Maximum impact: Edimax

Networking solution manufacturer Edimax has been making a big push into the channel over the last year. Helen French speaks to Nathan Blank, Edimax?s sales manager for the UK and Ireland, about what we can expect to see next from the firm?
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Edimax appointed a new MD for the UK in July last year – Wilson Chu, and of course you joined the team this year. Chu wanted to build on Edimax’s market position in the UK – how has this gone?
The UK base has a nine-year history, and using what we’ve learnt during that time we can build new sustainable strategies to produce reliable, innovative and competitive products. Since I joined the UK office, Edimax UK has managed to dramatically increase Edimax’s presence in various channels especially retailer and SMB segments.

We know how unique the UK market is, in the way that instead of merely maturing like other regions in the world, it is far more advanced. However, we are able to deal with the increasing demands and changes of the UK channel as we are equipped with a superb support team consisting of marketing, sales, technical support hotline and so on.

You’re already working with quite a long list of retailers. Where do you still need to grow?

Retail is very important for brand awareness, but this is just one area of focus. Our understanding of consumer requirements enables us to offer the right products to fulfil retail and channel demand.

We will continue to focus on the retail sector whilst minimising channel conflict – our channel partners provide the key area of growth and we are fully supporting a model to maximise the potential of distribution and reseller channels.

Your motto is ‘Networking people together’. A lot of home users find networking with new routers quite intimidating. Your iQ Setup product claims to make it easier than ever to set them up – can you explain how this works?
Setting up a wireless router can involve quite a lot of networking knowledge. You have to know how to access the router user interface with an IP address, determine the internet service type, or even determine what Wi-Fi encryption type to use. Essentially, iQ Setup does most of the determining for you and sets up the internet and Wi-Fi network automatically, leaving little to no configuration on your part.

As more homes rely on always-on internet connections – for games or television streaming – strong and robust networking solutions are more essential than ever. What is Edimax doing in this area?
Edimax has recently released a high-speed concurrent dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) router for the home entertainment and gaming market — the BR-6475nD 300Mbps Wireless Concurrent Dual-Band Gigabit iQ Router. With concurrent dual-band capability, you can apply general network applications over the 2.4GHz band and leave the cleaner 5GHz band for wireless multimedia streaming. Gamers can also enjoy a high-speed gaming experience with its ultrafast gigabit (1000Mbps) Ethernet ports. Moreover, BR-6475nD is designed with Edimax’s innovative iQoS bandwidth management system.

With a user-friendly graphical user interface, iQoS provides you an easy way to manage your bandwidth priorities. You can click the icons representing different applications types in the order that you want, so gaming, watching online video, and downloading files at the same time will no longer be a problem. More dual-band routers and wireless USB adapters are in Edimax’s product roadmap. You’ll see more of such products from Edimax soon.

Recently Edimax has launched Wireless Video Technology, which enables HD video to be streamed to from PC/Laptop to the TV/Monitor. Where do you see this being used?
Edimax Wireless Video Bridge Technology enhances the speed, throughput, and stability of video over Wi-Fi networking with what is called beamforming technology. We believe IPTV service providers will be interested in such a solution because the solution’s simultaneous, high-quality, multi-room wireless video streaming capability can save the service provider a lot of time and money setting up an IPTV system in your home.

Another popular area of application, we believe, is in the IP surveillance system. In large campuses or buildings where cabling is both expensive and inconvenient, IP surveillance system integrators can easily set up a wireless IP surveillance system with Edimax’s Wireless Video Bridge solution.

Edimax has now entered into the pro-grade IP surveillance market too. Is this a big sector for you in the UK?
We believe digital IP surveillance will be a key area of growth over the next two years. Our products have the highest technology available in the market, and we aim to provide flexibility on choice of solutions, enabling the end user to choose the right set-up for their environment rather than being forced into rigid bundles that do not provide flexibility of choice of budget. Expect to see our Pro IP Surveillance range in Q3.

Edimax showcased its new Plug-n-View technology at Computex 2011, enabling users to check on networked cameras without a complicated set-up. It’s fascinating to see cloud technology being used for home security – will we see more of this in the future?
The greatest benefit of bringing home security to the cloud is the increase of personal mobility. In other words, products like Edimax Plug-n-View make it easy for you to check up on the safety of your home, family, pets, and assets with a smartphone or laptop computer from anywhere in the world. All you need is an internet connection.

Cloud computing is going to change the way we work and play. It is even going to change the way we design and use computing devices. There is still a long way to go in terms building the required infrastructure for the cloud computing age, but Edimax is already preparing for it. We certainly have much more in store in terms of networking and cloud application.

How do you plan to further expand into the UK?
Edimax is a company that will never lose sight of what made us successful. Our focus is to position our brand accordingly to meet the demands of the UK, working with our channel partners, including major and independent retailers, e-tail, VARs, SMB and System Integrators, as well as ensuring distribution have stock at the right price at the right price.

We’ll never lose sight of the fact that our success is driven by what we do as a company and by perfecting our strategies we will enable us achieve our goals of continuing to grow the Edimax brand.

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