Hi-Tech Security Solutions spoke to Gary Chalmers, CEO of iPulse about the company and its plans for this coming year.
iPulse, a local manufacturer of biometric products and the accompanying software is set to hit the market hard in 2011. Hi-Tech Security Solutions asked CEO Gary Chalmers what fireworks we can expect from the company.
Hi-Tech Security Solutions: iPulse has been quiet this past year. What have you been doing? Are rumours of your demise true?
Gary Chalmers: If by demise, you mean of our advertising budget, you would be quite correct! However, we have been anything but quiet. 2010 for iPulse was a year of consolidation, with a massive focus on product development, supply chain management, software development and above all, bedding down our existing partner, distribution and customer base.
The reality is that we grew very fast in 2008/2009, and some of our products needed to catch up with the expectations we continue to set in the marketplace. And it is hard to listen when you are doing all the talking, so we shut up and started to hear what our customers and the industry really wants.
We now have a huge stable of products, both hardware and software, ready for release in 2011, which we have used 2010 to develop, test and roll out to test customer sites.
Hi-Tech Security Solutions: What new products are you releasing and why is this relevant to a market with an existing selection of good biometric devices to choose from?
Gary Chalmers: iPulse has always prided itself on innovation. Our products provide the market with solid, reliable and affordable alternatives to the existing market leaders, but above all, they provide features, innovations and unique solutions that no one else has been able to offer to date.
Our new hardware products range from the latest version of our iPB6 unit, with built in GSM, and now including the option of HID’s iClass or Mifare, to our new iPB1, a small single door unit designed for large buildings, and to our iPB7, our new handheld unit. The iPB6 is already available, whilst the iPB1 and iPB7 are currently in final alpha testing within our organisation, and due for release in 2011.
On the software side, our all new IQ Suite, which now ships licence free with all our products, is a Windows XP/Vista/7-based management package that offers basic functionality for enrolment, employee management, time and attendance, access control and visitor management. Our more advanced offerings include the unique new VisitorIQ application, which offers Web-based and self-help registration for visitor management in large organisations, and is currently installed in a number of beta sites, with final release scheduled for early 2011.
Hi-Tech Security Solutions: Tell us what 2011 holds for iPulse specifically and for the biometric market in general?
Gary Chalmers: Well, aside from all the new products that we have mentioned above, iPulse has been fortunate enough to win many tender awards in the last part of 2010. Most of our early 2011 will be busy with assisting these partners to roll out the projects, and you can expect some exciting press announcements in this regard.
We are also moving to our new home in Midrand as we have outgrown our current offices, which are split between Sandton and Kempton Park. This will greatly increase our ability to expedite deliveries, repairs and training services for our customer base, as well as providing our rapidly growing team with the space they need to continue to innovate and create new solutions.
We expect massive growth in 2011 as I believe we have reached the critical mass of market share we require for the next big growth spurt. Also, 2011 is the year in which the distribution network we have carefully built begins to show returns across the continent and abroad into some exciting new markets like India, the Middle East and Australia.
From an industry perspective, I believe we can expect to see a lot of consolidation as smaller players fall away, and the larger players begin the inevitable mergers and acquisitions that are the hallmark of any maturing industry.
The security vertical has definitely reached a point where it is now an established business sector, with a broad spectrum of products now requiring an integrated solution to adequately meet the customer’s needs.
It is going to be a big year!
iPulse Systems is a manufacturer of biometric and GSM-based devices and is committed to developing advanced next-generation hardware and software solutions around these technologies.
iPulse Systems works through a structured, tier-based channel, with distributors and dealers in each country where it operates. Currently, iPulse has channels in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Kenya, and is in the process of rolling out distribution partners in Egypt, India, Australia and New Zealand.
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