Under surveillance

Infrastructure development is rife across the Middle East and with it comes a demand for security. IP surveillance is emerging as one of the most compelling investment areas, creating a whole new market for networking resellers and integrators.

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By  Julian Pletts Published  May 21, 2008

Infrastructure development is rife across the Middle East and with it comes a demand for security. IP surveillance is emerging as one of the most compelling investment areas, creating a whole new market for networking resellers and integrators.

Channel Middle East goes behind the lens and talks to the big names to discover what opportunities there are for the regional channel to secure margins and find out if the camera is only the start of a sale.

They are: Gilles Ortega (GO), regional manager at Axis Communications; Basheer Cassim (BC), VP EMEA at Proxim Wireless; Gary Rowden (GR), sales director for security EMEA at Anixter; Gary Highton (GH), managing director at Mayflex Middle East; and Magesh Srinivasan (MS), marketing manager at Sony Professional Solutions.

The initial outlay required to acquire the skills, acquire new vendors and to integrate these systems means that for about 18 months the return on investment will be lower than expected.

What trends are shaping the growth of the IP surveillance market in the Middle East at the moment?

GO: The shift from analogue to IP is happening much faster in the Middle East than in other regions in the world.

This region contains first adopters so as long as you train and educate them you will find there is no reluctance to go for new technologies that you would find in other markets.

BC: The trends in the Middle East are very similar to the trends that we see everywhere else.

There is an increase in the need for surveillance to prevent security. That is not just to protect against security threats.

It is also for accidents or if you want to improve how you react to fire or crime. Even though it started with all the issues around terrorism it is now leaning towards more generic public safety.

People are moving faster from analogue to IP technology, it is a direct trend. People also used to have a wide cable transmission for their activity, now there is a very definite movement to wireless.

MS: There is a huge transition happening in the market from the CCTV to the IP surveillance technologies. Because the Middle East is now booming in terms of the construction industry, surveillance is becoming a prerequisite in all of these projects.

Also, when you talk about IP surveillance there is a whole host of possibilities, not just security monitoring.

GH: There are two trends. One is legislation in certain verticals, such as the hospitality market, because in some countries it is legal now to have cameras scattered around hotels and other public areas generally.

More importantly, a lot of end-users are also realising they have got a fairly expensive resource in an IP network and the more they can add to it without increasing cost, the more sensible it is.

GR: The number one thing we have seen that is specific to the Middle East market place is a much wider acceptance of what we call connected enterprise, or one IP.

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