International Security Journal sat down for an exclusive interview with Joon Jun, President of the Global Business Unit at IDIS to discuss how the brand reinvented itself.
Successful reinvention in business is rare. Voluntary reinvention is even rarer, still. In the modern business landscape, unnecessary risk is unheard of. Entrepreneurial spirit, the domain of start-ups or specific departments and divisions, walled off just enough to protect the bottom line. Today, when a company changes course, adopts a new business model, or looks to an entirely different customer base, it’s a bow to the realities of a marketplace, or even trouble within. When a company does those things voluntarily, without outside drivers, industry watchers tend to notice.
Such was the case in 2013, when IDIS, one of the world’s leading and most profitable video surveillance technology ODM/OEMs, announced the development of a ground breaking new IP platform for networked surveillance they called DirectIP and would introduce an end-to-end branded surveillance solution—everything from cameras to monitors, designed, developed and manufactured in-house by the company in their Seoul, Korea facilities—at the IFSEC event that year. From there, things moved quickly as the IDIS branded business quickly established itself as a key and recognisable player in the video surveillance space. 2014 saw the company expand its branded operations to the Middle East and in 2015, IDIS debuted the technology in the Americas with a splash at ISC West in Las Vegas.
In fact, it was IDIS’ already well-established place in the industry as an OEM/ODM that made the launch of a brand business both remarkable and surprising. At a time of industry contraction and realignment, an already profitable enterprise—already having achieved the distinction of world’s largest DVR-manufacturer—wasn’t content to be well-regarded and deeply aligned with some of the industry’s largest names. But as IDIS’ co-founders, including CEO, Y.D. Kim and then-President, Albert Ryu stated at the time, they’d founded the company in 1997 on a commitment to innovation and next-generation market-based solutions, and the world of an OEM/ODM was an inherently limited one. If IDIS was going to have the freedom to innovate as ambitiously as they envisioned, a branded business would be the way.
With the brand debut now complete, the fruits of the company’s innovation—strengthened by high levels of R&D reinvestment—flowered, paying dividends in new credibility, customer satisfaction and industry recognitions for the manufacturer. Steering the ship as IDIS navigated these new waters was Joon Jun, President of IDIS’ Global Business Unit. A veteran business development executive, Jun joined IDIS with the express task of managing the company’s global expansion, while assuring the company’s continued market responsiveness and preserving IDIS’ commitment to innovation, accessibility, affordability and customer satisfaction as operations grew and diversified.
Now, as the company enters its sixth year as a branded business, having recently celebrated two decades of innovation as a player in the video surveillance marketplace, Jun sat down with International Security Journal to discuss the IDIS brand business and the company’s place within the video surveillance marketplace.
This year, the IDIS brand business celebrates its sixth year and the company it’s 22nd. In 2019, what do you feel is the company’s core differentiator?
From the launch of our brand business in 2013, IDIS has steadily differentiated itself as a true total surveillance solution provider. We say “true” total solution because our solution isn’t merely a range of cameras and NVRs, it’s a complete, end-to-end solution that spans categories and requirements, making customisation, integration and scalability across all a seamless process.
Our flagship DirectIP line delivers high performing, next generation technologies to meet networked surveillance needs of any size and our DirectCX line does the same for analogue requirements. More specialised requirements are easily met by the IDIS Total Solution, including the unique requirements of SMBs, who find the need to balance performance and affordability eliminated by the IDIS Compact Solution. End-to-end means everything along the way, from image capture through storage, processing, and display, including powerful VMS options to meet every surveillance need—from the functionally-rich, license-free IDIS Center to the specialised, modular IDIS Solution Suite. And with the attention we pay to failover protections, data security and privacy concerns in our R&D, our partners and customers are always taken care of. It’s a “true” total solution because when we say comprehensive and end-to-end, we mean it.
Put simply, IDIS delivers highest-quality products and solutions with unrivalled performance and we do so with every surveillance need—and every surveillance customer—in mind. Our high level of software stability and more than 20 years of development experience back up our reputation for signature innovation, high performance and a low total cost of ownership reputation. It’s that mix that optimises us within the industry and sets us apart from a brand perspective.
For so long, IDIS was defined by its OEM/ODM identity and now the branded business has opened an entirely new chapter and introduced the marketplace to IDIS in an even more direct way. What do IDIS’ mission and growth strategy look like through this lens?
At IDIS, our mission is to contribute to a safer and more secure world. We do that every day through our commitment to innovation and the fostering of a culture of creativity, both in the development of our technologies and our corporate citizenship. From a security solutions perspective, we put our mission into action by coming to work every single day with the goal of being the world’s premier global security solutions specialist—one that provides differentiated value to our customers in an accessible, affordable and beneficial way.
We’ve placed sustainable growth from customer satisfaction as a core value within the company, as our promise to our customers that the IDIS innovation, integrity and success they know today will continue in partnership with and for them, and that we’ve tied our growth and success to them. Further, our plans for growth involve ethical partnership and service to each other, which we bring to life through a program of community involvement, sponsorship, volunteerism and donation here in Korea and around the world. We know that being a contributor to global well-being and security in every way is always a winning strategy.
Innovation has always been at the core of IDIS’ offerings. So much so, “Two Decades of Innovation” was the theme of your year-long 20th Anniversary celebration. Can you tell us a little bit about that history? 20 years ago, IDIS was an original pioneer in the development of the Digital Video Recorder. And five years ago, we broke new ground in the industry in an equally consequential way, redefining how IP and networked surveillance technology delivered for the industry and our customers. That’s when we launched the brand business and our flagship DirectIP, which made IP network surveillance more affordable and accessible, and did so with an unparalleled ease of installation and use. We were proud to help the promise of IP finally become a reality after so many false starts and we’ve been pleased to see the impact such innovation has had on the industry and those we serve.
Since then, our signature commitments to research and development have delivered a steady slew of innovation, products and technology including the truly game changing, futuristic SmartUX Controls (winner of the 2015 “New Product of the Year” title from Security Products in the United States), a 64CH NVR that delivered enterprise level performance in a single NVR, industry-leading dual-side dewarping, seen on our 12MP Super Fisheye camera, that finally brought the promise of Fisheye cameras to reality, as well, and the development and incorporation of the IDIS Deep Learning Engine (powered by 96% accuracy), which in and of itself heralds a new generation of advancements for IDIS.
How does a company with such an entrenched commitment to innovation, high quality and performance deal with the price-consciousness we’ve seen in the industry as of late?
According to the quantitative growth in surveillance industry, prospective customers balance high quality and performance with innovation and, importantly, cost as they make decisions about optimum surveillance solutions. IDIS has been committed, since the launch of our brand business, to solving the quality vs. cost conundrum for our customers and that has never changed. It’s something we help our customers do through efficiency, our award-winning manufacturing models, including a much lauded “Smart Factory” here in Korea help us to keep costs low without sacrificing quality.
It is complemented by both technological and cost innovation, reflecting our understanding of requirements across the marketplace. We’ve met specific concerns with the recent development of more cost-effective technologies to meet SMB needs, without having to compromise quality—a primary and non-negotiable principle for us. IDIS is still the only company that provides up to a seven-year warranty for much of our technology. We’re not just happy to sell technology, we’re happy to stand by it, as well, making IDIS a cost-effective and responsible option as both a short and long-term investment.