Back on Track
Siemens Reshaping the Security Products Business Segment
Within the Siemens Building Technologies Division, the business segment Security Products offers a broad range of products for access control, intrusion detection and video surveillance. Clients of the Security Products business segment are distributors, external system integrators and installers but also the Security Solutions unit. In March this year the Security Products business segment announced a new structure and strategy. At Security Essen, Dr. Heiko Baumgartner had the opportunity to interview Peter Hawksworth, Head of the Security Products business segment, about the development within the company and the security market.
In March you did announce a new structure within Security Products. What is the focus of the reorganization and how far did you get during the last months?
P. Hawksworth: Right from the start the key focus of the new structure and market strategy was to further accelerate the development in the access control and intrusion detection markets while keeping a core CCTVportfolio.Another aim was to install a leaner structure and short decision making processes within the company allowing us to achieve faster development and delivery of the innovative world-class products for which Siemens is renowned and respected. Looking back at what we have achieved, I think we are a much more agile organization than before. The new headquarters of Security Products are now well established in Solna, Sweden, and we are better positioned to react quickly and effectively to changing market requirements. The product development for the access control and intrusion detection products is now much faster and by giving up some layers of hierarchy within the company we are in closer contact to the clients than before.
What were the first results of what you describe as "being closer to the customers"?
P. Hawksworth: We responded, for example,to the growing customer interest in open connectivity. Our products are increasingly configured to allow easy interfacing with third party equipment. Our customers want the very best the market can offer and they now can complement the Siemens equipment more easily with products of their choice to produce a complete system that matches their requirements and budgets.
In a market where closed protocols and proprietary equipment have long been the norm, I believe that this is proving to be a major step forward, and one that will continue to bring big benefits for end users, installers and for us.
You mentioned the Siemens CCTV products. Earlier this year the Security Solutions business unit of Siemens Building Technologies announced their cooperation in the field of video surveillance with Bosch. How does this affect the CCTV product development within your Security Products business segment?
P. Hawksworth: Within Security Products we do now have a focus on the development of access control and intrusion detection products but we see CCTV as an enabler for these products and will therefore maintain a core CCTV portfolio.
Our Security Solutions needed a partner for a broader range of CCTV product for their solution business. That is why they buy cameras from us and other strategic CCTV vendors like Bosch.
You have strengthened the international sales teams in Europe. How are you organized now geographically?
P. Hawksworth: We are more focused on Europe now. Every country that we are now in has its own P&L and the local managers are empowered to make local decisions. This is necessary since each of the regional markets has its own security levels and standards. We were talking a lot with
the end users in every single country to find out what their requirements are. We do have regional sales offices in six key markets: Nordic (Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark), DACHIT (Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy), France, UK (UK and Ireland), Iberia (Spain and Portugal), and Eastern Europe. Customers outside these markets are now served by the organization's international sales team based in Karlsruhe, Germany.
How do you react on the requirements of the end users?
P. Hawksworth: Our ambition as a product developer is to provide end users with products that help them operate their business more effectively and by doing so also enable our distributors, value-added partners and security installers improve theirs. As a result of our talks to the end users we have launched two programs at the moment. One is a program where we develop a vision of what Security Products will look like in three years. It is very much around iterative easy-to-use products that you can simply put on a wall and they configure themselves. The other program takes care of what we call "hidden treasures", products that have great success in one region and have a lot of potential for a sales roll-out in other regions. We try to recover those treasures gained through the many acquisitions we made in the past. This is only possible through our new lean organization. Additionally this lean organization enables us to close gaps in our product portfolio through a very fast development when our customers demand a new product or we see such a gap in our product portfolio. The result will be an even stronger portfolio of products.
What are your product highlights you present here at Security Essen?
P. Hawksworth: For the intrusion market we present the SPC 2.0 intrusion detection control that targets the need for communication between various different PC-based systems. The new communication options open up the way for remote configuration, control, maintenance and alarm transmission. "Native Ethernet" and "Web Browser" are integral parts of SPC 2.0. In addition, the modular design of the SPC 2.0 enables continuous adaptation to customer requirements, and the front-to-end system philosophy keeps a lid on expenses for planning, maintenance and training. For video surveillance our new Sistore MX 3G hybrid-digital video recorder combines analogue and digital technology for
up to 64 cameras in one device, thus facilitating the smooth migration of existing systems. The Sistore MX can be controlled via an integral software interface, for instance the Siemens Si-Pass integrated and SiPass Entro access control systems, interactive IVM video software or the
MM8000 danger management system. In addition to image recording Sistore MX 3G supports the recording of up to 16 audio channels.