Industry Pulse In Depth: Calegari Dedicates Himself to Refocusing, Growing Dedicated Micros
CHANTILLY, Va. — CCTV solutions manufacturer Dedicated Micros Inc. (DM) has named Alan Calegari as its new president and CEO. Calegari, who most recently served as president of Siemens Building Technology’s (SBT) security division, succeeds Graham Wallis and will oversee DM’s North American and Latin American operations.
Calegari, who holds a Ph.D from the University of Studies of Rome and was the subject of an extensive interview in SSI’s September 2005 issue, left SBT in November. He brings DM — headquartered in the United Kingdom and a business unit of the AD Group — more than 20 years of experience in the electronic security industry, including a long tenure with Johnson Controls.
In an exclusive interview, Calegari explains why he parted ways with SBT, how his experience on the installation side of the business translates to the supplier side, his vision for nurturing DM’s current business while grooming it for substantial growth, and where integrators, end users and distributors fit into the picture.
Why did you leave SBT and what attracted you to DM?
Calegari: With SBT, I decided they were more preoccupied with their building automation business than security, which is viewed more as an opportunity than an overall strategy. I wanted to be in a place that was more focused on growth, and I had known and appreciated interfacing with Dedicated Micros while at SBT.
I learned Dedicated Micros was aggressively building the market with integrators. I discussed a possible collaboration with their upper management and found our interests were very similar. So we agreed to move forward. The desire to innovate is unique within this organization. It is a private, very entrepreneurial company, and is led by a strong technological spirit.
What differences do you see on the manufacturer vs. integrator side?
Calegari: Dedicated Micros understands very well one of the components of their growth and go-to-market strategy is understanding the users of their products. They want to find out how they can enhance their ability to understand installers and end users. That’s why they wanted someone like me, who has been part of both, to bring my added-valued opinion to the table.
Through education and knowledge, we can create better products and features to satisfy the needs of both integrators and end users. We need to be a proponent of systems and solutions of which our product is part of to combat incompatibility problems. We also need to have embedded into our organization customers’ requirements and inject that into our R&D so it is reflected in the product.
I realize now when integrators are telling customers the product can do it all, they may not know the product as well as they should. Also, the manufacturer may have not educated that integrator enough. Both are a little too naïve, and then the end user assumes what they want is what they get. Coming out of both camps, I see clearly what these issues are.
What are your immediate and long-term objectives?
Calegari: In the United States, Dedicated Micros has achieved incredible success the past five years, with exponential sales and market-share growth. But we have reached a critical point where, to further grow, we need to revisit our infrastructure and realign so we can refocus on reaching the next level. This means we are branching out from the traditional distributor approach. We need to rethink the distribution channel.
Step one is to restructure U.S. operations in a positive way for growth and to prepare the organization for the next big haul. The second step is to really create the dynamic of a sales-driven organization in tune with other aspects of the business, like working with integrators and end users so distributors can better market our products. We want to do a successful push-pull, not to get rid of anyone but to expand. Lastly, we are restructuring the sales force and the technology group to take more ownership of engineering so we can fine tune according to what customers want.
To achieve better compatibility and integration, we want to focus on systems rather than products. We cannot do this in isolation; we must remain connected to the marketplace as we retool the business.
What is DM’s strategy in targeting integrators vs. end users?
Calegari: We see integrators and end users as two different things altogether.
End users are becoming more educated and taking more ownership, especially with the emergence of IT and their influence within organizations. The end-user level of sophistication has not yet proliferated to the integrator. So we desire to provide the integrator the proper level of support so they can get up to speed to help the end user obtain our sophisticated solutions.
Again, this is that push-and-pull kind of thing, which isn’t intended to undermine or bypass anyone but to create a better awareness and positioning of our product. The current profile of an integrator needs to get more IT-infrastructure savvy to last into the future.
What would you tell a systems integrator to convince them to go with DM?
Calegari: Integrators should pay attention to Dedicated Micros because of the level of knowledge we have developed in video management applications. I am really convinced we are one of the few companies truly creating innovative thinking in the field of video management.
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