Highlighting China’s Video Surveillance Giants, this is the first in a series of articles on the growing international presence of China’s top three video surveillance/CCTV companies. See other articles in the series from Dahua and Uniview here and here. For three years now, Hikvision Digital Technology Co. has been ranked as the world’s largest CCTV and video surveillance equipment provider. IHS Research estimates the Chinese manufacturing giant’s global market share in 2013 at 10.9 percent, up more than a third from the previous year. Since inception in 2001, Hikvision has rapidly achieved its leading worldwide market position in the video surveillance market. The company operates 30 domestic branches and 16 overseas subsidiaries all over the world and employs more than 10,000, including a research and development staff of more than 3,000. Hikvision security innovations at IFSEC 2014 At IFSEC 2014 in London, Hikvision launched the new iVMS 5200 Professional/Enterprise software, an upgraded version of its previously free iVMS 4200 software. The new software with high-level functionality and features is for sale rather than offered free. The software will involve a basic license and also per-channel licenses. Additional modules that can be added include analytics, alarms and access control, says Dani Wang, Hikvision product director. The launch of the new professional-level software further enables the company to deliver a complete end-to end solution, a more seamless integration of system components, and a superior user experience for its customers worldwide. Hikvision expects 4K technology to succeed first in the United States, Europe and/or China, says Wang. Better resolutions will be an advantage to video analytics developers, providing more information, he adds. Hikvision invests 7 percent of its revenue into research and development, and uses a “cross-department” management structure to promote cooperation among various resource and product teams The Chinese company also highlighted its large range of cameras with a variety of features, depending on the application needs – from entry level to high level to everything in between. An important vertical focus is retail. Centralised management of camera systems – covering inside a shopping mall and also the parking lot and integrating license plate recognition – are especially attractive to retail end users, who want all the information in one place for the benefit of security officers. There are also commercial and operational benefits in retail beyond security-specific surveillance. Other attractive verticals for Hikvision include gasoline stations, financial institutions and transportation. The company is also active in city surveillance, healthcare, education, residential and commercial. Hikvision worldwide growth and development Hikvision has a presence throughout much of the world, including divisions in the United Kingdom, Amsterdam and the United States and activity worldwide from Brazil to Australia, the Middle East to South Africa, in France, Italy, Spain, Poland and Hong Kong. The company uses localised distributors and integrators that are attuned to the local cultures and respect the needs of niche markets, says Wang. Hikvision is committed to serving markets of all size. “We don’t want to miss any opportunity, but it won’t be easy,” he adds. By listening to what the channel wants, the company positions itself to serve market needs, says Wang. A pioneer in video surveillance, Hikvision was an early proponent of H.264 compression. Hikvision invests 7 percent of its revenue into research and development, and uses a “cross-department” management structure to promote cooperation among various resource and product teams, such as hardware, image processing, video/audio codec, software structure, etc. A specialised project team is formed to develop new products. Hikvision’s presence in the United States got a boost this year when the company’s “plug-and-play” NVR won the Maximum Impact Award in the Digital Recording Systems category at the ESX trade show for integrators and monitoring companies. Hikvision's huge R&D, sales, administration and manufacturing facilities in China reflect its success – and foreshadow its goals in the future. More available office space and improved R&D facilities will accommodate the increase in personnel required for a major world player to grow even more in the video surveillance market.