Premio: Robust Product Engineering. Flexible Speed to Market. Unlimited Manufacturing Transparency

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Crystal Tsao, President & CEO In 2013, the enterprise technology realm witnessed Cisco’s landmark acquisition of Sourcefire—a network security hardware and software provider—for a whopping 2.7 billion dollars. Sourcefire’s staggering valuation in the market didn’t come easily. Working behind the scenes was Premio, whose association helped Sourcefire establish a global market presence, diversify its range of products, bring them to market with a competitive time-advantage, and handle services and support on time. “Our flexible capabilities in compute engineering and manufacturing transparency proved to be extremely valuable for Sourcefire’s massive global scale finally to its acquisition,” says Crystal Tsao, President and CEO of Premio. She further adds, “This success story is a great example of how Premio and its resources are often leveraged as strategic extensions for many leading technology enterprises looking to accelerate its time to market with its products.” Sourcefire is one among many partners over the past 30 years that Premio has helped climb the ladder of success.

Premio’s expertise lies in providing electronics manufacturing services (EMS) for manufacturing robust edge-to-cloud level computing components for remote or mobile locations. Over the last three decades, Premio has set up a global-spanning, end-to-end ecosystem that facilitates the development and manufacturing of x89 based computing hardware. The company’s range of its own portfolio of industrial embedded computers and dense storage servers power the network infrastructures of automated manufacturing floors, underground mining systems, vehicles, medical devices, KIOSKS, and data centers to name a few. Premio also builds rugged industrial HMI panel PCs and interactive displays that can work in harsh and challenging industrial environments. These specific product designs provide the necessary building blocks for many industry 4.0 deployments for many applications that require mission critical reliability in its network of compute infrastructure.

Today, Premio designs and builds world-class computing Embedded IoT Computers, Human Machine Interface Displays, and High Performance Compute Storage Servers for businesses with highly specialized needs, some of them among the world’s top technology companies. Premio’s core value lies within how it aligns strategic partnerships and flexible business principles across its entire organization; as passionate problem-solvers looking at challenges from every angle, not just compute technology, but also for business models, operations, design practices, manufacturing processes, and supply chains on a global scale. These key fundamental capabilities help to improvise a better way of doing business and provide the right solutions to difficult challenges.

Humble Beginnings to Undisputed Positioning

Premio began its journey in 1989, as a white box computer provider for school districts across North America. Establishing the infrastructure needed to support large volumes of production, Premio soon became one among the top three leaders in the market. As the computer market became largely commoditized, Crystal repurposed Premio’s business model to deliver OEM contract manufacturing with a primary focus on EMS for embedded computers and data center storage server. It was at this juncture where Premio built its integrated manufacturing service capabilities that could handle the material sourcing and supply chain side of things on behalf of its partners. The company also grew its global distribution network across APAC and EMEA regions to help partners accelerate and scale their launch and go-to-market efforts globally.

Premio achieved all this without compromising its capability to deliver prompt support services. After all, being able to provide timely support was a crucial requirement for partners to ensure end-user satisfaction. In effect, Premio became a robust partner whom their partners could rely on for growth. “Premio’s brand slogan and motto ‘Your Success, Our Commitment’ is a direct translation from how we view our long term partnerships with our partners” Tsao also said. “This motto is truly a fantastic representation of how Premio engages in business, providing the utmost flexibly and attention for our partners across our organization.”

In addition to its elaborate intercontinental supply chain trail, Premio has nurtured long-lasting relations with key vendors in the space

To effectuate this to the fullest, Premio’s next (3rd) iteration in evolution focused on rendering the company as a holistic provider of not only reliable manufacturing services but a strategic focus in the design and engineering in specific compute products from the edge to the cloud.

Premio 3.0 for Industry 4.0 – Purpose built products From the Edge to the Cloud

With ongoing innovations in IoT, edge computing, and high-speed wireless connectivity, the possibilities for newer, purpose-built electronics products have spiraled today. It’s a no brainer that the expertise in collecting, streamlining, and analyzing data will play a crucial role in realizing this industry 4.0 notion. There is an imperative need for network components that can go beyond aggregating data and perform real-time computing. Of course, there’s also the need for embedded computers to be rugged, robust, and compliant in remote and mobile environments. In this market, the competitive advantage for B2B companies relies heavily on design expertise and quicker time to market with products that maintain reliability. These companies need to augment their product design knowledge with engineering and manufacturing expertise that caters to a exploding market hungry for faster and better decision making. This is where Premio, as an one-stop-shop, places its unique value proposition.

Premio’s knowledgeable workforce of over 300 employees—60 percent of which stems from engineering and design backgrounds—provides partners with all the necessary resources to design and prototype products in tune to the stringent industry-level specifications and functional requirements. Be it taking care of the product design from a compute power/configuration side, or from BIOS coding, or necessary electro - mechanics, Premio can deliver it all. This approach substantially reduces the engineering, design, and production validation testing times, which ultimately accelerates the product launch time but also can offer a different total cost of ownership for technology enterprises looking to scale through strategic partnership.

Meanwhile, after the design and engineering phase, companies often face challenges associated with kick-starting the manufacturing process. To achieve the intended rate of scalable global production, they have to first get inventory and stocks and then coordinate with the entire supply chain to meet sales demand. For facilitating this, Premio—in addition to its elaborate global supply chain trail-has nurtured long-lasting relations with key technology vendors in the space— be it with Intel or AMD for semiconductor computing chips, Kingston for memory, or Seagate and Samsung for storage. Rest assured, Premio’s partners can rely on the souring capabilities and supply chain management of components and its final products. Also, Premio’s largely automated manufacturing line that stretches more than 150,000 sq. feet comes with a quality management system that is built on real-time transparency. Through the company’s shop floor management system, partners can get detailed snapshots about their products’ stage in the manufacturing cycle, a valuable resource for global operations. Moreover, Premio’s manufacturing line is 13485 medical ISO certified, which has made the company a “most sought after one” among the medical device makers in the United States

Premio guarantees to test and validate its product designs to fit requirements such as operability in wide temperature range, or the ability to withstand high voltage, shock, and vibration.
Additionally, owing to its global presence and operational experience, the company is well aware of all the stringent manufacturing compliance and regulatory mandates. Premio can pre-certify their manufactured products in line with these mandates, which would save partners a lot of time in introducing these products to market. For instance, according to Crystal, Premio’s partners need not worry about the ongoing trade tensions between the U.S. and China and the corresponding sanctions. The company’s robust infrastructure in the U.S. allows the customers to keep a check on the total cost of ownership, without being affected by the spikes in tariffs.

Evidently, for over 30 years Premio continues to be a one-stop-shop for its partners to realize a quick and guaranteed turnaround time for their embedded computing devices that can leverage product development, manufacturing, distribution, and support.

Portfolio of Purpose-built Products

The company’s product line for embedded and industrial edge computers include rugged fanless embedded systems—that comes as three different models powered by Intel chipsets— for most industrial applications. They feature multiple expansion capability(thanks to modular build that support different chassis and interchangeable expansion modules), cable-less design, and high I/O flexibility enabled by their unique modular design. They are constructed by extruded aluminum and heavy duty metals.

On the industrial touch displays and panel PC front, Premio sports patented touch display systems that are designed specifically for HMI automation, information and communication applications. It goes without saying that the offerings are rugged- and robust-tested, and can withstand a wide range of extreme industrial environments. The company’s patented Multi- Mode Display (MDM) module, facilitates a broad range of configurations that can be used for any industrial application.

"Premio’s knowledgeable workforce of over 300 employees provides partners with all the necessary assistance to design and prototype products in tune to the stringent industry-level specifications and functional requirements"

Last but not the least, is Premio’s offering pertaining to storage servers. The company offers general purpose servers, rugged flash storage servers, high availability servers, and high density servers. The company also offers HPC Servers,—that houses a unique GPU server designed for application workloads in deep learning, complex modeling, and artificial intelligence— and expansion storage modules.

Visionary Leadership Inspiring the Workflows

As the founder and visionary leader who has steered Premio to its continued success, Crystal Tsao is an inspiration for the women in tech. While 2019 marks Premio’s 30th anniversary, Crystal attributes the company’s successful streaks to her team and the passion she’s had in facilitating long-term partnerships that continue to foster into long-time relationships. After all, Crystal has spent a considerable amount of time nurturing her workforce as much as she has spent in building long-lasting client and vendor relations. “More than 50 percent of our employees have been with us for over 15 years, a testament to the way Premio values relationships and tenure for its employees” Crystal said. “It’s relatively simple, I treat our employees like family and this translates into the same interactions with our partners who appreciate the open and honest relationship, it is one of the reasons for our success for the last 30 years,” Crystal also said. Premio is also recognized as both a women and minority owned company under Los Angeles Business Journal’s “2019 Minority- Owned Businesses List.”

By having established the resources, relations, and dedicated workforce to help its partners stay competitive in their respective markets, Premio will continue to align itself with the rapidly evolving computing technology and wireless connectivity space. The company views 5G as a game-changer in the industrial automation and embedded computing technology and will further work on developing product lines that support cutting-edge automated 5G-backed ecosystems.


City of Industry, California

Crystal Tsao, President & CEO

Premio’s humble beginning in 1989 as a white box computer provider for school districts across North America enabled it to establish the infrastructure needed to support large volumes of production. Back then Premio was one among the top three leaders in the market. As the computer marker became largely commoditized, the company’s business model was repurposed to deliver OEM contract manufacturing, primarily, EMS for embedded computers. Premio’s knowledgeable workforce of over 300 employees, 60 percent of which stems from engineering and design backgrounds, provides clients with all the necessary assistance they’d need to design, and prototype products in tune to stringent industry-level specifications and functional requirements