Q & A From the Top: Johan Lembre
2010 promises to be another challenging
year for the security market, and global
companies are feeling the financial bite
just the same as U.S.-based firms. We had
the chance to catch up with Johan Lembre,
Pacom Systems' new CEO, to get his
perspective on the global security marketplace
and any changes he has in store
Q. As a global company CEO, what
differences do you see in European,
Asian and U.S. markets?
A. The big difference between the
U.S. and the European market is
their size. It creates a price competitive
environment where, you, as a vendor,
have to rely more heavily on the dealer
network to reach end users. As a consequence,
you have to be more selective
and focused with your offering in the
In Asia, you have markets with a
varying degree of maturity and, in my
experience, you need a large amount
of perseverance. For example, I would
claim that spending five years to establish
profitable business operations
in China is not unusual. Even though
your offering is global, you really need
a local presence and expertise to understand
the local requirements and drive
the business successfully.
Q. How is Pacom doing against its
competitors in the United States?
A. Even though the United States
has experienced a tough year
in terms of investments, Pacom has
continued to grow within the field of
remote managed services. A close cooperation
with key players such as Diebold,
which offers remote managed access
control to the banking sector, has
proven successful. This is promising for
the future, as I see this is where the market
Q. What are customers most concerned
with in the way of products,
services and costs?
A. A common theme I come across
within many markets is fl exibility
and freedom of choice. Proprietary
solutions are being abandoned for open
systems that are available through multiple
channels and dealers. The economic
downturn also has increased the
focus on having to justify the investment.
The interest around the Pacom
Security Dashboard shows there is a
genuine demand for being able to monitor
system performance and have the
results presented to key decision makers
in a user-friendly format.
Q. Why is remote system management
so important for the future?
A. There are basically three factors
I find compelling with remote
management of security systems.
First, they are service ready. A solution
built to be remotely managed gives
the end customer the fl exibility to outsource
the operations of the system.
They also provide cost reductions.
By being able to remotely manage and
service the system, you can significantly
reduce the number of site visits and service
costs. For example, in the United
Kingdom, the number of stipulated
on-site visits for banking and financial
institutions can be reduced to one visit
a year with our certified remote maintenance
Finally, an IP-based remotely managed
security system allows the customer
to become much more proactive.
By being able to remotely test critical
components, such as back-up batteries
and motion detectors, you will know if
a service call is needed before the actual
system component has failed. This prevents
the user from realizing that the
system was actually not working properly
after an incident has occurred.
Q. What are some notable industry
A. The fact that IT is getting more
involved in physical security decisions
will drive a lot of changes in our
industry. We will see an increasing share
of business related to pure software
sales, where a lot of the intelligence and
value now resides. With the IT manager
as a key decision maker, we also will see
a growing interest for outsourcing and
electronic security as a service, which
allows end customers to focus on their
Furthermore, driven from the end
customer and IT industry, I also see
that the requirements on open solutions
that allow interoperability with multiple
vendors is becoming very strong.
The big interest for standards such as
ONVIF is living proof of this.
Q. Is Pacom going to rely on its reseller
or direct sale approach to
secure new customers in 2010?
A. Pacom will stay with our direct
touch and indirect fulfillment
model, selling our solutions through
our global network of value-added resellers,
while continuing to approach
the end customers to generate interest
and understanding for our solution.
Q. What new products or technologies
does Pacom plan to introduce
A. This is going to be an exciting
year as we plan to launch a number
of new products that will continue
to strengthen our position in remotely
managed security systems. The most
important product launch for the year
will be for a new platform that allows
for many integration opportunities.
Customers will recognize that this platform
is truly built for scale to larger,
multi-site systems and is based upon
the proven track record for which Pacom
Q. Are there any mergers or acqusitions
on the horizon for Pacom?
A. At this stage, we intend to grow
our business organically and will
continue to build and strengthen our
solution with best-of-breed integration
partners that complement our core capabilities
in access control and alarm
management. This fits very well with our
ability to offer an open platform for integration
and allow the end customer to
take advantage of multiple vendors.