Jeff Burgess Made An Impact On Our Industry.

Jeff Burgess

If you don’t know; Now you know.

By Jay Jason Bartlett

There are many stories about individuals that actually make a significant impact on a particular market. There are stories about Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates. There is another individual, maybe not as rich and famous as the above, but someone whom truly made a difference in the physical security industry.

Jeff Burgess, CEO of BCDVideo, has announced his retirement from the company he founded and is looking at spending more time with his family (really!) as of July 21, 2023. 

We have known Jeff for over 15 years and it has been an absolute pleasure working with him and we wanted to share more about the remarkable journey of Jeff Burgess, a visionary entrepreneur whose career has been a true testament to dedication, innovation, and unwavering determination. 

As we celebrate his retirement from Burgess Computer Decisions, Inc. (BCD) and BCDVideo, we wanted to delve more into his exceptional professional accomplishments and shed light on the man who has left an indelible mark on our physical security industry.

In 1979, Jeff took a shipper warehouse job at Tek-Aids Industries after bouncing around from job to job since “bombing out of Illinois State University” (said Jeff himself) halfway through his sophomore year. “I would work a couple days and quit – stupid boss, stupid company, any lame reason to find something else.” He used to work summers in the warehouse at his father’s paper company, so he had general knowledge on warehouse work and shipping.

Tek-Aids Industries was also a family business and ownership had always assumed that United Parcel Service (UPS) was only a residential delivery service and they never knew UPS provided commercial business services, as hard as that is to believe. 

Tek-Aids had their own drivers using vans for cargo, picking up material from their vendors and delivering to their customers nationally. So, after introducing them to the concept of commercial UPS —just after his third day at the company— Jeff felt proud that he was able to make an immediate difference. 

“More than that, I literally had an epiphany that this was my destiny. From that point on. I focused on learning the business and computer market from an inside-out view.” 

Jeff would study every packing list dropping into the warehouse to learn the product lines from a packing list by packing list basis.

“The more I did this, the more I learned what was being bought with what and why. And then customers started to call me directly in the warehouse for stock checks.” Looking back at Jeff’s early career years, he points out a specific person that made such an impact on his path. 

“Donna Panfil, who was the Sales Manager, and just a fireball of spirit and personality. Bold and brash in an incredibly positive way.” 

“Although I was just a guy who found his groove in the warehouse role, Donna saw something in me that no one else really did, including me. Perhaps those customers calling me saw it, too. She became aware of how I was taking care of the customers and realized that customers were bypassing inside sales to call me directly.”

Whatever the reason, she pushed Jeff into an inside sales role and his career really began to grow. 

“I have always been blessed (maybe cursed?) with a 100Mph brain and a photographic memory. Really, I had no strategy, and certainly did not read any books. Just had a sense of immediacy and that seemed to click with the customers.”

Jeff was determined to make the customer experience —both of himself and his company— unlike anything they had experienced elsewhere. He learned quickly the power of the relationship and how It was about building trust and being indispensable to the customer.

Within a few months, Jeff was promoted to Inside Sales Desk Manager. The following year, when an opportunity came to open a branch for the company in Austin, Texas, Jeff was there within two weeks. 

“I am proud to say that I helped to build the branch up from nothing and we quickly became the number one branch in the company.”  

Three years later, Jeff was asked to open yet another branch in Philadelphia. Jeff describes the culture shock from going from city to city. Six months later, Jeff was transferred back to corporate HQ and promoted to Vice President of Sales. 

As Jeff continued on at Tek-Aids and later Robec Distributors, Jeff gained a history with Unisys. Roughly three years after the Sperry/Burroughs merger that formed Unisys, the mainframe company was looking for incremental business for their customers and wanted to be part of the on-going PC boom. 

Unisys would cut a deal with Goldstar (the South Korean electronics company who merged into LG Electronics in 1995) to make Unisys-branded personal computers. This turned out to be one of the first Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) deals in the PC computer industry. 

Jeff would share with us that one of his two sales commandants was “Know Thy Customer” (the other being “Know Thy Competition”). He was fairly certain the Unisys Customer Account Sales Managers’ egos were not going to belittle themselves by hawking $3000 PCs to their own multimillion-dollar mainframe accounts. 

“So, I decided to do it for them. Again, the vendor sales rep was always my best customer. And for me, it was a feeding frenzy.”

Jeff would move on to Elek-Tek a few years later. Back in the early 1980’s, Elek-Tek was a mega-retailer. They had just opened a corporate sales division about a month earlier and Jeff was intrigued in the company as they were ‘the’ retail brand in Chicago.

Elek-Tek owned the back page of the Sunday Chicago Tribune business section with their HP LaserJet ads. As a salesperson, a big perk is brand awareness, and Elek-Tek had that and more. There was no need to explain who Elek-Tek was, only the realization that they had a corporate sales division. 

Forty years later, Jeff draws comparisons from Elek-Tek as a predecessor to today’s CDW.  Jeff is convinced that if there was the Internet back in those days, Elek-Tek would have been what CDW is today. 

“Small world, one of my regular Elek-Tek customers was MPK Consulting, who primarily purchased Toshiba Satellite notebooks. The “MPK” stood for Michael P. Krasny, who went on to found CDW.”

Jeff saw the opportunity to turn Elek-Tek into the unofficial Unisys PC Store and presented his plan to company ownership in detail.

“I ended my internal pitch by telling them I had 100% confidence in this plan and presented them with copies of the business cards of the CTO’s at corporate giants Kellogg’s and Keebler whom I had already met with, adding that ‘I hoped they were in, as both these companies are sending their POs next week once we are set up in their system.’” 

Jeff knew that with POs already on the way, it would make the company look foolish not to forge ahead. And all through “consumer-oriented reseller” Elek-Tek. 

“We ended up selling $4-million of Unisys PCs in the first year, and $5.5M in total sales to those new customers, through their expanded Elek-Tek peripheral catalog.” 

Jeff became highly recruited and would move on to Hartford Computer Group a few years later. State Farm Insurance, then the largest procurer of PCs and notebooks in the United States, was a team focus as Hartford was already a predominant seller of IBM in the Midwest. 

State Farm was also a customer of Comark, another large IBM reseller about five miles from the Hartford Computer Group offices. Every IBM deal in the Midwest went to one of these two resellers, making them bitter enemies.

Jeff’s mission was to marry up with the regional IBM end-customer account reps and make them part of his sales arsenal. Craig Evans, based in Bloomington, IL, was his prime target, as Bloomington was the homebase of State Farm. 

“I also reached out to the local HP rep assigned to the account, as State Farm had enormous consumption from them as well.”

“Hitching my horse to Craig’s wagon had us making the rounds together at State Farm Bloomington weekly. As much as I wish it was my negotiation skills or leadership qualities that made a difference, I think it was more the air of confidence that I had in our abilities to manage these orders properly, and with the high level of attention they deserved – and that State Farm expected.”

“And being there with the vendor rep backing my play was all that was needed. Same scenario with the HP assigned rep to their account. Since that time, every PO to Hartford Computer Group from State Farm had my name embedded into it.” 

Ever since those days, Jeff’s sales mantra has been “sales in 99% confidence and 1% bullshit.”

When a customer purchases over 50,000 IBM ThinkPad notebooks in just over a year, it’s easy to overlook HP. But State Farm was also a huge buyer of HP (Compaq) servers. 

That volume put Jeff on the radar at HP and soon their reps were reaching out to him for help on their other named accounts, notably General Electric and GE Capital, which would have an incredible impact on him in the new few years. 

GE Capital was responsible for Jeff selling $15.4M of HP servers back to HP in 2004. And another $4M of HP LaserJet printers, again back to HP. GE Capital is also how BCD got into the video surveillance industry. 

A few years after leaving Hartford, Jeff Burgess then took the bold step of starting his own company. He was seeing enough former company ownership actions that had Jeff scratching his head and thinking “if this guy could run a company, surely I can too!” 

When he founded Burgess Computer Decisions, Inc., (BCD) on November 2, 1999, it was with the basic concept that there was a sense of urgency about everything his company touched. Jeff hated the black hole of email, and he surely was not going to open a company that accepted it. 

That would be hypocritical. 

The Internet had just come onto the scene, BCD could market digitally, and keep printing costs basically non-existent. Initially, BCD’s tagline was “Proactive Response. Personal Service.” That pretty much summed up the value-add. Customers quickly related to that.

“Most importantly, I needed to set up the vendor infrastructure, especially with those two key relationship partners with whom I had so must success in the past – HP and IBM. Both companies had a moratorium on vendor authorization for a new reseller until they were in business for one year. Based upon my history with both companies, I received these authorizations within thirty days. This was imperative in kickstarting my company right away.” 

Next was setting up the distribution agreements. “In my prior 20 years selling within the computer space, the bulk of those hundreds of millions of dollars were driven through the two top IT computer distributors, Ingram Micro and Tech Data. Because of the mass volumes, both CEO’s had commented to me in the past, “if you ever need a favor…”  

Now that the critical HP and IBM authorization piece was in place, I then needed to set up my cost infrastructure. It is always key to have am alternate plan, or even multiple alternate plans, just in case. And I did.” 

All Jeff asked individually from the two distribution CEOs was to purchase goods from them at the CDW cost structure. 

“I did not ask for less, as I would not need less. Plus, less would have set precedent and I was uncertain they would even go there. But, as they were already giving that price to one, what harm could it be to give it to another, especially one who had a proven track record with them? On the other hand, there was no risk to them if I never bought anything. They both bought in immediately!”

Jeff ran BCD as a sales team. He was the Account Manager with a small sales and operations team behind him. “We did roughly $10M in our first calendar year with four employees and 800 square feet of office space, and never looked back.” 

“Of course, we were met with challenges, but to me, those were opportunities for success.”

BCD had been building HP servers since the inception of the company and always exhibited vendor loyalty, which Jeff believes contributed to the early year’s success. Especially considering the company transparency. 

“Those vendor reps working with us felt like an extension of the team. It wasn’t a matter of them liking me or not; it was more a matter of trust.”

BCD had been selling HP servers for nine years prior to entering the video surveillance space. Again, even selling them back to HP. 

BCD was building out compete customized server rack solutions, when the company stumbled into the video security market in 2008. The company entered the market as an HP-authorized Enterprise IT server builder, already familiar in working with Fortune 500 and billion-dollar pharmaceutical’s IT departments.

In 2008, the video storage market was a white-box solution. ‘Dr. Frankenstein boxes’ as they were called, with mix and match parts on the inside all meant to work individually, just not in sync with each other, and with horrible return-to-the-factory —if any— warranty. 

“Talk about a ‘WTF moment’ for us. The lack of a decent warranty alone put us over the edge. Becoming an enterprise video server builder became our passion and we have the bumps and bruises from all the turbulence to show for it.”

As easy as it would appear to migrate to high-availability IT servers from the corporate marketplace to the video surveillance market, it was anything but. Much of that was because, unlike before, BCD —now BCDVideo— chose not to sell directly to the end customer, but rather to the security integrator, or to a distribution partner such as Anixter.

The video security market was plagued by price over quality or even price over longevity. Total Cost of Ownership was a foreign concept to most in this market. This still holds true in some regions. 

Some of that was on BCDVideo, as Jeff stated, “we had difficulty in translating our internal IT language and those benefits in higher-grade solutions in such a way that the security SI could not only understand it, but have the confidence to share it with his end customer.”  

As the HP vendor reps were still getting compensated from BCDVideo’s sales reports, HP continued to feed BCDVideo sales opportunities. BCDVideo would find a local security SI to run it through and that activity in turn provided more momentum with those local SIs.

As Jeff detailed, fast forwarding to 2017, when Dell first called on BCDVideo confirming ‘we were giving them fits in the security market.’  Dell struggled to understand how their less costly solutions could not push BCDVideo out of deals. They admitted that they could not win against us.

Added Jeff, “The timing was flawless, as HP had just revealed their Gen9 to Gen10 platform and were leaving the entry-level servers behind. Everything always happens for a reason, there are no coincidences. HP opened the door and Dell kicked it in. Our success went off the charts since moving to a Dell-based platform.”

As of 2023, BCDVideo has video appliances recording in 91 countries. Jeff Burgess helped pilot BCDVIdeo into a global reach that would cater to diverse vertical markets while maintaining exceptional standards.

“It was and will always be the pipe. You can have the greatest product in the world, but if you have no methodology to get it to the market, you’re toast.”

BCDVideo always had multiple paths to the global market such as their SI and distribution channel, manufacturer reps, inside customer sales reps, BCD-badged business development managers, and OEM channels. This way should one market dry up, the company would never find themselves in scramble-mode.

“Other companies have those as well. Ours seems to work better than most because of three critical factors – reputation, ease-of-use for our customer’s customer, and support. When you only have four support people supporting close to 200,000 systems, it speaks to the uptime of those systems.”

However, Jeff believes that a reputation is earned over time and not limited to the quality of the system. Rather the quality of the company and its people. 

From the onset of BCDVideo, after seeing the market they had entered Jeff was determined to build the brand in this market to be synonymous with availability, scalability, and reliability.

In order to simplify the process for the end customer, BCDVideo incorporated HPE’s iLO, and later Dell’s iDRAC server health monitoring functionality to the desktop, giving the system administrator the autonomy to self-advocate the fix, along with seamlessly dropping a support ticket to BCD from anywhere in the world, if needed.

System availability equates to uptime, which covers both availability and reliability. BCDVideo’s systems are generally scalable, with the ability to add more cameras or swap in higher density cameras.

“I believe that achieving those standards in every build got us to where we are today, especially with the people we have backing our play. I hope that when customers think of BCDVideo, the word “trust” comes to mind. And probably even the word ‘expensive’. You truly do get what you pay for, for better or worse. We’ve done enough gut-jobs, in our history to see the worst.”

BCDVideo has established the capability to land a purpose-built IT-quality video appliance anywhere in the world within 10 days, with a 99.8% out of the box success rate. Most importantly, we can provide point-of-sale reporting to the system manufacturer to avoid potential channel conflicts.

BCDVideo has been recognized by Inc. Magazine’s Top 5000 companies and CRN’s Solution Provider 500 multiple times. We asked Jeff how he fostered a culture of innovation and excellence within BCDVideo that consistently earned these prestigious accolades.

“Well, my good looks had nothing to do with it, that’s for sure. Not to dismiss those awards, as we are proud of them, but they are all based upon year-over-year revenue growth.”

Jeff went on to explain that “it wasn’t the building of a better mousetrap that got us that recognition, more so it was having that mousetrap perform at its highest level consistently. Excellence was never the goal, rather the expectation,”

BCDVideo would come to rely on their integrator and OEM partners to drive that number, and once again it comes back to building trust in BCDVideo to deliver on what the ‘project’ needed. 

Jeff attributes BCDVideo’s recognition be equally shared with those sales partners —integrators, vendors, and distributor partners— more than just BCDVideo alone. 

“They are buying what we are selling. I am most proud of the company’s 95.5% customer retention rate since we were founded 24 years ago. Especially considering, other than maintaining support for them, we literally had forsaken all our IT customers in 2009 after we decided to dive head-first into the security video market.”

BCDVideo has also been named among Chicago’s Best & Brightest Companies and Best Places to Work which also speaks to the company Jeff has built. We asked Jeff what principles did he prioritize to create an environment that nurtures employee growth and satisfaction?

“These are the awards that have always meant the most to me. There is nothing revenue-based on any of them. These awards are done through third party organizations as private surveys from our team members under complete anonymity, thus no chance of company retaliation.”

As the conductor of the ‘BCDVideo orchestra’ Jeff needed a virtuoso as his wing person. Susan Komarchuk, Human Resources Director, has been that key player at BCDVideo for the past four years. 

“All of these ‘Best Places’ and ‘Best and Brightest’ awards have all of Sue’s hard work and professionalism at their core. Sue has softened and widened the company’s culture over these past years.” 

Jeff explained how this could never have been more critical than during COVID. BCDVideo was always a work from the office collaborative company and Sue held us accountable, respectful, and safe.  She mentored the team and initiated philanthropy projects, as well as college tuition reimbursement and made us all better humans.

As you step down from the role at BCDVideo, what advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs looking to make their mark in the IT and security industry to build a successful company?  

Jeff responded, “I’m not so sure how I got here after bombing out of college in the mid-1970’s so I’d like to think that anyone today would not have that as a starting point, so they are way ahead of the game walking in.”

“Regardless of the starting point, you need to trust your instincts, perhaps not so much that you act on them immediately, but enough so that you listen to that inner self first, and explore your options. Hopefully you are blessed with support and encouragement from others.”

Jeff stated that he was not a ‘ready, fire, aim’ type of leader when he first opened the doors, although he stated he was pretty damn close. 

“But I did open with a plan and took the steps to make it work. If it hadn’t, we would have been out of business in three months. And that was more about the vendor relationships than the customer ones. If HP and IBM ended up making me wait the year for authorization, I did have an alternate plan, but I never wanted to go that path.” 

There’s a significant difference in ‘poop happens’ and actually stepping in it. Never assume the worst, yet always prepare for it. There are no sure-fire plans that work 100% from the onset. Be prepared to make adjustments. 

One way is to visualize the negative outcomes that could happen from your plan. Also, how your competition will try to manipulate or weaken your plan, are all beliefs that Jeff worked.

“Most importantly, what are you offering that the potential customer cannot find elsewhere? It needs to be something of value–often intangible and will likely change as the company matures.”

Jeff opened a company in the early tech years on a strategy of ‘immediacy.’  He is not sure that strategy would work as well today. With iPhones, texting, and social media, there is not much value-add in immediacy, other than perhaps delivery times, for instance.  But certainly not enough to build a business plan around.

“I like to think twenty-three years later, most customers and vendors associate BCDVideo with trust. Considering what the company does for a living, helping to protect the public and infrastructure as part of the security ecosystem, I am content with that.”

Reflecting on the journey, we asked Jeff which business decision or accomplishment he considers the most pivotal in shaping the trajectory of his career and BCDVideo’s success?

“I think my ability to realize an opportunity and then act of it, along with strong industry relationships —both IT and Video Surveillance— shaped everything. This likely goes back to my original mentor in the industry back in 1979, Tek-Aids CEO Jud Beamsley, when he taught me “first get the deal, then worry about it,”, after he won a Texas state contract without being authorized for the product.” 

“My customer relationships such as GE Capital, buoyed by simultaneous relationships with the then-HP vendor reps, opened the door for me to sell over $15M of built-to-spec HP servers back to HP, shipping to their customers, with completely built rack solutions as well. Lightning struck twice years later, as GE Capital inadvertently got BCD into the video surveillance recording hardware market. Simultaneously, we were selling $4M of HP LaserJet printers back to HP.”

“That was the incredible world we were living in, and seriously, you just cannot make this stuff up as no one would believe you.”

The physical security industry has witnessed significant technological advancements during Jeff’s tenure at BCDVideo. We wanted to know how he navigated the ever-evolving landscape and ensure that BCDVideo remained at the forefront of innovation.

“We have always had a strong IT infrastructure, that is predominately due to Eugene Kozlovitser, now our CTO. As our cyber warrior, Eugene has been instrumental in BCDVideo being among the few leading the charge in bringing datacenter-quality cyber-protection to the video security market.  Cyber-hardened, certified security systems continue to be in demand as breaches and ransomware attacks are constant threats. We consider this commitment to cybersecurity as another form of innovation, and most especially, a necessity.”

Maintaining this high level of security in the systems that BCDVideo brings to market remains a key driver as BCDVideo continues to add more ease-of-use features to the delivered solutions. Ignoring this responsibility, even in one-off projects without such safeguards equates to a potential liability to any company.

Over the years, Jeff’s company has had the privilege of being the go-to hardware builder for testing third party software packages for determining the maximum throughput and performance of such solutions. 

This gave BCDVideo a head start on what new technologies are coming around the corner and it opened internal opportunities to create complimentary applications while potentially tweaking their own hardware around such new software.

“There is still much going on around video analytics, which I see as much more beneficial to promoting safety and security today, most notably around Milestone Systems. Before we all jump off that ship falling into the hype of Artificial Intelligence, we need to evaluate these systems rigorously with much further research and scrutiny in order to access what it can and cannot do, as well as evaluate the potential damage it can cause before it is fully released in our industry. Worldwide, it’s too late to put the toothpaste back in the tube, but considering the security expectations within our marketplace, we should ‘measure twice and cut once’ before implementing.”

BCDVideo’s solutions and their presence in actual secure facilities globally is a testament to the reliability of their offerings. Jeff is obviously very proud of these installations and the BCDVideo equipment has been at the forefront of some critical situations.

“I need to be careful here since, as stated, these are secure locations. But since this is footage, everyone has seen, I will defer back to the Jan. 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capital. While most of that footage was cellphone-generated, the recorded footage within the hallway, such as then Vice President Mike Pence and his family being escorted to a safe location within the Capitol, was all captured on a BCDVIdeo device.”

Jeff goes on to share that another incident was the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. They were able to identify the bombers thanks to the corner outdoor cameras at Lord & Taylor, which was also recorded on BCDVideo equipment.

“The company has always taken the most pride in protecting those who protect us, including the military, police departments, and fire departments on a global basis. And we always built the four-camera retail store server with the same enterprise mentality as the 700-camera casino project. BCDVideo was always an equal opportunity system builder.”

Jeff continued, “I promise you, that retail store owner camera needs consistent uptime on his recording appliance just as much as does the casino.  Chances are, wherever you are in the world, if you drive more than ten miles in any direction, you will pass numerous locations that are trusting BCDVideo to capture every pristine frame of video surveillance. We are proud of that as well.”

Jeff has always believed in strong relationships and being able to collaborate with leading manufacturers. He is convinced that that these relationships were instrumental in BCDVideo’s rise to becoming a worldwide leader in video surveillance storage systems.

“I was both an HP and HPE loyalist and was embedded in the IT industry when Carly Fiorina made the move for HP to buy Compaq in 2002. HP/HPE was embedded it my psyche. We launched our move into video surveillance around the HP/HPE platform.  And speaking of Compaq, I was also in the IT industry back in 1981 when Ron Canion and his team created the industry’s first portable PC, the 28-pound “luggable”, at that House of Pies in Houston. Made for an even crazier time in Austin, then known as Silicon Gulch.”

But according to Jeff, the most instrumental partnership that accelerated BCDVideo’s ascent towards the video surveillance mountaintop, was when they moved the system builds to Dell in 2018. Once BCDVideo created these new platforms, everything became electrically energized within the two organizations. BCDVideo now has a significant relationship, not only with the account managers, but deep in the technical groups of the two organizations. 

With Dell, BCDVIdeo gets to share big ideas. BCDVideo has channel conflicts as the whole world buys from Dell, but BCDVideo has worked jointly to lessen those challenges.  According to Jeff, “All those years we built on HP, no one ever said ‘it’s just an HP’. But now that we build off a Dell platform, we continue to hear ‘it’s just a Dell.’  But we never hear that from Dell themselves. They know the truth.”

And, likely because of Dell, the relationship with Intel is even stronger for the company.  

BCDVideo has also forged proactive relationships with NVIDIA, Seagate, and all the major camera and video software companies. BCDVideo now has strong working relationships with much of the security industry.

“Those partnerships are significant foundation blocks to our success, but it is our customers and team members that made us a worldwide leader, as both had to believe in our mission.”

We asked Jeff what he thought was his personal qualities or attributes that were key to overcoming challenges and sustaining his passion throughout his career.

“The key is having a wife who believes in me and looks out for me.  Nothing works without that.

I always loved what I did. Whether it was Little League Baseball or hand-waxing my car. I loved the sense of accomplishment. As I started to achieve accomplishments along my journey, it gave me confidence. Never arrogance.”

“We won big deals, we lost bigger deals, but it all worked out. I always knew we were going to hit our numbers, and just didn’t know how, but we always landed on our feet in the end year after year. There was no other formula other than trusting ourselves to work through it.”

Jeff made it clear to us that he never said it was easy. He felt that if the company stayed true to itself and kept the customer as the focus of the efforts, everything would work out in the end. And they usually did. 

“We also kept bringing in new team members, ‘kids’ just out of high school or college. I fed off their inquisitiveness and energy.  It was a rechargeable life force for me.”

As with any great leader, the question of a legacy comes to mind and as Jeff transitions into retirement, we wanted to know what he would like to leave behind in the physical security industry and within the walls of BCDVIdeo?

“I like to believe we have made a difference and that BCDVideo is the Swiss Army knife of the security industry. We are a hardware company. We are a software company. We are a logistics company. We are a professional services company.  We are an application development company. We are a support company. And I guess, unfortunately for some of our customers, we are their bank.”

“As for my legacy, I guess it is whatever people think it is. That’s on them, not me, but in my view, I was given an opportunity some 40+ years ago and made the absolute best of it. I hope to have properly paid that forward and made BCDVideo the land of opportunity for all our team members. Even those who merely passed through on their career journey.”

Before Jeff sails off into the sunset —and with his years of experience with the advancement of technologies— we wanted to get his thoughts on what particular technological trends or advancements in the pipeline that he believes will redefine the video surveillance and physical security industry in the coming years.

“I do believe that because of all the new video technologies, legalalities are going to get more and more involved with citizen’s rights as we continue to combat the safety versus privacy argument. I also believe most people expect to be video recorded whenever they are out in public. Try telling that to the lawyers.  But more footage is likely taken on SmartPhones anyway.”

“If Artificial Intelligence could predict crime before it happens, we may be able to save lives.  If that is indeed the case, I’d like to volunteer Chicago as the BETA site.”

Throughout Jeff’s journey, he maintained a strong connection with Chicago. We wanted to know what the city’s business landscape helped to contribute to his success, and what role has it played in shaping BCDVideo’s growth?

“Chicago is a world-class city. Problems notwithstanding, it is a tremendous financial and technological hub. While BCDVideo has had an advantage here, I certainly would not refer to it as home-court advantage. Most certainly, we gained and hopefully caused some of the momentum in the tech space. Over the years, we have had the opportunity to work or share technologies with CDW and Motorola, among others. Logically, I can fly anywhere in the world on a direct flight from Chicago as well. And the same with our freight. That helped shorten our global landing times.”

We asked Jeff to share a moment from his career that encapsulates the fulfillment and pride he experienced as a result of his unwavering dedication to his work and his company?

“First and foremost, having my three children work here has made the journey that much more special. Especially considering both sons are relevant to our success. Our daughter, who is a licensed clinical social worker, used to work part time here in the summers. My wife has been unofficial house mother to many, and I believe we were a family business that has nurtured and inspired many to strive for success.”

“As for the rest of the question, we have so many long-term team members that have grown with the organization and, regardless of their role, have had a hand in BCDVideo having close to 200,000 systems recording over 4 million cameras on six continents and one rocket ship to outer space. This is more than an incredible number. It’s an incredible responsibility. And looking back at it, it’s somewhat overwhelming and hard to believe.  

“I hope that the company will continue to run as the well-oiled machine that it always had when I was there.  We are fortunate to have talented, dedicated professionals who are committed to their areas of expertise and the BCDVideo reputation of excellence through relationships and quality craftmanship.”      

Jeff Burgess’s visionary leadership and unwavering dedication have been instrumental in transforming BCDVideo into a trailblazing force within the technology industry. As the CEO and Founder, Jeff’s remarkable journey is a testament to his exceptional skills and unyielding commitment to innovation, growth, and excellence.

One of Jeff’s most remarkable achievements was his commitment to quality. He instilled a culture of excellence that permeated every facet of the organization. By prioritizing meticulous attention to detail and rigorous quality control measures, he ensured that BCDVideo’s products and services not only met but often surpassed customer expectations.

Jeff’s legacy also includes his unwavering dedication to customer satisfaction. He understood that building lasting relationships required not only providing top-tier solutions but also offering exceptional customer support. This customer-centric approach solidified BCDVideo’s reputation as a trusted partner, capable of addressing the diverse needs of a rapidly evolving industry.

As Jeff Burgess steps into retirement, his legacy at BCDVideo stands as a testament to his visionary leadership, transformative contributions, and enduring impact. His ability to transform a vision into reality, foster innovation, and build strong relationships serves as an inspiration not only within the technology sector but across industries. The foundation he has laid should ensure that BCDVideo will continue to thrive and innovate, carrying forward the company’s legacy for years to come.

The BCDVideo experience all happened because a contractor named Ray messed up one of the GE Security servers at the Illinois Tollway Commission, some fourteen years ago. “Everything really does happen for a reason; there are no coincidences.”