CSL CEO Ed Heale on the need to keep innovating and creating new revenue streams for installers

Adam Bannister

Editor, IFSEC Global

Author Bio ▼

Adam Bannister is editor of IFSEC Global. A former managing editor at Dynamis Online Media Group, he has been at the helm of the UK's leading fire and security publication since 2014.
April 17, 2018

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IFSEC Global sat down with Ed Heale, CEO of CSL, the market-leading provider of secure connectivity for M2M/IoT devices, to discuss how the changing market provides opportunities for installers to increase revenue.

Ed joined CSL in 2016 having previously overseen the enterprise division at British Telecom.

IFSEC Global: What has been your key focus since joining CSL?

Ed Heale: There are two main areas of focus. The first is ensuring the core business [alarm signalling] continues to be well supported and developed in line with market needs, whilst the second is growth of our new services (ie M2M networks and platform services).

Underpinning all of this is our continued investment in technology and product innovation.

Acquisitions and reinvestment have been vitally important to our strategy. We reinvested 18 months ago with our current backers – Norland Capital, ICONIQ Capital and RIT Capital Partners – and that deal has given us the platform we need to drive forward with the next stage of the company’s development.

In the last year we have acquired Emizon Networks and the Netherlands-based company IQIP. These two acquisitions have allowed us to enhance our product portfolio as well as expand into other territories.

Alongside this we have added new products and services, including the CSL Router and MiniAir, as well as growing our CSL Connected Partners for both panel and CCTV manufacturers. Plus, there’s more to come very soon with the international licencing opportunities of the Gemini Global Platform and the next generation DualCom.

IG: How do you expect the market to change over the next few years?

It’s clear that there are a lot of drivers for change in the market.

The move from analogue to IP will increase now BT have stated that PSTN will switch off in 2025. There are new, cutting-edge technologies – especially in the self-monitored market – entering the sector.

There is a convergence of security systems as cloud-based platforms aggregate and analyse data from different sources. Overall the cost of hardware and bandwidth is coming down, whilst quality is increasing, meaning a lot of products and services that were previously not accessible are now readily available and affordable.

Whilst there is a lot to be excited about right now, challenges linked to this technology also exist, for example the need for better cybersecurity and compliance to GDPR are mandatory now, not just in the products we use, but in the way our businesses operate.

I do see the market changing but just how quickly depends on how swiftly new technologies are adopted. The key for us is to understand which of these new technologies is suitable for our industry and the services we provide.

IG: How are CSL positioned to deal with this?

At CSL we are committed to delivering new, innovative solutions to our installers and ARC partners to allow them to maximise the opportunities we see. Enabling remote site monitoring via our M2M solutions is something we’re pushing as it opens a lot of new revenue streams, whilst also helping our customers reduce their cost base and become more efficient.

We have connectivity solutions to help with GDPR compliance and resilience

We have connectivity solutions to help with GDPR compliance and resilience. We’re also looking at platform enhancements to enable our customers to manage their connected estates more easily.

As always, we will continue to proactively assess the next growth areas and provide products and services that enable our customers to meet the needs of their customers.

IG: What else are CSL looking at in terms of new products and services?

Products such as MiniAir, CSL Connected and the CSL Router have recently been launched and continue to be developed. We are delighted to hear such positive feedback from the market on these.

But we’re not satisfied yet! We have plenty more innovations in the pipeline to maintain this commitment to professional installers.

In terms of alarm signalling, we are focusing on enhancing our product and platform features and capabilities, to ensure we provide the best possible service to our customers. This includes assisting them to further reduce false alarms and minimise faults.

We’ll continue to look at areas within the sector that require critical connectivity – ie where connectivity needs to be secure, encrypted and GDPR-ready, something CSL is already delivering today. Later in the year we’ll be adding to our range of propositions for CCTV, access control, HVAC and many others.

IG: Does CSL have further plans to expand internationally?

Yes. We are looking to expand further into Europe and beyond. Our Gemini Global Platform can be deployed easily and quickly in third-party hosting centres around the world.

The platform itself offers self-service portals and a suite of apps that allow our customers to offer an end-to-end solution in their territory. As such we can support companies anywhere in the world looking for secure connectivity.

We are excited about the years ahead. Personally, I am confident we are well positioned to meet the needs of our customers and I look forward to hearing from industry colleagues about how we can grow together.

CSL is exhibiting at IFSEC International, 19-21 June 2018, ExCeL London. Find them on stand E410. Register now.

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