern among facial recognition. Manufacture should provide users advnaced technology without privacy fears and respecting individual privacy. In addition, we established an AI-centric R&D center in 2018, aiming to develop our embedded Deep Learning engine, AI-led IP surveillance technology, and specialized wide area video surveillance detection, tracking, and identification. It could help us attract more AI talents and transform our technology scope.
VIVOTEK has recently participated in the formation of OSSA (Open Security and Safety Alliance). What is the purpose of that organization, primarily in relation to artificial intelligence?
The Open Security & Safety Alliance (the Alliance) is a non-profit, non-stock collaboration initiative that brings together like-minded organizations in order to create a manifesto outlining a common standardized platform for security and safety solutions. A single platform that delivers a solid basis for innovation by providing a reliable and strong security and safety framework on which market players can grow. They can focus on the aspects that really add value for their customers and open up new application possibilities, even beyond security and safety.
One of the biggest worries affecting this industry is cyber security. VIVOTEK is one of only a few companies in this market that has implemented comprehensive cyber security protocols. This also resulted in cooperation with Trend Micro. Can you give us more detailed information on what is your multilayer security solution, is it right to guarantee cyber security throughout the entire product life cycle and what is PSIRT?
Recognizing the emergent threats to cybersecurity, last year VIVOTEK launched the world’s first IP surveillance cameras embedded with Trend Micro anti-intrusion software and offered multilayer protection. Featuring brute force attack detection, intrustion detection and preventation, and instant damage control. When the system detects brute-force attacks based on a defined number of failed login attempts, it automatically activates a defense mechanism to block that IP address and prevent further attacks. If an unknown attack occurs, the system will remotely patch all the data and transfer this to the anti-intrusion team for analysis, enabling them to solve it in a timely manner and effectively decrease the spread of internal infections. This lets users get back to work safely and quickly.
In addition, VIVOTEK formed a Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) that will help customers and sales partners quickly respond to cyberattacks and carry out standard protocols within 72 hours. If the vulnerability is confirmed, VIVOTEK will publish the solution with schedule.
For two or three years at security fairs, the trend of presentation of finished solutions for individual verticals can be noticed. How does VIVOTEK stand in that direction, are your solutions tailor-made for certain vertical markets, and if so, what are your focus on?
VIVOTEK emphasizes 3 vertical markets in the development of Smart City, including retail, transportation, and building automation. In these 3 vertical markets, we develop unique IP cameras with intelligent video content analysis and customized functioning to fulfill specific demands. For example, we launched a stereo people counting network camera for retail solutions, the SC8131. Featuring dual-lens design with VIVOTEK’s self-developed 3D Depth Technology, the camera provides precise tracking and a high counting accuracy of up to 98%. In the transportation market, VIVOTEK is well-experienced in rolling stock, vehicles, passenger stations and railway crossings and infrustructure, offering a growing portfolio of certified products equipped with dedicated features and rugged design. In terms of building automation, VIVOTEK join forces with Delta Electronics, Inc., a global leader in power and thermal management solutions to extend video surveillance marekt to building automation system.
Are you presenting some successful projects on the regional soil? Have you recently completed a major project for SBB, a provider of digital and analogue cable television, broadband Internet and fixed telephony in Serbia? Ans:
Yes, project for SBB is finished. That is very interesting project, that is project important because it is on our primary vertical, counting solution. We provide to SBB solution for people counting in their reatial shop location in 6 countries ex-Yugoslavia. Cameras counting and save information locally, and parallel send information on main server in HQ. Over our VMS VAST software, customer very easly from HQ can see all information from distance sites, and make analysis like: how many visitors they have in each store, which period is peak in visiting in stores.
For a regional survey in January, you said that your “VADP program is very much represented”. What is this, in what way does this open platform give added value to end users and system integrators?
As previous mentioned, the VADP (VIVOTEK Application Development Platform) is an open development platform that allows developers to create third-party stand-alone applications or plug-in modules that enhance the features of VIVOTEK network cameras. Such applications enable VIVOTEK products to better meet the demands of system-integrators, resellers, and end-users, and can further be used to customize VIVOTEK products to create vertical solutions. To further spur exciting new developments in this area, we provide partners with the software-development-kits (SDK) for the VADP and any relevant technical documents and support.
What can we expect from VIVOTEK in the near future? In what direction will your product portfolio develop, develop new technologies, business strategies, open new markets?
In 2019, we will continue the development of AI technology and deep learning on the edge (edge computing), cyberseucrity and advanced video content analysis (VCA) for three main verticals, namely, retail, transportation and building automation. Our focus has always been on how we can reduce false alarms and enhance business or operational intelligence. We are focused on developing advanced VCA functionalities that can recognize people and vehicles as well as perform smart searches. In cyberseucrity, VIVOTEK now offers complete cybersecurity protection for cameras and network video recorders (NVR), both of which are guarded by Trend Micro IoT Security. Moreover, management capability in its video management software (VMS) VAST2 has been upgraded. This new protection brings a number of benefits to users, including leveling-up cybersecurity management, seamless multi-layer protection, instant alert notification, and an interactive dashboard for event reports. Finally, we will continue to hire local business development managers to expedite local service and respond to local needs more quickly. It will also hold various trainings in local markets to deepen relations with customers and promote our brand value.