Июль 2009

Cashless Payment business team as the sales manager responsible for France, Spain, Italy and Portugal less than two months ago, I had no qualms about my answer. (It obviously was yes!)

The world of payment methods has always been quite thrilling for me. But lately, I have had the profound feeling that cashless payment technologies and capabilities are going through an awesome acceleration phase. I wanted to work with experts. Fifteen years ago, when I started to work in this industry, the main novelty was the use of up and coming chip technology. A breakthrough innovation? Certainly. Being French, I would not deny this, but then it was still mainly a technical matter.

 

A decade and a half later, here is a rainbow of innovation and changes that are deeply modifying the landscape. The emergence of new players (mobile operators and retailers - among the most obvious), the ubiquity of payment means (contact and contactless cards, mobile, stickers, keyfob, virtual accounts) are here to stay and they are redefining the way we all make our payments. Even the way to get them has changed with possibilities of the personalized card or instant issuance.

 

Having said that, the most exciting above all is the convergence currently taking place between segments that were previously so separate: banking + transit, banking + access control, mobile + access control, banking + mobile… the combinations are endless and they open a new field of opportunities for the most visionary players. And for those of you who, like me, heard about the multi-application cards years back, this is a dream coming true.

 

My experience after hardly two months in the company matches all my expectations. Everyone is excited about the massive role that HID has to play in our industry evolution. There are indeed quite a few challenges ahead for many payment players but I am deeply confident that, wide beyond the provision of inlays and HID Global offers the expertise, the intelligence and that advice which will enable all parties to succeed.

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Trade shows, product launches and technology announcements make headlines. But behind the scenes, there is lots of hard work that often goes unnoticed.

Last week, HID Global took another step forward in making things more efficient for Product Marketing Managers, Product Line Managers, Marcom Managers, Engineers and Project Managers by launching an internal product development site that links departments, people and projects together.

After six months of research on what was working with existing Product Marketing processes, improvement areas were identified and we launched a new site where all product development teams can collaborate. Our approach allowed us to connect disparate Product Marketing and Engineering sites around the globe, along with the Marcom and Project Management teams who help drive the success of new product introductions. This initiative was a key part of a larger plan to ensure market success and support innovation. For example, a new custom product opportunity intake system will be launching soon that will build on this new site to help improve decision-making and ensure positive outcomes for customers.

By managing our work better internally, externally our customers benefit. Since this automation and other engines planned for the future will be used by development teams around the world, leaders will be able to see trends in customer needs and be able to prioritize projects accordingly. Plus, with employees in time zones around the world, we can ensure continuity of work regardless of the project. Also, this centralization of new product introduction information will make it easier for new team members to get up to speed on what’s going on as we grow.

And that’s our ultimate goal. To grow as a global company, we must continually meet the needs of customers by developing insanely great products, services and solutions for the delivery of secure identity. When you see new products emerge from HID Global in the future, remember that a lot of hard work goes on behind the scenes with smart people using effective processes and really great tools.

MGlotz's picture

Earlier this year, DEFRA (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) published a notice of a regulation change which will affect sheep herdsmen starting January 1, 2010.

Earlier this year, DEFRA (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) published a notice of a regulation change which will affect sheep herdsmen starting January 1, 2010.

One of the things that I was impressed by was the simplicity of message and the action that the notice suggested that sheep keepers do - contact your preferred eartag supplier “to discuss the type of identifier and reading equipment…you might use.” It added that sheep keeper customers also needed to be part of this food chain of information, as it were, as they will require various slaughter tags depending upon the age of the animal and whether or not batch movement documents will be acceptable.

Many folks may not know that in addition to the well-known physical access control card and reader products, HID manufactures RFID glass tags and e-unit disks for use in identifying pet, lab, and livestock animals. Including products for sheep identification.

It’s “dyed in our wool” to stay abreast of regulatory changes that affect our integrator partners and equipment suppliers in these markets. To stay competitive and be able to continue to offer the best in off the shelf and out of the box quality and performance, we simply need to be aware of any change that could affect the business of our end customers or the suppliers to them. The forthcoming changes in the U.K. are just one example of regulations that will affect customers of our identification products partners. DEFRA is directing sheep keepers in England to contact their suppliers -- our customers. They need to be the experts and we need to be (and are) positioned to answer their questions.

Tag performance no doubt will still be relevant but how will the regulations affect customer demands of integrators to provide market-appropriate readers? I assure you that we will stay on top of it. Over the past two decades we have focused on the development of secure contactless transponder technology. We have worked closely with partners to provide innovations and expertise they need in tags and reader modules. At this point, it’s not anticipated that the new rules on the electronic identification of sheep will drive product changes at HID, but if customer demands prove otherwise, we’ll get baaa-ck to work right away!

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Speaking at the UITP Expo Forum in Vienna last week, I was excited to have the opportunity to talk directly about system, reader and product interoperability to urban transport and mobility professionals.

As director of integration projects at HID Global, I was keen to share some of my insights into this area of increasing importance and demand since HID Global has been hard at work understanding both the cautions and the opportunities of reader interoperability issues in the transportation industry.

One of the things that I heard was how the concern over the scale of implementing an interoperability project was creating some operators to conduct extensive research and even cause delays in beginning their projects. Another issue that is on people’s minds is the expense associated with implementing an interoperable or converged system for automatic fare collection. Both are understandable and valid concerns but when you look at teams that have recently completed implementing interoperability solutions, it’s clear that there are real rewards to moving forward.

Anticipating wide usage of broad systems is one of the surest ways to ensure that any project meets needs now, in the future and therefore results in the lowest total cost of ownership. At HID, it has been my pleasure to work on and develop cards and reader products that ensure stable card supply and usability across systems. By trusting integrators and manufacturing partners who design to standards and have a mindset of interoperability, you can be confident in investing in the best fitting product for a specific application, and have that solution continue to meet your growing business, whether local or national in scale.

Moving into the increasingly tech-savvy and convenience-focused 21st Century, HID is focused on creating customer value with our products to ensure the best results for our customers and end-users. We develop and build to standards that support our interoperability position. Smooth interoperability implementations are possible. HID Global’s technology complies with ISO standards and HID is positioned to provide products to service readers in the field with suitable upgrades. Regardless of card products origins, our readers work with existing systems. Besides readers, we offer cards, key fobs, as well as prelaminates. As the demand for interoperable solutions grows for cost-efficient systems around the world, our proven expertise in secure, contactless technology means we are in an ideal position to participate in projects of ANY size or scope -- on the reader side, on the token side - or both.

I was excited to hear the feedback from UITP Forum attendees directly, and to meet with high-level decision makers in the transportation industry. With the opportunity to answer their questions and concerns in person, I am more confident now than ever before that HID Global has what it takes to move reader interoperability into the 21st century with superior efficiency and versatility.

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At the beginning of each new year, almost all of us make New Year’s Resolutions. How many of us take the time mid-year to look back to measure on how we’ve done or take a few moments to look forward and course correct?

Last year, when I asked customers what we could do to earn more of their business, their gut response was to ask for a lower price. Being with HID for 9 years, where we work to provide solutions and value to customers beyond what is just a number on an invoice, I was somewhat taken aback at this response. If all some customers want is a lower price, it was apparent to me that in the tag and inlay space, a few customers regarded us as a manufacturer, as opposed to the strategic partner that we are and continue to strive to be.

Soon enough, my leadership plan included actions to understand our customers better and learn what they needed and valued, but weren’t necessarily able to articulate. What services and features could we provide that would delight them - things that they might not even dream would be possible? Essentially, I set out to learn and strategize around what our customers really wanted and needed.

There are many examples companies that have worked with customers to develop solutions to meet needs previously unaddressed. FedEx met the unarticulated need of overnight package and letter delivery service. But neither FedEx nor UPS stopped there. Now it is possible to know the exact location of those packages while in transit simply by logging in to their Web sites and entering your tracking number. It’s these sorts of innovations and services beyond the actual service of package delivery that I am tapping into within our business.

So how have we done so far? Looking back, the integration of ITG into HID required a lot of hard work operationally. In the physical access control space, we are proud to offer some of the best service and fulfillment levels in the industry. It’s one of my goals to ensure that this is replicated across the organization.

So what is next? Besides improved stocking and turns, I’m looking ahead at the role HID can play in customers’ application solutions. We will continue to align and enable sales, engineering and product teams to work together with customers towards the successful achievement of common goals. Ultimately, we are continuing to identify and implement programs that benefit customers or make us easier to do business with.

When winter rolls around again, I am optimistic that we will say that we achieved our goals and that customers will appreciate, to an even greater degree, what and how we deliver.