Promises, project and politics: Asia's three P's stabilizing the region
Editor / Provider: Steve Chin, a&s Asia | Updated: 1/12/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics
As we wind down 2014, a&s is taking a peek at how the Asian security industry has been impacted by several events over the past year, both good and bad. It's been an especially up-and-down year, as everything from political climates to infrastructure development has had an impact on the market. Another point of emphasis is a steady influx of projects, and how Asia is finally taking note of security.
Traditionally, the security industry in Asia has always been a little bit behind the Americas and Europe in terms of technological advancements and adoption. One reason for this is that Asia is a bit of a unique region — there is a broad spectrum of different countries with many different levels of advancement, development, and demands. With Asia shaken up by a number of incidents and events that have happened across the year, the region has experienced both improvements as well as setbacks. In all, stability has been gradually settled; however, when put under a deeper scope, there are still more questions than answers to be found in terms of future expansion and demand.
From the elections and changes in government in India and Thailand, to social upheavals in Vietnam and Hong Kong, the political climate has had profound impacts on the economic scale both in terms of security and as a whole. Natural disasters and other accidents have also played a role, as everything from typhoons battering the Philippines to the two Malaysian Airlines tragedies also having economic consequences. In all, 2014 has been an eventful year, and changes are on the horizon.
On the overall scope o f things however, As a is still one of the most important markets for the security industry. With many advancements in technological infrastructure as well as global and domestic investments, many countries have started focusing on more advanced security solutions as well as upgrades from past conventional ones. It's also an interesting note on how some Asia markets have reacted to slower-than-expected IP development, as HD-overcoaxial is still prominent in a large portion of the region, especially in the Southeast Asian countries.
Injecting Life Into New Projects
Despite the recent political impacts on countries in Asia, optimism remains high as belief that economic stimuli set forth by the various new governments will benefit the markets heavily. For the security industry, this opens new doors on projects by both taking advantage of the improving economy as well as a thriving and evolving industry. For example, in the Philippines, the Aquino administration passed a mandate recently called No CCTV, No Permit, mandating that all high-risk businesses including restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, and warehouses wishing to renew their business permits must have installed a reliable video surveillance system.
New Prime Minister, New Start for India
Other examples of an influx of projects include the new prime minister of India, Narendra Modi, setting forth a series of economic boosts. According to Kapil Matta, Director of Marketing and Sales for MitKat Advisory, Modi has put together a series of reforms specifically aimed at creating projects to improve on the Indian infrastructure the country's safety and reputation. As Matta noted, recent budget announcements that will allocate large amounts of money to defense spending, smart cities, and private capital will go a long way towards benefiting and advancing security and indeed, the entire economy. With a fresh approach courtesy of Modi, the security industry in India is estimated to approach US$6.5 billion by the beginning of 2015.
Coup Brings Stability in Thailand
On the Thailand side of things, another key factor for their local security industry lies also in government projects . Because of the military coup d'état in May that resulted in the installment of General Prayuth Chan-ocha as the acting prime minister, the political climate remains unpredictable. However, in the months that have followed, the situation has stabilized and General Chan-ocha has introduced a series of steps that will re-pursue what the prior government promised in introducing new projects to kick-start the economy on the fast track again, especially key verticals like transportation, city surveillance , a n d administration buildings. Security projects are mostly concentrated in Bangkok for city surveillance and traffic monitoring. Outside of Bangkok, the government has also allocated budget, administered from the Subdistrict Administrative Organization ( S A O ) , t o protect the rural areas of Thailand.
Finally, since the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is scheduled to be formed by 2015, it will make Thailand open up in a broader direction for its adjacent countries, like Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia. With more tourists and foreign workers coming to Thailand , the government will also strengthen up security around the city.
HD-over-Coax Brings Options
Because IP solutions have not taken as big of a hold of Asia as previously thought, HD-over-coaxial solutions Form a large part of the Asian surveillance market. In some markets, like Japan, it's especially worth noting that HD analog systems still reign supreme. As an example, Yasuo Tobinaga, President and CEO of Tenpo Planning explained that from 2012 to 2014, the company's H D -over- coaxial market increased from 10% to 30%. “Various camera systems, including HD-overcoaxial, will see a rise in 2015.”
Another important factor to point out is the transition to HD-over-coaxial solutions and to IP from older analog systems. Recently, a number of Asian manufacturers, especially from Taiwan, China,and Korea, have been strongly promoting their latest HD-over-coaxial products, with very high price-effectiveness and long transmission distances. Some of the existing IP video surveillance providers have started to feel the decrease in their growth rates, because of the latest HD-over-coaxial products on the market. In the future, the entire Asian continent might start facing competition between IP and HD-over-coaxial, especially in the SMB sectors. It might result in the SMB sectors slowing down the migration to IP-based solutions.
China Grows its Market Shares
Tied directly into the surveillance markets, and hot on the heels of the video surveillance industry in Southeast Asia is the giant that is China. In the analog video surveillance world, China is arguably the number one in the world. With many large, established companies in China, they leave large footprints in the Asian industry. As an industry expert explained, Chinese companies are very competitive, very strong. They have also impacted the industry in more ways than one, forcing many distributors and providers across Asia to slash prices and play catch up. Because of the price factor as well as the notion of China's ever-improving quality, China will continue to play a very important and big role. From an industry point-of-view, cost consciousness is obviously the prime focus. China has a lot to serve and provide.
Expectations for 2015
Some keys to hone in on for 2015 include continuous IP infrastructure development, project availability, total solutions distributors, and the HD-over-coax market. Next year should mark a pivotal point for the region, especially as Asia continues to catch up to North America and Europe.
The region is becoming hotter by the day, especially as global manufacturers and distributors continue to establish their footprint in the developing Asian countries. There's definitely a lot of room for more potential and growth, and 2015 should in the end be a solid year for security in Asia.
Box Movers to Total Solutions
Reacting to global trends seen in the security industry, valueadded distributors are beginning a shift to total solutions. With a big part of the market still dominated by traditional box-moving distribution, this new trend is being marketed towards more direct interaction and end-to-end support with end-users. According to Maulik Shah, CEO of Facility Security Division at Autocop India, one of the factors that the company is honing in on now is offering technical end-to-end solutions, paid commissioning, and training services. “We are reaching out to key specifiers via roadshows and events and are closely working on key projects that help our partners win the case in their favor. We ensure that our partners are well trained and become more responsive in the areas where they are weak.” Shah continued, “We also reach out to end customers jointly with our partners and offer proof of concept, design assistance, and technical support.”
Besides working more closely hand-in-hand directly with end users and providing technical support,the opportunity is also there in developing more adaptable solutions that more cater to the specific needs of different users. According to Leonard Tye, Business Development Director of Bricomp International, Malaysia and Singapore, the company has recently grown its team to include solutions specialists and architects that can help customers design and tackle the most stringent of requirements. “We've spent many hours in Educating our partners and systems integrators in the latest IP solutions and technologies,” said Tye. According to him, this takes time, as the process is about educating end users about their options and available technologies. “However, we find this segment to have very real potential for growth, as systems start to age and products become obsolete and can no longer be supported or repaired.”
Another key point in Asia is the continual development and upgrades of existing infrastructure. Always an important matter, especially as security continues to move towards IP, there are both notable ups as well as downs. In Australia for example, promised country-wide, reliable broadband access by way of the Nationwide Broadband Network (NBN) has been hit by many delays and budgets concerns. However, the belief is still there that the NBN will be up and running by 2017.
Not all is dreary though. In the Philippines, for example, GDP growth ranks first in all of Asia, and the Aquino administration has passed several mandates that directly benefit the security industry. Public-private partnerships (PPP) enacted to create projects across many sectors have also had the industry eyeing the country with a close eye. Business process outsourcing trends have also had investors from many different countries aligning with local developers in fast-tracking the infrastructure advancement, and new mandates like No CCTV, No Permit have also further allowed the industry to grow and develop.
Many countries as well are also focusing on expanding infrastructure. Because of the obvious point that security as a whole is expanding to IP, the focus from not just government, but also foreign investments has been on expanding broadband access. In regions like Indonesia, Thailand, and India, heavy emphasis and much of the budget has been allocated towards expanding 3G and even 4G accessibility.
Still a region where HD-over-coaxial plays a huge role, IP may finally be on the horizon. Hartono Tan, Product and Business Development Manager for Hotware Indonesia explained, “Our government has a great concern about network infrastructure. Many city surveillance projects are being built up in the incoming years. The development of network infrastructure is a promising step, and as a country with the fourth largest population in the world, Indonesia needs to catch up in security.”