Interview: We still want to do what we are really good at

The trade journal for corporate security, SecurityInsight, published an interview with the CEO of primion Technology GmbH in its 04/2019 issue
The executive directors Jorge Pons Vorberg and Andreas Kupka

Jorge Pons Vorberg, CFO, and Andreas Kupka, CEO, of primion Technology GmbH

1. What impact does the current security situation in Europe have on primion's strategy?

The situation in Europe is increasingly viewed critically by many and the call for security is growing louder. But there can never be 100% security. However, sophisticated safety systems can of course help to minimise the risk and thus protect people and assets.

At primion, we are increasingly observing that, in addition to the large corporations for which comprehensive security systems are standard, medium-sized companies are also more intensively addressing the issue of security. These are companies that had previously secured their buildings and premises conventionally with mechanical locking systems, but no longer consider this to be sufficient.

Our strategy has not changed significantly against the backdrop of the tightened security situation. We still want to do what we are really good at. I am firmly convinced that, especially in the integration and security business, things like reliability, quality, functionality, support, etc. are essential drivers of success, regardless of global developments.  

2. How do you respond to the growing demand for cloud solutions?

The requirements for cloud-based solutions (SaaS) are already present and will increase. Manufacturers and installers must bring systems onto the market that strike a balance between economy, safety and efficiency.  

We think very long-term here and consider all aspects of cloud-based solutions that can be relevant to security. This also means that access to applications is restricted depending on the security level and different devices can be controlled. Example: The user receives access via smartphone, but only the master can view and change these rights. This means that the application is already set up separately in the hardware.

The trend is towards networked physical security systems and integrated solutions for various trades such as access control with time recording, as offered by primion. It will be exciting to see to what extent the industry will act with regard to Industry 4.0 and where, for example, time management solutions and personnel resource planning could be incorporated into production processes.  

3. Do new work models influence the development of primion solutions?

New Work means in summary the claim of the employee to bring his individual interests and life circumstances in line with his work. For years there have already been first approaches in the area of flexible working times, which can also be mapped using workflow scenarios and ESS (Employer Self Service). 

Occasionally, however, even more freedom is demanded in the sense that employees can work when and where they want. There are also approaches that no longer take the number of working hours into account, but only the result. This can have an influence on payroll accounting, but also on decisions regarding mobile or fixed workplaces. 

The consequences of this trend are not yet foreseeable. There are already companies today in which employees have to "search" for their desk every morning. And office space is not only shared by start-ups, for example in companies with a high proportion of employees who only need a temporary job. In this respect, New Work could influence the need for security systems as the number of environments to be protected decreases. 

On the other hand, cloud-based software solutions are necessary in the areas of time recording, work preparation, project planning, etc., in order to map certain processes. Our software can already do some of this. 

I see the trend rather critically for authorities and institutions, in hospitals or the processing industry. It will be difficult to implement this model here. We are therefore keeping a close eye on developments, but do not see any urgent need for action at the moment.  

4. Which new products and features do you want to convince with?

The security market has changed massively in recent years as a result of new technologies. We must ensure that our offer continues to meet the needs of the market. Because our customers are looking for solutions that deliver what they promise. If we know their customer journeys well and not only meet their expectations at the critical key moments, but also inspire them, we can be sure of success. However, this is not just about the product, but increasingly also about service.

As one of the few suppliers in the industry, we accompany our customers right from the start: We advise in advance, plan the solution, install and maintain the systems. The software and hardware is developed and manufactured in-house. This means that we know the requirements and concerns in the respective environment. 

In both hardware and software, we are constantly working on even more powerful solutions for which, in addition to innovative security features, the focus is clearly on user experience. This concerns the terminals as well as our control units, CPUs, mechatronic cylinders or fittings and of course the software.  

5. In which industries and markets do you see the greatest investment potential and how can primion participate?

primion solutions have always been industry-independent. Of course, we are exploring the market. According to our findings, there is a great need at public and state institutions. We already have well-known references in this field, such as ministries or telecommunications companies. The consulting effort here is already very high in the initial stage and the decision-making processes are complex. This requires sophisticated project management.  

We are increasingly receiving enquiries from companies in the critical infrastructure sector, such as nuclear energy or the manufacturing industry. Advice in advance, which weighs all risks and includes them in the planning, is also of decisive importance here. This can only be achieved by a supplier who masters the entire keyboard: from consulting to production and installation to maintenance.  

We will also invest significantly more in our export business and expand our partner network. The focus will be on the entire German-speaking region - where we will position ourselves more strongly than before. We will also make more energetic use of the synergies with our parent company Azkoyen, which are of course very strong throughout the Iberian region, but also in the UK and Latin America, for example. 

6. Where do you see the market for security systems in 5 years?

The market must increasingly develop solutions that also appeal to younger target groups; those who grow up with digital media and will demand terms such as design thinking, industry 4.0 and even location-independent cloud solutions. Products and applications must become even more intuitive and at the same time represent highly complex processes. 

In access control, the security requirements for fully integrated solutions will continue to rise. New technologies such as NFC, RFID and Bluetooth are already present in everyday life. In time management, constant further developments, new functions and modern concepts will determine the market. In addition, the demand for mechatronic solutions and their relevance will continue to rise. Above all, the user's expectations of a high level of usability hover, with an appealing design and, last but not least, manageable operating costs.

The security market is definitely a growth market. The need for security is growing both in the smart home sector and among companies, and providers must respond with innovative and user-friendly solutions. It will be exciting to see how supply and demand level off and which manufacturers and integrators can respond. I'm sure we'll still be at the forefront in five years' time. Together with our Spanish parent company Azkoyen, we are clearly focusing on growth and expansion.