BCD International’s CEO Jeff Burgess talks about change, transformation, and leadership.
Originally written by Ginger Hill, Security System News
Jeff Burgess, CEO of BCD International, Inc. is a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, so when the time came to restructure his company, he took action, making necessary changes to achieve desired results by eliminating past obstacles and transforming into the future. BCD International, Inc., a global video data infrastructure OEM manufacturer, is comprised of three divisions — BCDVideo, Video Storage Solutions (VSS) and BCDOEM — with teams working in unison to identify problems and needs within the security industry and then address them with innovative solutions.
“We’re improved. As opposed to one, single point of technology and being very siloed, we’ve got our creative juices flowing, coming out with technologies which we’ve never envisioned before,” Burgess told Security Systems News.
BCD International is on the cusp of having their first trademarked technology. The company in the past had innovated, but they never had a patent. “I think you’ll see the next evolution of our brand is going to be a totally different package of what we bring to the market. A much broader portfolio, but as always, 100% focused on the customer experience,” Burgess said.
In with the new
The BCD technical team is still in the final stages of testing and development on two of the first new technologies, which will launch in April. Burgess gave SSN a little sneak peek into what’s up BCD International’s sleeves.
“We’re working on integrations with a major VMS partner. The alerts that are coming from within our appliances — predictive analysis, heat, CPU usage, and anything going on within that system — will be able to be monitored and maintained through the desktop application of that software. We think that’s going to be a difference-maker for their hardware appliance product line, as that is all it will be available on,” said Burgess.
Company culture is everything
Burgess believes his leadership strength lies in his humanistic approach to people.
“As important as the numbers are, I have to know in my heart that I am helping people make a better life — providing them with the opportunity to send their kids to college, take vacations, help aging parents, give to each other and be good people. This culture is everything and what truly defines our company,” stated Burgess.
One of the initiatives started by BCD International this year — BCDCares —introduced by HR Director, Sue Komarchuk, aims to involve employees directly in helping causes that are near and dear to their hearts. “We’re not a ‘family business,’ realized Burgess, “but we’re a ‘business family.’ We took a company poll to determine five new causes under BCDCares to do matching with.”
Diversity and inclusion
Getting young people involved in the security industry, this is where diversity and inclusion really shines through, Burgess believes, as he learned from his dad a long time ago.
“My dad was colorblind before ‘colorblind’ was even a term,” said Burgess. “It didn’t matter … man, woman; young, old; black, white, green, purple … he didn’t care. All he cared about was work ethic, their integrity and that people gave their best effort.” If those three things are happening, my dad believed he could fix anything else that was ‘off the rail’. I think I inherited that,” Burgess said.
And, with that, he openly gives of his time and resources.
“We fund a scholarship to a local high school,” said Burgess. “It needs to be the student who without the scholarship would not be able to go to college; that is the one and only prerequisite. It doesn’t matter what they are going to study; it doesn’t have to be about technology. I want somebody who’s going to make the most of the opportunity that a college education has to offer, unlike I ever did.”
Burgess told SSN about one of those unforgettable moments. He was at the scholarship dinner last year and they called him up to give a student her scholarship. When he got back to his table he was greeted by a heart-felt surprise. “Her mom and dad came over — they speak no English — her dad is looking at me with tears in his eyes, patting his heart,” Burgess remembered. “It was Incredible! I’ll never forget it as long as I live.”
In addition, Burgess as well as his wife Joanne, work with College Bound Opportunities (CBO), an organization that matches people to be mentors to empower and inspire low-income, first-generation ‘scholars,’ starting their junior year in high school, continuing until they graduate college.
To infinity and beyond
Burgess accepts that BCD International has drastically, but in positive ways, changed over the last few months and believes it is poised to “live at the edge of the miraculous. We’ve always felt that we’ve been the industry trend setter, and now we want to raise the bar really high … that’s our next step, and that’s certainly within our reach unlike ever before.”