Sathish Arya, General Manager – Middle East & Africa at WatchNET International Trading LLC discusses how the year has shaped up for the vendor and the key growth areas in secure access and surveillance segment
Discuss how the year 2016 has turned out from the surveillance and secure access market growth point of view? Which territories have shown good growth?
The year 2016 turned out to be really great for WatchNET and we were very successful with a strong growth rate & excellent sales performance across all areas of focus, right from Surveillance, Access Control, Storage and Integrated Solutions. Our sales team had achieved their target much a head especially UAE, Oman & Bahrain territories where our sales graph patterning towards north. We have been able to retain our market position quite well and in fact improve, which has resulted in increased customer confidence and the overall progress seen in all the areas such as sales, technical support, improved service and on-time support.
What were some of the major highlights for the company in terms of new releases, major customer wins etc?
Our Enterprise Class HD-VMS software has been the major highlight launch for WatchNET in the year 2016. We bagged a couple of major projects with our integrated security solution with multi-location in 3 countries in the Telecom segment that contributed well to our sales. We are scheduled to release our leading-edge technology by end of December called ‘WatchNET Access Cloud” which is a cloud based Access Control System with the multi-location support & control. WatchNET Access cloud software is versatile, flexible and feature-rich with lot of exciting features.
Is the SME segment a major area of focus for the company and its partners? Do you see SME segment customers showing interest in these investments?
Our major area of focus for 2017 will be more on Medium & Enterprise Class Solutions especially in Integrated Security Solution software and Multi-location command control solutions. The market demand is increasing in such segments as it helps the customer to manage their security system effectively and giving more comfort to use & deploy; we are investing our resource in those market driven segments.
Is this an area where you would like to make more inroads?
Yes, we would like to focus more on integrated system & Cloud based solutions and continuously enhancing both hardware & software as well as cloud based systems especially services based solutions which are scheduled to be launched in Q2 of 2017. WatchNET products have gained a good reputation and customer confidence in the recent years; hence we are working towards product enhancement and stability in both hardware & software.
Do you think retail analytics will be a major driving factor for increased deployments of surveillance hardware and software in retail?
There is a market for every segment and especially retail analytics segment is estimated at CAGR of 20.2% between 2016 and 2021 but our focus is not in retail analytics. We are focusing more on integrated solutions & multi-location monitoring where we are enjoying major market share across GCC.
Discuss the challenges that confront the industry? Do you see profitability as one of these challenges because of increased availability of more brands to choose from?
The competitive environment in this market appears to be intense as a number of global firms and several smaller regional companies have mushroomed in electronic security systems and hence the profit margins have been going down. To compete in the current market situation, we had taken lot of initiatives to support our customers in many ways. We had deployed our in-house automation tool that contributes well to our support system and process that substantially reduces the turn-around time & on-time support.
Comment on your partner program and also some of the significant outcomes of the company’s partner engagement in the year?
WatchNET engages with the partners in every stage of project life cycle delivering right solutions through our WAPP (WatchNET Partner Program). The WAPP program aims to improve timely support and customer retention by bestowing effective support and conducting more training programmes to our system integrators. We take this opportunity to thank our customers for their continued patronage and the confidence that they have placed in WatchNET. We take great pride in maintaining a team-based work environment. Our clients are drawn to us, not because of our commitment to delivering quality solutions as well as our superior customer service.
Comment on some plans that the company may have decided on to pursue for the year ahead?
As indicated above, we are focusing more on Integrated Security & cloud based solutions. Currently, we are working on few advanced solutions which are scheduled to be launched during Q2 of 2017. Also, our next main objective is to increase the market share and providing more solutions as well as stable products to our customers.
Elaborate on your strategy towards project management? Are these executed by partners with your support?
WatchNET is one of the global leaders in security management solution and our solutions were deployed in many enterprise class projects. Our project based enterprise class solutions are flexible and scalable that can fit in to any size of the project and we do custom built software & project oriented hardware. Our R&D team in Canada develops tailor made solutions for different business verticals based on the project requirement in both hardware & software. In addition to that we are working effectively on WAPP program as well as focusing more on Enterprise Class Integrated Solutions. We are executing all the projects only through system integrators since we don’t have policy of working with end-user directly.