BCD’s CEO Dishes on Evolving Marketplace

Jan 20, 2016 | Blog

Find out whyJeff Burgess, the founder & CEO of BCD experienced “culture shock” after joining the security industry.

In 2009, BCD introduced its “purpose-built” video surveillance storage systems to the security space. The company marked a special milestone in 2020: The company surpassed 100k installations. All told, Burgess says its video appliances are recording surveillance data in 75+ countries and across numerous vertical market niches. We checked in with CEO Jeff Burgess to learn a little bit more about the company and tap his perspective on the marketplace.

Which market niches, in particular, are North American-based security integrators finding success with BCD’s solutions currently? What market forces are driving these opportunities?
That’s really the beauty of our platform. We have systems that can run four cameras and others that can run thousands. In addition to that, we have environmental variances that allow for virtually any vertical market.  BCD also offers custom integrations that nobody else in the security industry has, such as our Harmonzie iDRAC integration and Harmonize Bridge integration for cloud-ready appliances.

We tend to refer to our solutions as “vertical agnostic.” Healthcare for instance. We can provide custom warranty coverage that supports HIPAA requirements. School systems are another example. Some states recently passed new legislation regarding longer retention. It’s nice to know that our existing systems on-premises are easily scalable to accept the additional retention requirements without the nightmare of having to order new systems. Provides a nice ROI to the school district.

Every vertical has its own nuance, and we can adjust to that nuance, rather than a one-solution-fits-all mentality. Because it doesn’t. Even within those verticals, again, using health care, not every hospital has the same requirements, HIPAA notwithstanding. This is where our backgrounds in building Fortune 500 systems come in. Regardless of the system size, you have to address each organization individually and work within their mode. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an enterprise-class server to be built with an enterprise-class mentality.

Frankly, I cannot think of a vertical that we have not been established, not with just one installation, but with hundreds.

How does BCDVideo go to market? Distribution, integrators, or a mix of both? 
It’s a mix of both. When we began in 2009, we did indeed start with a distribution model, along with a number of national accounts. The assumption was that distribution — with their high volume of camera and software sales — would have succeeded in offering a recording device to go along with those sales. And while they did have some basic success, it just was not enough to fuel our growth. In fairness to them, their reps have 500,000 SKUs to sell and every manufacturer wants them to sell theirs.

So while we still have existing distribution salespeople continuing to position us within distribution with our Video Storage Solutions (VSS) appliances, we have forged relationships with the global/nationals, as well as local integrators in various regions. Our purpose when we made the decision to go after that business directly was to make the security integrators aware of who we were; where they purchased it was not the concern, just that they purchased. For a number of reasons, direct was the fastest path to success.

Since the company’s founding in 2009, can you briefly describe how the security industry has evolved in that time?
Briefly may be difficult. Bear in mind that I came from a 20+-year IT background in building servers for Fortune 100 companies. Everything was newest-generation HP Proliant servers, with expedited, high-availability, same-day repair time. No response, but actual repair. Meetings with CIOs going through product lifecycles, planning evaluations of the soon-to-be-released models in order to have a seamless platform change. That required beta units in order for them to create their new images. Everything was precise.

So to go from those types of standards into the security market, I had culture shock. White-box this, white-box that, depot warranties, no definition of standards. Lots of iSCSI and niche-storage systems. Certainly not an enterprise storage market. Back then, it was still heavy analog and most of the recorders were DVRs. We started talking about I/O bandwidth way back in 2011 and the effect it has on the video images. We were among the first to standardize on some level of onsite service.

Fast forward, and the video storage market has certainly matured. Most of the niche storage companies are gone, as the name brand server and storage companies came after this market a few years back — HP, Dell, EMC. And, 100,000+ installed servers later, I like to think us, for that matter.

When we started BCD, camera resolutions were 4CIF to 1.3MP and H.264 was just coming to market. The stream sizes were small compared to the 8-megapixel to 20-megapixel cameras we are seeing today. Also, the number of cameras on a single site has skyrocketed. Back in 2008, we would typically see 16 to 32 cameras in a high school. Today, we usually see about 100+ cameras in a high school.

So as far as the video servers back in 2008, sites only had 32 to 40 cameras now the same site will be over 100 cameras, the demands on the server have increased greatly due to the number of cameras and the amount of bandwidth that each high-megapixel camera is now generating, so using a purpose-built video server over a standard IT server is more critical today more than ever.

Everything is coming full circle to enterprise-quality, yet cost-effective, scalable video storage solutions. Even at the 8-camera level. For the end customer, this is likely their third , fourth or even fifth system. They are much savvier now and likely had some pain along the path.