Getting smart

Leviton is planning on a direct presence in the region and increasing the number of products it deals with here, as it believes the Middle East has huge growth potential.

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By  Sathya Mithra Ashok Published  June 9, 2008

Leviton is planning on a direct presence in the region and increasing the number of products it deals with here, as it believes the Middle East has huge growth potential.

As the Middle East market booms, demand for structured wiring as part of residential applications is growing. And providers like Leviton are rising to the task.

"We are here to introduce residential solutions. The launch is part of an overall expansion plan at Leviton to reach more international regions as structured wiring finds its way into more and more residential apps," says Jack Merrow, director, marketing management for home solutions and residential at Leviton.

Leviton is interested in seeing more standards adoption among Middle East countries and states that this will make life easier for both end-users as well as vendors.

Merrow continues: "I think the challenge like any company that is entering the market for the first time is that we have to learn how to do business here. We have to be able to promote and introduce our products in such a way that it gets accepted by various customers."

"The concept of smart homes here is primarily still lighting and shade control. It is not necessarily high speed networking or IPTV, which are the areas that we are primarily focused on," he adds.

Bruno Filio, vice president of international sales at the firm says: "The market is very young for structured cabling for residential applications. There are several markets in the Middle East that has a long way to go to learn about the benefits of the structured cabling solution and apps.

That makes it difficult to gauge the size of the market because we are basically starting to develop the market, it is not there yet."

The company, which was part of the seventh annual BICSI Middle East and Africa Conference and Exhibition, wants to see more standards adoption among Middle East countries and states that this will make life easier for both end-users as well as vendors.

"This is a challenge that we see in growing markets and we can help and send the message across not only to our customers but to the government. There are international standards that you can adopt and tweak.

The key thing is that the government has to come out and say - here's the standard that we are looking at. And the standard might have multiple tiers so if you are looking at a simple building it will have to address only a very low tier, and vice versa.

As a builder, you can easily say this building is made for standard B and as soon as you say that, the vendors or suppliers know instantly what is needed - they know you need this kind of cable, this kind of outlet with this kind of cabling etc.

And this makes the entire process much easier," says Frank Kim, vice president engineering for network solutions at Leviton.

According to him, Leviton is working to increase awareness of standards as well as best practices by participating in conferences and seminars, as well as ensuring that its partners and end-users are constantly trained and updated.

As part of this process, Filio adds Leviton ensures that its installers are well-trained and certified and are able to give customers what they need. The company is also planning on strengthening its sales coverage and its partner base in the region soon.

"We are setting up a direct presence in the region and we are planning on adding staff. This should happen in the next three to six months. We are looking for effective geographic coverage in the region and are moving in that direction," states Filio.

The company will also continue to launch relevant solutions for the market over the next few years.

"We have been enjoying steady growth here and we are here for the long term," concludes Filio.

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