Competing Against Siemens

By Brian Karas, Published on Oct 16, 2017

Siemens entered the integration business with 15,000+ customers, through their acquisition of Security Technologies Group in 2001 [link no longer available]. Since that time, they have added more acquisitions, of both integrators and products (ex: MAC SystemsNovotec, VistaScape [link no longer available]) to expand their offerings in the security industry. Their combined service and product offering make them particularly competitive in certain scenarios, according to IPVM integrators.

This report is the final installment in our series on competing against large national integrators, having previously covered competing against ADTConvergintG4SSchneiderStanley, and  Tyco IS / JCI.

We analyze 150 integrator responses on competing against Siemens, highlighting how integrators view them, when Siemens is competitive in bids, and when they are not.

Executive *******

*********** *** *** ***** compete **** ******* ** security ****, *** *** see **** **** ********** in **** ********** ** building ********** ********. 

Not *********** ** ********

*********** ***** ****** ************ that ******* *** *** competitive **** ** **** to ******** ********. **** lack ** ***** ** security ***** ********* ****** their *************** **** ******* IPVM ***********.

  • "* *** ***** * year. **** *********, **** don't **** ** ****** prioritize ********. ** ***** to ** **** **** of ** ************ ** Siemens ******."
  • "** **** ***** **** several, ******* ******* *********. We **** **** ***** in *** ******** ******** where ** **** ****** with **** **** *** not **** ** ******* a ******** *** ***** to ******** *** ****. I ***'* **** ** it's ******* **** *** too *** ** **** but ******* ***** ** have *** **** *** taken **** ********* *** had *******."
  • "** ***** ******* ******* Siemens. ***** ******* ** high *** ***** ********** in ******** ** *** very ****."
  • "** ****** *** ****** Siemens, **** *** *** a ****** ******** ********** in *** *** ***********. They *** * **** competitor, **** ***'* ***** dirty."
  • "******. * ***** **** shut **** ***** ******** effort ****** **."

Fire ********** ******** ******

******* *** **** ***** seen ** ***** * competitor ********* **** ** came ** **** ***** systems. **** ** ****** due ** *** ******* manufacturing***** *** **** ******/********** equipment, ****** **** ** advantage ** **** ******, and ****** ** *** worth ******** ******* *** the *******.

  • "** ** *** ** fire ***** *** **** is *** ** ******* don't *** ****."
  • "******* ***** ** ****** quite * *** ** Fire ***** **** **** in *** ****. ** don't ******* ** *** Fire ****** ** **** are *** ** ******* to **."
  • "**** **** **** **** on ***** ********** **** alarm ****. ******** ** that **** *** ****-****** and ******** *********** ******* to ****** ********."
  • "** **** ****** **** them ** ********, **** seem **** **** **** fire *** **** **** well. * *** ******** experiences **** ****."
  • "**** *********, **** ** the **** *****, **'** more ** ******/*****, **** are * ****, **** turnover, ********** *****'* ****, sales ***** ** ** the ********* *****"
  • "***** **** ********** ****** and * *** **** . ***** *** ***** is ** ***** *** have ***** *** ** deal **** **** ******** , *** ********* ********"

Building **********

******** ********** *** ******* systems **** ******* **** where ******* *** ***** to ** * **** likely **********.

  • "************ ** ******** *********. Similar ** ******* ********. Strong ******** ******** *** weak ** ******* ** security. ********* **** ********* prices."
  • "**** ** ******. **** tend ** ******* ** large ***** ********* ********** where ******** ********** ** a ******. *******, **** had * ***** ** of ** ** *** security **** ** *** territory * *** ***** back *** *** ***** recreating ********** *******."
  • "** * ******* ***** but **** ** * building ********** **** - not ******** ****. **** company ** ******* ** JCI **** ****** ************ of ******* ******* ****** them **** ****** ** be ***********."
  • "** **** *** ******** against ******* *******, **** really **** ***** ** the ******** ********** **** and ***'* *** **** into ******** ****. * have ***** **** ****** from ********* ** *** building ****, *** *****'* heard **** ** *** they ** ** *** security ****."
  • "******. **** ******* ** security ***** *** *********** on *** ******** ******** and **** ***** ********"

Large ****

**** **** ******** ***********, Siemens ** **** ****** to ** ******** **** on ****** ****, ***** customers *** **** ****** to ******* *** ********* Siemens *** *******, *** where **** *** **** likely ** ** ********** for * ****** ************.

  • "************. **** **** ** focus ** ***** ********** jobs ** *** ******."
  • "******. **** ***** *** environments ** ***** *********. Performance ** ********* ****, but ***** ********** **** their ******** ******** ******** gets **** ********."
  • "******* ******** ** *** very ***** ******** ** Toronto (*.*. *********) *** we ***'*. * ***** run **** **** *** do * **** ******** good ** *** ** say."

Generally ******** **** ** *******

*******, *********** *** * positive *********** ** *******. While *** *** ********* indicated ****** ** ******* for *******, *** **** that **** *** ******* positive ******** **** *********** was ********** *** * national **********.

  • "*****, ********* ********* ********** of *** *******."
  • "**** ** **** **** company, *** ****** **** the ******* ****."
  • "** * *******. *****. Good *******, **** ****** reps ** *** *****."
  • "***** ******* ******* ****, but ** ******* ** their ******** **** **** to **** **** ***** products *** ** * good *** **** *** installation."
  • "*****. **** ** **** they **"

Comments (3)

I did not get a good impression of their security people when we needed to work with them for a common client in Florida. They installed the access control system and we needed to connect a network I/O device to it to initiate a lockdown of all the doors that came from a 3rd party system. Too long and complex a story to get into, but the short of it was all we needed for them to do was connect the wires from the I/O device we had mounted on the wall  to one of their panels in an IDF and program a rule in the system to lock or unlock doors based on the input. They didn't even need a ladder as the panel and I/O were both wall mounted person height.

1. They said because we were requesting it, they were going to charge a higher rate to the client rather than the client's "discounted" contract rate. Which made no sense as we were doing this on the request of the client and simply doing the technical coordination so the client didn't have to be the go-between.

2. Their "discounted rate" was the same as many of the standard rates around the area.

3. Two guys showed up and all one of them did was stand around and watch. They were there maybe two hours but tried to charge almost a full day for both people. I had to argue with them to be fair to the client and get the hours reduced, but not by much.

It just gave me the impression they were used to milking large contracts with impunity where overcharges like that were rarely noticed.

When YOU hold all the ace's to the deck , there is no competition. 

I work with , compete against, do business with Siemens all the time 

and think they as a whole are a great company 

Very competent, very professional, Very Expensive 

If i were to rank them , I would put them up there with the top 1% of most expensive 

I work on , integrate to , and troubleshoot their systems all the time. 

When I price out against them it is very easy to figure. 

My cost, Burden, overhead + 100% = a competitive bid . 

While most of the time they get work due to size, client , negotiation of job, at least from what i can see.

Im in the low end of the food chain.

When a 1500.00 price tag is competitive to a 5 k price tag 

how can you loose.  

it is being sure to keep the proprietary format in place that works 

we still get to see the outrageous price index. 

this is due to overhead

Proprietary is the Key

Certified people who can work on their product line is the other key. 

most of the large projects we don't even see. 

5-10 million projects that's where they can bury the figures and come out smelling like a rose. 

and that is where Siemens subs out a lot of work 

 

When ever our customers require 3 quotes, we frequently give them Siemens number as they will always provide a larger estimate and help ensure we get the job.

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