asmag logo
Changing Market Dynamics Propel Korean Industry Evolution Ⅰ
Hayden Hsu 2011/2/19

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.

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.”

[NextPage]

iCanTek started its IP business in 2000 and only competes with the ranks of mid- to high-end players such as Axis Communications and Mobotix. “Despite a slowerthan- expected recovery in Europe, we still experienced a growth rate of 15 to 20 percent in 2010, thanks to the U.S., Spain, Australia and emerging markets like Brazil, India, China, Morocco, South Africa, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia,” said Hee-Jun Lee, GM of Marketing and Sales. “Domestically, the push and enforcement by the government have been significant, as new buildings and infrastructure specifications must be IP-based.”

Sales performance for Cynix varied across the map. “The U.S. was up 10 percent; Australia and Europe remained; the Middle East and Russia grew more significantly at 40 to 50 percent,” said Michael Bay, GM of Overseas Sales and Marketing. “Overall growth in 2010 was about 35 percent, with Latin America fast on the rise due to free-trade agreements and large infrastructure requirements. 2010 also saw much greater IP adoption than expected, and we are shifting gears from distributors to system integrators for better dissemination of IP knowledge.”

For HDPRO, 2010 saw a 52-percent increase in sales revenue. “With a globally even sales network, we grew quite evenly across all geographies, but with slightly more activity from emerging markets like the BRICs,” said Michael Kim, Sales and Marketing Director. “While OEM orders are still the bulk of our business (75 percent of overall revenue), we still invest about 30 percent of our annual revenue in R&D on low-light (third-generation digital noise reduction) and ONVIF-compliant network cameras.”

This is not to say that all is lost with analog technology. There are still exciting developments, with promising potential, from multiple manufacturers targeting high-yield applications. For example, “boutique” solution provider BT & Com has been around for 10 years, starting with wireless jammers. “Regardless of fierce competition, we felt there were still underaddressed needs and still went into MJPEG and MPEG-4 stand-alone DVRs in 2009 and H.264 in 2010,” said Joseph Huh, Senior Sales Manager.

“More than 80 percent of our revenue comes from emerging markets, so 2010 was a great year for us. With a full line of analog cameras (mini, box, indoor dome, outdoor IR, WDR) and DVRs, Micro Digital is known for its video quality and light sensitivity, which are key differentiators for video surveillance equipment,” said Jung-Soo Han, CEO. “Other advantages include fast network speed using dual-stream technology, HDMI out (both live and playback), multiplexing video on a spot-out and user-friendly software.”

For ITX Security, the Americas account for 60 to 65 percent of its sales revenue, followed by the U.K., Germany, Japan, France and Spain. “Due to slow recovery in the West and the fact that we just started in Latin America, China and India, our sales performance in 2010 was relatively flat, growing only at 2 to 3 percent,” said Jay Lee, Senior Sales Manager. “While 90 percent of the revenue comes from OEM orders, we do work with distributors and system integrators for volume sales and margin generation. We offer four different series, covering entry-level all the way to high-end, professional usage.”

While there was no clear uptick in sales for RTS Digital in 2010, its US revenue did bounce back with a 20-percent increase, thanks to its mobile DVRs and matrices. “Hot verticals included banking and gaming, and many channel partners, with a firm handle on different end markets, asked for lower-margin offerings as well,” said Andy Bang, Sales and Marketing Manager of Security Business.

line
Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media Ltd. All rights reserved. 2017/4/27 print out