With oil prices on the decline, security users in the Middle East (ME) are now looking for better deals on high-quality security and surveillance equipment. Global solution providers are doing their best to meet the requirements of user in the ME by addressing their budget concerns and providing more added-value services.
Khwaja Saifuddin, Senior Sales Director for Middle East, Africa, Turkey & South Asia at WD said, “We have an ongoing partnership with Milestone as per which the Milestone Arcus surveillance software is available on WD’s My Cloud Business series and My Cloud Expert series NAS systems. WD offers them a fully configured, pre-loaded solution which comes with a license of up to eight cameras. So users just need to buy the cameras, hook it up, and then they can use it as their NAS, which is saving on users’ surveillance fees.”
To respond to the market, IDIS also emphasized its simplicity and plug-and-play features for their video surveillance systems.
“Last year, we opened our Middle Eastern office in Dubai, Silicon Oasis,” said Albert Ryu, President and COO of IDIS. “We have built up the business very fast, since we entered the market two years ago. At this year’s Intersec we announced the successful roll out of DirectIP at Majmaah University in Saudi Arabia. The 336-camera project was installed and handed over to the customer within three days, demonstrating our plug-and-play capability.”
Value-added services and solutions catering to SIs
Facing price concern challenges from end users, solution providers and major systems integrators (SIs) have also strengthened what they can offer to the customers.
Addressing the money issue
In the past, sufficient budget made customers in the ME rather tech-savvy, with a high acceptance of new technologies. Now, due to the difficult economic situation, the decision-making process is taking a bit longer as budget becomes more of an issue.
Companies like Grundig have quickly responded to this change of customer behavior. “This year, we started with a new product line, Connect, which covers the products in entry level. Connect is next to our Professional and Top product line to optimize our portfolio,” said Yalcin Demirak, Area Sales Manager of Middle East at Grundig. “For the time being, it is important for the end user to reduce their costs by mixing up Connect, Professional, and Top. Connect is still very high quality with a 3-year warranty, but we have reduced some special features to fulfill the budget expectations of the end user.”
For solution providers, it is very important to educate and communicate with consultants and specifiers, and then to the end customers.
The security business is strongly built upon people’s connections and relationships, especially in this region. For solution providers, it is very important to educate and communicate with consultants and specifiers, and then to the end customers. In addition, most of the local physical security SIs lack some software capabilities to integrate different systems together. So, the high level of reliance on turn-key solutions from suppliers is preferred by the SIs.
Many major solution providers also explained how they transformed and added more value to their solutions and local services, such as pre-sales and post-sales support for projects, and SIs to provide more confidence to their customers on their overall reliability and performance of the solutions.
According to Hanno Vogels, VP of Sales for Eastern Europe, Middle East, and DACH at Bosch Security Systems, “In this Middle East region, we are very active with our Engineered Solution Business. Here we provide sustained support to SIs in large and complex projects, starting from planning and preparation of tenders to implementation. This often involves complex integration tasks in sensitive projects in the government and security sectors.”
Vogels named the Dubai International Airport as an example of this support. “At the moment, Dubai airport is conducting a tender for the next terminal, which needs to be integrated in the existing security system. As this task is quite complex, we support the SIs at any stage of the project, like executing (i.e., a qualified onsite survey at the beginning of a project and factory acceptance test to prove the solution) Dubai airport will have five terminals and all are done by different SIs. We as Bosch are taking care that the entire integration runs smoothly — that is what we call the Engineered Solution Business.”
G4S has also followed this same concept. Mark Horton, Regional Sales Director of Middle East at G4S said their differentiator is the ability to combine manpower, technology, and process. Its corporate strategy is to strengthen its value-engineered solutions to the market place demonstrating the added value whilst reducing operational risk. They balance the customers’ operational requirements together with the available budget to find some common ground in providing the best risk mitigation at a lower cost, especially by integrating a number of systems together to reduce the overall cost of ownership. The company exhibited market-leading, third-party drone detection, automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) solutions, access control, video surveillance, and turnstiles.
Wael Abdallah, GM of NIT also shared, “NIT is considered to be a value-added distributor to top-tier vendors such as Axis, Milestone, Promise, Pivot3, Firetide, Raytech, and many more. This is further delivered to our clients by offering solutions based on multiple products such as technical support with consultancy for design, configuration, and training that empowers them to extend that knowledge and proficiency to their end users.”