Interview: Vladyslav Markichev, Area Manager, SATEL

a&s Adria: Mr. Vladyslav Markichev, could you please present yourself to our readers: your education, business experience, and your role in SATEL?

Markichev: My name is Vladyslav Markichev and I’m an Area Manager for SATEL responsible for, among other markets, the Balkans. My education has given me a solid technical background, which I consider a great asset in my current role. I graduated from the National Technical University of Ukraine as an engineer, which I then complemented with practical sales experience in the field. Starting with such a good foundation is a real advantage that benefits me every day.

What I value most is that working at SATEL gives me the opportunity for continuous development. I started as a technical engineer, which was a very valuable experience that allowed me to get to know our solutions not only in theory but in real life and very practical applications. On the other hand, it has given me the possibility to be close to customers and their needs. This gives you a completely different approach to sales. You can advise customers on the best solutions and, working with professional equipment, you can be confident in what you are doing and confident that you are giving customers the best solution.

However, my adventure in the security industry started much earlier, over fifteen years ago. As a young student, I started working as an access control and intruder alarm systems installer. At the time, our team worked with various brands, but the leader, especially when it comes to quality and in terms of functionality, was SATEL. In this role, I started gaining new competencies very fast, which consequently led me to take on a managerial position in the technical department not long before joining SATEL.

Today, I look after our target markets in more than ten different countries. I plan sales campaigns, conduct regular product presentations and webinars, represent the company at trade fairs and industry events, solve any export-related problems, and also negotiate contracts and take care of admin for all the markets. I enjoy talking to new customers and maintaining good relationships with our long-standing partners. Advising them on their day-to-day business and technical issues can produce great results in terms of sales and personal satisfaction.

a&s Adria: SATEL has been in business for 30 years. What were its most important milestones? In numbers, how many employees and offices do you have now, and in how many countries do you sell your products?

Markichev: From the very beginning, the company was motivated by the idea that to gain and maintain market position, SATEL branded products must have an attractive price, while offering more functionality than those available from our competitors.

Hard work, ingenuity, and determination quickly bore fruit: the first control panels were launched quickly. They were from the CA series which was put into production in 1991.

Over the past 30 years, there have been many other milestones: 1991 – the CA-8 control panel was released, 1994 – the CA-10 control panel (in 1996 it was awarded the Gold Medal at the SECUREX Fair in Poznań), 1996 – STAM 1 monitoring station, 1998 – the first GSM module, 2003 – AQUA, our first motion detector, 2003 – the INTEGRA advanced control panel, 2005 – the ABAX wireless system, 2007 – our ACCO access control system launched, 2007 – INT-ORS/INT-IORS modules, 2008 – the first GPRS module, 2009 – VERSA control panels, 2013 – CSP conventional fire alarm system, 2013 – INT-TSI / INT-TSG touchscreen keypads, 2015 – OPAL family of outdoor detectors, 2017 – PERFECTA control panels, 2019 – ABAX 2 wireless system, 2019 – SLIM LINE family of motion detectors, 2019 – KNX modules, 2023 – ACSP addressable fire alarm system.

Systematic expansion of our production line and the constantly growing team (currently 370 employees), required more and more space. Over the past 30 years, our headquarters’ address has changed several times. Since 2008, we have been headquartered at a modern building conveniently located near Gdansk airport. Currently, we have an impressive array of machinery and a laboratory that is widely recognized as one of the best equipped in the Pomerania province. In 2019, our laboratory gained KNX accreditation joining a prestigious group of only 16 facilities in the world (and the only one in Eastern Europe) that are authorized to carry out certification tests for KNX products. The word “SATEL” is already associated with security in over 90 countries throughout the world.

a&s Adria: You state that a “proven formula for your success is a combination of four elements in perfect proportions”. What are those elements and what do they imply?

Markichev: Yes, exactly. Each of these elements is a link in the chain and only when they all work together as one, properly cared for and managed we can talk about success. Each of them is equally important to us.

Let’s begin with “High production standards”.

Our production lines are regularly modernized, and their level of automation increased to maximize their efficiency and production precision. By monitoring the environmental conditions (air quality, humidity, temperature) within the production area and in the components warehouse, we ensure the stability of our machinery and equipment manufactured by SATEL. We use professional testing equipment of our design to verify the efficiency of products before they are delivered to our customers. Not only the production process is driven by technology. The second factor is “Technology in the product”.  At SATEL we believe it’s crucial to move with the times. Therefore, we constantly monitor and implement new technological solutions in our devices, as well as focus on their universal design. All this is to ensure that our products are versatile, easy to install, configure, and operate every day for all end-users. This is all possible thanks to “Qualified specialists”. The people working for SATEL are experts well-versed in both design and production of alarm system equipment for many years. Our employees and the values they bring to SATEL are its greatest asset. Last but not least “Close cooperation with our customers”. They are the first and final voice that gives us feedback on our ideas and final products introduced to the market. Fast response to our customers’ needs is what we are very proud of. We develop products for individual markets and their requirements in mind – which is why we are valued by customers and business partners alike around the world. The wide range of available devices, which provide comprehensive security and comfort, is the result of the accumulated knowledge of hundreds of people over the years.

a&s Adria: Your company is designing and manufacturing different types of security products. Can you in brief present your product portfolio and the technologies they are based on?

Markichev: SATEL mainly focuses on two control panels: PERFECTA and INTEGRA. Both models offer security and automation features. The choice is determined by the size of the premise, the level of protection required by the type of premise, and options of integration with other types of installations as well as everyday administration and operation.

One of the newest control panels of the PERFECTA family is the PERFECTA 64 M. It is designed for houses and small businesses. This control panel offers easy everyday operation via e.g. touchscreen keypads and mobile app, an intuitive configuration tool, as well as additional protection against fire, flood, or gas leak, and, last but not least, smart home options. The PERFECTA 64 M control panel supports both wired and wireless ABAX2 security devices at the same time, making system installation very simple.

INTEGRA is an intelligent control panel dedicated to larger installations such as big houses, office buildings, banks, and industrial facilities. Thanks to the wide variety of keypads, motion detectors, modules, and software features, the INTEGRA control panel is very flexible. Based on a single system, the following can be realized at the same time: burglary, fire, flooding, and gas leak, as well as access control and building automation functions. As the name suggests, the INTEGRA control panel is designed for easy INTEGRAtion with other systems (e.g. KNX) to provide customers with even more advanced possibilities.

a&s Adria: To achieve high production standards, SATEL designs and produces even the smallest plastic elements and ensures that your products are constantly put through different testing regimes in your labs, using advanced equipment. What are the benefits of this approach for the end users/installer?

Markichev: Firstly, it ensures that the products are of high quality and meets the required standards. By designing and producing the smallest plastic elements in-house, SATEL has control over the entire production process, ensuring that every component meets the highest standards. Additionally, testing the products in our labs using advanced equipment helps to identify any issues before the products are released into the market. This reduces the risk of product failures. Secondly, SATEL’s approach allows for greater flexibility and customization. Designing and producing its components make it possible to modify and adapt products to meet the specific needs of the clients. This helps to ensure that the products are well-suited for their intended applications and provides the necessary level of security.

a&s Adria: What SATEL’s intrusion detection, fire alarms, and access control products would you highlight as the best-selling ones and why?

Markichev: SATEL offers many products in the field of burglary, fire, flood, and gas leak as well as access control signaling. Below is a brief description of the company’s best-selling products:

INTEGRA control panel – It is an advanced burglar alarm panel that offers a wide range of applications even on-premises requiring a GRADE 3 level of protection. This device provides convenient administration, effective communication features, simple management (INTEGRUM software), possibility to install wired and wireless devices which means also the ability for flexible expansion of the system. It is one of the most popular SATEL products worldwide.

CSP-200 series control panels – These are fire alarm control panels that are characterized by low implementation costs, high resistance to false alarms, convenient operation, and remote monitoring of the system status. They comply with stringent EN 54 safety standards. They are easy to program and perform cost-effective periodic inspections and maintenance.

ACCO NET – It is an advanced access control system enabling remote supervision over a network of territorially dispersed facilities. This system is scalable with a distributed structure and offers control, configuration, and administration of the system and its management via a web browser. ACCO NET supports up to 65,000 users and can be integrated with the INTEGRA / INTEGRA Plus burglary and panic alarm system.

a&s Adria: You exhibited recently at the Intersec in Dubai. The greatest interest was shown in intruder alarm system solutions meeting a number of stringent Grade 3 requirements, such as the INTEGRA Plus series of alarm panels and accessories. Tell us more about it and where is it used for.

Markichev: As mentioned before INTEGRA Plus is an alarm system that meets the stringent criteria of resistance to unauthorized actions and the requirements of the GRADE 3 EN 50131-1 standard. The latter certifies that deep knowledge about intruder alarm systems, and specialized tools are required to successfully disarm such installation. The highest level of security is confirmed by many certificates issued by independent units specializing in the testing and evaluation of intruder alarm solutions. To ensure effective protection of buildings with a medium and high risk of burglary (e.g. banks, jewelry stores, or public utility buildings), the system is equipped with keypads, detectors, and buffer power supplies that are equipped with double tamper protection. Thanks to this, it is possible to quickly detect attempts to neutralize devices and transfer information to the alarm control panel, which allows for an effective reaction of the user, security agency, or relevant services.

a&s Adria: SATEL has also updated the mobile app for INTEGRA alarm systems. Alongside more quality improvements in the latest release of INTEGRA CONTROL, what new functions have you introduced in the 6.0 version?

Markichev: We have gathered many opinions and suggestions from end users, installers, and distributors worldwide. Based on that as well as our internal developing directions for this product, we have prepared a long list of changes. The 6.0 version was warmly welcomed and so much positive feedback came to us – which is the best reward for our hard work. Let’s sum up those functions which were introduced to the market. The interface has been revamped to improve how you control the entire system or individual devices. It is now also easier to check their status. By just simply taping the screen the system will run your command, regardless if it is a simple action or a complicated scenario. You can also now rearrange the toolbar to suit your requirements. A search bar and filters were added to help you quickly find the function you’re looking for or a device to enable quick control over each one. With the new INTEGRA CONTROL, you can control your heating system, and adjust the temperature to the current time of day, or however you need it at the moment. You can also create personal heating schedules. Moreover, this update adds support for critical notifications. Allow the app to send these alerts, and you won’t miss any important information. Even if your phone is muted. We’ve also made the app more user-friendly. INTEGRA CONTROL now supports shortcuts. Add them to your phone’s home screen to quickly run a selected function without having to open the app. We’ve added support for voice assistants. You can now run all your shortcuts without touching your phone. These are the main new functions but when you will run the app you will find many smaller but very useful changes. We already have plans for the next update, so stay tuned.

a&s Adria: Your newest product in the fire alarm segment is the ACSP addressable fire alarm system. What are its features?

Markichev: All fire alarm systems, regardless of whether we are talking about conventional or addressable solutions, are subject to specific, very restrictive standards. The provisions of these standards identify the functionality of such systems. Each of the manufacturers must meet these requirements for the products to pass the certification. In addition to all „must have” functions, SATEL has introduced several options that affect the economic side of the installation, and facilitate servicing and daily operation. What is especially worth paying attention to? A single backup battery reduces the costs of the system and speeds up the servicing process. The option to perform a single-person test of the system as well as the sending of e-mails with information on the contamination of automatic call points are some of the solutions aimed at improving the maintenance of the system, also during its ongoing operation. Next is advanced diagnostics for faster identification of possible irregularities in the operation of the whole system and individual devices. The configuration and settings of the ACSP system can be entered and changed with the control panel keys. The other method, more convenient and user-friendly, is the use of the software ACSP Soft. Remote access to the system status can be gained using the Virtual APSP app. It is available in both desktop and mobile versions. The status of the ACSP system can also be displayed in graphic form (on maps and plans) using the INTEGRUM software. It allows the INTEGRAtion and management of distributed safety systems based on the INTEGRA and INTEGRA Plus control panels. The heavy-duty relays used in the MIO-400 allow direct control of various devices. This feature in comparison to other devices of this type available on the market has been highly appreciated by professionals.

a&s Adria: Since effective communication is one of the cornerstones of intruder alarm systems, SATEL has also developed its own communication modules. What new possibilities can they bring to intruder alarms or building automation systems? And what is Dual Path Reporting?

Markichev: In SATEL we produce modules dedicated to our proprietary solutions, such as specific SATEL control panels, as well as universal solutions. How are they universal? The fact that they can work with virtually any alarm system available on the market, as well as with most building automation systems. The main advantage of our communication modules is their versatility in terms of functionality. On the one hand, they offer the possibility of remote control of various functions – both by simple but reliable methods such as SMS or CLIP, as well as via modern and intuitive mobile applications. Another extremely important function is personal notifications – users of systems equipped with our communication modules can receive information via SMS and CLIP, as well as telephone voice messages, push notifications on smartphones, and finally e-mails. As for event monitoring, it can be implemented using data transmission via TCP/UDP protocols via ethernet or mobile data networks, the voice channel (via a mobile network or PSTN), as well as SMS messages. Our modules support extremely effective Dual Path Reporting, which uses two independent communication paths (which can be prioritized). The module (or cooperating modules) constantly monitors the quality of connection with the monitoring station in each of the mentioned paths. When there is a problem with communication via one of them, the transmission will be sent to the alternative one. All this is done so that information about a possible threat is delivered effectively and as soon as possible, which translates into the speed of reaction of the relevant services. It is worth noting that some solutions can communicate within the Internet of Things, which opens up new possibilities in the field of data acquisition and remote control.

a&s Adria: What European and international standards are your products in compliance with? And what is the scope of those certificates?

Markichev: SATEL products meet the requirements of the New Approach Directive, which is confirmed with the CE mark. In addition, we acquire industry-standard certifications for intruder and fire alarms, which are verified by the appropriate external certificates. CE marking applies to: (i) radio devices (ABAX2, PERFECTA, MICRA) which relate to the conformity of the devices with the RED Directive 2014/53/EU of 16th April 2014 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States concerning the availability of radio equipment on the market and repealing Directive 1999/5/EC, and meeting the requirements of the harmonised standards thereto; (ii) electronic devices (non-radio), which relate to the assessment of the devices compliance with Directive 2014/30/EU of 26th February 2014 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to electromagnetic compatibility and the fulfillment of the requirements of harmonised standards thereto; ending with (iii) electrical devices (power supplies), which relates to the assessment of compliance with Directive 2014/35 / EU of 26th February 2014 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to the availability on the market of electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage limits and meeting the requirements of the harmonised standards.

a&s Adria: What vertical markets do you focus on? Can you present some of your latest representative case studies?

Markichev: We target various markets. INTEGRA is dedicated to sectors that require the highest level of security such as banks, jewelry stores, or national infrastructure, while our IoT solutions can be implemented in factories or solar and wind farms, mines, server rooms, and specialized warehouses. Thanks to the possibility to INTEGRAte our solutions with many different platforms, there are plenty of installations where many different systems are controlled by SATEL control panels. So we can add to the list hotels, shopping malls, office buildings, public sector premises, and many more. Some of our recent case studies you can find on our website, where we have prepared leaflets with use cases for our GPRS-A module.

a&s Adria: Many producers and vendors are reporting a shortage of components and were forced to raise prices due to higher prices of materials, transport, and inflation. How do you, as a manufacturer, deal with these issues? Were you forced to postpone deliveries and increase the prices of your products?

Markichev: At the moment, all manufacturers are seeing a drastic increase in availability and costs of obtaining the right type or quantity of a given component. In this situation, efficient resource management is extremely important. We have made a few very important strategic decisions that enabled us to maintain sufficient stocks of components for most products, especially key ones, which allow us to continue production and fulfill orders. Thanks to the extensive experience of our team of engineers, we were also able to quickly respond to the difficult situation in the components market. Our rapid alteration of hardware designs based on available components ensures continuity of production while maintaining a good price-quality ratio. What else? Despite the difficulties that are affecting not only us but the whole of Europe, SATEL is continuously improving its production lines. Continuous automation allows us to control production costs, which means a better and more competitive range of products for our clients.

a&s Adria: What can we expect from SATEL in terms of presenting new technologies and opening new markets and offices?

Markichev: Every year, SATEL presents a series of new products that respond to the market needs reported by our partners. Regular expansion of our offer allows us to reach new audiences and new markets. SATEL systematically verifies available technologies and analyses trends, which allows us to prepare products in advance and meet the future requirements and expectations of customers. One such activity is a deeper entry into 4G technology in products such as universal communication modules or alarms control panels with an integrated communicator. The development in the area of notification technology makes it possible to meet the global trends related to the phasing out of 2G and 3G networks. In Europe, we plan a wide range of campaigns related to the launch of our new addressable fire alarm system ACSP, as well as the new PERFECTA 64 M alarm control panel. Outside Europe, our activities will largely focus on the Australian market, for which a special variant of the ABAX2 system has been developed operating on the frequency of 915 MHz. Of course, this does not mean that the markets where we have already built a position will remain without activity and support. Together with our long-term partners, we actively work to strengthen our brand. This is achieved through regular training and promotional activities as well as the introduction of solutions required by local professionals. From emerging markets to current markets and finally, regions where we have already achieved a foothold, we thoroughly monitor and prepare our range in a way best suited to local requirements and expectations.

a&s Adria: What are your plans for Southeast Europe and your general opinion on the Adriatic region security market? Do you intend to exhibit at the Adria Security Summit in Slovenia and has that event helped you to reach out to new clients?

Markichev: We are noticing a growing interest in professional hi-tech solutions in the region. We are working to strengthen our relationships with our partners and to support customers in implementing our solutions in the market. The Adria Security Summit provides an excellent opportunity to showcase our systems to a wide range of professionals. So, we are eager to participate in the next edition of the Adria Security Summit. Face-to-face meetings with installers operating in the region are a great opportunity to exchange experiences, collect feedback regarding our range of products and gather information about their expectations and plans for not only alarm systems but also fire protection, automation, and access control.

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