Channel Chief: Rishi Lodhia, Managing Director, EMEA, Eagle Eye Networks

Channel Chief: Rishi Lodhia, Managing Director, EMEA, Eagle Eye Networks

Describe your current job role and the parts that are somewhat challenging?

My role is about helping my teams to perform their roles as best as they can. We have very talented people in Eagle Eye Networks in a multitude of departments, from engineering to support to sales – and we’re always trying to grow our people and business in order to offer extreme support to our customers. By finding the right people for the right positions, we can continue to accelerate growth. This has been particularly challenging in the past year, as we’ve had to hire people without ever having met them in person. While we’ve been successful, we’re looking forward to more in person interviews again!

Can you explain how your company works with channel partners?

We are a software- as-a-service company, but our video surveillance technology requires customers to have physical cameras installed, so we need to work closely with channel partners to make sure the setup is completed correctly.

The channel needs to be able to offer customers the full package – the cameras, the surveillance technology and the support – so our channel partners are a crucial part of the value chain. Camera surveillance used to be more part of physical security departments, but as the technology has evolved and video management software has been ‘cloudified’, cameras have become ‘just another device’ on the network for IT departments to take on.

How do you ensure channel partners flourish in a highly competitive market?

We need to provide our channel partners with excellent products and services that benefit their customers like no others. One way we differ in the market is our 24 by 7 support in multiple languages, so that they can call us with questions whenever they need to. By coming up with new solutions and services that meet customer needs, our partners can increase their recurring monthly revenue. The IT channel is already comfortable selling SaaS products and cybersecurity. We are making sure they have all the tools to apply the same principle to camera installations.

What are the latest trends you see emerging across the channel?

The convergence to cloud services is moving rapidly, as businesses have seen for years that they need to transform. Businesses don’t want to buy more stand alone and on-premises physical systems, they’re more interested in As-a-Service models where everything from safety to communication is included. These XaaS solutions are emerging in the workplace even faster than anticipated due to COVID-19, because the business environment is changing to become more on-demand. Solutions that can adapt and are durable are more valuable to the channel, as well as those that are interoperable with other solutions, as these are long term options.

What is your management philosophy?

My mission is to make sure that we hire highly talented people in our departments, and once they’re there, they know better than I what to do. When someone is brand new, we try to assimilate them as soon as possible in our entrepreneurial company culture. In COVID times it’s a bit harder, but we try to use the most cutting edge communication and co-operating tools to support our new talents so that they’re never on their own. We want our employees to be able to use their knowledge and their initiative to get the job done and I don’t want to be a roadblock to this.

When you look back at your career what has been the most memorable achievement?

Every day is memorable! But I would say, back when we started, what we were trying to do felt like the equivalent of ‘flying to Mars’. In the last few years, the market, channel and end-users have accepted that cloud video surveillance is here to stay and convergence is happening faster than ever. It’s incredible that something that we pioneered two decades ago is now being adopted by the market, it’s like the rocket has landed on Mars – now we need to go to the other planets.

What made you think of a career in technology?

I think everyone should have a superhero as a role model and mine is Batman. As a student, I looked at Batman and saw that he doesn’t have supernatural powers – he uses technology and his intelligence to create tools to help make the world safer. I was studying economics, but it was more exciting to think about creating technology that could change the world we live in and that’s what I have tried to do throughout my many years as an entrepreneur.

What do you think will be the hot technology talking point of 2021?

5G and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be even bigger this year, as people look at how to combine them to improve technology in every industry. There’s a vast amount of data going to the cloud now and we can use this to discover new insights. Previously, we just stored data, whereas now with advances in AI, we can use it in an actionable way to help us with our work and personal lives.

If you look at video surveillance specifically, AI will be particularly important as the video footage can be used for a variety of purposes, with the cameras essentially becoming a super-sensor.

What are your personal interests and where do you like to spend most of your time after work?

I own a few old Volvos which I spend time working on. There’s no software in these cars, it’s still engineering but a more traditional, mechanical engineering which I like. I try to free my mind from software when I’m not working, so this gives me nostalgia and I enjoy not only working on them but getting to drive them!

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