17 May IFSEC Question Time with ievo Managing Director – Shaun Oakes
This week, ievo MD Shaun Oakes was interviewed by info4security ahead of the security industry exhibition IFSEC International. Read the full interview here..
Info4Security (I4S): Why do you choose to attend IFSEC International, and what are the main goals/achievements you hope to realise from doing so?
Shaun Oakes (SO): We first visited IFSEC International last year and, from reflection and return on investment analysis, the show exceeded our expectations. Not only because it’s a great way to publicise your company, but also in terms of lead generation and allowing potential customers to see the products first hand. It’s the perfect hub for industry professionals and end users.
As we are still such a new business, at IFSEC International 2011 we were able to establish relationships with integrators and distributors that we would have previously struggled to get in contact with. As a result, our products are now integrated into many leading access control manufacturers whereas this time last year we had only a handful of integration options.
This year, we hope to continue this approach and, by next year, who knows? We may have doubled our contacts, leads and integrators yet again.
I4S: When does your preparation for the show begin, what does that preparation entail and what’s the company’s commitment to the event in terms of manpower/logistics?
SO: A lot of preparation must go into the show in order for it to be a success for the company. Aside from the initial preparations like booking our stand I usually sit down with the team sometime in the third quarter of our business year in March to discuss production, technical and marketing strategies. We work together right up until the final week before the show.
I4S: In years gone by it has been themes such as IP, hybrid solutions, the emergence of networks or video analytics that have characterised the show. Is there a key theme you can see on the horizon that might well frame the 2012 event?
SO: I believe the key areas for the future are based more on access control and new technologies within. Near Field Communications (NFC) will play a clear role within this and phone manufacturers have already started to include this technology.
We have certainly witnessed a huge increase in biometrics and we will ensure that we continue to add to our cutting-edge technology.
I4S: What’s the key focus for the company at this year’s show?
SO: We recently added a product called micro to our range and this year and we are focusing on people coming to see the newest ievo addition.
As well as the new product, we will be showcasing more integration options for our products, making it easier for potential customers to see how our solutions will fit into their projects and also more support options for installers (including marketing and sales care).
I4S: Can you briefly outline the new solutions and products that will be displayed and discussed by the company?
SO: As I mentioned, the micro will be demonstrated for the first time this year but we will also be showcasing the original ultimate fingerprint reader alongside integration options including Paxton, Nortech, CDVI, ACT, BSB Electronics, Inner Range and PLAN. Uniquely, we provide marketing support to the security installers who actively promote or are interested in ievo. In order to showcase this further, a representative from the marketing team will be present at the stand to inform interested parties of how we can support them with sales.
I4S: Are you targeting end users, installers/integrators or perhaps consultants this year, and what’s influencing your decision here?
SO: Broadly, we welcome all groups to our stand. Obviously, as a manufacturer we mainly market to installers and integrators, but if end users and consultants have heard recommendations and wish to see the ievo fingerprint readers first hand then we are more than happy to talk them through our products and, if necessary, suggest an installer or representative in their area – for the UK and globally.
I4S: Are you targeting any particular vertical sector at present? If so, why? What opportunities do you see emerging?
SO: We’re not currently focusing on any one particular sector, in fact we are now being approached by markets we never really considered for our products.
We believe that the word is spreading about our reliable technology and the fact we’ve been able to deliver where others have previously failed. We will continue to work with as many sectors as possible.
I4S: What are your immediate priorities in the post-IFSEC period?
I4S: What’s the focus for the company likely to be in the six months from June to December?
SO: For the past two years we have focused on listening to our customers’ needs and we will continue to build on that to provide them with what they want in a biometric.
Without them, we wouldn’t have become the trusted brand that we are today and we want to continue to exceeded expectations in providing quality biometric products in tandem with after-sales care.
I4S: Are there any enhancements/improvements you’d like to see introduced at IFSEC International by show organiser UBM?
SO: UBM really listens to the needs and wants of visitors and exhibitors which is great, and they continually try to make improvements each year.
If anything I’d suggest making the event more accessible to end users. At the moment it’s mostly weighted towards security industry professionals.
I4S: On the macro level, what are your views on the current business landscape and the economic conditions prevailing in the UK?
SO: When asked this question in the video interview I responded with strong feelings that it’s time we fight against the negativity that’s continually portrayed by some elements of the national press. I mentioned the fact that they are always quick to jump on the story of ‘double dip recession’ that, at the time of the filming, had not been realised! Well just 24 hours after that interview it was then heavily reported that we actually are in one!
I’m confident that I speak for many here when I say: “Let’s move on.” We all have the ability to restore confidence in the business world. If we all stick together and sing from the same hymn sheet we can make a difference and turn the tables once and for all.
I4S: In addition, can you tell us your opinions on the present state of the UK and international security markets?
SO: Again, it’s a great shame that we find ourselves in this position after such a long time. ievo has been able to show growth in sales month-on-month and we believe the security sector to offer continued outcomes and benefits in any market situation. That said, I’m sure we all await the upturn with relish!
I4S: Are knowledge levels among your key customer audiences showing a continual elevation in focus and breadth?
SO: We have identified that we are strongly customer-driven with both installers and, surprisingly, end users. A great deal of business is obtained through both routes having the knowledge and requirements for biometric technology.
I4S: What’s the company doing to promote the Corporate Social Responsibility/’green’ agenda?
SO: In short, everything we can! Everyone in ievo continually works hard to ensure we meet with our own statements and also look at ways to improve on everything we do to ensure our own carbon footprint is as low as possible and our company’s impact on the environment is continually reduced.
ievo at IFSEC International 2012
Hall 4 Stand H47