2014 BGWT Partner Conference
Distributor BGWT’s 2014 Partner Conference held on cruise liner Pacific Dawn was the perfect opportunity for integrators to build relationships with suppliers and check out the company’s latest technology in a seriously spectacular environment.
BGWT set itself a high standard at last year’s partner conference on the Gold Coast but still managed to re-set the bar in 2014, shoe-horning seminars and a mini trade show onto the cruise liner Pacific Dawn. Around 150 suppliers, integrators and their partners took to sea, voyaging from Brisbane to Airlie Beach in the Whitsunday Islands and then back again.
No one on the trip had attended a trade event on a cruise ship before – in fact most had never been on a cruise ship at all – which made for a real adventure as well as an education in security tech. Once the crew had piled onto the boat after a quick BBQ lunch at the BGW Group head office in Brisbane the fun began.
“We have customers from all states and overseas, including US and Japan – and also our vendor partners including Pelco, S2, BPT, FireTide, EnviroVision, Visonic, Allegion, Allied Telesis, TKH, Iluminar and Clipsal” says BGWT’s Josh Simmons, as he welcomes guests onto Pacific Dawn. “The secret is to have a look at some product and to have a good time with some great people.”
BGWT’s formula was a good one. There was plenty of time to chill out and enjoy the ship, while work time was heavy on new product and technology (which is always fun) and never too long. While there was free time, everyone met for dinner each day and the fact dinner guests never sat with the same people twice exemplifies the community atmosphere BGWT sought and succeeded in creating.
Don and Felicia Tummillo
Joseph and Antoinette Iaquinto
Corina and Josh Simmons
Mark Hodby and Sydney Anthony
Drinks in the dome
“It’s a hard task to support products and do it properly, not simply distribute for distribution’s sake. All our products are complimentary – that’s the secret to BGWT”
A series of seminars on the first day gave suppliers the chance to introduce their technologies to integrators and there was a day off the following day to visit Airlie Beach. The mini trade show was saved up for the final day at sea as the ship pitched into a building sou-wester at 18 knots. Squeezed into a surprisingly compact space in the entrance to Pacific Dawn’s function centre The Dome, the little trade show went off like a fire cracker.
Seminars in the Dome…
Darren Banks, Tyco
James Cardwell, Allegion
The mini trade show went off
aptiQ from Allegion
Everything and the kitchen sink from S2
From an observer’s point of view, all the integrators on the boat went through each of the micro stands and got a good look at key new products. The suppliers didn’t get a moment’s rest and I found myself peering at kit over people’s shoulders. There were neat things on display from everyone – standouts for me included BPT’s intercom solutions, Visonic’s new wireless gear, everything from TKH, clever and easy to install locking solutions from Allegion, as well as that natty browser-based security management platform from S2.
The success of any event like this depends on the quality of the connection customers make with your technology. Within about 10 minutes of the mini trade show opening the event’s entire raison d'etre was well and truly justified. A compact event like this, with a small yet diverse group of suppliers that visitors can work through in a comfortable period of time, is an excellent thing.
Nice looking PTZ camera from TKH Siqura
Pelco's new hemispheric
According to Simmons, BGW Technologies launched as a CCTV focused business but the company has now expanded its product range to cover all the technologies integrators need.
“We have now diversified into access control, as well as alarms, communications and networking solutions in order to become a one-stop shop for electronic security solutions,” Simmons says. “It’s a hard task to support products and do it properly, not simply distribute for distribution’s sake. All our products are complimentary – that’s the secret to BGWT.”
Tucked away in the overall event was some interesting industry news. The biggest was that BGWT is now the exclusive Australian distributor of Dutch electronic security manufacturer TKH Siqura, formerly Optelecom-NKF. Locally TKH is headed up by industry stalwart, Brad Godfrey, who has a good handle on the product and is keen to see it succeed.
In terms of its history, TKH Security Solutions is a collection of 5 companies which are part of the building solutions division of the TKH Group, a company based in the Netherlands with annual turnover of around $A1.5 billion. IP camera specialist Siqura B.V. joined TKH in 2012, a development that expanded the company’s electronic security product spread significantly. Clever product includes sharp-priced IP cameras with fibre optic cable ports.
More interesting news from the BGWT Partner Conference was that wireless alarm system pioneer Visonic is also available from BGWT. Visonic is a personal favourite of mine – the company’s technology dates back 3 decades and it’s clever stuff, with 2-way polling as well as a monster transmission range.
“Visonic’s industry-leading technology also now has a new home at BGW Technologies,” says Simmons. “The reason we bought Visonic on board was that it offers 2000m line of sight – it’s usually around 300m max. This big range makes Visonic ideal for commercial industrial and rural applications. The system has 64 zones and a very cool application for remote management.”
Another noteworthy development from BGWT is a program called Simplicity. The idea is to make life easier for installers when it comes to product choice and commissioning.
“Simplicity is designed to make solutions simpler for our customers,” Simmons explains. “We have associated part numbers – there’s simplicity camera, simplicity server, simplicity workstation, simplicity rack, simplicity network and simplicity professional services.
“What we can do is stage a solution right down to a camera, pre-program an IP address, we can soak test the camera, ensure there is up-to-date firmware, we do all the testing, we pack product into a box and send it out ready for installation.”
Ron Jackson of BGW Group
BGW Group CEO, Laurie Murphy
When it was over, BGW Group’s CEO Laurie Murphy who said he was very proud of BGW Technologies and he thanked organisers including Josh Simmons, Ron Jackson and Teegan Lynch for their efforts in making a complicated event the success it undoubtedly was.
“We are delighted to be involved in this industry and we certainly believe we can do something in the security space,” Murphy told security integrators. “It’s taking time to get together but we are working our way through it. Electronic security is going to be critical in the future and we want to partner with you guys and contribute to your success. For us that’s what this business is all about.” ♦