Industry Focus

Transforming the Future

I’ve found over the past 21 years that there are many who enjoy talking to the media, and some who don’t. I like talking to those who, like their products, are open and transparent, or, in other words, have an open architecture.

At ISC West, I was able to share some time with Sharad Shekhar, the CEO at Pelco. Of course we talked about the security industry, but shared stories about life. I wanted to know more, and more importantly wanted to get a handle on Pelco and its determination to return to the prominent industry position that it once had. The old company is long gone, and today, the New Pelco is reentering that marketplace.

While I don’t want to turn this into an advertisement for the company, my intent is to highlight an ongoing conversation with Shekhar, the challenges he faces and his determination to transform back to relevance.

Transformation means change, and in this case, it also means leaving behind many of the legacy solutions and creating global opportunities and partnerships for new products. The idea for global product manufacturing partners includes people from Europe, Taiwan, China and Chino, Calif. Each of these hubs of industry can better reach areas where solutions are needed/sold today, rather than several days down the road.

What it came down to for Shekhar was retooling the Clovis, Calif., it just didn’t make sense. It was also necessary to complete production somewhere else just outside of Clovisfacilities, or go elsewhere for product manufacturing. The decision was pretty simple; more cost-effective to manufacture elsewhere. Having multiple manufacturing facilities outside the United States also allows for a global footprint; however, with some of the manufacturing taking place, the United States remains the country of origin for products.

“End users outside of the United States highly value Made in the U.S.A., especially in the Middle East.” Shekhar said. “We also stay in the analog business in Clovis because it remains about 30 percent of our business. Right now we are focused on our video management software, which is a Made in the U.S.A. product.”

The tranformation comes because as products change, manufacturing specifications have to change as well. As with any manufacturer, Pelco is transforming their product line. Take for instance, a new explosion- proof camera that they are bringing to market, made in Germany. It fits nicely into one of four core vertical markets: Oil and Gas, City Surveillance, Air and Seaports and Gaming. These are only core verticals, because the new Pelco story is one of technology, not flooding the market with wholesale products.

“We want to win in our verticals and have products that are suitable for this,” Shekhar said. “We have a market-driven approach, then we decide was platforms to develop. It’s not to say we only look at these handful of verticals, we don’t. Our products will fit easily into other verticals.

“We know how to succeed with our core verticals.”

There is one thing that overrides all of this, and all of us should take note. Shekhar said more than anything else, the plan is to never let the customer down. “We don’t promise what we can’t deliver.”

This article originally appeared in the July 2017 issue of Security Today.

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