When Convergint joined forces with ICD Security Solutions in late 2013, Convergint established itself as a top global security integrator, serving Fortune 500 companies in both North America and Asia (and now also in EMEA). ICD has offices all across Asia, including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, India, Australia, and Singapore.
Aimee Zhang, Vice President, Sales & Business Development APAC, leads ICD’s sales team of experts focused on solving difficult security problems for clients. Here Aimee provides insight for security professionals who are looking for answers on how to control risk and manage a global enterprise security program.
Tell us about your professional background and role.
I began my career in Canada at a medical technology company specializing in developing business for electronic medical device products. I helped launch the products in Canada and eventually in the APAC regions. I learned all about networked-based technology, which sparked my interested in ICD. I began working for ICD about 14 years ago and have held a variety of roles within the company, starting at the ground level in China and Shanghai. From there I took on the responsibility of sales management in one region, then an entire country, and eventually to my current role of VP of Sales & Business Development for the entire firm.
What types of customers do you work with?
In the APAC region, we mostly focus on multinational clients, including the technology-based, oil and gas, pharmaceutical, high-end retail, finance and education verticals.
How is ICD different from other firms in the region?
ICD has a unique culture which differentiates us from our competitors. Since the day we were founded, in the late 1990s, we have always been focused on being our customers’ best service provider. Combining our service culture with having the best colleagues is why we believe we have experienced success.
What are some common security problems you see?
In many high growth companies, access control and surveillance systems are in place, but they are not always kept up-to-date and integrated. Systems are often not linked to the critical operational capabilities and processes required to see and act on real alerts. Vast amounts of data reach a company’s security operations center, but if the security data is not being analyzed and processed effectively, there is a high risk of missing critical information and the chance to act in real-time.
System integration combined with data analysis and an ongoing real-time process are all needed to manage day-to-day security operations in the fast-paced business environment in APAC. This represents both challenges and business opportunities for us.
ICD works with cutting edge technology partners in the market to provide integrated solutions. Our premium services team focuses on customized solutions which can leverage security technologies not only to protect our customers’ people and assets but also help them achieve operational excellence and even to increase their business profit.
How do you interface with the Convergint Global Accounts team?
We interface continuously with Convergint’s global accounts team. Global accounts are managed across different countries and continents. We work with the global accounts team member who are experts in their specific region. These experts are assigned to be the global business development lead for multiple accounts. Over the last couple of years, amongst the global account team members, we have worked as a team in order to be our customers’ best service provider for our global clients.
To what extent is cybersecurity a concern in APAC?
I feel that with the high digital connectivity and growing data transfers, such as online payment transactions, in APAC alongside relatively low cybersecurity awareness, the region is increasingly at risk of cyber threats. There is a lack of transparency around the topic and few regulations which have led to the inaccurate perception that the cyber threat level in APAC is lower than in other regions. To mitigate cyber risk, cybersecurity should be a top priority in any organization. Improved practices and preventative measures should be implemented pushed from the company’s senior management.
IT and security are merged more closely now than ever before. Today a lot of the security systems are learning on the IoT helpful data, such as general usage patterns, which can subsequently help to spot and block abnormal activity and potentially harmful behavior. I believe that the security industry will be changing very rapidly in the next five to 10 years as we integrate cyber more closely through the migration from servers to the cloud.
What emerging technology are you currently most excited about?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a trend that is leading the technology market into new directions. AI mimics cognitive functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as learning and problem-solving, and there is a lot of potential for this kind of technology in our industry. I am really excited to see these new technologies being implemented.