20th December 2012
At an exclusive briefing, dinner and awards event attended by 140 top distributors, dealers and solutions developers from EMEA, joined by Manabu Aoki, Director, JVC Kenwood Professional Systems, Europe, Mike Atkins, Managing Director of Kenwood European HQ, Communications Division, announced that Kenwood will significantly extend its digital footprint in the industry through entry into additional digital technologies and protocols.
The evening opened with a new film charting the evolution of Kenwood in communications from analogue into digital with reference examples from the many hundreds of NEXEDGE® customer applications around the world.
During a moderated panel session, Mike Atkins, along with S. Niina, General Manager and Jens Toobe, Systems Sales Manager, revealed the schedule for further development of the highly successful, award winning, NEXEDGE® digital system starting with the introduction of a new mid‐tier mobile radio, the NX‐720/820, which will also be available with GPS option for lone‐worker and workers‐at‐risk applications. Deliveries of the NX‐720/820 are imminent while other NEXEDGE® developments for 2013 include an ATEX certified hand portable radio by summer 2013 and a series of firmware upgrades such as enabling Composite Control Channel functionality and increasing the capacity of fully roamed NEXEDGE® sites
Kenwood Solutions Developer Programme (KSDP) roll‐out
In recognition that a flexible and reliable system is just a part of a successful and effective radio communications solution and to harness and exploit the full potential of NEXEDGE® digital, Kenwood has recently introduced the Kenwood Solution Developers Programme (KSDP). Every specialist company in the Kenwood Solution Developers Programme was selected for their software and/or hardware solutions designed to work with NEXEDGE® or analogue radios. While KSDP members are all independent companies, they are nonetheless part of the extended Kenwood family in recognition of their commitment to delivering the highest standards of quality and service.
With some 17 developers already signed, the KSDP is now set to roll‐out to include more nations and specialities from simple, single channel monitoring software to more sophisticated dispatch, asset tracking and lone worker protection solutions.
500,000 NEXEDGE® units in service worldwide and growing!
Beyond NEXEDGE® ‐ which remains at the forefront of Kenwood’s digital strategy having recently achieved a landmark market penetration in excess of 500,000 units since its launch in 2008 ‐ Kenwood announced the introduction of ETSI compliant dPMR products scheduled for Spring 2013, and will mark its entry into TDMA in Europe with DMR products during the latter part of next year. Mike Atkins also confirmed a comprehensive review of Kenwood’s approach to participation in other existing and emerging digital platforms by stating:
“We have a dynamic, ongoing programme of developments for NEXEDGE®, including ETSI compliant Nexedge dPMR, Atex certified Nexedge and finally a new range of Kenwood DMR equipment– all in the space of the next 12 months. With all this in place, matched to the commitment and drive of the Kenwood EMEA team, I’m confident that we will become the preferred digital partner to our distributors and dealers into a very much brighter digital future“.
Information sharing and support 24 hours a day
Another major point made during the panel session was the evolution of the Kenwood EMEA Online Support resource website which was launched earlier this year. The idea of the site is to provide registered users with access to the wealth of knowledge, firmware and programming software updates and experience in the extended Kenwood family around the world to maximise efficiency and sales opportunities. ‐ if anyone the audience hasn‘t already registered for this free service. Please contact your Kenwood office.
NEXEDGE® Websites driving traffic for distributors and dealers
The audience were reminded that the NEXEDGE® marketing push has ramped up further in the last quarter of 2012 with the Blog Page driving traffic to the rich content on the main NEXEDGE® Business website. The results are an increase in the number of Page 1 rankings on Google, Yahoo and Bing, a site visibility score of 56% and more pages being visited, more often and for longer dwell times.
NEXEDGE® Innovation Award EMEA 2012 Winners
The dinner event held at the stunning Früh Lounge ‐ which overlooks a Christmas Market and the Cathedral in Cologne ‐ also saw the inaugural presentation of the NEXEDGE® Innovation Award EMEA 2012.
The aim of the award is to recognise ‘innovation’ in its broadest terms ‐ in relation to the specifying, selling, integrating, installing, implementing and empowering of Nexedge systems and solutions …whether in the most novel or unusual application, in delivering the most innovative technical solution, the best response to a sales challenge or the most efficient delivery of an integrated solution.
The numerous entries were judged by Kenwood Communications sales and technical staff from across EMEA and the winners were announced as follows:
Benelux ‐ EES Mobiele Communicatie of Rotterdam, who, with the support of Kenwood distributor Koning & Hartman, successfully completed a trunked NEXEDGE® system in and around the harbour of Rotterdam for Damen, a world renown shipbuilding and repair business.
France ‐ Ouest Communication Mobile for an innovative NEXEDGE® trunked security and facilities management system for the Futuroscope theme park in Poitiers.
Germany ‐ Schmidt Funktechnik for its innovative NEXEDGE® Application Software for Dispatch, Lone Worker and Indoor Location functions. Schmidt Funktechnik are both a Kenwood dealer and member of the Kenwood Solutions Developer Programme.
United Kingdom Domestic ‐ Northwest Radio Communications for the NEXEDGE® system designed and installed for The Constables of Liverpool Cathedral, the fifth largest cathedral in the world. The single site system provides 100% coverage and the means for the Constables to implement a robust security and public safety strategy for the benefit of the cathedral staff and visitors, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
UK Export ‐ Sectron Security & Communications Systems of Sofia, Bulgaria, for its innovative and enterprising solution to delivering a nationwide trunked NEXEDGE® radio communications system to the Republic of Bulgaria’s Ministry of Interior for the national police service. The system was deployed in three phases over three years, starting with Sofia, then onto urban areas and finally the rest of Bulgaria and provides full availability throughout the country.
Sectron Commemorates 20 years with Kenwood
The evening was rounded off by the presentation of a traditional Bulgarian bronze statue to Mike Atkins by Georgi Videnov of Sectron to mark the 20th year of close association between Sectron and Kenwood.