Mobotix at Intersec: Phillip Antoniou About the Middle Eastern Market
Feature Development and the Right Solutions
At the center of the commonly used abbreviation “EMEA” lies the Middle East. This important security market with significant purchasing power has become very interesting for major manufacturers, with specific demands that push product development forward for the general benefit of markets worldwide. GIT SECURITY had the opportunity recently at Intersec in Dubai to talk with Phillip Antoniou, Vice President of Sales in Europe South/West and MEA, about developments at Mobotix.
GIT SECURITY: Phillip, thanks for taking a moment in your busy schedule to talk to us. You are VP for Mobotix sales in Europe South and West, in Africa – and in the Middle East. What are your expectations and your objectives for this Intersec show?
Phillip Antoniou: My pleasure, thanks for opportunity. Intersec is one of the the most if not the most important exhibition for us in the region. We will meet with our channel and our Alliance Partners in the region but also with many companies from outside the area who come to the event. As always, we showcase new product lineups and solutions for va rious applications based on the needs of the market. Its not about the number of products, it‘s the variety of solutions you can give to the partners and that‘s our objective.
The regional headquarters and training center in Dubai opened in 2016. How has the Middle East region developed since then?
Phillip Antoniou: It was a great decision to invest here, we have increased our trainings in the region as well as being able to expand our offering and support with focused project trainings, professional services and integrations as needed.
You employ three Business Developers as well as a Regional Sales Manager here. This has brought double digit growth in the Middle East … and how did south and west Europe do?
Phillip Antoniou: We also employed a Technical Project Engineer. We have had many changes over the last few years and a significant restructure and focus on our core values like reliability, Return on Investment and being at the forefront of Cyber Secure products in our industry. This has also been our message in South & West Europe which has also expanded, adding more technical personnel, Business Development Managers and Events & Marketing staff.
What are your main products and solutions for 2019?
Phillip Antoniou: Where do I begin? We introduced our new range of products under the name Mobotix Move, this is an add-on line which provides our partners with market standard specification products to open new doors and new revenue streams. With domes, bullets and PTZ we now have the ability to support any application need. This product range has had a great launch in 2018 and will continue to gain momentum in 2019. We have also evolved our IoT range of models with now having ONVIF as a standard while still being able to maintain the high level of cyber safe protocols we have developed.
Last year Mobotix brought the Cactus Concept to the market – it’s an end-to-end video system that protects against hacker attacks. The effectiveness of the system was verified by a “Certificate: Penetration Test,” which was carried out by a German certifier (SySS), and your cameras successfully withstood extensive cyber attacks. How important is cyber security for the various customer groups in the Middle East region? Could you give us some examples?
Phillip Antoniou: I have mentioned this a few times and this shows how important it is to us, being Cyber Safe is the responsibility of every organization who uses, installs or supplies any IP product. We at Mobotix take this very seriously – every time you have IOT devices connected, it‘s a door waiting to be opened on your network. We have made sure that our products are capable of the highest levels of protection and we do not compromise this. The Middle East and especially the United Arab Emirates is at the forefront of maintaining excellent levels of protection in the use of technology and is consistently improving and incorporating new measures. This is perfect for our solution.
…and what about the reaction of your (potential) customers to your particular approach with this Cactus Concept?
Phillip Antoniou: Mobotix is known for having more robust and resilient products and we have often gone down a different road to others in the pursuit of these characteristics, which has been successful. They have to do the job and fit the purpose at any number of projects straight away. As more analytics are required and more platforms are used in various projects, the need for our Cactus Concept increases.
What have you learned during the first few months speaking with your customers about the Cactus Concept?
Phillip Antoniou: It‘s all positive feedback, we see a great deal of interest and hunger for this from the actual end user who realizes the need and the benefits of making sure his liability is protected as well as the data assets his company might have in their possession. Integrators will, of course, ensure that their work provides a secure system but they must also meet other requirements, such as regulatory conditions, we must as a manufacturer meet these requirements. We appear to have developed a strategy that reassures all involved.
What other important developments, solutions and ideas does Mobotix have right now and in the future?
Phillip Antoniou: When we launch our new P7 platform we expect to start a small revolution in how a security camera can be used in our industry. It is truly a game changer and will be something that the market has never seen before. I would love to say more but you will need to follow us to get this information. You won‘t regret it: Mobotix is well-known for customer-centric solutions.
What are the ‘most-wanted’ solutions in the Middle East region, and what are the particular requirements here?
Phillip Antoniou: Perhaps the number one factor here is reliability. The technology has to deal with high temperatures as well as dramatically varying light conditions, and still provide high image quality. Customers look particularly for an open platform here upon which they can build and integrate existing equipment and systems – an open platform with scalability is particularly important. We took the fundamental decision some time ago to present our systems as open to integration with third-party applications and hardware, and the decision has been proven a good one. We can address many vertical markets together with our partners that would otherwise have been inaccessible to us. And we are able to offer much more comprehensive solutions as a result. There‘s more in the pipeline.
… and how is it with Europe and Africa?
Phillip Antoniou: The prime decision criteria in Europe are ROI and ease of use. Customers tend to look to the long term as well, so the price of spare parts and maintenance is often a sensitive issue. Africa is also very cost sensitive and looks for an abundance of features in the specification. When our products are used in-store in a retail environment for example to gather data, in Europe they must be feature rich, while the Middle East wants features, but they will be very specific about having the right ones.
Phillip, you are a specialist for emerging markets – what is your vision for Mobotix and which are the emerging markets for you?
Phillip Antoniou: Emerging markets tend to have various meanings depending on your view, for me an emerging market is one that has a lot of potential and is constantly evolving and gaining momentum so that everyone has to run to keep up. This is such a market. The region itself is so full of possibility and vision that it keeps us on our toes and constantly challenges us, which is great. From the Mobotix viewpoint I can confidently say we are here to make a difference and provide new levels of security, innovation an