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Binson Xu, President of Hikvision Middle East and North Africa reveals the company’s plans for the regional market in 2022.

Video surveillance is one of the fastest evolving sectors within the security industry. It is now a critical part of any security system. National and local authorities use it to deter and solve crimes in public spaces and private enterprises utilise it to enhance the security of their assets and staff.

The COVID-19 environment that we have lived in over the past two years has only served to increase the importance of video surveillance solutions. Rapid development of AI-enabled video analytics has helped organisations to keep people safe and prevent the spread of infection.

Within the dynamic and high-tech environment of the Middle East, this reliance on technology can be seen even more clearly. The widespread deployment of video surveillance solutions is helping the drive towards Smart Cities in places such as Dubai and Saudi Arabia. These solutions will not only help to enhance the security of citizens but also provide a more convenient and sustainable way of living.

To delve deeper into the evolution of the surveillance landscape in the Middle East, International Security Journal caught up with Binson Xu, President of Hikvision Middle East and North Africa, who discussed the company’s plans for the regional market in the coming years and how Hikvision ensures the cybersecurity of its products.

Dynamic landscape

Despite the challenging business environment created by COVID-19 in recent times, Hikvision has continued to go from strength to strength. The company’s Q3 2021 financial results showed Hikvision gained RMB 21.73 billion revenue with a year-over-year (YoY) increase of 22.41%. Net profits attributable to shareholders of the listed company in the third quarter were RMB 4.48 billion, reflecting a YoY growth of 17.54%.

From Q1 to Q3 2021, Hikvision accumulated a total revenue of RMB 55.63 billion with a YoY growth of 32.38% and the accumulated net profits attributable to shareholders was RMB 10.97 billion, representing a YoY growth of 29.94%.

These figures are extremely impressive and have been helped by the vendor’s success in the Middle East and North Africa region, led by Binson Xu. In his own words, Xu is responsible for: “Setting targets and plans, devising strategies to boost sales and evaluating department performances. As the regional President, I monitor all departments’ growth and progress, encouraging them to reach new heights.”

Xu explained why Hikvision sees the Middle East as a region of such significance: “The Middle East is a very important region for Hikvision. With its technical advancements and breakthroughs, the Middle East is known as a place that challenges the frontiers. In the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Smart Cities are being created at an accelerating rate and the region’s biggest strengths are poised to be showcased.

“The Middle East’s security landscape is one of the most dynamic in the world and it shows no indications of slowing down anytime soon.”

To maximise the company’s business opportunities in region, Xu and his team have put some exciting new plans in place for 2022 and beyond. He revealed: “For the region, we have divided our business into channel and project. In the channel, we have already mostly achieved our target and we would like to provide a one-stop-shop solution for all the partners, so that they can get a wider product line from Hikvision.

“For the project business, we can see that the trends dominating the market right now are digitalisation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and that the demand for cloud and IoT are also ramping up. So we plan to provide vertical solutions in these areas to our end users to allow them to operate in a safer environment and also to increase their operational safety and decrease their operational costs, so as to make their businesses more profitable.”

Intelligent solutions on show

The immediate priority for the vendor is Intersec 2022, taking place from 16-18 January in Dubai, UAE. The world-leading emergency services, security and safety event will mark its return with a ground-breaking, elevated new program, more opportunities for supplier buyer interaction whilst uniting global and regional leaders as they explore solutions for the rapidly evolving challenges facing the industry.

With thousands of security professionals expected to attend, the event provides Hikvision with the perfect opportunity to display its latest technology and meet prospective customers face-to-face.

According to Xu, the main focus of the company’s appearance this year will be its intelligent transportation solutions. He added: “Hikvision is dedicated to developing cutting-edge technology for a safe city from all of the aspects of the concept: intelligent traffic solutions, smart parking, portable enforcement, traffic violation and traffic flow control.

“As city populations grow, so do car ownership and the burdens on urban traffic systems. A solution that improves awareness, removes complexity and reduces labour is obviously needed. The key objective remains keeping everyone moving safely and responsibly on the road, optimising the use of available transportation resources and responding to traffic events as swiftly as possible.

“Hikvision’s objective continues to be to keep everyone moving safely and responsibly on the road, optimising the use of available transportation resources and responding to traffic events as swiftly as possible so citizens can get to where they need to be, in a smarter and smoother way. At Intersec, visitors will be able to see and experience some of the key intelligent traffic solutions that we offer.”

Setting the standard

With so many devices now connected to the Internet of Things, it is crucial that the cybersecurity of every Hikvision product is as robust as possible. Even one unsecure device could lead to an entire network being compromised.

Fred Streefland, Hikvision’s Director of Cybersecurity EMEA spoke with International Security Journal in July 2021 on this very topic. He said: “The company has invested significantly in the cybersecurity space and we appreciate that the basics of cybersecurity should almost become part of our core business.

“First and foremost, we are a product manufacturer but our IoT devices, video security cameras and the rest of our product range are all produced whilst adhering to the principles of Secure by Design. Cybersecurity is baked into our products in each phase of the production process which is why Hikvision products are very cyber resilient.”

He added: “We have founded a dedicated group of experts in our headquarters that are solely focused on enhancing the cybersecurity of our products and we have also created a Security Response Centre.

“The centre handles any issues involving the cybersecurity of our existing products and acts as a point of contact for our customers, partners and employees. We see it as our duty and responsibility to make our products as cyber resilient as possible.”

Xu added his own thoughts: “Hikvision has its own cybersecurity labs to make sure all of our hardware and software is 100% certified and quality-checked as per the latest international certification standards. We follow all standard protocols and APIs and upgrade our firmware and software regularly to make sure we can improve and enhance our products as per market requirements.”

Looking ahead at what 2022 will bring, Xu explained that Hikvision will be targeting a range of vertical sectors such as retail, education and logistics. He stated: “For the retail industry, Hikvision`s goal is to boost operations with efficient management.

“One of the biggest challenges for retail in the new normal is how to enable high-efficiency management and elevate standards across branches. Hikvision is aiming to create centralised systems and link all branches and teams together to unlock the potential of equipment staff for more agile management.

“Also, there are currently thousands of logistics parks around the world, from where millions of parcels are delivered to consumers every day. Therefore, it is important to improve the safety of logistics parks, while enhancing the operational efficiency.

“Hikvision answers the concerns of logistics companies, with an all-encompassing solution powered by AI plus video perception technology, with a focus on critical components including intelligent logistics parks, last mile delivery and more.”

Visitors to Intersec 2022 will be able to see these intelligent solutions up close from 16-18 January at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Large Middle East project completed by Hikvision

Homewares and lifestyle retailer Jashanmal is using commercial display and LED technologies extensively in its stores. The retailer – which exclusively distributes and retails some of the best brands in GCC (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman) and offers a wide selection of products ranging from cookware, tableware, home appliances, travel products, gifts and many more – sees these kinds of technologies as a major opportunity to attract more customers and to deliver winning in-store experiences.

Dinesh Dhingra, Chief Group Support & Services Officer, Jashanmal says: “We fully understand the benefits of LED displays and interactive screens in terms of creating a ‘wow-factor’ in our showrooms. That’s why we decided to create and deploy a captivating commercial display solution at our showroom in Dubai’s Festival City Mall.”

Jashanmal worked with consultants from commercial display provider, Hikvision to design the solution, which incorporates two unique ‘arch-shaped’ LED displays at the showroom entrance.

Each of these LED panels is 1m wide, and 15m long, reaching up from the floor, over the ‘arched’ entrance to the store. The panels continually show ‘artistic’ content that is perfectly aligned to the Jashanmal brand, creating a welcoming atmosphere for customers and encouraging them to come into the showroom and explore.

In addition to these huge, arched LED displays at the store entrance, the solution includes three 86-inch interactive LCD screens located at the cash register, the ‘homewares’ area of the store and in the ‘luggage’ area. Customers can use these screens to browse product specifications and colour options. If a product is not available in store, customers can also use the screens to order them online.

To complete the solution, three additional screens broadcast details of products, brands and offers to customers in store, helping to inform and inspire them on their buying journey. The digital signage content that is shown on these screens is also replicated on the LCD interactive screens when customers are not using them to browse or buy products online.

For more information, visit: www.hikvision.com

This article was originally published in the January 2022 edition of International Security Journal. Pick up your FREE digital edition here.

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