Bosch President: Security Integrators Should Embrace IoT
Bosch Security Systems President of Sales Brian Wiser explains the company’s plans to service security systems integrators and more in this Q&A.
Brian Wiser was appointed president of sales, North America, for Bosch Security Systems in October. With more than 25 years of channel sales and marketing experience, he previously served as a senior vice president for specialty, direct and consumer markets in North America for technology distributor Ingram Micro. Wiser joins the conversation to discuss his new post and the industry landscape.
Can you touch on some of the initiatives you have been pursuing out of the gate?
It’s been about four months, so I am still kind of in a learning mode but I definitely see some opportunities and room for improvement. The good news is Bosch has a very good, longstanding reputation for quality, reliability, support and also for innovation and technological expertise.
There is always room for improvement. One of the things I’ve focused on first is really how to strengthen our relationships with our customers. That includes looking at our overall customer channel and how we integrate with our dealers as well as our distribution partners. And how do we make sure we have a very customer-focused culture that is intent on driving growth and increasing profitability for our partners.
Going along with that is trying to make it easier to do business with us. Like any company, there are some things we do which sometimes doesn’t make it easy for our partners. So we’re reviewing how easy it is to do business with us and creating that customer-first mentality.
We are intent on growing our share in the video and intrusion segments where we know we have room to do that. We have the portfolio needed to expand that and we’re excited about a lot of the launches that we have coming up.
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The final point, we want to help our integrators and dealers manage complexity. With the convergence trends things are becoming increasingly complex, but that also creates immense opportunities around services, around connected devices, things in the cloud. So we want to help our integrators understand that opportunity and develop services models and create revenue models to get away from some of the commoditization trends. That’s a lot of the stuff we’re going to focus on in the coming year.
What are your integrator partners telling you are their top operational challenges?
Since October I have talked to well over a hundred partners. A lot of the challenges are kind of similar in terms of “How do I move beyond the hardware sell?” and “How do I provide more value to the client and the overall business, and realize additional profit?”
Everybody is trying to come up with new ideas and ways to do that. That’s where we can help in the whole channel ecosystem. We can help immensely by trying to help our partners with services models and recurring revenue models, things like a cloud offering. We can help them understand the solution sale because the Bosch portfolio is comprehensive in both video and intrusion, as well as add some communications segments. We can help them with a broader solution portfolio for their end clients and how to go to market in a more comprehensive way that provides more value.
Those are the main challenges that I’m hearing about. Also, ASPs [average selling price] are always going down. People are looking for ways to keep revenue growth and profitability up.
What technology do you expect will make a big impact in the marketplace in the next couple of years?
This isn’t necessarily a technology, per se, but the Internet of Things [IoT], all devices being connected, is real. So, connectivity becoming ubiquitous is something a lot of people still don’t fully understand or comprehend. What implications does that have on our business? Especially, how will integrators need to go to market? What will they need to be talking about with their clients? It requires them to think very differently. If they’re not thinking about connectivity they could be disintermediated and pulled out of the solution. Meaning, there is another IT provider who’s coming in with a whole different process of how to not just connect the camera but to attach it to network infrastructure, mobile devices.
The challenge is we need the security integrators to be thinking that way. It has a lot of implications for how they go to market. Mobility continues to be a huge trend. The panel business, for example, has a lot of implications relative to mobile user interfaces, and the video business as well.
Those two trends are fairly broad-based across technology in general, but I think are very important and people need to be aware of and planning for.
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