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

There is an understanding now about the importance of infrastructure in consideration of a building.

It supersedes just being a consideration of security and becomes more about how to effectively manage the business.

We have also seen vendors and end-users embracing true native IP.

As far as I can see it is still an area covered by the specialist. The demands from customers are very high so it is an area where networking companies, especially, have a better value add.

They don't use some type of protocol converter, they use a direct RJ45 connection to a particular door controller for example.

So we are also seeing a lot more security products go the same way and have the same messaging as the traditional CCTV market.

What is your current channel strategy for these solutions in the Middle East and how will you develop it over the next year?

GO: We launched our channel partner programme last year. We already had a lot of partners, but nothing was formalised. The first purpose of the programme is to educate the guys and train them.

We are a fully indirect manufacturer so they have to know what they are talking about, how to implement and install.

This year we will be adding more intelligent video features - motion detection, people-counting, number plate recognition and people-tracking for instance.

The strategy is to make sure that we communicate in the right channels and explain the benefits of IP surveillance to the channel.

GH: From this month onwards we are planning a series of roadshows to introduce the integration channel to the products, applications and some of the techniques we use for implementation.

That is the first wave. When these installers start to use this in the market place then we plan to bring in Cablenet which is probably Europe's leading IP surveillance trainer and they will start to do some real detailed design application and configuration training with our partners.

MS: We predominantly use the channel to go to market in this field. We are working with two kinds of segments.

One is the Sony trained and accredited products dealers that are able to deliver to resellers or small end-users down the line.

When it comes to enterprise solutions, we work with enterprise-level integrators who are themselves multinational companies. We propose solutions to them and they in turn propose solutions to consultants or install consultants themselves on certain projects.

The key challenge is to create awareness of IP in solutions. There's low awareness of what IP can do in surveillance. There's a lot of myth around the perceived disadvantages of IP, which is misunderstood propaganda.

BC: We work exclusively through distributors today, but our approach is to focus and work with 20 to 30 partners to cover the Middle East. Out of these partners we have selected five or six that are highly specialised in security surveillance applications.

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