Interview: Stacey Lien, EMEA Sales Director, VIVOTEK
a&s Adria: Can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
Lien: I am Stacey Lien, the VIVOTEK EMEA Sales Director. I am managing the sales team, customers, and partners in the EMEA region.
a&s Adria: You are VIVOTEK EMEA Sales Director. Can you tell me more about the EMEA team organization?
Lien: VIVOTEK focuses on the EMEA market since 2012. We have the branch office and the warehouse established in the Netherlands, which helps dispatch stock all over the EMEA seamlessly. Meanwhile, our sales representatives are located within EMEA, and you can easily find our representatives to provide security solutions. Instead of adapting crowd tactics to sell to the channel market, we focus more on those vertical markets which need professional know-how and take plenty of time to do PoC (Proof of Concept). Hence, we get extraordinary achievements in transportation markets, such as in Germany, France, Poland, the Czech Republic, Italy, the UK, and Ireland. We can proudly say: “VIVOTEK is the invisible safeguard to most of the EU trains.” Besides, we also have success cases for the retail market in the UK, and the healthcare market in Germany. Accurate AI can be a good solution to solve manpower and operation issues.
a&s Adria: VIVOTEK is part of Delta Electronics Group. Can you tell us more about VIVOTEK inside of Delta and Delta Electronics in general?
Lien: VIVOTEK is a Delta Electronics subsidiary, leading power management and IoT solutions provider in Taiwan. The company has a team of over 80,000 professionals worldwide, catering to various industries, including smart building, energy, and infrastructure. In the past, VIVOTEK and Delta have partnered and consolidated resources in the development of smart buildings, smart factories, and smart street lamps. These projects have facilitated VIVOTEK’s endeavor in global expansion.
a&s Adria: How did VIVOTEK overcome the pandemic, the lack of electronic components on the market, and the increase in the price of raw materials and transport?
Lien: Despite the current challenges that we are facing, and with everyone’s collective efforts in adjusting input/output, we were able to maintain healthy revenue growth YoY. So far, we have been very successful in adapting to the current situation and meeting all the needs of our partners.
a&s Adria: VIVOTEK manufactures all its devices in Taiwan. In 2020, you opened the first automated testing line, and you are in the process of building the fourth factory. To what extent have you upgraded your production capacity, how many units do you now produce per hour?
Lien: VIVOTEK is both branded and headquartered in Taiwan. Since its inception in the IP surveillance industry as an R&D enterprise some 22 years ago, VIVOTEK has built up a complete business ecosystem that spans research and development, manufacturing and production, and three exceptional factories, all within Taiwan. To ensure continued expansion and enhance production efficiency, the company shifted its factory development strategy to automation in 2020. VIVOTEK has made many milestones, including ISO9001, ISO14001, and SO14064-1 certification compliance, and built an excellent reputation as an international brand.
a&s Adria: You have implemented your solutions at your mother company’s new plant, creating synergy between VIVOTEK’s total smart IP surveillance solution and USGBC LEED Gold-certified DET plant 7. What type of products did you install and how did you make it cyber secure?
Lien: The Delta Electronics new Plant 7 in Wellgrow Industrial Estate, Chachoengsao received the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification in the New Construction category from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). The certification categories include sustainable sites, energy & atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, water efficiency, innovation in design, and regional priority credit. VIVOTEK designed a total solution including IP cameras, NVRs, POE switches, and the VAST 2 VMS. The system has over 178 units of smart IP surveillance cameras including 5MP IB9387-HT Indoor/Outdoor Varifocal Bullet cameras, 5MP FD9187-HT Indoor Varifocal Fixed Dome cameras, 5MP FE9380-HV Indoor/Outdoor 360° Fisheyes. In addition, the system has POE switches, Outdoor POE cabinet switches as well as the VAST 2 VMS. VIVOTEK VAST 2 IP video management software meets the real-world needs of DET 7 Plant by providing easy operation on multiple monitors with Matrix Video Wall software and a custom layout to accommodate both corridor and panorama orientations.
VIVOTEK collaborated with industry-leading cybersecurity software partner, TrendMicro, to provide network cameras with Trend Micro’s anti-intrusion software. VIVOTEK’s cybersecurity solution meets industry protocols and constantly provides solid shields to increase protection from various cyberattacks. VIVOTEK brings high-security protection and robust network surveillance to ensure a safer network environment for Delta Plant 7. As a global ESG leader and green building advocate, the new Delta Thailand Plant 7 is not only a remarkably efficient green building, but it is secure as well. By choosing customized VIVOTEK’s surveillance total solution, Delta Plant 7 achieves both security and sustainability at a world-class level.
a&s Adria: You have mentioned that you strongly focus on transport and traffic. Did you have any exemplary projects in that vertical in the EMEA region?
Lien: Yes, we have recently integrated a traffic surveillance solution for the Garneton Toll in Zambia. The Wilson Mofya Chakulya Toll Route is a brownfield toll road concession that runs along the T3 in that country. Connecting the nearby suburbs of Chimwemwe, Mindolo, and Mindolo North, the Garneton Toll is one of the most important routes in the region. VIVOTEK collaborated with system integrator, Africa Technology Operations and Maintenance (ATOM), to upgrade and replace dozens of cameras. This included connecting individual surveillance cameras to a centrally managed system using VIVOTEK’s VAST 2 software. A total of 8 VIVOTEK IB9367‐HT cameras were installed at the lanes. These cameras are outdoor-ready with weather-proof IP66, IP67, and vandal-proof IK10-rated housings, and their built-in IR illuminators are effective for up to 30 meters.
Additionally, 9 VIVOTEK IP9165-LPR-A Kit cameras were installed along the route to provide superior nighttime surveillance. Certified by numerous LPR software manufacturers around the world, this camera can cover both scene overview and LPC view while capturing vehicle speeds of up to 90 km/hr. The camera’s supreme anti-glare capability and CaMate IR illuminator with Continuous Variable Angle Technology (CVA Tech) guarantee high accuracy and plate recognition at night when visibility is poor. Moreover, this camera is easy to install and requires little maintenance, effectively minimizing costs and labor hours. Furthermore, 4 VIVOTEK CC8160 cameras were installed inside the Control Building to secure a good overall view indoors. The 2-megapixel CMOS sensor features a 180° horizontal panoramic view with a built-in microphone, capturing audio data along with visual information. Fitted with Smart Stream II to optimize bandwidth efficiency, the CC8160 is WDR enhanced and produces hi-res images at 30 fps any time of day.
VIVOTEK provided an excellent traffic solution for the client. The NRFA was able to replace their old system with a network of highly reliable surveillance cameras that boast accurate Automatic Number Plate Recognition. Using the VAST 2 central management software, the surveillance cameras are consolidated into a seamless IP surveillance system. VAST 2 simplified the management of the cameras while providing end-user analytics. The entire system with all peripheral benefits was achieved, satisfying the client’s demands for an accurate and reliable surveillance system.
a&s Adria: Are you satisfied with VIVOTEK’s business in the region of Southeast Europe?
Lien: In 2022, our business in the Adriatic region is very good. As a large number of projects were stopped or slowed down during the pandemic, a good part started to return in the second half of last year and this year. Therefore, in the first half of this year, we had a growth of over 60%. First two quarters we worked very hard. At the beginning of the summer, the market calmed down in terms of orders and deliveries of equipment. The fact that we had excellent delivery time leads helped us a lot to achieve growth, and in this way, we were able to attract new partners to try and get to know VIVOTEK as a brand. Our new partners were also convinced of the quality of VIVOTEK products and the service that we as a brand provide. This year we have also had strong pre-sales. For the past 6 months, we have been working every day to offer solutions and equipment to our partners, both long-term and new ones. For me, the greatest recognition is that our long-term and new partners are satisfied and that we, as a brand, manage to fulfill their needs and market expectations in these demanding times for business.
a&s Adria: Which direction will VIVOTEK product development go in and which solution can we expect in the future?
Lien: VIVOTEK is well-known as an IP surveillance solution provider in this industry. Our more-than-20-year expertise led us to take great success in the past. However, this is a rapid-changing era. 10 years ago everybody talks about AI but doesn’t know how to utilize it, while 10 years later some already control the core technology, and are ready to enhance and enlarge its accessibility. We are also ready to face this exciting epoch. AI-driven tech is a big scope in our plan. We all see those old movies: a police officer sits in front of the desk, seeking hours to find a suspicious video clip for a case. With AI, the “Deep Search” feature helps you find fragments among hundreds of hours of video clips not only for one camera but also in all connected cameras.
This is just a piece of AI’s picture. Imagine what can be done if we can create more AI rules and adapt them to software, storage device, and even to cameras. The main function of IP cameras is to capture images. So we were eager for the high resolution and kept improving the low light performance. When these become commonplace, a camera that has AI to analyze images can be expected. This is another trend, called “Edge Camera.” When stepping into the “Edge world,” we can’t avoid talking about the “Cloud.” In our industry—we call it VSaaS—Video Surveillance as a Service. This brand-new direction is more suitable in selected regions due to it relying more on internet traffic and users’ habits. In short, in the following 3-5 years, VIVOTEK will devote itself to AI-driven, edge applications, and cloud services. As to the strategy for EMEA—we are highly motivated. We maintain our efforts on what we have done, continue to watch the industry trends and then focus on vertical markets and new segments.
a&s Adria: And in Southeast Europe?
Lien: In the future, in the Adriatic region we will continue to develop our primary verticals, such as business related to transportation (railways), a vertical based on traffic solutions, and, certainly, on SMB solutions for small and medium businesses. As almost every train in Europe has a VIVOTEK camera, we also plan to continue with that vertical in this part of Europe. Since railway transport in Adriatic region countries has been somewhat neglected after the events of the 1990s, we expect a strong investment in that segment. This part of Europe is very important in the railway network of Europe since it connects the East and West. Even the once famous Orient Express passed through this region. As the past decade was more related to investment in road connectivity, I believe that this decade will see the investments in railway infrastructure and return to the importance it had before the 1990s.