Samsung places increased emphasis on dealers, partnerships at ASIS 2015

Sept. 29, 2015
Senior exec discusses company initiatives, product roadmap and trends with SIW

While there are certainly no shortage of trends impacting the video surveillance industry, one that has generated some of the greatest buzz in recent years has been the promise of cloud services. The cloud presents a great number of potential benefits for video deployments, not the least of which is the ability of end users to save money on their infrastructure costs by shifting the storage of video data offsite. And while cloud video deployments are still in their infancy, there are plenty of companies willing to help customers make the migration now.

At this year’s ASIS conference, Samsung is announcing a new partnership with cloud provider SmartVue which will enable customers to take certain models of the company’s cameras and use them in a cloud-based environment. Tom Cook, vice president of sales at Samsung Techwin America, said this partnership goes beyond just Samsung cameras working with the SmartVue service, but is more significant in that this is the company’s first real entry into the cloud services market.  

“It’s us selling it with SmartVue, selling the recurring revenue model and, in a sense, the offsite storage and what package they want and things like that,” said Cook. “It’s a key initiative for our focus, so you’ll see Samsung expanding into some of the RMR, cloud services, offsite storage, remote recording style of products that you’re going to see in the future.”

Another partnership that the company is announcing at the show is one with EZUniverse, a provider of video and business intelligence software that is geared primarily towards quick-service restaurants.

“That allows us to integrate and support all of their applications out there like inventory management of food and other products that franchisees and other people use cameras for, not just security of their location,” he added. “We’ve already had some success with them with end users like Subway, Steak ‘n Shake and Burger King and now we’re showing them off in our booth in retail applications.”    

According to Cook, these and many of the other partnerships Samsung is announcing at this year’s conference are a direct result of the open platform capability that enables partners to develop applications for the company’s WiseNet III cameras.

“We’ve continued to grow out our applications that can be downloaded or supported on the camera itself,” said Cook.       

Although they introduced a preliminary concept earlier this year, Samsung is also unveiling a new mobile body camera at the show, which Cook believes will also garner a lot of attention given how their use by law enforcement and others has increased exponentially over the past several years.

Despite the fact that there are already some well-established players in the body camera market, Cook doesn’t think that will hurt Samsung’s ability to compete in the segment.

“Back in the day, Silent Witness came out with a vandal-proof camera and it really took off and the company was eventually bought by Honeywell. What happens is the market gets defined by these smaller, technically advanced or niche-type companies and then either they get bought out or, companies like ours that probably have a stronger R&D capability, can come in and usually enhance what they have or improve upon what they have and either dominate or gain equal market share in that market,” said Cook.  

Cook credited much of the company’s growth in recent years to their investment in people and products. However, one thing he said they haven’t focused as much attention on has been programs, which will change moving forward.

“One thing we didn’t focus on, because we had to get ourselves to a certain level, was our programs, our internal programs and that’s where we’ve really placed an emphasis the last couple of months and going into 2016,” Cook explained. “Part of that is we’ve initiated an entire new inside sales department to support our STEP (Samsung Techwin Eco Partner) dealer program that we launched two-and-a-half years ago. Now that we have 1,000 STEP dealers in our program already, you really need a go-to department, not just regional sales managers and sales people out in the field.”

As part of an effort to reward dealer loyalty, Samsung at the show also announced a new 1-year advance replacement program for gold and diamond level dealers. Instead of having to send a tech to a customer's site to remove a camera that's potentially faulty, buy another one out of pocket and send a tech back to the site to put up the new one, Cook said dealers who qualify for this program will now be shipped a camera overnight so that they can go ahead and address the issue without going through a long, drawn-out process.  

Looking at companies that have enjoyed the greatest success in the video market, Cook said the common denominator for all of them has been the unparalleled level of customer support that they provide to their network of dealers. 

“I go back and look at history and in the history of our industry, the companies that have the best customer support or responsiveness to the dealer is a big part of why they’re number one in the industry,” added Cook. “I think it is critical to get to that level, so that’s one of the things we’re doing.”

And while the video market has become increasingly commoditized in recent years with new market entrants competing solely on price, Cook believes that established companies like Samsung still have to compete at that level while still offering a solution that is a cut above everyone else in terms of quality.

“We have to compete, we have to be at that level, but we have to minimize our feature sets,” he said. “We utilize our breadth of salesmanship, our breadth of touch points with our dealers and our loyalty to work with those customers that are working in that small- to mid-sized business market and develop product with a lesser feature set that is somewhat of a commodity and utilize our quality, such as what we did with our WiseNet Lite line. We took WiseNet III, we trimmed down some feature sets that aren’t required in that type of market and we come out in that market at close to a commoditization-type camera price but with a better quality product.” 

About the Author

Joel Griffin | Editor-in-Chief,

Joel Griffin is the Editor-in-Chief of, a business-to-business news website published by Endeavor Business Media that covers all aspects of the physical security industry. Joel has covered the security industry since May 2008 when he first joined the site as assistant editor. Prior to SecurityInfoWatch, Joel worked as a staff reporter for two years at the Newton Citizen, a daily newspaper located in the suburban Atlanta city of Covington, Ga.