Mark Pritchard, who recently joined Pelco by Schneider Electric as Director of Marketing for EMEA from Norbain, says it’s good to be back in manufacturing.
He had spent 13 years at Norbain, longer than he had spent at any other company in his career, and he felt it was time for a change. It is an exciting time to be joining Pelco, he says, because the company has aggressively repositioned itself from a supplier of analogue products to a top-tier IP CCTV manufacturer.
“They are changing the business model. Pelco was bought by Schneider in 2007 and around 18 months ago there was a change and refocus of the business model within Pelco to work closer with their customers, while still working within the Schneider electrical community.”
When the privately-owned Pelco was purchased by Schneider, it joined a multi-billion Euro, international electrical manufacturing company with a significant presence in the IT and building management industries.
The Pelco brand was so well recognised within the security industry that rather than absorb the company wholesale into the business, Schneider took the unusual step of branding the product line as “Pelco by Schneider”. The company still maintains the Pelco.com website and domain name.
Schneider recognised the migration to IP and the Pelco brand has been repositioned accordingly with the new marketing strapline, “IP driven. Customer focused”.
Pritchard says the company has leapfrogged the competition by the way it has managed the transition from analogue to IP. “I think if you look at large historically analogue players, I would challenge you to name one that has really made the migration successfully over to IP. Pelco well and truly has a wealth of product coming through, more than 75% of our customers are buying IP products and more than 90% of our R&D is focused on the development of IP.”
It’s a big step from analogue to IP technology, he says, and many analogue manufacturers have not managed to make that step into IP – either by failing to deliver a broad enough product range, failing to bring their analogue customers with them, or both.
This year, Pelco has launched no fewer than 60 new IP cameras in the Sarix range and Pritchard says the cameras are winning performance shootouts across Europe.
“I am amazed at some of the feedback we get. I am going around seeing sales teams from the different divisions and they all have success stories to show against the competition with the new Sarix camera portfolio,” he says.
“If you look at the size of Pelco and the move we have made into IP, we have taken our customer base over to IP, helped them migrate and brought new end-users into their customer base because of the breadth and quality of the IP portfolio. It is rock solid,” he says.
Further progress will be made by enhancing the IP portfolio and continuing to lower the price/ performance point down. “1080p cameras are a lot less than they were three to four years ago,” he says. “It’s like the PC industry: the price point is maintained but the features and performance you get at that price point are increasing, so you can get a 1080p today for what you used to pay for a 720p.”
Finally, it’s well worth a visit to the Pelco by Schneider stand at IFSEC in June. There will be a new range of Sarix cameras on show plus thermal cameras. “And we have an increasing range of accessories to ease the installation of IP systems and our new Esprit 1080 will also be on display.”
About Mark Pritchard
Mark has been active in the security industry since the 1980s when he joined Baxall on the shop floor making cameras, telemetry controllers and switches. While there, he worked his way up to the test department, finally running this. From there, he set up the company’s technical support division which he ran until he moved over to technical sales.
In 1988, he moved to America to help Baxall set up its US operations. While in the US, an opportunity arose to join Dedicated Micros. DM was just launching multiplexers on the world, so Mark says it was a good time to join the company.
Three years later, DM launched DVST and asked him to go to Australia for three months to help the company launch into Australia. Six months later, he was running the operation there and spent three years at the company.
He took a year off to tour Australia before returning to the UK. There he connected with Terry Pedersen who was starting up Intervision Express, and he joined as technical manager. Intervision was bought by Ultrak, who wanted to set up distribution in South Africa so they asked Mark to go to Johannesburg to manage that.
Following a stint in South Africa, he moved back to Europe as Product Marketing Director for Ultrak Europe.
In January 2000, he moved back to the UK and joined Norbain as Division Director for Vista where he stayed until his recent move to Pelco by Schneider.