Interviews Najave World

Interview: Chenguttuvan Tamilarasan, General Manager for the Middle East at Zenitel

shared insights with a&s Middle East about his company’s strategic presence in the ME, emphasizing its comprehensive approach to critical communication solutions, cybersecurity measures, and innovative product offerings

 a&s Middle East: Regarding Zenitel’s presence and organizational structure in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, could you provide an overview of the company’s footprint, key operational aspects, and strategies implemented to cater to the diverse market landscape in this region?

Tamilarasan: Zenitel has strategically established a robust presence in the Middle East region spanning various sectors such as industrial, healthcare, defense, prisons, and maritime industries since the early seventies. Operating from our base in Abu Dhabi, our dedicated team offers comprehensive technical support to end-users, partners, and engineering consultants. In addition to our technical assistance, we actively engage in business development and marketing endeavors.

Our commitment extends beyond initial sales; we provide materials, services, and unwavering product support both before and after sales. Our core focus revolves around non-residential applications, ensuring that a diverse clientele trusts us as their preferred suppliers for sophisticated critical communication requirements.

One of our key strengths lies in the unparalleled reputation we’ve built by consistently delivering exceptional levels of support to our customers. Our emphasis on quality, promptness, and depth of assistance has garnered us a stellar standing within the industry, earning the trust and loyalty of our clientele.

a&s Middle East: You aim to implement the Unified Critical Communication concept.  Could you tell us more about it?

Tamilarasan: Zenitel is the first in the market to deliver a truly integrated Unified Critical Communication solution. By this we mean Zenitel will deliver a platform to our customers that delivers a fully featured solution for both security and life safety communication. By bringing two industry-leading systems, both PA/VA and intercom, we are creating a solution that is currently unmatched in both the PA/VA and security markets.

In addition, we continue to integrate our solutions with the major security platforms in the market. Whether you are deploying access control or VMS solutions, Zenitel will deliver superior customer and operator experiences with feature-rich integrations.

a&s Middle East: What technological advancements or features does Zenitel prioritize to ensure crystal-clear audio and seamless integration within access control and video management systems, particularly in emergency communication scenarios?

Tamilarasan: Providing crystal clear audio requires careful integration of both hardware and software. Zenitel delivers state-of-the-art hardware solutions, and we carefully tune our software to deliver optimal performance. In addition, Zenitel integrates our own high-performance audio processing, including, automatic gain control and echo cancellation to ensure everyone can hear, be heard, and be understood in any environment.

In today’s world integrating communication services, video management, and access control is essential to provide a robust security solution to any customer. Integrating communication services allows an immediate channel to respond and deter as soon as a security event is detected. In addition, it provides an essential tool for coordinating the correct response to any security event. Zenitel is at the forefront of using industry standards as well as working directly with the major platforms in the industry to deliver the most integrated security experience available.

Zenitel is the first in the market to deliver a truly integrated Unified Critical Communication solution

a&s Middle East: Can you provide an overview of Zenitel’s latest product releases, specifically the Turbine Extended Intercoms (TEIV1+ and TEIV4+), and highlight the key advantages these bring to security system integrators and building owners?

Tamilarasan: The Turbine Extended series represents a cutting-edge advancement in our Turbine Video door intercom range. With this series, consisting of two distinct variants tailored to meet specific user needs, Zenitel leapfrogs into Mixed-Use Building Communication Solutions.

Firstly, the TEIV1+ stands out with its full keypad intercom feature. This functionality allows users to input a PIN for access control. Additionally, visitors can conveniently dial the directory number of an intercom within the building or utilize scroll keys to look up a contact in the address book.

The second variant, TEIV-4+, goes beyond the standard Video Intercom capabilities. It offers the flexibility to integrate a third-party Card reader, seamlessly combining Intercom and Access Control Reader functions into a single integrated unit. This not only streamlines the user experience but also provides customers with a comprehensive solution that addresses both communication and access control requirements.

a&s Middle East: Could you elaborate on the distinct features of the VR3G-1 and VR3G-1P vandal-resistant intercoms and how these cater to safety concerns prevalent in various environments, including the Middle East?

Tamilarasan: The VR3G-1 and VR3G-1P are our latest offerings for Vandal Resistant IP Intercom stations. Engineered to withstand tampering and impact, these rugged stations boast a robustness of up to IK10 and are weatherproof up to IP66 and can therefore be deployed in even the most high-risk or challenging environments

Specifically, the VR3G-1P model features a Piezo Call Button with a self-test capability. This unique button, with no moving parts, enhances durability and fortifies the station’s resistance to damage, ensuring longevity and continued functionality.

Beyond their physical resilience, these intercom stations incorporate an integrated managed data switch, offering advanced networking and security features. This integrated switch not only safeguards against unwanted access but also manages data traffic to ensure quality of service (QoS).

Engineered down to the smallest detail, this comprehensive approach underscores our commitment to delivering reliable communication services for facilities and installations, demanding the most advanced security features, the highest level of vandal resistance as well as anti-ligature features, such as detention centers, rehabilitation centers, prisons or other holding facilities (e.g. secure zones in airports).

a&s Middle East: Regarding Public Address & Voice Alarm (PA/VA) Solutions, how does Zenitel empower security teams to deliver messages and alerts effectively across various environments and situations, and how does this align with the needs of the Middle East market?

Tamilarasan: Zenitel, via the recent acquisition of ASL products, has established itself as one of the most recognized Public Address Voice Alarm brands in the Middle East and has been part of prestigious projects like Expo 2020- Dubai, Alexandria Library in Egypt, Sheikh Zayed Museum- Abu Dhabi, Dubai World Trade Centre (the very building we are in) and many others.

We prioritize the integration of innovative technology to enhance the quality of our products and services. Our significant investments in research and development play a crucial role in developing advanced solutions that are not only effective but also user-friendly. Drawing from over 30 years of experience, we have established a diverse portfolio of solutions tailored to various industries. Moreover, our commitment to designing systems goes beyond mere protection; prioritizing engagement and optimal performance, ensuring an exceptional experience for both our clients and their customers. In the rapidly expanding Middle East market, we have tailored offerings specifically for transportation infrastructure, industrial applications, and large public venues.

Hence, our EN54 Certification and Civil Defense Approval serve as additional reassurances of our commitment to reliability and effectiveness. These certifications underscore the high standards we maintain in ensuring the quality and performance of our solutions, which is something we take pride in, as a company.

Via the recent acquisition of ASL products, Zenitel has established itself as one of the most recognized PA/VA brands in the Middle East

a&s Middle East: How do Zenitel’s Intelligent Communication Platforms facilitate management and security services while enabling seamless integration into cloud-based solutions and other applications? What benefits does this offer to customers, especially in the Middle East?

Tamilarasan: The cloud offers significant benefits to customers looking to improve the efficiency and manageability of their security operations. At Zenitel we have a firm view that a hybrid solution delivering both the benefits of the cloud and the robustness of on-premise solutions will deliver the greatest level of security for our customers. We have a strong development focus both internally and with our industry partners to ensure seamless integration between cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-on-premises solutions.

a&s Middle East: Could you elaborate on the unique features or functionalities of Zenitel’s IP Speakers and how these complement the overall communication solutions provided by the company, specifically considering their impact on addressing client needs in the Middle East?

Tamilarasan: Our family of IP Loudspeakers is a fusion of the exceptional audio quality from our Turbine platform and the broad-reaching capabilities of Public Address speakers. This innovative solution not only amplifies your PA broadcasts but also introduces interactivity through Talkback and Ambient Listening functions. This means your team can engage in real-time, clear communication in diverse environments and situations.

What sets our IP Loudspeakers apart is their scalability, thanks to flexible zoning features. This allows you to adapt the system to your specific needs and spatial requirements. Additionally, we’ve incorporated self-check mechanisms to proactively limit system downtime, ensuring optimal performance. The inclusion of Automatic Volume Control further enhances the user experience, eliminating the need for constant adjustments. This not only streamlines operations but also contributes to a seamless and hassle-free communication environment. Furthermore, our design minimizes the need for manual maintenance, effectively lowering service costs. We believe in delivering a solution that not only meets your audio and communication needs but does so with efficiency, reliability, and cost-effectiveness.

a&s Middle East: In what ways does Zenitel collaborate with security integrators to educate end customers about the significance of integrating audio solutions within emergency communication systems, particularly focusing on the Middle East market’s specific needs?

Tamilarasan: Zenitel is known for its quality of support especially in integrations with 3rd party systems including PSIM, VMS, Access Control, and various Security Management Systems. We keep ourselves engaged in constant communication with the System Integrators for various applications which in turn help us in learning the trend in technological requirements in interfacing.

Integrating communication services, video management, and access control is essential to provide a robust security solution

a&s Middle East: Could you discuss Zenitel’s compliance with industry standards like ONVIF and its impact on customers, particularly in the Middle East, in terms of product compatibility and benefits?

Tamilarasan: ONVIF has had a tremendous and growing impact on the interoperability of security systems. ONVIF from inception has always been geared towards the video side of security. But at Zenitel we very early saw the potential for ONVIF to have a dramatic impact on how we integrate our communication services with VMS. All Zenitel products, including video stations, audio stations, and also IP speakers, are now ONVIF compatible. This brings a very robust set of communication features that are available out of the box when connecting to any ONVIF-compatible VMS. On top of this, we provide our own extended capabilities that deliver, in conjunction with ONVIF, a deep and feature-rich integration to any industry-leading VMS.

a&s Middle East: What future developments or expansion plans does Zenitel have for its products or market outreach in the Middle East, and are there any upcoming innovations or strategies the company aims to introduce?

Tamilarasan: At Zenitel we are strongly focused on developing the industry-leading Unified Critical Communication solution, a robust and integrated security and life safety platform. A key focus will be developing in the cloud to dramatically improve the management and integration of our communication services with access control and video management services while ensuring the highest levels of cybersecurity. And of course, we will continue to deliver new state-of-the-art audio and communication devices that deliver the absolute best in class audio performance.

a&s Middle East: How does Zenitel continuously adapt its cybersecurity measures to safeguard its IP intercom solutions against evolving cyber threats, particularly in markets like the Middle East?

Tamilarasan: Cybersecurity is one of the most critical guiding principles for Zenitel as we continue to develop existing and new services. We are proud members of the CIS SecureSuite. This membership empowers us to bolster our cybersecurity defenses through the utilization of CIS Benchmarks—consensus-based security configuration resources like CIS-CAT Pro—and CIS Controls, a set of cyber practices curated by global experts. These measures are implemented to thwart today’s most prevalent and hazardous cyber-attacks, reflecting our dedication to maintaining a secure environment for our clients and their systems.


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