COMSEC Technologies sees the formation of a major new technology force
The South African security industry is set to witness the emergence of a major force resulting from the merger of SEE Group and Pi Electronic Security (a division of QD Electronics) into a new focused operation to be named, COMSEC Technologies, as from 1 July 1999.
COMSEC Technologies will be led by Brian Appleton, well known to the security and communications industry in South Africa. Colin Snyman heads up marketing and sales, supported by Ahmed Bhaba (National Accounts) and John Rodgers (Gauteng sales manager). To ensure continuity the main centres will be represented by the current personnel who are well known to their customers. Malcolm Dryburgh will be involved in Business Development for the Protea Technologies Group.
Fig 1. Comsec Technologies Management structure
According to company executives, the name has been derived from ‘Communications’ and ‘Security’, technologies fundamental to the merging companies. Says new Marketing and Sales Director of COMSEC Technologies, Colin Snyman, “The new operation brings a depth of skills, knowledge and experience unrivalled in its market segment. The merging of these leading electronic security systems manufacturers/distributors will ensure that COMSEC is the leading supplier of electronic security systems in Southern Africa.”
Added MD Brian Appleton, “As Pi and SEE addressed the same customers, with different product ranges, it made business sense to combine their expertise into a single focused operation structured for maximum market penetration.”
“The intruder detection industry will remain a highly competitive market, so it is vital for future success to offer improved benefits to customers, whilst remaining price competitive. The formation of COMSEC Technologies offers these additional benefits to the alarm monitoring and installation industry,” he said.
COMSEC Technologies will offer a broader, more diversified range of security product, represented by established major international product brands couples with leading edge locally designed products. This ensures that COMSEC Technologies can offer its customers the most extensive range of product available to the market with the added benefit of a true one-stop-shop facility.
Said Snyman, “Like most mergers there were various sensitive issues to consider such as overseas vendor approval, in the case of the SEE Group, as well as ensuring that local customers do not see this merger as a conflict of interest as far as their procurement is concerned.”
“It is important to note that all the overseas vendors, including FBII (USA), Visonic (Israel), and Texacom (UK), are in full support of this merger. In fact in meetings held with the principals at the recent IFSEC show to discuss the issue, the principals not only supported the merger but were eager to give advice and guidance to ensure that COMSEC maintains its market leadership in South Africa,” he said.
“This is obviously because the product ranges of the two merging groups augment each other, ensuring that COMSEC becomes a truly one stop supplier of all security needs.”
Products offered by COMSEC include alarm control panels, detection devices, remotes, CCTV surveillance products, alarm transmitters and alarm monitoring center equipment and peripherals such as fence energizers and stand alone panic button systems.
Added Snyman, “It was interesting to hear that most of the major overseas vendors had gone through similar mergers within their own ranks to optimise their businesses in order to become world leaders in the supply of alarm technology. Such positive vendor support and advice has been made possible due to the long and healthy relationships that we’ve had with our overseas suppliers, forged over 25 years. “
“The impact of the merger on local customers was also of concern and COMSEC’s management team had the task of discussing it with our major local customers during the month of May and June. Once again, the merger gained their full support, since in most cases both SEE Group and Pi were already actively supplying to the same customers.”
“The merger will improve service levels and reduce costs from a buying perspective because only one COMSEC account is required.”
Improved Sales Outlets
COMSEC Technologies will establish one-stop-shop hyper stores in all main centres, throughout South Africa, making purchasing more convenient to its customers and eliminating unnecessary delays in obtaining their product requirements. The new hyper security stores will be identified by a new distinguishable hi-tech corporate image.
Says Snyman, “The merger will provide more product outlets because all the trade counters of both merged companies will carry the full COMSEC product range. For example, the Pi trade counter at the Kyalami Business Park will become a COMSEC trade counter and include the full SEE Group product portfolio. In the regions the individual trade counters of SEE and Pi will merge.”
Product Support and Training
According to Appleton, COMSEC’s new millenium product technology offers the user increased innovation and sophistication in product features, and for this reason it is important that product knowledge is conveyed to the customer on a regular basis.
“COMSEC Technologies makes available the most comprehensive training facility available to the industry. This training facility is a vital ingredient of product-customer support and for this reason it has been registered with the department of manpower, meeting their stringent conditions. The training facility is extremely popular and bookings need to be made well in advance for the variety of training courses offered,” said Appleton.
Technical service support
“To satisfy customer requirements for fast, reactive technical support and repair service, COMSEC Technologies is establishing a national technical support centre. Staffed by technicians knowledgeable in software and hardware aspects of the product, this facility will offer 24 hour product support and repair facilities to its customers,” added Appleton
“The underlying strength of COMSEC is its ability to offer in-house a total customer solution by providing technology innovation through its products. This is achieved by its capability to integrate the technologies of its major international branded products with that of its own locally manufactured products. Technology that utilised the radio spectrum is playing an increasing role in providing security solutions,” he said. COMSEC Technologies, through its parent company QD Electronics has 20 years’ experience in radio security technology. This elevates it to a unique position in that it is able to offer an in-house total security solution, including radio requirements, to its customers.
Examples of this are the integration of monitoring centres, the transmission of intruder information via radio data and the use of hi-security rolling code radio panic alarms.
COMSEC Technologies also offers product for vehicle tracking, fleet management and data communications. These security products will leverage off the current radio alarm communications networks and give added value to alarm monitoring companies. The addition of these communications products enables COMSEC Technologies to offer a total security solution to its customers.
“The security alarm industry has seen dramatic changes in the past few years as a result of major take-overs and mergers. What has emerged is an industry where the main players are serious businessmen, intent on Gaining market share and profitability,” said Appleton. “A new era of product sophistication is dawning which will witness an increase in the level of service to their clients. The main players require a competitive edge to increase their market share and technology will play a leading role in achieving this objective.”
“There is an increasing believe that information technology (IT) will play an important role in th future alarm industry to obtain increased value from the current monitoring systems. To what extent this will occur is debatable but one thing is certain, local South African development expertise will be required to interface and integrate new technology into current alarm networks,” he said.
“The major investment in providing this expertise has been undertaken by COMSEC Technologies and it is this underlying strength that will ensure it remains the major player in this market. COMSEC Technologies security technologies has the integrity and professionalism needed to manage and meet the industry’s expectations into the Millenium,” he concluded.
Added Snyman, “A most pleasing aspect about the merger is the excitement that exists among the staff of Pi and SEE. Excitement because of the challenge to grow and dominate the market and the euphoria that arises from being part of the ‘largest’ and most ‘dynamic’ alarm security systems distributor in Southern Africa.”
“COMSEC Technologies is a new giant, born from companies that have shaped distribution of electronic security systems in Southern Africa for 25 years. A major force that will again influence and shape the alarm security market into the new millenium.”
For details contact “COMSEC Technologies” on tel: (011) 466 2300.
“As Pi and SEE addressed the same customers, with different product ranges, it made business sense to combine their expertise into a single focused operation structured for maximum market penetration.”
COMSEC Technologies MD, Brian Appleton
“The underlying strength of COMSEC is its ability to offer in-house a total customer solution by providing technology innovation through its products. This is achieved by its capability to integrate the technologies of its major international branded products with that of its own locally manufactured products.”
“A new era of product sophistication is dawning which will witness an increase in the level of service to their clients. The main players require a competitive edge to increase their market share and technology will play a leading role in achieving this objective.”
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