Abus Seccor and Abus Security Center will become one Company: Abus Security Center
Alarm, Access Control and Video under one Roof
The trend of integration of methods of security is all around us. Access control, video surveillance and alarms in particular lend themselves to combination into a total solution.
For the Abus Group it has been self-evident for a long time that items that in practice so often belong together should be available from one source. So the decision was already made in the middle of 2016 to merge Abus Seccor and Abus Security Center into one competence center for electronic security technology at the company’s development and production site in Augsburg: the new competence center will be know as the Abus Security Center as from 1 March 2017. GIT SECURITY spoke with the Managing Director Benjamin Pflaum and with Christian Meyers, member of the Board.
GIT SECURITY: Mr. Pflaum, the two companies Abus Seccor and Abus Security Center are being merged as from 1 March – why?
Benjamin Pflaum: We have realized for some time that further technical development of the products, as well as the expectations of their users, would have to result in one solution sooner or later in the sense of one product platform: access control, video surveillance and alarm technology are seen and understood as one these days. This merger is therefore the step that must logically be taken to follow this development.
At least the products of the Abus Group had already been harmonized with one another?
Benjamin Pflaum: That’s true. And apart from that, access control and alarms are already considered, for example, in the Wapploxx access control system: it can activate an installed alarm system. The merger into one uniform competence center for Abus electronic security technology doesn’t only mean that the products fit together – it also means that we must inform the market of our competence as a solution house. We don’t ask – on the part of Sales and Support – about a product, but instead about the requirement. The customer is looking for the solution to a problem, and we can provide it from our broad product portfolio. This could be either a simple solution or a solution in the form of complete networked technology.
Christian Meyers: The formerly separate sales teams of Abus Seccor and Abus Security Center will correspondingly be combined – and also our technical support that will in future be able to provide comprehensive support for any product.
So there will be one central support hotline in future and one joint training academy that will pass on the knowledge, especially during the planning and commissioning of integrated security solutions. These measures will enable us to better fulfill the expectations of our specialist trade partners.
Benjamin Pflaum: We have derived an integrated development department from the need for integrated solutions. All our technicians will work together here in Augsburg as from 1 March. This will shorten the decision process and better integrated solutions will be the result. The more we steer a common path in development and production, sales and support, the better we will be able to offer our customers the tailor-made solution mix of alarms, video und access control that he needs. Additionally, the uniform approach will enable us to break down some of the mental walls that are often still built between these technologies.
Christian Meyers: We are dealing with products that are becoming ever more complex, so they need a high level of consultation. This requires the dealer to have extensive know-how. He will not just get good products that can be easily and efficiently operated and installed. He expects and will receive above all a cooperative partnership with sales and support. We can now significantly improve both through this merger. Every customer-facing contact person and those in our Support group will be able in future to talk competently about all our solutions and products. They will provide support with regard to all our electronic and mechanical products – the boundaries that have existed between Abus Seccor and Abus Security Center will disappear. Our trade partners will be able to order all products from a single point of contact – and will receive just one consolidated invoice.
So the new joint location in Augsburg is ready, and the start is on 1 March – how will it continue during 2017?
Benjamin Pflaum: In 2017 we will place stronger emphasis on spreading awareness of the advantages of the new company structure for our customers. This includes improved local presence – we have effectively doubled our field staff capacity after all. On the product side we will promote bundles more heavily. There will be a Wapploxx version of our Secvest alarm system – the alarm system will therefore be prepared in both hardware and software for use with the Wapploxx electronic locking cylinder. Delivery as a pre-cabled and pre-configured bundle will bring the customer significant time savings. The installer can set up a combined lock and alarm system a lot quicker and simpler than previously – and that is absolutely new in the market.
The end users are both private and commercial users – for whom are these combination options intended in your view?
Benjamin Pflaum: For private users the combination of alarm, burglary protection and access control will be important, in particular in conjunction with the mechanical or mechatronic protection that we at Abus can offer. The connection of access control and video technology will above all – and ever more often – be required in the commercial segment. So we are now able to provide much more than before through the flexible and needs-driven combination of all customer groups.
... whereby you can now take better advantage of market opportunities ...
Benjamin Pflaum: … and from which small and medium-sized projects, for example, will profit as we can now offer integrated security solutions that were, until now, typically only available for large and complex systems. We believe that we are currently at the start of a phase of intensive and rapid development, driven by digitizing, the spread of smartphone apps, etc. All these increase the expectations of users.
Christian Meyers: Our solutions will generally be more attractive from a cost point of view: when customers purchase bundles, they have the peace-of-mind that the individual components will work well together – even if single elements are developed further. And for maintenance or if a problem should occur, the customer or installer doesn’t have to look far to find where the problem lies, or to find the right contact person, because he will get everything, including the support, from one source.
Benjamin Pflaum: A customer purchasing a bundle will always have the latest version of the equipment – that reduces the investment risk and makes the system more future-proof.
How will the new organization of your development and production departments in Augsburg affect new products?
Benjamin Pflaum: We can see two indicators that show the way forward: increasing convenience and increasing the level of security. For product development this means that we will follow one platform strategy. There will be no individual products, rather solutions with interfaces. The customer will in future get a box, so to speak, that will be activated for the particular application that the customer needs through simple configuration. We always assume a concrete need for security – and the solution we find will be able to be extended and scaled as required, following changing needs. There will also be a uniform mode of operation.
The new and expanded location here in Augsburg is impressive – will a lot change for the staff too?
Benjamin Pflaum: We have worked very hard for the last nine months – the new building and the alterations had to happen in parallel to our daily business. But we have improved a lot for our staff – these include the not unimportant things like a flat rate for meals, a fitness program and also the provision of more parking spaces. We now have a lot more employees on site, and that situation should benefit everyone.