Physical security specialists alone have been unable to win margin from the convergence between audiovisual and IT – and that is now leaving the way open for IT resellers.
That's the view of D-Link, a manufacturer formerly known primarily as a switch maker, which believes it now has the recipe for success in this long-talked about converged space.
Paul Routledge, head of European business development at D-Link, told ChannelWeb that CCTV specialists like Norbain have come to grief in the new market because they simply couldn't make the expected margins.
He said that IT resellers, on the other hand, have long been used to surviving on 'single digit' percentages and remain agile enough to make the mix profitable for themselves yet still appealing to customers.
"I think the traditional security channel has to get a bit smarter to survive. Whereas the IT channel, they can sell you anything on single digits," Routledge said at an IP surveillance launch for the vendor in London today.
With a view to taking a larger slice of the market that is expanding as physical surveillance closes the door finally on analogue in favour of IP-based cameras, other hardware, software and services, D-Link has hired several 'traditional' installers to help the IT channel pick up the specialist skills they need to sell cameras and other physical security items to a wide range of organisations.
"The IT channel has the contacts, while the security resellers have the knowledge and the skills," Routledge said. "Those [IT] guys have lots of contacts in larger organisations, and the public sector, and elsewhere."
He said the IT channel could pick up the necessary skills more quickly than the physical security channel could understand IT and IP; although the vendor is also promoting a range of more plug-and-play IP network recorders and cameras that automate the VLAN connection, the IP addressing and subnet handling functions, for example.
These easier-to-use products would prove as popular with SMBs as with operators that wanted to save time and resources on deployment, he suggested.
D-Link's JustConnect standalone multifunction network video recorder, launched in May, enables small businesses to connect up to eight IP surveillance cameras, which are configured automatically. No additional switches or even a PC is needed, according to the vendor.
It's a great opportunity for the IT channel in particular, according to Routledge, in part because physical security taps into so many areas that the IT industry already focuses on – such as data storage, IP networking and remote management and automation.
D-Link holds about 2.7 per cent of the EMEA market, which is worth about $920m (£575m) a year in total and is currently led by Axis, Mobotix (a camera is pictured, above) and Panasonic – all of which are losing share as IP gains ground, he noted.
And in 2014, the vendor is targeting expansion to a total share in EMEA of about 4.7 per cent. UK customers so far include Dabs.com, BT Business Direct and Canute Haulage.
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