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Exclusive Q&A: Meet the UAE Paxton Access team as they discuss growth, educating integrators, and the rise of IP

UAE – Paxton Access is a UK designer and manufacturer of IP access control and door entry systems with 30 years experience. Based in Brighton, the company manufactures all products locally and exports to over 40 countries worldwide.

Due to the Middle East security market’s booming demand for these kinds of systems, Paxton DMCC has appointed a dedicated UAE team to provide services to specifiers and installers in the region. The team is headed up by Dan Drayton, export sales manager, and Essam Al Hamdan, regional sales manager.

SSN Gulf threw some questions their way…

Dan Drayton
Dan Drayton

What is your background in the security sector?

Dan: I have over 15 years’ experience in the security industry, working for a wide range of security product manufacturers helping them design and build products that utilised the latest electronic technology.  I joined Paxton as it’s one of the leading access control manufacturers and I wanted to work with the company to build, and expand, its international business presence.

Essam: I have nearly 10 years’ experience in the security industry. I have worked with Salto and Nedap and joined Paxton in March this year as a member of the Paxton DMCC team.

Essam Al Hamdan
Essam Al Hamdan

Tell us about your role at Paxton:

Dan: I joined Paxton as export sales manager in February 2013, at a point when the company was looking to significantly increase its global presence.  With established businesses in the UK, Ireland, US, Germany and Benelux, the organisation had already begun to develop and my role is to continue driving this growth forward.  So far I have established Paxton’s presence in France, the Middle East and Africa and will continue through to Asia over the coming months and years.

Essam: I joined Paxton DMCC as regional sales manager and my responsibility is to grow the business in this region. I will be meeting and training installers, specifying projects and working with distributors to identify local companies and the best opportunities in the market. I will be building and maintaining relationships with distributors, integrators, installers and end users.

How do you think the Middle East market differs to others? Both challenges and opportunities.

Dan: One of the key differences is the absence of locally manufactured products and solutions. The majority of technology is imported, mainly from the US and EU, meaning we already know and understand our competitors as they are familiar industry names, such as Honeywell, Bosch etc. This creates a great opportunity for Paxton, as they deliver solutions that are based on the requirements of an enterprise level system, whilst we cater for the mid-market. My time in the Middle East has taught me that a huge percentage of security market requirements are not addressed by enterprise solutions, despite the obvious plethora of skyscrapers being built.  In fact it is the simplicity, reliability and robustness of a solution such as the ones Paxton offer, that security installers and integrators are asking for. Since the beginning of the year the company has trained more than 100 system integrators in the UAE and we’ve received 100 per cent positive feedback from those sessions. The challenge going forward is to encourage more integrators and installers to attend training. I have also found that there is a high regard held for products manufactured in the US and Europe, which is very interesting. This presents a great opportunity for Paxton given that all our products are manufactured at our factory in the UK. This has provided a great discussion point with customers and is a factor they clearly value.

Essam: The UAE is an area with significant development potential; it’s a fast growing, highly entrepreneurial market. With a booming construction industry, the number of buildings that require access control is rising; creating a massive opportunity for Paxton. Our challenge is to build many relationships with the consultants and installers that have strong, long spanning relationships with existing companies in the region.  Our role is to help them develop a knowledge and trust in Paxton such that they have confidence to specify and use our products.

What trends do you predict as we move into the second half of 2015?

Dan: Within the specific disciplines of security I think it is obvious to say that we will see greater convergence to IP based products. There will also be more synergies across the disciplines by way of integrations developed with the co-operation between various manufacturers. It will be interesting in the coming months and years to see how the industry reacts to the growth of intelligent buildings and smart cities. The need for all building systems to co-operate in a homogenous way already exists but the challenge for all successful technology is to make systems simple and user-friendly.

Essam: The availability of integrations within the market is set to make a difference this year. Paxton products alone move beyond access control to offer solutions like energy saving, hands free, building control and integration with CCTV, intruder and fire systems. I predict we will see more of this in 2015. I also believe that IP based systems will become the next generation of access control in 2015. This is an exciting time for the industry.

What excites you most about this industry?

Dan: Growth.  Security is a significant growth industry, not just in the Middle East but globally. It’s a topic that touches everybody in the world, though many people are probably unaware of the huge influence products from our industry have on their daily lives. Security systems are an essential element in every building, even down to the humble lock and key.  This growth attracts investment, intelligence, innovation and competition; all of which make security a great industry in which to operate and succeed!

Essam: I have a huge passion for the security and access control industry. It is an exciting place to be because of the growing number of opportunities available through technology and product development. I enjoy meeting my client’s needs by providing excellent security solutions, and protecting assets and property. In business, security is the key to success. This gives me a great deal of satisfaction.