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Genetec focused on adapting its solutions in APAC

Genetec focused on adapting its solutions in APAC
Earlier this month, Genetec announced the appointment of Leon Langlais as Chief Product Officer for the APAC region. asmag had the opportunity to talk with Mr. Langlais and hear more about the drivers that lead to the creation of this role and his vision for Genetec in the region
Earlier this month, Genetec announced the appointment of Leon Langlais as Chief Product Officer for the APAC region. asmag had the opportunity to talk with Mr. Langlais and hear more about the drivers that lead to the creation of this role and his vision for Genetec in the region.
asmag: Appointing a regional Chief Product Officer is not a standard move, and shows Genetec commitment to its APAC business. Can you share with us what were the reasons that lead to this decision? Any specific projects or demands from the market that were catalysts to this move?
Langlais: the driver behind the decision is regional potential and growth: APAC is our fastest growing region and continues accelerating. In order to sustain this growth, we’ve also put in significant investment in the region, hence the creation of the new role.
Our goal is to increase Genetec’s regional capabilities. One of our challenges is that APAC is far from our HQ in Montreal where the bulk of the team is located. By decentralizing, we will be able to improve efficiencies and bring new capabilities to the region that will allow us to answer clients’ questions faster.
A second aspect that drove the creation of this role is to better understand APAC’s regional diversity with its different channels, go-to-markets, requirements etc. and integrate the region’s unique needs and requirements in the company’s overall strategic planning process for the future.
asmag: Generally speaking, companies look into ways of balancing a standardized global approach (in R&D and product development) and to localize their offering, what is Genetec's approach? Will there be specific product changes specific for the Asian markets? How will this balance with the product strategy in HQ?
Langlais: There is duality that needs to be balanced between centralized engineering and regional adaptation. The core product vision dictates our strategy going forward, but there is also adaptation of this strategy locally. We bring back the big market trends from APAC to the head office and they influence the core product development. A part of my role is to manage our technology partners ecosystem in APAC. Genetec has over 900 tech partners worldwide many of which are located in APAC. We feel it’s important to able to manage these relationships and build integrations regionally.
Another aspect we want to increase is the regional capabilities of our Custom Solution Group. Genetec is strong in the enterprise space, and this usually needs some part of customization to achieve business outcomes and personalize the needs of the client.
One example for a project that requires balancing local demand with engineering in the head office is from Australia and New Zealand. In those countries the approach to access control and intrusion is different, they want these systems to be controlled from one panel, and this is something that requires involvement from the engineering teams in Montreal, it is not something that can be solved with a simple integration.
asmag: What do you see as your first priorities in this new role? What is the change you want to bring about the most?

Langlais: My first focus is making working with Genetec easier for our channel partners and end users. About a year ago we started a new initiative in Genetec to reduce the “consumption gap”, to reduce barriers for customers to consume our technology and offering, reduce the complexity of understanding our offering and make is easier for our customer to deploy and leverage our innovations. This influences all the aspects of the products, we simplify pricing, simplify the deployment of the solution, updates and upgrades. Our focus is to further reduce the consumption gap with the new version of Security Center that will be released in the summer. A second focus is around access control which is a key element of the Genetec core security offering. Access control has specific regional needs: in addition to the demand for a combined intrusion and access panel in Australia and New Zealand for instance, there are other requirements like compatibility with readers, biometrics, time and attendance and more. The third focus is building capabilities around tech partners in the region.
asmag: from a product management point of view, what aspects of Genetec’s offering are you most interested in promoting?
Langlais: we want to focus on three main aspects. The first one is the importance of cyber security. The impact of a breach is ransomware, data theft, denial of service, and of course reputational damage to the client. We have already put a lot of work in this sphere, like for example with our line of Streamvault workstations that come hardened by design, and we have also developed a lot of other tools to make sure our customers’ deployments are cyber secure. Nonetheless, there is still a lot of education about cyber security that needs to be done in the region.
The second thing is unification. This unification has a broader sense than unification of access control and video. We like to get close to the end user and understand the challenges they have and the business outcome they want to achieve. We want to help the end user leverage security to help drive decision making and help the end user be more efficient and secure. You can achieve this only if you have a truly unified system: a system that combines not just the hardware but also the workflows and business logic in the background.
The third offering we will promote is hybrid cloud. The future will not be 100% cloud, instead we see a hybrid infrastructure that allows some work on premises (to help solve connectivity issues or address critical workloads) and some work that is done in the cloud. We see cloud growing a lot in north America, and even though it is not growing as fast in APAC we want to promote it because of the benefits and flexibility of deployment it allows.
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