Panasonic President Presents Firm’s Plan

SECAUCUS, N.J. – Panasonic System Solutions (PSSA) has recently launched several initiatives that are noteworthy for installing security contractors. To find out more, Security Sales & Integration spoke with PSSA President Frank DeFina. Having spent more than 20 years with Panasonic — best known within the United States for its leading line of CCTV products and systems — Defina has witnessed many changes within and outside the Japanese electronics manufacturer’s confines.

In the following exclusive interview, Defina reveals how PSSA is keeping pace with physical-IT security convergence and continuing to support its dealers as the market evolves. Also, he discusses some of the company’s exciting new offerings.

How is Panasonic addressing the market trend toward networking and convergence?
Panasonic Security Systems is helping drive the industry’s shift from analog to IP video surveillance systems with product and solutions-based initiatives, such as DigitalOne, our hybrid systems solution, and most recently i-Pro, our enhanced IP product offering.

We remain committed to improving our analog technology — such as our third generation of Super Dynamic intelligent technology [SDIII] and our new DSP cameras — while recognizing the growing demand for IP-based solutions.

Security professionals eventually will make the transition away from analog because of the inherent performance benefits afforded by IP digital acquisition and recording technologies. For instance, an overall improved cost-efficiency and the ability to integrate related systems such as access control and point of sale [POS].

We recognized these benefits early on and have continued to pioneer new IP-based solutions that provide security professionals the ability to make the transition to a digital platform at their own pace. This was the idea behind the development of our i-Pro Series of intelligent and professional IP systems products

In addition, we’re assembling a key team of IT-experienced engineers and salespeople to help educate the current customer base and ensure continued product development addressing the shift to IP-based systems. We’ve also implemented an ‘open infrastructure’ initiative to support analog and IP system users by partnering with specialized companies within and outside of the traditional security market. Our open infrastructure creates a platform with technology leaders so we can collectively capitalize on each others’ core expertise. We believe this is the most logical roadmap to achieve the levels of integration necessary to mainstream convergence.

How will you continue to support dealers and users on an analog platform?
Panasonic made its name in the security industry with high quality imaging solutions on the analog platform. Our introduction of Super Dynamic III cameras is testimony to this. And while we are integrating this technology into our line of i-Pro IP products, we will also continue to bring analog technologies to the market.

Panasonic’s new i-Pro systems products also address the needs of analog-based systems users by providing network servers that allow seamless integration of both analog and IP-based devices on one network platform. In doing so, we are providing this large user base with versatile transitory solutions they can adapt to best meet their specific application.

There are many players entering the IP space. How is Panasonic differentiating itself from the competition?
We believe IP products have come a long way in accomplishing levels of image performance similar to analog. For example, our new i-Pro Series of intelligent and professional IP video surveillance solutions reflect our top image acquisition technology.

And again, through our ‘open infrastructure’ initiative, we are actively reviewing relationships with key IT industry players and participating in solutions driven by them. For example, Panasonic has been selected to participate in Intel’s Digital Communities initiative, which involves physical security applications on wireless and mesh networks targeted to the public sector and first responders.

Additionally, our newly formed Panasonic Solution Developer Network [PSDN] offers open development opportunities to broaden product-user applications.

Is Panasonic changing its channel strategy to align with the changes in the market?
Manufacturers are facing new challenges, both within and outside of our traditional security industry. We must evaluate and assess sales channels to increase market focus and remain competitive. Panasonic regards its manufacturers rep organizations as a key component to its relationships with the dealer base. We provide continual and rigorous training to ensure they are educated on new technologies. We also place heavy emphasis on training for our dealer base through P-Tech, the Panasonic Security Training University, offering classroom courses, online product courses, and regularly scheduled Webcasts [].

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