Asia is known as a manufacturing powerhouse of electronics, including security devices and systems, and did not escape from the global economic downturn unscathed. With murky market forecasts and changing buying behaviors, solution providers are at a crossroads in terms of business and product development. a&s talks to several Korean manufacturers to find out how they plan to carve out new niches and market shares.
After a year of rather slow business, the Korean manufacturing community finally turned the corner toward the end of 2010, especially after a promising G-20 gathering in Seoul. Across all product lines and geographies, most reported positive — some even very positive — growth.
Many lessons of success or trial and error were learned, and the security industry in Korea is now all set for an exciting new year, chomping at the bit with different product launches and business development plans.
Widespread HD and IP
In terms of sales volume, 2010 for Nadatel was about the same as 2009. “But the margins were significantly lower,” said Seong-Kwan Eom, Sales Director. “Aside from our four-channel, stand-alone HDcctv DVR, we also launched a hybrid model with two channels HD and eight D1 in the last quarter of 2010. Key markets included the U.S., U.K., Germany, Australia, China and Taiwan, and Russia, Brazil, Turkey and Iran posted some very good growth.”
Hitron Systems experienced something similar. “In terms of sales, we are almost back to prerecession levels of 2008,” said Jin-Am Jung, GM of Sales Team 3. “The transition from analog to IP has been a lot faster than expected; luckily, we already started our IP line five years ago, and 2010 saw more investment in fortifying our R&D infrastructure and engineering team. In analog, it's not only a red ocean, but a bloody ocean, so people are moving toward higher resolution, such as 700 TVLs and HD-SDI/HDcctv.”
TOM Technology managed to maintain its sales level in 2010 as well, with contribution from the U.S. significantly down but made up for by Taiwan, Australia, Russia and Eastern Europe. “New products included 1,080i HD DVRs and video servers, as well as Windows-based NVRs of all levels,” said Leslie Park, GM of Sales.
Even though CamTron Industrial's initial development was more focused on analog technology, it has been actively developing IP products as well, said Mark Chun, Overseas Sales and Global Marketing Manager. “For the last few years, we've been providing our customers with a full IP lineup. In terms of sales, our IP products experienced a fivefold increase from 2009 to 2010. However, IP products at the moment are difficult for installers and end users to grasp the core concept and understand system architecture. Thus, aside from the development of various IP solutions like our megapixel PTZ, CamTron invests a significant amount of resources in developing HD-SDI cameras that are much easier to install. Currently, we have HD-SDI cameras, converters and even DVRs ready for production.”
Sevo Security started global sales of its HD hybrid DVR in 2010. “The DVR accommodates 16 analog channels and four IP channels (up to 5 megapixel each) and can be configured or serviced remotely via a Web-based, Java interface,” said Tyga Kim, Marketing and Sales Manager. “Suited for mid- to high-end applications, the DVR will be heavily marketed in the U.S., Europe, South Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.”