Taiwan Update (Part I): Advancing with Customized Solutions and IP-based Technologies

Taiwan Update (Part I): Advancing with Customized Solutions and IP-based Technologies

Despite the global financial crisis, Taiwanese manufacturers continue to deliver quality IP-based technologies. While each company has a unique approach to R&D and marketing, the emphasis is on solutions. More companies offer customized solutions with easy installation and maintenance.

Video surveillance providers are developing 1.3-, 2- and 3-megapixel network cameras. Stand-alone NVRs and mobile DVRs now support 3-G remote surveillance. Ethernet transmission devices, wireless and RFID technologies enable better communication between security devices, so they work together as an integrated whole.

While more Taiwanese companies emphasize branding, OEM/ODM still plays an important role for many. Tailored solutions, innovative technologies and localized service are essential for their continued success.

The following 10 Taiwanese companies are presented in alphabetical order.

AcutVista Innovation
With a strong background in analog speed domes, AcutVista Innovation is progressing toward IP-based technology. The company completed its IP product line in 2009. This development is expected to yield 50-percent sales growth for 2010.

AcutVista targets the high-end market, serving applications such as public safety, transportation, banks, health care and mobile surveillance. The U.S. and Europe are its main markets for IP-based solutions, along with developing countries.

Strategy and Core Competence
With strong know-how in speed domes, AcutVista is applying its expertise to megapixel network speed domes. "We want to offer our customers total solutions, and we are one of the few manufacturers who can produce network speed domes with megapixel technology," said Ron Hsu, Chairman. Its latest releases are full HD (1920 x 1080) network cameras, 1.3-megapixel network cameras, speed domes with up to 37x optical zoom and stand-alone NVRs. Two-megapixel network cameras will soon be released, while video encoders and embedded NVRs will be ready by 2011.

Future Outlook
Branding will be a focus. "OEM and ODM was our business model in the past," Hsu said. "Starting from 2010, we will focus on branding and only providing OEM service to large companies. Our goal is to sell all products through our own brand by the end of 2011."

To advance its technology developments, 80 percent of the company's staff are dedicated to R&D. "Each year, we will invest 50 to 60 percent into R&D to keep up with the latest technology," Hsu said. "Offering total solutions is our goal."

AVTECH has provided cost-effective video surveillance solutions worldwide since 1996. With its own brand established in 2007, 50 percent of its 2009 sales came from branded products, with the rest from OEM sales. About 90 percent of sales were generated overseas. Southern and Western Europe, Southeast Asia and India, and the Americas are its major markets. Sales were only slightly affected by the global economic downturn in 2009. The company expects 15 to 20 percent growth this year.

Strategy and Core Competence
AVTECH strengthened its analog product line with IVS DVR systems and intelligent 3-G DVRs. It also offers total IP-based solution featuring management software for up to 96 channels, with remote surveillance capabilities.

"We develop our own ASIC, and our SoCs are of good quality. All products are designed in-house with a unique electrical board design," said Andy Lee, CCTV Product Marketing Manager. AVTECH will expand its reach from mid-end markets to higher-end markets, with its network camera line and IVS DVR systems.

Future Outlook
The company adopted a solution and project-based approach in 2010. Software development will be a focus, with the establishment of the Business Unit team. Branding is a long-term goal for AVTECH. "Our goal is to have over 70 percent of sales generated from our own brand," Lee said.

BrainChild Electronic
Founded in 1977, BrainChild Electronic has focused on the production of industrial instruments for more than 30 years. The company entered the security market in 2009 and remains true to its philosophy of high-quality products.

Targeting the high-end market, its 2-megapixel network camera with real-time streaming will be ready this month. The camera is suited for factories, office buildings and homes.

Strategy and Core Competence
With a strong focus on R&D, BrainChild has dedicated more than 30 percent of its staff to R&D. Both software and hardware are developed in-house.

Software development is its R&D strength. "We are good at developing video surveillance total solutions. Our SDKs and APIs are well-documented and ready for customers to integrate with existing systems," said Vic Liao, Sales Manager.

Future Outlook
The company plans to complete its video product line with low-light and WDR cameras, along with high-resolution cameras. "Video servers and NVRs will be released," Liao said. "Intelligent features such as LPR and behavior detection will also be added."

The U.S., Europe and China will be its target markets for 2010. "We will go through our existing channels and explore more businesses," Liao said.

Founded in 2009, Brickcom started its export business right away.
The company's overseas sales currently make up about 95 percent of its revenue. All sales are from branded products, with orders from the U.S., Europe, Africa and Asia. Brickcom's product portfolio includes both wired and wireless network cameras, video servers, NVRs, and networking and camera accessories. Residential, commercial and industrial environments are its targets. The company offers 1.3-megapixel network cameras and 2-, 3- and 5-megapixel network cameras will be released by the end of 2010.

Strategy and Core Competence
High- to mid-end markets are the company's targets. System design is the company's core technology, with both hardware and software developed in-house.

"We want to make our products with the best quality. Coming from a strong networking background, our parent company OEMs to large international network communication companies," said Ebony Huang, President and CEO. "Now, we are making our surveillance products with the same philosophy and satisfying different user needs with a wide range of products."

Future Outlook
Brickcom emphasized solutions and services for its 2010 goals. It will expand its product line with more megapixel cameras. To improve system performance, it plans to use better CPUs with more processing power. "We will continue to establish our brand recognition worldwide," Huang said. "To make this happen, services will be a key strength. Our goal is to be one of the top five video surveillance companies in the world."

Climax Technology
Climax Technology has a long tradition of international business since 1985. With Northern America and Europe as its largest overseas markets, the company sells solely through its OEM business. Climax offers customized solutions for specific customers and market needs. The company provides video verification, which enables real-time remote monitoring. For health care, the company makes professional wireless medical alarm systems with two-way voice communication quality, showing its commitment to integration. Climax enjoyed 6-percent sales growth in 2009 and expects 15-percent growth this year.

Strategy and Core Competence
Climax's core competence is in wireless technologies, such as RF, ZigBee and Z-Wave. The R&D team makes up about one-third of its staff. "Climax fully supports the growth and advancement of its R&D team by expansion and continuous training," said Michael Chang, CEO. The company has shipped products with IP-based and GSM technologies for more than two years, serving home security needs. Targeting the high-end market, Climax will develop more value-added features. "We are focused on product quality much more than just price competition," Chang said. "We offer total solutions with advanced value-added features. All of our products are made by standard production procedures."

Future Outlook
Climax will focus on technology integration, such as home automation systems integrated with power meter reading. Energy efficient solutions will be a growing trend. "We will continue to strengthen our existing partnerships in North America and Europe, while actively expanding our markets worldwide," Chang said.

DynaColor started out in high-end automatic optical inspection systems in 1991. Based on its technical know-how, its surveillance business was launched in 2000. About 85 to 90 percent of its current sales are from OEM contracts. In 2009, the company maintained steady growth. This year, the company expects more than 20-percent growth. The U.S. is its major export market, along with Europe and the Asia Pacific region.

Strategy and Core Competence
Banking on its solid R&D capabilities, DynaColor continues to develop advanced video surveillance solutions. Its main products for 2010 included 3-megapixel cameras, analog and network high speed dome cameras, D1 real-time recording and playback DVRs with 1080p display output. "Our goal is to develop cost-effective products. We have more than 40 percent of the company's staff dedicated to R&D," said Caroline Kuan, Marketing Specialist. "Each year, DynaColor invests more than 10 percent of our revenue for R&D."

Future Outlook
In the future, DynaColor will develop DVRs to reach full HD resolution, compliant with the HDMI 1080p standard. Its DVRs will stream real-time footage at 30 fps with D1 resolution. "We will develop WDR and noise reduction into full range of network cameras," Kuan said. "We will also develop 5- and 10- megapixel network cameras with storage for large-scale installations." The company has global aspirations. China, India,

South America, South Africa and the Middle East will be its target markets for 2010.

EtherWAN Systems
EtherWAN Systems has a global outlook, with headquarters in both the U.S. and Taiwan. Founded in 1996, the company has been successful in intelligent transportation systems. EtherWAN provides complete solutions for IP-security networks, from luxury rooms to unshielded harsh environments. The company is involved in renewable energy, smart grid, oil and mining, fiber-to-the-home and factory automation.

The company enjoyed 20-percent growth in 2009 and expects 25- to 30-percent growth this year. Africa, Australia and the Asia Pacific region are its fastest growing markets.

Strategy and Core Competence
Customization is key. "To make products suitable for a wide range of installations, we developed application-specific functions," said Laurence Lin, Executive VP. "For example, users require PoE and DC-to-DC converters for rolling-stock installations." About 30 to 35 percent of its staff is devoted to R&D.

The company emphasizes flexibility with its all-in-one switch. It integrates PoE with an Ethernet extender to allow transmission over fiber optics, phone lines and coaxial cables.

Future Outlook
EtherWAN is developing its own brand, expecting to generate 40 percent of sales from branded solutions. "Critical infrastructure installations in the EMEA regions will be our focus," Lin said. "Compact devices designed for mobile surveillance will be a trend."

An application lab was established this year to perform product tests for specific verticals. "Value-added products are increasingly needed in surveillance installations. To satisfy this requirement, we make tailor-made products for specific installations," Lin said.

EverFocus Electronics
With 15 years of experience in video surveillance technology, EverFocus Electronics continues to grow. The company is migrating toward IP-based technology from its strong background in analog solutions. The U.S. is its biggest worldwide market. "We are considered as one of the top eight companies in the U.S., with DVRs generating the most revenue," said Andy Chen, Director, Brand Global Business Development. Russia, Japan, Africa and the Middle East are also major overseas markets. In the first quarter of 2010, the company already enjoyed 20 to 30 percent growth.

Strategy and Core Competence
Brand recognition is important for EverFocus. "Branding helps distributors know where to place our products in a competitive market," said Chen. "Currently we are serving mainly the mid-end customers, and our goal is to serve the higher-end market."

Its 2010 product releases include HDcctv-compliant analog solutions, with HD cameras and H.264 mobile DVRs. For network solutions, it also produced network cameras, CMS and NVRs that comply with ONVIF and PSIA interoperability standards.

Future Outlook
EverFocus will consider ODM in the future, along with its own-brand sales. Mobile cameras that are explosion-proof with GPS and Wi-Fi functions are in development.

Taiwan Batag
Taiwan Batag, with more than 10 years of professional RFID experience, was founded from established barcode and telecom companies. Despite the global economic downturn, the company enjoyed slight growth in 2009 and expects the same for this year. Europe and the U.S. are its largest markets.

Providing fast service is a goal for Taiwan Batag. The company has local sales and support agents in the U.K. and US distribution channels to quickly respond to its OEM customers.

Strategy and Core Competence
Taiwan Batag carefully studies the latest technology trends to develop the best solution, such as its most recently launched UHF tags. Antennas in readers and RFID tag packaging are its core competence. "To produce innovative products, we participate in seminars and continue to look for new materials," said Windy Wang, Overseas Sales Manager.

Price and quality are managed well. "Other than narrowing margins and keeping system quality, we try to simplify production process and look for quality materials with lower costs," Wang said.

Future Outlook
Taiwan Batag will develop advanced technology to increase its market share. "We are developing UHF tags used on metal tools for long-range detection," Wang said. "Solutions designed for the textile industry will need slim and laundry-washable UHF tags. Anti-fraud tags are also on their way."

Yuan High-Tech
Yuan High-Tech, established in 1990, has an extensive track record. It designs, develops and manufactures high-quality DVR and TV tuner cards, along with MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 encoders and decoders. Targeting the worldwide markets, Yuan is experience in OEM and ODM sales. "We do not sell through our own brand because our goal is to fully support our clients and be the best partner for surveillance manufacturers," said Wendy Lin, Sales Director, Surveillance Business Unit.

Strategy and Core Competence
Yuan's R&D focus is image quality. All of its hardware, software and firmware are developed in-house with well-documented APIs for easy integration. "With a solid background in TV technology, we offer high-quality image capture and process at an affordable price," Lin said.

Yuan will advance its DVR capture card technology for its product line up in 2010. "Our 3-D DVR capture cards enable to improve image quality with lower power consumption," Lin said. "The WDR correction and advanced algorithms reduce noise and save storage space up to 30 percent."

Future Outlook
Yuan plans to increase production of PC-based DVR boards for industrial applications. The company will continue developing its image technology. "Other than surveillance related developments, TV tuner cards and AOI technology will also be our R&D focus spots," Lin said.

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