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Supercom looks to surveillance market

Traditional PC distributor Supercom Canada is eyeing the security-surveillance market

Traditional PC distributor Supercom Canada is eyeing the security-surveillance market after signing an agreement to distribute digital video software and hardware manufacturer Odyssey Technologies Inc. of Laurel, Md.

Under the deal, Supercom distributes Odyssey’s Remote Eyes digital videservers

Watchdog Pro Security software and hardware solutions.

“”There’s a demand and the market is changing,”” said Allan Mui, security solutions product manager at Supercom. “”The old conventional security system is not appealing right now and has a lot of restrictions. This is a potential market for future growth of (Supercom).””

Margins 20 per cent or more

He added VARs can make between 15 to 20 per cent margins or higher, depending on services sold.

“”Supercom is very strong in certain markets based on their manufacturing capability, and we’re selling into that,”” said John Webster, CEO of Odyssey. “”We’re re-invigorating our push into the Canadian market. Supercom is one of the companies of choice that we wanted to work with.””

The majority of Odyssey’s sales are through the channel, with its sales reps acting as account managers for partners.

Remote Eyes servers replace analog video equipment with digital video recorders (DVR). Benefits include elimination of multiple tapes, incident-related video clips retrieval and it integrates with networked databases.

“”One of the questions organizations need to ask is, ‘How will this affect the performance of the machine their server is sitting on?'”” said Dave Senf, an IDC Canada analyst.

“”The only real advantage to this type of technology is you can do real-time monitoring. Another question is, ‘To what extent does that benefit them?’ and ‘How often do you need to go back and review video footage?’ If it’s not that frequently, what cost advantage does digital solution provide over the analog.””

Senf added companies need to look at when they’re going to buy this type of equipment as prices will continue to come down over time.

Supercom plans to take the product on the road in early October to demo the product to resellers outside of Ontario in Alberta and Quebec.

“”There are many similar types of products in the market. The dealer has to look into the quality and specifications,”” said Mui.

Looking for more resellers

Currently, Supercom has a handful of resellers selling this product but Mui expects that number to rise. “”The market should be significant. The number (of dealers) should be increasing. We’re exploiting new dealers in this area.””

Communitee Electric, a North Bay, Ont.-based dealer, has installed Odyssey’s security products in residential and retail environments. B.J. Arrowsmith, company owner and computer-network specialist, said revenues on this type of product are generated from integration and services.

“”In today’s computer trends and sales trends it’s not a market to get the sales, it’s a market to get the services.””