Questions and Answers From the Top

An interview with Jeremy Hockham

Security dealers and system integrators are two of the most important facets of the security industry. We wanted to know more, so we sat down with Jeremy Hockham, president of sales Americas for Bosch Security Systems Inc.

Q. What do you see as the greatest opportunities for security dealers and system integrators in 2009?

A. Overall, IP will continue to be a growth area, as it widens the scope of possibilities for video surveillance, access control, intrusion and fire alarm systems.

In video surveillance, new devices with embedded video content analysis capabilities offer dealers and integrators the opportunity to add intelligence to installed CCTV systems—providing additional security benefits to end users and opening the door for revenue growth opportunities with existing customers. Longer term, VCA will have more applications beyond security, giving dealers a means to add greater value to an end user’s business and potentially unlocking alternative sources of funding.

With the current state of the economy, it also is important for dealers and integrators to look for ways to gain efficiencies in their businesses. Improvements in technology and product design that make systems easier to install and support can provide opportunities here— allowing dealers to service more customers in less time. With Bosch, customers benefit from devices in video surveillance, intrusion and access control that deduct from the install time as competitive products.

Q. Do you have any recommendations for dealers and security directors who want to transition to IP?

A. As more options for security system design become available, dealers and integrators need to take on the role of consultant to the end user. A true consultant helps the end user determine if an end-toend IP or a hybrid analog/IP system is most appropriate, identifies the system architecture that will deliver the best results with the lowest total cost of ownership and has the knowledge needed to provide ongoing support. Dealers and integrators must make the investment to train their staff in these technologies, so their employees can become consultants and capitalize on the growth in IP.

Security directors with installed systems can work with integrators to move to hybrid systems that allow them to leverage a part of their existing investments. For example, using IP video encoders, security directors can keep installed camera technology while benefiting from digital recording. Additionally, with IP communication modules, they can enable the intrusion or fire alarm control panels to communicate over the Internet instead of a phone line.

Q. How does Bosch help dealers differentiate themselves in this fast-growing market?

A. Most importantly, Bosch offers stability amid turbulence in the economy. With our unique ownership structure, we have no external borrowings. This enables us to act in ways that are best for the long-term growth of the company. Customers will not see us react to current market conditions as many of our competitors have. Whereas they are reducing headcount and experiencing declining business, Bosch is continuing to grow—achieving double digit growth in CCTV in 2008, for example. We also are continuing to invest in areas that are important for our business and for the market—in new people and in support tools for our customers.

Bosch also offers advanced technology that delivers a lower total cost of ownership to the end user. There are significant cost savings that can be achieved over the life of a system by choosing a design for video recording that eliminates the need for expensive NVRs and allows for flexible acquisition and management of storage resources. Recurring operating costs also drop through the use of IP communication modules for intrusion and fire systems that enable the end user to eliminate phone lines for communications to a central monitoring station. A low total cost of ownership is an important consideration for the end user, and communicating this message can help Bosch dealers set themselves apart.

Bosch’s modular technology helps end users upgrade devices, such as cameras, with advanced technology without replacing the entire product. While end users benefit from technology that keeps pace with the latest developments, dealers and integrators gain a “built-in” opportunity for additional revenue from existing customers as new modules become available.

Q. What is Bosch doing to help security directors understand new technologies available to them?

A. Educating decision makers on advanced technologies helps generate market demand and bring more business to dealers and integrators. We host seminars and conduct demonstrations and educational forums for end users. For example, in 2008, we hosted a forum on emerging technologies for loss prevention, physical security and protection personnel from national retailers and other commercial enterprises.

Q. What has Bosch done recently to make it easy to do business with the company?

A. This is an area where we believe the task is never finished. In 2008, we undertook a number of new initiatives to better equip our customers with the tools they need to be successful. We created a presales team to assist customers before a sale with information on part numbers, pricing, and system configuration and design. Bosch also invested more than $500,000 over the last 18 months to bolster its training offerings for customers.

We opened two new training centers, and we introduced a greater range of eLearning offerings that help customers’ technicians and sales personnel become familiar with Bosch technology without the expense of travel and time away from billable client activities.

We also held meetings with groups of dealers to understand how we can improve and to hear about their experiences in doing business with Bosch. From these meetings, we have gained new ideas and have been able to test current plans to make sure they’ll make a positive impact on our customers. We will continue to host customer focus groups in 2009 and beyond.

This article originally appeared in the January 2009 issue of Security Today.

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