Manufacturer 1-on-1: Bosch Targeting SMBs

In August, Bosch released an end-to-end analog surveillance solution; wireless peripherals for control panels designed for residential and small commercial applications; and expanded its “Advantage” network camera line targeted at SMBs.

In light of this new innovation, I caught up with Jeremy Hockham, President of Sales – Americas for Bosch Security Systems, to give you the lowdown on the latest offerings from the company. To learn more about the products mentioned, visit the SecurityInfoWatch.com Buyer’s Guide links that appear near each product name.

 

Is this a new shift in Bosch’s strategy: i.e., specifically targeting the SMB market? Is this SMB push perhaps a result of feedback from Bosch’s integrator network?

Hockham: It is a conscious shift. In the past, we have focused our offerings on the high-end of the market — large installations or those with the most demanding imaging requirements. We’re now broadening our offering to bring Bosch technology and quality to sectors of the market we didn’t previously serve.

Input from our customers that results from our regular dealer focus groups and other channels, as well as industry data, shows that the 16-camera-and-under segment of the market has grown tremendously over the past several years. These users have traditionally used analog technology, but declining prices and increasing technology options are making IP video more accessible. We’ve expanded our video portfolio significantly to meet the needs of dealers and integrators who are servicing this segment of the market.

On the intrusion side, the B Series Control Panels (www.securityinfowatch.com/10850221) introduced this year are giving our customers the ability to serve more segments of the market with Bosch solutions. We now have solutions for small-to-mid-sized security projects, in addition to the large commercial systems we were already known for. The new RADION wireless peripherals (www.securityinfowatch.com/11152341) work with both our B Series and the latest generation of our G Series panels to give our customers a portfolio of wireless peripherals that easily scales for installations from small to large.

 

What are the advantages of these products from an integrator’s point of view?

As with all Bosch products, the advantages for integrators are highly reliable, easy-to-install products that can help them to build and maintain their competitive edge.

For IP video, our Advantage Line offers affordable video solutions that are easy to install. For example, our most recent products introduced for this line — the IP 2000 family (www.securityinfowatch.com/11105439) — provides IP cameras at analog prices. Plus, we have a system builder, video tutorials, and other online tools to make it easy to put together complete solutions from our Advantage Line. The whole portfolio is designed to give integrators an edge on the competition in terms of price, features and performance.

For the analog market, there is an enormous amount of installed video infrastructure throughout the world, and new systems continue to be installed. With a full portfolio of 960H products (www.securityinfowatch.com/11140788), we’re enabling integrators to enhance their customers’ existing systems to gain an improvement in image detail, while also giving them the latest technology to provide new customers with the best in analog video quality.

In intrusion, our mid-range portfolio offers advanced technology with built-in IP communication, DNS support for remote access and central station communications, support for both IPv4 and IPv6, as well as multiple interfaces with on-board Ethernet and USB connections and simple plug-in communication modules for easy adoption of new technologies. In addition, the RADION family provides superior reliability by operating within the 433 megahertz band, which allows for higher transmission power and better penetration through building materials. The devices also feature exceptional battery life for years of dependable operation.

 

How should security integrators be marketing these new products to customers?

The products offer a number of features that end-users are beginning to expect from their technology systems — like the clarity of HD imaging and remote viewing and operation from smart phones or tablets. These are important features for integrators to communicate to their customers.

In addition, as with the rest of our portfolio, Bosch’s reputation for high quality and reliability and our three-year warranty are great selling points. This ensures end-users can focus on their main priorities, knowing our systems will work when they need them. With our long history and unique ownership structure, which ensures financial independence, end-customers can also trust that we will be around for a long time—throughout the working life of their system.

 

Is there a clear RMR opportunity tied to any of these products?

Bosch offers a free app for our intrusion systems, which integrators can use to create RMR opportunities. The Remote Security Control app (www.securityinfowatch.com/10655230) for our intrusion panels allows system arming and disarming as well as controlling any connected outputs with an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. It enables the user to connect to their system without a third-party server. This is different than many other offerings on the market today and helps to reduce monthly cost for the dealer.

 

Industry-wide, are manufacturers like Bosch still devoting R&D to analog surveillance products?

Manufacturers need to have a strong foundation for innovation within the company to be able to balance the need for R&D in both analog and IP video. We have this foundation at Bosch, with more than 9 percent of sales of the Bosch Group spent on R&D — that translated to $6.1 billion in 2012. So, while we are clearly focused on IP video — as evidenced by the large number of product introductions we’ve made in the past few years — we also want to ensure our analog customers have the technology they need to get the most usable images from their systems.

 

Will there come a time when the vast majority of new installations are IP-based, or is the perception of the IP transition greater than the reality?

Our industry is undergoing a tremendous amount of change, and included in this, is the more rapid adoption of IP-based systems. This is reflected in our sales, where we’re seeing strong growth in our IP video business, which is offsetting declines in our analog portfolio.

As mentioned, the 16-camera-and-under market has traditionally been dominated by analog technology, but new IP options for these customers will help to increase the adoption rate in this segment. For example, a small retail shop could combine IP cameras with local SD card storage and free viewing software for a very cost-effective IP system. As awareness grows, we expect to see higher growth in IP-based video for small systems.

 

How large has the Bosch integration partner network grown, and what are the benefits of joining for prospective dealers and integrators?

Bosch Certified Security Dealers (BCSDs) benefit from co-marketing materials and opportunities, special promotions, education and training, discounts on Bosch power tools, and more. We closely manage the amount of BCSD partners to ensure that the number in any given region is appropriate to meet, and not exceed, the needs of the local market.

 

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