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50 Smartest Companies of the Year 2022

‘We strive to be the catalyst for the betterment of education in every way to serve the community in which we operate’: Ethan Tan, CEO of IMAGO Technologies

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“We continue to refine the technologies made for optimal collaboration in the digital age of work and education with ongoing R&D and by listening to customers’ feedback and needs.”

IMAGO Technologies is a multinational company with a strong presence in the APAC region. IMAGO promotes global connection and collaboration through its smart all-in-one technologies, focusing on video conferencing and private cloud solutions to facilitate its strong clientele in the education, government, and private sectors.

Ethan Tan, CEO of IMAGO Technologies, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review on how his company is helping people to connect, collaborate, and learn effectively in the digitally connected world today with their innovations.

Interview Highlights

Q. As a journalist, I find IMAGO Technologies quite striking. From the emotional branding standpoint, it has that appeal. How did you come up with the brand name? And please brief us about the history so far. 

“Imago” in biology represents the last stage an insect attains during its metamorphosis. It’s a stage that is symbolic to the process of growth, development, and transformation. The brand name IMAGO was coined to symbolize this process aligned with the company’s ethos - the spirit to drive transformation and growth. We strive to be the catalyst for the betterment of education in every way to serve the community in which we operate.

“Imago” is also the Latin root word for “Imagination”. We believe that the power of imagination can inspire greatness, and we let our imagination of a greater and better world be the driving force of what we do every day. 

Since its inception in 2010 as a company specializing in video conferencing software - Unified Collaboration, IMAGO has grown from a 2-man company to a strong global team of 30 people.

Today, IMAGO is established around the world with a manufacturing plant in Malaysia, Research & Development in Europe, and a presence in Asia Pacific. IMAGO promotes global connection and collaboration through its smart all-in-one technologies, focusing on video conferencing and private cloud solutions to facilitate its strong clientele in education as well as the government and private sectors.

Q. How is IMAGO Technologies planning to unlock the full potential of smart education and team collaboration technologies?

At IMAGO, we believe that technology plays a very important role in every classroom, it is the pen and paper of our time, and it is the lens through which we experience much of our world. We fully believe in the transformative potential of the collaborative experience. Therefore, our mission is to harness the power of technology by developing easy-to-use hardware and software that work together seamlessly to boost interactivity, productivity, and engagement in meetings and classrooms.

We continue to refine the technologies made for optimal collaboration in the digital age of work and education with ongoing R&D and by listening to customers’ feedback and needs. By doing so, we encourage our users to leverage the power of technology to teach, work, inspire others and stay connected.

Q. ‘We are committed to making working and learning simple, fun, secured, and future-ready.’ Splendid. Would you like to elaborate on this a bit more?

At IMAGO, we believe that educational needs drive technology adoption rather than what is “trendy” and “of-the-moment” technological hype. IMAGO is committed to making our technology future-proof by incorporating automated features that ease the workload of our users. For example, by automating activities such as attendance tracking and records for physical or hybrid classes, teachers can focus more on the students’ needs than these repetitive and mundane tasks.

IMAGO’s innovative solutions for education are also built to make learning fun yet effective. Most importantly, we want to ensure that teachers can concentrate on teaching while harnessing the benefits of technology and not having to navigate complex technologies. The key is to make our solutions very user-focused.

For instance, with a simple addition of an AI facial expression recognition feature, our system has the capability to track a student’s level of engagement in a lesson, thus providing effective feedback to teachers. IMAGO Smart Classroom solutions are designed with collaborative tools included to enhance teaching and learning experience by bringing fun and interactivity into classrooms.

Q. Who are your clients? Can you provide us with one or two case studies describing the challenges your clients were facing and how did your services help them overcome those challenges?

IMAGO clients are made up of end-users from various industries, and we are particularly strong in the education sector, followed by the enterprise and healthcare sectors.

Client Testimonial

Confucian Private Secondary School is a Chinese Independent High School located in Kuala Lumpur. Founded in 1906 during British rule, it is one of the oldest Chinese Independent High Schools in Malaysia.

The Problem: During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, Confucian realized that they were ill-equipped to conduct online or hybrid classes, which resulted in a lack of continuity in their academic plans. The school was also looking to make classroom sessions more interactive and collaborative among students and teachers. Having been around for more than a century, Confucian also realized that there was a need to modernize their institution to keep up with the demands of the modern-day classrooms. They then embarked on a digital transformation journey to equip their classrooms and facilities to cater to the new norms of teaching and learning. The catch? As part of their digital transformation journey, they were looking for a simple and sustainable solution to address the above challenges as well as to make technological adoption uncomplicated for the teachers.

IMAGO to the rescue: IMAGO’s All-in-one solution, which includes IMAGO EduBoard, in-house developed applications, classroom management, and value-added embedded educational content, addresses Confucian’s requirement for a simple solution with hassle-free installation and deployment. The All-in-One solution is embedded with IMAGO Flash - a fully secured and instant video call application, making the solution online classroom-ready at any time. The application is easy to use as it is browser-based, and students are not required to download any additional application to join an online class.

Another notable application is IMAGO Smart Present which is a collaborative and classroom management tool that makes classroom sessions interactive and collaborative by enabling easy screen sharing, reverse broadcasting (remote sharing of teacher’s content to students’ devices), and whiteboard sharing. The benefits offered by IMAGO’s All-in-One Solution addresses Confucian’s quest for a more interactive and collaborative classroom. IMAGO’s Hybrid Classroom solutions also come with integrated teaching software to facilitate educators’ transition to online teaching by facilitating their need to prepare digital content for hybrid or online classes.

Q. What new endeavors is your company currently undertaking?

With our passion for making education accessible for all, we will be unveiling a global, FREE platform - IMAGO SCHOOL that enables educators to share their knowledge with the world and learners to gain access to knowledge wherever they are in the world.

We will also be expanding our business territories into the CALA Region (Central and Latin America) and Europe.

Ethan Tan | CEO

Ethan Tan has been a pioneering member in the video communications industry, leading the development, sales & marketing of cutting-edge video conferencing technology throughout his career.

He started his career in one of the pioneer companies in video conferencing technology 18 years ago. He then spent seven years with a US telepresence company where he was responsible for developing and growing the business in APAC. His passion for video conferencing saw him leading the development of video-enabled solutions and successfully penetrating the legacy video conferencing market to transform and modernize the traditional ways of video conferencing. His relentless pursuit of success has led to the transformation and growth of the business, achieving more than 150% in sales and MBO targets from the fiscal year 2013 until 2017.

Armed with years of industry experience under his belt, Ethan founded IMAGO to continue his quest to make a difference in the video communications sphere. With a strong focus on education, Ethan is passionate about making education accessible for all, and he strives to make education technology simple with IMAGO’s innovative and dynamic solutions.

“IMAGO is committed to making our technology future-proof by incorporating automated features to ease the workload of the users.”