HID goes Global
IRVINE, Calif.--In what HID president and chief executive officer Denis Hebert called "an important change for Assa Abloy and an important change for our customers and the users of our products," Assa Abloy will be incorporating the HID, Indala, AccessID, Synercard, Interlock and Buga brands into one international organization to be called HID Global. The move is effective April 1, 2006.
Though Hebert was sure to emphasize that HID Global would not be a systems house, the new international company--the total portion of Assa Abloy's roughly $3.5 billion in annual sales HID Global would represent, Hebert declined to estimate--will offer nearly all of the components integrators might use in an access control system.
Hebert said that HID, which specializes in access control cards and readers and boasts current brands like Prox, iCLASS and VertX CS, "was the most recognized brand, and because of that, we felt it would be the most appropriate play in establishing ourselves under a single brand."
Why the reorganization?
"The fundamental reason has more to do with how a combined organization can bring value to customers," said Hebert. "There are a number of different users of our equipment with multiple sites and multiple technologies." As integrators and the end users they serve consolidate and become increasingly global, it didn't make sense for some of them to be using Indala readers, some using HID readers, and having the cards manufactured by AccessID, yet in the end all being served by the same company.
"We asked our customers about the move," said Hebert. "The feedback is, 'Why didn't you do it earlier?'"
Further, Hebert said, HID Global's reorganization will allow the company to be more channel-focused than before. "The objective is not a cost-saving exercise," Hebert emphasized. "It's just being more in line with how our customers operate. If you want to call it something, it's a redeployment exercise, putting people into roles that help our customers." OEMs, integrators and dealers all have different requirements in regard to how they want to work with HID, he said. Now, HID Global employees will be more focused on paying attention to those specific needs.
For instance, OEMs will see a difference in "how we promote to them," Hebert said. "From promotions that may be aimed at how they go to market to how we support them in their efforts in reselling to the integrator community." HID Global may work with them in broadening HID's technology portfolio. "They may want to incorporate their specific protocols, which we could enable for them."
"It might just be the selling approach," he continued. "There are different things we can provide to the OEM community in helping them differentiate themselves from the rest of the market."
As for integrators, the switch might be as simple as serving them as a cohesive channel rather than as part of a geographical region.
Also, part the resulting merger will provide R&D initiatives that are now going to be more focused, Hebert said. He pointed to the work German company Buga is doing with electronic cylinders as something the new HID Global could really capitalize on. "It's a new and exciting domain that [provides our customers] a growth opportunity in expanding the access control horizon," he said.
With this new global company, "you end up having parties that are sitting all over the place that happen to be able to work together who can see from the perspectives of their own marketplace ... there are opportunities for common platforms that can be used across the entire globe."
Hebert cited new offices opened in 2005 in India and China as examples of the rapidly growing global reach that was already in place at HID. He said conversations about this reorganization began last year as that "globalization [became] very important to us. We deal with a lot of multinationals who they themselves distribute globally, and we have to be able to supply them on a global basis, which we now can."