‘Thinking OUTSIDE the box’: Responding to Competitors’ Moves, CCIntegration Inc, a San Jose-based OEM Integration Company, Continues to Rise Above and Beyond
The Silicon Review
“To ensure our customer engagements are successful, first we make every effort to understand your company and market requirements. Then we custom-tailor our products and services to be a perfect fit for our customers’ unique needs, environment, and global deployment model.”
CCIntegration Inc (CCI) is the fastest-growing OEM integration company in the United States. The company was an IT VAR initially and transitioned to an OEM integration services company in 2005. CCI was incorporated in 1985 and is headquartered in San Jose, CA.
Anna Hung, CCIntegration Inc CEO, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.
Q. Describe your clientele.
CCI’s customers are typically software companies that deploy their IP on physical hardware. These software companies often have zero interest in performing internal design, integration, and support of the hardware platform so they look to CCI as that trusted integrator to get them to market. The vertical markets of our current customers include storage OEM’s, medical, network security, communications, video surveillance, and others.
Q. Explain your services in brief.
Our services are geared to simply creating a ‘Ready to Deploy’ product. This includes the customer software married to the associated hardware, often called an appliance. The services we offer include the following:
- Platform technology consultation and selection
- Software validation of our customers’ IP with the associated hardware
- Custom branding the system to our customers’ specifications
- Outsourced engineering services such as performance benchmarking, first article testing/validation, and software image creation
- Some of our customers require custom rack integration where we design a purpose-built rack that includes Compute, Storage, and Networking – again, this product is also shipped ‘Ready to Deploy’
- Global fulfillment and logistics (CCI handles the international paperwork)
- Onsite service and installation (Onsite NBD, Advanced Server replacement)
Q. Are there any new trends with your customers that you are seeing?
Our customers include ‘Fortune 500’ companies as well as start-ups. The start-ups want to sell the investment community on being a SaaS play (software only). This does not mean that they don’t move hardware – it’s a market message. If the company can get hardware off their books then they prefer that approach. CCI offers a Virtual OEM model where our clients invoice their customers for the software license and direct their customer/reseller to CCI to purchase the ‘Ready to Deploy’ appliance from CCI. This allows them to accomplish their SaaS goal while still controlling the end customer experience.
Q. How has COVID affected your customers and CCI?
San Jose was one of the first cities to implement a strict lockdown. To remain open, our customers had to be designated as ‘Essential Businesses’. A majority of our customers qualified for this waiver but CCI still had to work within the guidelines of a safe work environment. To accomplish this, we ensured the company followed all CDC guidelines including the provision of PPE for all staff, health checks, and expanded our operations from 5 to 7 days/week to limit the number of people in our factory. We’re constantly monitoring our operations to ensure we are up-to-date on safety procedures. Our customers have been thrilled with the plan and our business is slightly up this year. We thank our customers!
Q. What are some key differentiators that customers value from CCI?
CCI stands out. Meaning, our competition has a ‘Box’ to sell you. We, on the other hand, have the experience to accelerate the deployment of your solution and protect your brand identity. Our sales team does not start an engagement by trying to sell a system. It’s important to first understand what regions of the world the customer wants to sell into and what support they need around the product. We then position the best technology vendor to assure regulatory compliance to the regions they want to enter and assure that the service levels they desire on the hardware are available in those regions. This is a key differentiator in how we consult with our clients.
Q. Since you are a hardware-focused integrator, how has the cloud and virtualized Appliance affected your business?
The perception is that the cloud and virtualized appliances are threats to our business. The reality is that these are opportunities for CCI. Not all of our customers want to move to the public cloud, so they build private clouds and we assist them with that process. Additionally, several of our customers are SaaS organizations and we help them deliver their solutions as an appliance.
Q. What would your customers have to say about CCI?
We’re based in Silicon Valley and our customers include start-ups. CCI has taken many customers from inception to scale flawlessly. This is a key ingredient to our sales growth and two-year recognition as a ‘CRN Fast Growth 150 Company’. These start-ups need a partner that is flexible, responsive, and serves as a consultant in getting their products designed, manufactured, and globally fulfilled.
Political instability, the decline in manufacturing sector performance, ever-changing government regulations, etc. adversely impact demands for products and services. Do your global logistics solutions have the capacity of resisting such external factors?
One of the biggest factors we encounter is changing regulatory requirements in the European Union and other countries. CCI has deep expertise in these requirements and is always monitoring for changes so we can help our customers quickly and confidently navigate through these potential roadblocks.
CCI works with a wide variety of industries, so declines in any one sector do not necessarily impact our overall business.
The current global pandemic did not affect our ability to manufacture products but did impact our partners’ supply chains. CCI managed through this supply chain bottleneck with inventory put in place as a proactive approach during early stages of the pandemic.
Q. Technology is becoming more powerful, and high-tech companies have to adapt to the changing requirements of their industry. How do you help your clients to become more agile to respond to sudden changes?
Our company has relationships with the leaders in technology including Dell, HPE, Lenovo, Intel, etc. The CCI engineering team is responsible for regularly educating our clients to assure they are aware of technology roadmaps impacting their product. We can transition customers with refreshed technology as it occurs or, more importantly, keep them in the technology they are currently deploying to maximize the life cycle of their products as they exist today.
Q. How do you market your services?
Marketing has probably been our greatest weakness. That said, CCI has a major marketing initiative underway to better communicate our capabilities and reach new clients. This project should be completed by the end of this year.
Q. Do you have any new services ready to be launched?
Yes, we have several initiatives planned that include expanding our engineering services offerings to our clients and we also have some custom designed platforms for specific vertical markets planned that we think will be our next leg of growth.
Anna Hung: A Dynamic Leader
Anna started her CCI career in 1992, working in the finance department. Within two years it was apparent that her talents far exceeded finance and that moving to sales would fuel future growth for both herself and CCI. By 1998 she had not only climbed the ranks landing the role of COO but was also granted a minority stake in the company. Over the next eleven years Anna became intimately knowledgeable with the engineering, operations, sales and finance details of the company. She eventually emerged as CCI’s CEO when the company’s founder, Hank Ta stepped down, giving Anna majority ownership of CCI. In later 2019 she worked to certify CCI as a Woman Owned Business (WBENC) including an additional designation of Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB). These designations assist CCI in obtaining new clients who have a Supplier Diversity initiative.