Since it was spun out of Edinburgh University in 1994, IndigoVision has become a leading innovator in high quality CCTV systems. Now headquartered in Edinburgh with a demonstration room in Euston, Central London, the company started out by specialising in video compression. Over the years, its expertise has grown to include developing, manufacturing, installing and maintaining complete IP video security solutions. Today, it works across 5 market sectors, providing support from 15 regional centres including New Jersey, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Dubai, Moscow, Paris, London and Edinburgh. A partner network of some 500 trained system integrators provides local installation and service to customers all over the world.
“CCTV doesn’t stop bad things happening, but it allows the situation to be managed when things do go wrong,” says Marcus Kneen, Chief Executive Officer of IndigoVision. “Implementing video security over large areas is technically very demanding. Our systems generate video of such a high quality that it provides unquestionable evidence of what took place. The video can be streamed across standard IP networks over enormous distances with minimal bandwidth requirement, without losing its quality. We can also give access to different agencies and authorities to both live and recorded video, no matter where they are located. In this way, we help our end users to improve their operational efficiency, enhance public safety and respond to emergencies in a timely manner.”
Whilst it was still quite a small business, IndigoVision’s breakthrough came when it was asked by the organisers of the 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Athens to provide its IP based security solution to events venues. Since then, the company’s systems have been installed in airports and cities; along railways, the St Lawrence Seaway and the border between the US and Canada; and at events such as the G8 Summit and Olympic Games in Turin, Beijing, Vancouver and London.
People are all important to IndigoVision’s business strategy. The company trawls the world looking for suitable staff to hire. Once it has found the right person to represent it in a new market, it steadily builds its presence as enquiries and new leads are generated. UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) has been an integral part of this process. In recent years, UKTI has supported Indigo Vision through its Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS), providing market information and helping the company to host client events at British Embassies and Consulates in several locations. For example, in 2010, the company invited a major European Railway operator to a reception at the British Embassy in Paris. The invitation that went out featured the crest of the Embassy alongside the company logo, and on the night itself the Ambassador addressed the guests before Indigo Vision made a presentation explaining its technology.
“We have used OMIS many times and in almost every instance made introductions that led to project wins,” says Marcus. “As part of our market entry strategy, as soon as we have someone on the ground in a new market we go to see the local UKTI team and involve them in our plans They have given us practical help with organising and hosting client presentations. They also lend our events an air of kudos: potential clients are more likely to turn up to an event at a beautiful venue like the British Embassy in Paris. And, our association with UKTI gives us credibility and a level of endorsement. This is all an impressive back drop to our soft sell approach.”
World Cup action
With its extensive Olympics experience behind it, IndigoVision began to explore opportunities to supply upcoming sports events in Brazil, such as the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ and the 2016 Olympics. The company worked with UKTI’s sports sector specialists in Rio to identify the people it needed to speak to and arrange meetings with relevant decision makers.
Having UKTI in the mix helped IndigoVision to secure a contract to provide cameras, storage and video management software to the FIFA Confederation Cup in June 2013. The company will also be providing Video IP systems, cameras and storage to two World Cup venues in Brasilia; 24 mobile command control units; an overlay programme and integration software that will bring together footage recorded by other suppliers at the different venues.
“UKTI’s support and our experience as a supplier to several Olympic Games, including London 2012, has helped us to win work with the organisers of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ in Brazil,” says Marcus. “We found UKTI’s local teams in Brazil to be effective, focussed and, in short, phenomenal. We’ve also had excellent support from UKTI’s Defence and Security Organisation along the way. They make it all happen. I’d even go as far as to say that, when it comes to supporting small British businesses, funding UKTI programmes is the best spend of any government money."