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Taiwan Update (Part ll): Embracing Challenges by Staying Flexible
a&s International 2010/1/13

While the economic recovery continues sluggishly, the focus has turned to developing integration capabilities and vertical-oriented solutions.

While the economic recovery continues sluggishly, the focus has turned to developing integration capabilities and vertical-oriented solutions.

Given the global trend of IP, beefing up software grabs the spotlight. Open platform, distributed intelligence and support for enterprise-level management are at the heart of new solutions.

Products with increased resolution, mature H.264 compression and hybrid models are underway. R&D and brand promotion are key investment areas for providers.

Building on extensive OEM/ODM experience and IT knowledge, Taiwanese manufacturers deliver customized solutions and create next-generation surveillance.

<The following Taiwanese companies are presented in alphabetical order>

EevrFocus Electronics
Launched in 1995, EverFocus has grown into an internationally acclaimed brand in security. Its in-house motherboard, firmware and software reflect its technical capabilities, allowing EverFocus to provide tailored services, said Rich Huang, Product Manager.

Strategies and Core Competence
The H.264 D1 real-time 16-channel DVR was introduced in the third quarter of 2009, going into mass production before the year ended, Huang said.

Featuring an entire spectrum of H.264 solutions, 4/8-channel DVRs will be available in 2010 with maximum recording and playback speeds of 30 fps. Hybrid models will also be released, promising full integration with megapixel cameras. "Every new network camera in the future will be PSIA- and ONVIF- compliant," said Huang.

Future Outlook
EverFocus cultivates its brand image by securing partnerships with global vendors. "DVRs and cameras are sold with three-year and five-year warranties, respectively," said Huang. Moving forward, the company established an India subsidiary through a joint venture with Rasan Infocom, strengthening its channel reach into emerging markets. "Setting up a factory in China will help the company develop a competitive edge and win major projects," Huang said.

Eyeview Electronics
Established in 1997, Eyeview is known for its full spectrum of domes. "We emphasize clear market positioning and our brand targets the right customers," said Lora Tsai, Sales Manager. Currently, 50 percent of its revenue has been generated from branded solutions.

Strategies and Core Competence
Eyeview's expertise lies in its software technology and integration capabilities.
Customers benefit from robust software, which efficiently uses video footage and seamlessly integrates with existing surveillance infrastructure. "Reliability is assured with our careful attention to components that allow cameras to work under demanding environments without compromising performance," Tsai said. Eyeview will develop its own optical zoom module for added quality.

Vertical-specific domes will be developed to address unique industrial challenges at competitive prices. The company added support for a wider range of camera control protocols this year, including Pelco, GE Security and LG Electronics. In addition to releasing a WDR camera in 2009, models with improved low-light performance and license plate recognition are in development to strengthen Eyeview's offerings in 2010.

Future Outlook
Taking into account of the current economy, Eyeview has fortified its brand image and continued aggressive investment in R&D and manufacturing processes. "Our Web site will be available in Spanish to better serve our Latin America customers," said Tsai said. "Moreover, we have reinforced our commitment to other emerging areas, such as Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe, with planned expansion for sales operations."

From its beginnings as an auto ID specialist in 1987, GIGA-TMS supplies time recorders, RFID products, programmable data terminals and PoS peripherals. The company emphasizes blue-ocean strategies and developing niche technologies. Investment in product differentiation and market segmentation has reaped success. "Overall sales is expected to grow by 20 to 30 percent this year," said Sandria Liu, Sales Manager.

Strategies and Core Competence
Flexibility and technical support are its strengths. GIGA-TMS focuses on developing UHF technology and manufacturing programmable network terminals for specific applications. "Increasing product capability is the primary goal for 2010, and full-featured fingerprint time/attendance recorders will be released before the second quarter of 2010," Liu said.

Tailored solutions bring OEM/ODM opportunities and GIGA-TMS has built long-term relationships with partners for more than a decade. "We aim to boost our OEM/ODM sales this year," Liu said.

Future Outlook
GIGA-TMS channeled efforts to brand its Promag and ProxData series. Two years of promotion has paid off, where 50 percent of the revenue is now generated from its branded products, Liu said.

The company's major markets are the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. "Emerging markets have been receiving great attention, and we plan to build a strong foothold with right partners," Liu said.

Hunt Electronic
Sensibly priced solutions and robust quality differentiates Hunt Electronic from other providers. Since its establishment in 1988, Hunt has grown into a trusted OEM/ODM partner, featuring a complete range of surveillance products. The company's exports remains strong despite the financial crisis. "In 2009, our DVR sales are expected to triple in revenue, and network camera shipments are set to increase by 30 percent," said Michael Lee, President.

Strategies and Core Competence
The company rolled out a complete series of H.264 DVRs in 2008, with megapixel cameras rounding out its advances in video technology. Catering to remote surveillance needs, Hunt's DVRs support a wide range of mobile communication protocols.

The 16-channel, real-time DVR in CIF/D1 resolution and intelligent network cameras will be released in 2010, targeting middle to high-end users at competitive prices. "Our self-developed video analytics allows smart applications and customization," Lee said.

Future Outlook
Hunt enhances its standing by winning government and small-to-medium projects domestically and overseas. Its global expansion strategy focuses on increasing market penetration in Eastern Europe and strengthening its US channels in the next two years. A more diversified customer base and up-to-date technology will drive revenue growth by 10 percent in 2009, Lee said.

iCatch was founded in 2005 as a provider of tailored video solutions. With R&D personnel accounting for more than a third of its staff, iCatch's DVRs stand out for full integration with 3-G devices and sophisticated graphical user interface. "Being compliant with a wide range of mobile standards and a strong CMS that was designed for ease of use are our top features," said Tony Chiu, CEO. Supporting more than 16 languages is an added attraction, allowing iCatch to achieve localization and international presence.

Strategies and Core Competence
Keeping abreast of technology with updated firmware and software is iCatch's core value. "The combination of speed and timely market response ensures that we stay ahead of the pack," Chiu said.

Aiming for a complete product line in 2010, iCatch plans to launch an H.264 real-time DVR with robust CMS and support for one hard drive up to 2000 gigabyte. Other product launches will include a network camera with enhanced low-light performance and a stand-alone NVR before the second quarter, diversifying its product offerings.

Future Outlook
"Surveillance hardware has reached maturity and software will be the new battleground," Chiu said. "Video analytics is the way ahead and developing necessary functions for DVR applications is the key."

Positioned as a mid- to high-end solutions provider, iCatch continues to invest in marketing. The company is focused on growing its footprint in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Russia.

Kingwave entered the security market in 2001 with sophisticated wireless and video technology. Its WLAN solutions address the growing demand on wireless video surveillance for commercial applications. Network DVRs, wireless network cameras and wireless access points enable customers to set up cost-effective security solutions. "Our economically priced H.264 DVR series was launched in early 2009, supporting Ethernet transmission and 2-G/3-G access," said Susan Sun, Sales Manager.

Strategies and Core Competence
Armed with wireless networking capabilities, H.264 real-time DVRs are set to launch in the first quarter of 2010. "Kingwave's technology enables wireless transmission between cameras and DVRs without cable constraints," Sun said. SMBs, retailers and residential users are its target customers.

Future Outlook
Customization and technical ability allows Kingwave to win OEM/ODM business, making up 50 percent of its revenue. "Quality products at competitive prices are our key advantage," Sun said.

With more than 75 percent of its revenue generated from overseas sales, Kingwave will focus on the European and US markets. It plans on strengthening its market position through channel expansion.

Video Security
Video Security (VDI) has dedicated itself to domes and IR technology since its establishment in 1985. "The company has cultivated broad expertise across the fields of video, optics and mechanics," said Paul Roan, GM. With overseas sales accounting for more than 90 percent of its sales, VDI protects highways, subways, seaports and nuclear power plants around the globe.

Strategies and Core Competence
To deliver quality low-light images, VDI's IR technology enables automatic adjustment of IR illumination for optimized video capture. Its patented nitrogen-pressurized network speed dome overcomes challenges of overheating, refracting and fogging. The dome features H.264 compression, facial recognition, auto tracking, underwater protection and is explosion-proof.

Reflecting the industry's migration to IP, VDI launched an H.264 megapixel camera and powered its network domes with IR illuminators. Rollout plans are set for a wider IP portfolio. "Network solutions are definite trends and an integrated management platform adds value," Roan said.

Future Outlook
"Future-proof technology is sought after by premium buyers regardless of price, and VDI's domes satisfy their demands," Roan said. "Targeting the right market and being persistent will help VDI stand out despite intense price competition."

Founded in 2000, VIVOTEK has become a globally recognized brand for network cameras. The company possesses a broad product portfolio, including network cameras, video servers/receivers, NVRs and video management software. VIVOTEK is strengthening its solutions and integration capabilities to meet the needs of high-end applications in different regions, said Owen Chen, Chairman. A series of H.264 and megapixel network cameras were released in 2009.

Strategies and Core Competence
VIVOTEK continues fine-tuning its IP solutions. In 2010, the entire H.264 network camera line will feature local SD storage and a full range of megapixel cameras will also be introduced. "By working with telecommunication partners, VIVOTEK's products are PSIA- and ONVIF- compliant too," Chen said.

Vertical-oriented solutions will be emphasized in 2010. "Our focus is on targeting the transportation segment with mini fixed domes and winning city surveillance projects with video servers," Chen said.

Future Outlook
VIVOTEK enjoys an established brand image, with branded sales bringing in more than 60 percent of revenue. "Quality customer service and robust solutions strengthen our name and ensure long-term partnerships," Chen said. "Maintaining a strong position in overseas markets, VIVOTEK is ready for further expansion in emerging regions."

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