Jason Hill, Merit LILIN’s Group Vice President, has been in the electronic security industry for 24 years, and has been with Merit LILIN since 1998.With digital video equipment flooding into the market, the choice for integrators and end users has become confusing, Hill says this is an ideal opportunity for Merit LILIN to exploit its technical expertise in the field.
Hill is currently responsible for exploring new global markets and opportunities for Merit LILIN, and has become a well-known face in the industry. However, this isn’t necessarily the career he set out to have.
“Like many senior professionals in the security industry today, I did not set out with any aspirations for a career in security,” Hill told SecurityNewsDesk. “For me it all started with engineering, and I quickly realised that the best route to career progression was through technical sales. From there I ended up working in sales for Thorn Security, and I took a particular interest in CCTV, so I specialised. From integration I moved to working for Manufacturers which seems like the right place for me”
Having such a well-established foot in the CCTV and security market has enabled Hill to develop a keen sense of how the market is developing. Now, more than ever, change is afoot thanks to the rise of digital technology. Not one to be fazed by such things, Hill is keeping his finger on the pulse – especially when it comes to digital video trends.
“I view our technology as a facilitator,” he explained, “and I don’t see Merit LILIN’s operations as solely security focused. When we started out 35 years ago the company had a CCTV security focus, but as technology has shifted from analogue to digital the market has evolved and this has created previously unforeseen opportunities. It’s more about the data and how users utilise that data, by 2017 69% of all Internet traffic will be video.”
Hill pointed out that the way we use and watch video is changing and it is has become a very powerful medium, with the move to HD finally giving systems the quality to exceed expectations. He is passionate about making sure Merit LILIN keeps pace with this progress and puts its video solutions to use in emerging applications.
While encouraging this aspect of development for Merit LILIN, Hill’s key role is to develop the company’s global reach by supporting operations in various regions. And he is convinced that his relaxed nature has been the key to his success in this area.
“Before joining Merit LILIN I spent 5 years working for another Asian manufacturer,” he explained, “during that time I learned a lot about working with different cultures and realised early on that to be successful I would have to be both patient and considerate of those differences. It’s fair to say that I’ve adopted quite a prosaic approach, but to me it’s worth taking the time to overcome any communications challenges because LILIN is so unique and it’s my ambition to prove it’s capabilities to the market globally.”
Merit LILIN currently operates in 12 countries, and following a recent, successful rejuvenation of the American arm, Hill will be turning his attention to the European operations to stimulate new opportunities and identify new strategic partnerships. Hill knows that it’s vital for such a mature company to re-invent itself again and again, to look at things in a new way in order to discover and create new opportunities. Continually identifying strengths and increasing flexibility will enable Merit LILIN’s global brand to respond to emerging market demand.
Hill is proud of the fact that one of the key strengths of Merit LILIN is its dedication to customising solutions to meet the needs of the market; where other manufacturers grow, they often lose the ability to respond to customer needs. The company is constantly adapting –‘business as usual’ is simply not good enough in a market as competitive as this.
“Our eyes have been opened by the pace of change in the digital world,” Hill said, “and we’re learning every week about the best way to react and customise our solutions for other channels. The video market is going to be a very different place in five years, and that’s why it’s definitely not business as usual for Merit LILIN. We will be putting our experience with CCTV and Digital Video to use in these new markets.”
According to Hill, many of the digital video products flooding to the market are following each other and trying to compete on feature sets or price rather than innovating, yet there is significant untapped demand for new technology to meet evolving applications. In addition, he explained that the existing CCTV market is over saturated, making it increasingly difficult to find a way through and continue to grow and ultimately destined for consolidation.
Hill admits that historically Merit LILIN has been weak at communicating its strengths, strengths that mark it out from the rest of the CCTV pack. That’s why the company has been making a concerted effort to work more closely with technology partners, building more experienced teams and developing a dialogue with more varied industries.
This is another reason Hill has been pouring his passionate support of Merit LILIN’s growth into positioning the company as a leading light in digital video.
“Going forward, Merit LILIN’s business is video technology,” he said. “We’re taking off the ‘security industry blinkers’ and focusing on becoming a digital video company.”
When he’s not busy leading Merit LILIN into a new era, Hill can be found with his family, spending quality time with his 3-year-old son and lamenting the lack of enough spare time to work on his golf handicap or tinker with the latest motorcycle he is restoring.