Growing opportunities in the Adriatic security market

Growing opportunities in the Adriatic security market
All of twelve of the marketing and business development managers we interviewed for this year's Adriatic market report agreed the Western Balkans market was growing, with inflows of EU funds, economic recovery, increased general awareness of security and innovative technologies and solutions (such as artificial intelligence (AI) or H.265 +) all mentioned as drivers of growth.

Marco Grasselli, Regional Manager for Southeast Europe at ComNet, said the market was growing not only in numbers, but also in terms of technical demands. “Video surveillance is increasingly turning to IP, and more focus is placed on the durability of devices and systems.”
Milestone recorded average growth of over 25 percent growth in the region, with the company’s sales manager for Central and Eastern Europe Borislava Kenarova singling out their “open approach and the good collaboration with our community partners, channel partners and distributors.”

Race to the bottom

However, as in previous years, the biggest obstacle to the development of the Adriatic region's security market has been the practice of lowering prices at the expense of quality, described by Pierpaolo Piracci, Distribution Manager for Italy and South Eastern Europe at FLIR Systems, as a “race to the bottom.”
Antun Krešimir Buterin,
Marketing Manager, Adriatic Region,
Antun Krešimir Buterin, Marketing Manager for the Adriatic region at Hikvision, said “even in Slovenia and Croatia — which are the members of the EU — the economy is not as developed as in Western European countries. So we are sometimes forced to offer more budget and mid-price equipment in comparison with some European markets, because a large portion of end users still make decisions based on the lowest price criterion.”
Andrej Čuraković, Regional Sales Director for the Balkans and Middle Europe at Avigilon, agreed, saying “poor purchasing power is still one of the factors that affects our business segment.”
But Aleksandar Dobnikar, BDM & Sales at SONY Video Security Solutions for BT/SSY-EU, noted a shift in the market, saying “system integrators have begun to consider the total value of ownership instead of the mere product price.”
Another persistent problem was the political climate in the region, which Dženan Šabanović, Business Development Manager for the Adriatic Region at ATEÏS Europe, called “unstable.”

Improving customer knowledge

Almost half of our interviewees said improving users’ knowledge about security products was crucial to success.
“The Adriatic region is certainly recording growth in the field of security technology. It stems from the growing demands for expertise, experience and knowledge. Considering that the prices have not acted as an obstacle for further development for quite some time now, we are left with a process of constant education aimed at end users, designers and implementers of security projects,” said Elis Hrkalović, Dahua’s Business Development Manager for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
His competitors in the video surveillance field agree, with Hikvision’s Buterin saying that “fortunately, we are now more successful in educating security experts and an increasing number of end users who are slowly realizing that the price cannot be, and is not the one-and-only criterion for selecting equipment.

FLIR's Piracci said: "The main reasons are the lack of background knowledge about the thermal cameras for security applications and the mistaken perception that FLIR equipment is too expensive.”
The final word about what our security market should aim is left to Alexander Dobnikar of Sony: “The future belongs to professional and highly educated system integrators who are able to meet customer demands and provide the best possible solution for customers’ requirements.”

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