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In The Boardroom With...

Mr. Jeffrey Liu, Ph.D.
CEO and President : Thank you for joining us today, Jeffrey. Please give us an overview of your background and a brief company history.

Mr. Jeffrey Liu: Since 1994, I have been CEO of Infinova. It is my philosophy that creating the best products is not enough. Infinova must also concentrate on customer service and assure that their channel partners are also successful.  We want our partners to be able to provide the complete, best-of-class systems that their customers want.

I earned my Ph.D. in physics from the University of Utah in 1987. From 1987 to 1990, I worked in Princeton University as a post-doctoral research associate. From 1990 to 1994, I worked in NEC Research Institute at Princeton as a research scientist. I have published 42 scientific papers in the fields of semiconductor physics and opto-electronics. In 1994, I started my business in electronic security as the founder of Infinova.

Infinova is an American security products manufacturer known for experience in both analog and IP technology and creating solutions where these technologies coexist.  We want to help our integrators help their end-users to manage costs and leverage the most from their existing security infrastructure.

Whether it involves components or code, we understand how all the pieces fit together because our R&D department has designed them and we manufacture them.  As a result, we can customize products for specialized applications plus our open platform means that Infinova products are compatible with the leading brands in the industry. : One will read on that, "Infinova’s best-in-class solution encompasses a wide spectrum of product technology to meet the security needs of government, industry, retail, and service companies around the globe. Our industry experience in megapixel, IP, analog and fiber optics reinforces our reputation for flexibility with both integrators and end users. Because we are a manufacturer we have full control over the design and specifications of our products. This gives you the flexibility to meet specialized project requirements where customized solutions are needed." Please give us an overview of the products and solutions that Infinova brings to market.

Mr. Jeffrey Liu: Infinova is a one source solution for a full range of CCTV surveillance systems, fiber optic communications and security management software.  We provide unique features that offer significant advantages over competitive products.

For instance, our video matrix switchers are the only ones to feature Ethernet networking capability. They are also available with Video over IP (VIP) that allows users to select, view and PTZ control from four to thousands of cameras from anywhere in the world via the Internet. Our fiber optic transmission systems feature the industry’s best optical budget, widest optical dynamic range and highest racking density. 

Infinova's team of dedicated engineers continues to develop leading edge solutions, taking advantage of such technologies as IP networking to provide our customers powerful solutions to their security and communications problems. : Congratulations on Infinova government “wins” the Port of Miami and the airports in India. Without divulging any confidential or proprietary information, of course, can you tell us about the solutions Infinova provided to these entities?

Mr. Jeffrey Liu: At the port, the security system configuration is based on the concept that each terminal is a protection entity or node.  Each terminal has a number of local cameras and an additional number of remote cameras, most of which are in parking facilities.  Depending on the size and location of the terminal, it will have its own Remote Command Center (RCC) or will share an RCC with one other terminal. 

All of the RCCs, in turn, are tied into one central facility, the Emergency Operations Center/Security Command Center (EOC/SCC).  Here, security authorities, such as the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) and local law enforcement, are able to oversee security for the entire port.  This lets authorities use port-wide security status assessments and analyses of events to determine patterns and other relationships not evident to any individual RCC, since it would not have immediate access to information from the other RCCs.

Helping tie the system together are five Infinova V2040 Ethernet controllable video matrix switchers which provide EOC/SCC access to all of the port’s approximately 1,000 cameras.  At each RCC, a switcher receives signals from all of the cameras, local and remote, for the terminal it handles. 

This same Ethernet networking also lets remote alarms be transmitted to the EOC/SCC where the related camera can be automatically displayed.  Because the server for this port’s entire port access control system is located in the EOC/SCC, the Ethernet is used to also transmit alarms from the EOC/SCC to the RCCs. 

Fiber optics also figures prominently in the transmission of video and data signals.  All remote cameras are transmitted to the RCCs via Infinova fiber modems, along with data signals to and from PTZ cameras. 

For the 22 airports in India, I’ll give a less detailed description.  Over 846 Infinova video surveillance cameras, including high-speed PTZ domes, minidomes and fixed cameras, many with vandal-resistant day/night functionality, plus Infinova’s DVRs and switchers were selected by airport authorities to combat terrorism and increase security at 22 airports in India. The Infinova cameras and security equipment are seamlessly integrated with advanced video analytics software from Videonetics designed especially for airport security. Are there any additional success stories in the Government space you’d like to mention?

Mr. Jeffrey Liu: We’ve helped implement government video security solutions throughout the world.  They include the Los Angeles MTA as well as metro systems in Asia, Melbourne, Australia’s iconic West Gate Bridge, airports around the globe, the Panama Canal, among others. Let’s turn to the commercial market for a moment. We understand that the banking, education, industrial, retail and utilities sectors are also important target markets for Infinova as well. Care to elaborate?

Mr. Jeffrey Liu: The Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) shows the important of coexistence between analog and digital systems.  It includes more than 500 Infinova IP cameras plus Infinova monitors, matrix switchers and fiber optic transceivers.  System components are distributed over sub-control rooms to provide local monitoring for each exhibition hall.  Control rooms are connected by a fiber optic network to a centralized archiving system where recorded video is stored for one month.

The security system for the original halls was based on analog technology but, for the new extension, ADNEC chose an IP video surveillance solution.  They selected Infinova because they required the two systems to be seamlessly integrated.  They were aware of our reputation for helping customers to bridge the gap to IP while also protecting the investment they have in their installed analog system.  Using our V2216 Network Video Management software, which won an Accolades Award at last year’s ASIS Conference, the security staff at ADNEC can manage the existing analog system and the new IP solution as a single video surveillance system.

At the perimeter, Infinova fiber optic Ethernet transceivers enable the security operations staff to secure every mile of the outskirts of the center from the central control room.  Special fiber optic cable provides additional protection by preventing intruders from breaching ADNEC’s Ethernet-transmitted security system. Jeffrey, what is your perspective on the market drivers for Infinova solutions at this challenging economic time?

Mr. Jeffrey Liu: One of the most challenging dilemmas that security managers face is when and how to take the leap from an analog to an IP/digital video system.  They want to jump to IP surveillance but in a cost-managed way that extends the life of existing equipment. For most sites, this migration will take place gradually and, during the process, analog and IP solutions will have to coexist, in some cases, for many years to come.

There are many ramifications but, to simplify things, let’s just look at cameras.  A key consideration for security professionals is whether or not the existing cameras or new IP ones will provide the image quality needed to achieve the functional requirements of the system. Different applications have different requirements; some users require the ability to see and track suspects in changing lighting conditions while others simply need to see that a corridor is clear.  In many migration plans, specific locations of greater vulnerability or image detail requirements are ideal places for IP-based cameras, including megapixel and high-definition models.  One needs to ask if higher resolution cameras can help to provide better evidence at each location.

As part of a typical hybrid migration plan, analog-to-digital encoders at the camera end can transform images from an analog camera to digital transmission and storage.  The analog control room equipment gets scrapped but the new IP control room equipment controls the already-installed analog cameras.  We provide that solution.

However, here is something unique that Infinova provides.  It won us an Accolades Award at last year’s ASIS Conference.  This approach holds down the budget at the beginning. 

Here’s the problem with the hybrid approach, the analog control equipment must be scrapped and totally replaced, even if it is not yet depreciated, a major issue with CFOs.  In addition, encoders have to be bought and placed on every analog camera.  With a coexistence approach using our V2216 VMS, the existing analog equipment, including cameras, control room, video wall and cabling remains untouched.  The VMS software, integrated with the present keyboard, sits on top of the system to manage the new IP equipment as well as the already-installed analog system side by side.  This saves the customer an enormous amount of money and provides our integrators with a powerful tool for gaining business. We read with great interest your recent announcement that, “Tri-Ed/Northern Video Distribution will now be providing Infinova IP cameras and other video solutions through its 41 offices in North America.” Please tell us more about this important relationship. Any other strategic relationships you care to mention?

Mr. Jeffrey Liu: Having Tri-Ed/Northern Video Distribution as an Infinova partner is rather like getting the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval when marketing consumer products.  In addition, they provide much greater reach for Infinova products.  Many integrators and dealers work solely with Tri-Ed/Northern Video Distribution.  Now, they can get our products from their preferred vendor.

We have many other strategic relationships as well, including those with NICE Systems, Milestone Systems, Video Insight and other leading VMS suppliers, assuring our integrators and their customers that they can count on their Infinova equipment to do what they expect it to do when integrated into their systems.  It’s not a relationship but it’s similar in that we are now announcing a full suite of ONVIF-compliant cameras and equipment at all the major trade shows around the world now through May. : Congratulations on the recent announcement that shares of Infinova were successfully listed on the Chinese Stock Exchange. How much was raised and what will be the use of proceeds? What would you like the financial community to know about Infinova?

Mr. Jeffrey Liu: We are looking to accelerate our current organic growth and add to this through acquisition of complementary companies. Within Infinova we will use the funds to strengthen our R&D, global marketing, manufacturing and sales. Recently we have had product announcements for H.264 at ASIS and, again, in April at ISC West, you will see us announcing our family of ONVIF compliant products.

Now that we have completed the IPO, we are starting to look for suitable technology companies to form partnerships and alliances that will advance Infinova solutions and acquisition of manufacturing and distribution companies to grow our market share.  For acquisitions we are targeting complementary manufacturers that will help us quickly grow market share. : What resources such as case studies and “white papers” are available for end-users and the trade at And, where can investors get more information?

Mr. Jeffrey Liu: If people go to our website and click “Solutions,” they will find many case histories in a wide variety of industries.  By looking under “Engineering,” they will find a series of White Papers.