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Promising Verticals in Italy

Source: the Editorial Team | Date: 04/27/2012

Related tags: surveillance, Biometrics, Italy

The most promising verticals in Italy for video surveillance are green energy sites. Blessed with the sunny Mediterranean climate, Italy has many photovoltaic parks that need to safeguard solar panels. Other hot applications include public video monitoring; critical infrastructure such as transportation, airports and ports; traffic control and health care.

Technology upgrades and life cycle replacements of security systems will promote the steady expansion of the Italian physical security market, particularly in the airport and critical infrastructure including mass transport, roads, subways, tunnels and schools, said Frost & Sullivan in a prepared statement. Upcoming events, such as the World Expo in 2015 in Milan, will spur spending to boost passenger throughput at airports, railways, seaports and along roads.

The Italian market is expected to grow from $173.6 million in 2010 to $352.5 million in 2015, reaching a peak of $432 million in 2012, according to Frost & Sullivan. Market opportunities revolve around critical infrastructure projects with a total investment of more $822.9 million over the forecast period for this domain, followed by a total of $513.5 million for airport security and $512.8 million for oil and gas.

Made in Italy
The Italian security market is characterized by high fragmentation of products and a mixture of manufacturers and integrators. This hinders data gathering. Usually, brands target installers — around 2,500 in Italy — through distributors or wholesalers. While major brands choose a "polarization strategy" to acquire greater market share, innovation-oriented players move from integration to OEM for the very same brands.

Nevertheless, several brave “Made in Italy” companies independently manage the whole manufacturing process. It is not by chance that the Italian security industry relies on a long-lasting tradition of techno- logical excellence, exported all over the world.

These companies exhibit innovation, high quality and functional performance. An emphasis on design and usability makes these solutions unique. The sum of these elements defines “Made in Italy” quality and the pursuit of continuous improvement. This is influenced by the 1970s school of thought for electronic safety, with an emphasis on simplicity, usability and the actual needs of the user. Such focus is reflected in excellent design, conceived as more than aesthetics. It is aimed at functionality, with user- and installer-friendly software applications. The use of eco-friendly components and materials with reduced energy consumption is now the emerging trend of Italian security, thanks to a greater awareness of environmental issues and government incentives.

Recession Redux
Italy's debt crisis is in the global spotlight, as Italians and European investors hold their breath. As a consequence, there is widespread uncertainty chilling the investment climate in the short term. From this derives the need to collect payment. More small and mid-size business owners have postponed electronic security purchases in favor of immediately profitable investments.

In order to tackle this situation, vendors are diversifying both their offerings and target markets to compensate for losses. They are trying to maintain investments, stay flexible and preserve company liquidity. Manufacturers who target the professional market strive to ensure the best performance with high technology and quality brands. Other vendors who serve the residential market highlight extreme simplicity and competitive prices. It is clear that the two markets will not develop in the same way.

The ability to innovate for the professional market with distinctive products offers a competitive advantage that enables recovery of a margin against mass production. Moreover, it is necessary to start aggregative policies: creating consortiums, temporary company associations similar to short-time joint ventures and purchase groups. It is imperative to form strategic alliances with vendors who were considered competitors. Bringing in expertise from ICT, electronics and BA leverages the benefits of an integrated approach.

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