Spotlight on Avigilon

Describe your company and its product.

Avigilon, a Motorola Solutions company, designs, develops and manufactures solutions in video analytics, cloud, security cameras, video management software and hardware, and access control. Avigilon is an industry leader and, together with Motorola Solutions, provides integrated solutions for video security, access control and critical communications.

What year did your company start?

We were founded in 2004.

Which city (or cities) are you located? 

In Canada, we have offices located in Vancouver and Richmond. Internationally, we have offices in Boston, Dallas, Plano, Lisbon, Dubai and Singapore.

Describe your company culture in three words.

  • Innovative
  • Passionate.
  • Fun.

How do you celebrate company or employee wins? 

While it varies depending on the win, we celebrate at town halls, product release parties and through quarterly updates.

What is the problem that you are trying to solve?

Searching through large volumes of recorded video is a challenging yet crucial task for security operators. We have reached a critical point where the limitations of the human attention span make it difficult for security operators to search through the volumes of security data effectively. Our AI-driven solutions help you maximize the efficiency of your resources so that you can focus on protecting what matters most.

What is your biggest milestone to date? 

In 2018, Motorola Solutions acquired Avigilon in a historic deal for approximately $1 billion USD, making Avigilon one of Canada’s five tech startups valued at more than $1 billion, making it a “unicorn” of our economy.

What is your biggest challenge?

The rapidly changing needs of public safety mean we have to be nimble and continually develop solutions that anticipate those needs. Together with Motorola Solutions, we have been able to offer one integrated source for the actionable information that those working on the front line need to take a proactive approach to safety and security.

What is your motto?

Stronger. Safer. Together.

How are you making an impact?

We build more than cameras and software, we create intelligent security solutions that help our customers protect what matters most — people, property and assets.

What is your hope for the future of tech in BC?

We hope that BC tech continues to grow as a hub for innovation that is full of top talent, both within Canada and internationally.

Lightning Round with Blair Mackiewich, Vice President of Software Development at Avigilon

What excites you about your job?

It may sound cliché, but I work with incredibly talented people that I learn from every day. We develop amazing technology intended to make the world safer for everybody.

What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome?

Compared to others, I’ve been very lucky. I’ve had few remarkable obstacles to overcome in life or work. Helping the Avigilon Team grow from an incredible start-up to where we are today has had its challenges, but it’s been far more rewarding than challenging.

If you can give advice to your 20-year-old self, what would you say?

Listen passionately and speak sparingly. Everybody has an opinion. My over-50 self needs the same advice.

Words of wisdom to other tech CEOs or founders?

Success is your journey in life, not your destination. Choose your path accordingly.

Favourite city you visited?

I think it’s Budapest. The restaurant patios seem to spill into the streets and it’s alive with students from the local universities.

What is your formula for success?

I’m not sure I have one, but I think it comes down to trust. Behaviours that build trust tend to lead to success.

Name one book that everyone should read.

Flow — Living at the Peak of Your Abilities by Mahaly Csikzentmihalyi.

How do you decompress?

I run 6 to 10 km and hit the gym every morning before work. Vigorous exercise of any sort is a great prescription for healthy brain chemistry.

Favourite movie?

I watch a lot of movies and I don’t think I can choose one. I like the novelty of the inverted timeline in Memento. Back to the Future is nostalgic for me and I like that it breaks a lot of rules of story and movie composition.