The access control provider with a customer-centric approach

access control provider

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ISJ speaks with Thomas Napora, Vice President & General Manager EMEA, ICT about his background in the industry and the company’s regional growth plans.

What made you want to join intelligent access control provider, ICT?

My motivation was twofold; I was both attracted by ICT as a company and by the nature of the role.

ICT is a globally recognised security innovator with a rich history of new product development.

Already established throughout North America and Australasia, the business is well positioned for accelerated expansion throughout Europe.

ICT’s unified security platforms, with access control, intrusion detection, building management and a large number of third party integrations, means the system is both scalable and very agile.

Where traditionally, multiple systems have been required, ICT’s offers complete site management from a single platform. Software can be managed on-premises or via a secure cloud environment.

Furthermore, the product range caters to a wide range of verticals and business sizes, from securing a two door retail store, all the way to enterprise installations for hospitals or government locations.

Twenty years ago, Hayden and Rachael Burr founded ICT in New Zealand and they continue to inject passion, innovation and visionary drive into their company while fostering a caring culture.

I don’t know if it’s the “Kiwi” way or just the ICT way, but I can feel the openness, friendliness, great efficiency and competence of the ICT Management team.

The nature of the role was the other motivation to join ICT. I’m looking forward to the challenge of building a team and putting the right structure in place to adapt to the diversity of the region and grow the business in EMEA. 

Can you tell us more about your background please?

Born in Germany to a bilingual German and Polish family, I did an apprenticeship working in each department of a company to understand how a business is run.

At the age of eighteen, I joined the German Air Force where my main duties were in IT and network security, including the management of infrastructure and equipment.

My ten years of service included travelling around the world for duties at the NATO headquarters and with National Commanding Units.

My first experience with physical security was in 2001, when the earliest IP cameras arrived. These, at the time “alien” devices, had to sit on the IT network I was managing.

After the military, I moved to the Caribbean as a Security Engineer for a global systems integrator, installing and maintaining a variety of access control, intrusion and CCTV systems – and enjoying the lifestyle and beauty of the Caribbean.

This is where I met my wife, a British lady, who convinced me to move to the UK.      

After two years in the IT and network security industry for Fortune 500 companies, I worked four years in an EMEA wide position for an enterprise software company in its security division which provided VMS, PSIM and business intelligence software as well as IP CCTV hardware.

Then I became a Senior Manager at the EMEA headquarters of a global Japanese sensor manufacturer, working on perimeter protection and intrusion detection projects ranging from residential facilities to critical infrastructure.

Afterwards, I was Managing Director (EMEA) for a Silicon Valley unicorn start-up LiDAR technology and perception software company, before joining the ICT family.

How does your military experience influence your approach to security?

A key part of my military training was to secure critical infrastructure and equipment which forged the mindset of how I approach security projects.

Soldiers and military equipment aside, security technologies play a key role in protecting people.

I also learned that to succeed you not only need to know your team, but you should also have a deep understanding of your products and offering and a clear view of what the requirements are.

How important is the EMEA region to ICT?

ICT already has longstanding relationships with key customers in the EMEA region which we serve using customised sales operations and logistics infrastructure.

However, our business is only scratching the surface of its potential in the region. The UK is a key strategic business driver for ICT in EMEA.

This is where we’re establishing our HQ and where we plan to drive wider growth for the region.

By putting boots on the ground, we’re letting the industry know we’re here and we mean business. ICT is here to offer 100% support to partners.

The complexities of doing business in EMEA is something we are well aware of.

We already offer UI support for Protege GX, our Enterprise platform, in 17 European languages.

The high security installations that ICT already has throughout EMEA attests to the quality of the product.

How critical is it to strengthen regional partnerships when providing tailored solutions?

Tailored solutions are key to meeting customer demands.

Our modular system architecture allows installers to deliver complex and custom requirements with ease.

ICT’s approach is very customer-centric and has developed a variety of integrations to fulfil specific requirements and applications.

Our unified Protege solution offers integration with elevator, intercom, VMS, intrusion sensors and detectors, wireless locking solutions, biometrics systems, building management and other custom integration tools.

We offer Software Development Kits for both the Protege WX and Protege GX platforms, including  mobile credentials, which means third parties can unlock the power of the Protege ecosystem to provide a layer of hardened security and ease of movement within their applications.

We’re seeing a large uptake of this in the multifamily residential vertical in relation to property management and smart tenant amenities.

In the EMEA region, strengthening technology partnerships is definitely one of our main priorities. 

What are your main ambitions for 2023 and beyond?

Having started my new role halfway through the year, I am trying to be realistic for the next six months to pave the way for the next few years.

My ambitions are to lay the foundations for ICT in the EMEA region.

It starts with implementing a clear business strategy and tailoring the way of doing business to the various needs of the region.

Putting in place smooth processes between HQ and the region will help us provide better and more localised support to the existing customer base.

Through brand awareness and a good network of security installers and integrators in the region, we will start expanding the business across the 118 countries we are serving in EMEA.   

In the mid-term, my focus is to develop a UK-based EMEA headquarters to serve the local markets with stock, technical support and sales business development leaders.

As our central hub for the EMEA, this added resource will support our established Nordic business to further accelerate the growth in this area.

For any EMEA-based security installers reading this, you can expect the highest level of service and the latest technology to help secure more projects for your business.

We’re here for the long haul and looking for likeminded partners.

1-ISJ- The access control provider with a customer-centric approach
Thomas Napora, Vice President & General Manager EMEA, ICT

Integrated Control Technology (ICT)

Integrated Control Technology (ICT) is a global security and intelligent electronic access control provider that enables organisations to protect their people, operations and information.

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