Celebrating 20 years in business

VIVOTEK's success revolves around an open platform, trust and commitment
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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

SAN JOSE, Calif.—Stories of security companies and their longevity demonstrate the stability of the industry as well as offer golden nuggets of usable information for start-ups and younger companies to do the same. Celebrating 20 years, VIVOTEK, a company focused on global IP security surveillance, demonstrates such a story. 

Founded in 2000 and establishing its headquarters in Taiwan, the founders foresaw the rise of the Internet and Internet protocol (IP) in addition to their importance in networking. This led to the company’s primary focus of multimedia communications concentrated on IP surveillance. And, with a name like VIVOTEK, branded in all capital letters with three syllables put together, one can’t help but wonder what it all means. 

“The VIVOTEK brand name is composed of three words,” Alan Green, director of sales, North America, VIVOTEK, told Security Systems News. “’VI’ represents video; ‘VO’ represents voice; and ‘TEK’ represents technology.” 

A historical perspective 

Twenty years ago, and in terms of video, the security industry was in the early stages transitioning from analog video to digital technologies. 

“Early DVRs were really analog multiplexers in disguise or PCs with video capture boards,” Green explained. 

Back then, legacy camera manufacturers were producing and bringing to market analog cameras, but along came the idea to start using IT networks to drive the image resolution up while lowering cost of deployment. 

“It wasn’t until the advent of new IP from the ground-up companies, like VIVOTEK, came into the market that some of the visions started to be realized,” said Green. “Not being tied to a legacy analog camera base allowed us to be nimbler and more creative in what we designed and built.” 

During the past 20 years, VIVOTEK has remained dedicated to the industry in many ways, one of which is embracing adaptability through challenging times. 

“2014 was the year that Chinese manufacturers entered the U.S. market and redefined for everyone what price points would look like as the race to the bottom commenced,” Green explained. “For VIVOTEK, it caused us to re-evaluate our position in the market and adjust our go-to-market strategy. It forced us to look beyond the camera, which had become a commodity in some respects, and decide how we could become a better solution provider.” 

VIVOTEK decided to focus more on what the system integrator really needed from them as a manufacturer, “rather than just worry about what camera we were running on special in a distributor branch,” noted Green. 

This led to VIVOTEK offering a full suite of products and solutions while remaining an open platform. 

In addition to challenges are, of course, the success stories along the way. When asked to look back on all the company’s successes and choose his favorite, Green responded: “I think the easy answer is growing from a start-up and lasting 20 years in a very volatile industry, to becoming one of the top global surveillance companies today.” This is reflected in fact that VIVOTEK does business in more than 116 countries with offices in Taiwan, North America, Europe, India, the Middle East, Latin America and Japan. 

A unique success story was when VIVOTEK and their solutions became a part of the global news story surrounding the Chilean Miners Rescue back in 2010. 

“Our venerable FD8164 was lowered down into the mine to see of the miners were still alive and then used further to survey their conditions while providing video feeds to the media and the world.” 

Today, the demand on video is still higher resolutions and better compressions for storage and transmission options; however, AI and analytics at the edge has been added to the laundry list of wants. 

“As a true OEM, VIVOTEK is helping drive the industry forward for not only surveillance needs, but also in the categories of business intelligence and building automation,” Green said, noting yet another example in which the company embraces adaptability in a changing business environment.

Management philosophy, secret sauce and advice

On the daily, VIVOTEK’s management philosophy of maintaining integrity, care, innovation and accountability is brought to life for employees, partners and customers. 

“By working collaboratively with our partners and customers to modify our products to meet their specific needs, we continually bring innovation to life,” said Green. “As an OEM, we are accountable for making that innovation work, since it is our name on our own product, not someone else’s.” 

Focusing specifically on integrity and care, Green said that these virtues have never been more evident than in this challenging time [referring to COVID and the pandemic at hand]. He particularly noted the effort put forth as a company to try and strike the right business balance between the needs of their customers and those of their employees and their families. 

“I am proud of the way that VIVOTEK has responded during this global pandemic, and while it has been challenging, we have managed to continue our business operations while placing the safety of our employees first.” 

VIVOTEK’s management philosophy plays right into the company’s “secret sauce” to their 20 years of success. 

“TRUST is the first thing that comes along with long-term business success,” Green noted, based on VIVOTEK’s 20-year experience in the security market. “During the 20 years, we have been sharing a high standard of culture and moral norms with the companies that work with us and also the end users that are protected by our security systems.” 

Another thread running through VIVOTEK’s secret sauce is commitment, specifically to building an ecosystem of co-operation and trust among partners. 

“To fulfill our strategic footprint, the company has grown into a global organization of 1,000 ‘VIVOTEKers,’ who collectively provide solutions that can be found around the world,” Green said. 

To further build trust, in 2000, the company established its AI R&D center to develop technologies to help further reduce false alarms and improve business efficiency and intelligence for end users. 

For companies just starting out in the industry or for those companies who have been in business for five years or less, Green advised and emphasized embracing truth and continued evolution. 

“Be true to yourself and never stop looking in the mirror to self-evaluate both you and your company,” offered Green. “It is easy to get caught up in the minutia and urgency of the minute, both of which can create demanding distractions to reaching your goals.” 

VIVOTEK has grown into a large, multi-million-dollar, global company; however, they have successfully maintained confidence, trust and reliability, in addition to the tenants of their management philosophy, toward partners, end users, employees and all others the company interacts with.

“At its core is a great group of friendly, caring and talented people,” Green said. “I know many companies and managers will say that about their own, but I’ve also worked for other companies where I couldn’t say the same. I’m happy and proud to be a part of this team and its extended international family.” 

While embracing its past, VIVOTEK looks forward to the next 20 years. 

“Together with the team of people we have in North America, I look forward to helping guide the conversation both inside and outside of the company in this exciting time of change,” concluded Green. 

Key Takeaways

  • Be knowledgeable about the present, but always look to the future and determine how you and your company can stay relevant based on technological changes and innovation. 
  • Company names are important and helps with branding when it tells a story or has a particular meaning. 
  • Don’t be afraid of change, modifications, or going in a completely different direction if that’s what it takes to continue serving your partners, customers and end users. 
  • Take challenges and turn them into learning experiences with positive outcomes. 
  • Celebrate successes along the way and always help others when you can. 
  • Trust is one key to success.