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Interview with Igor Suncheley, the Executive Director of Eurolan OOO

12.03.2012 Dmitry Ganzha,
Magazine of network solutions/LAN No.02, February 2012.

Some time before analysts predicted that structured cable systems of domestic production would take not more than a half of the Russian market, but such optimistic forecasts were not fated to become true – many of famous at that time SCS already fell into oblivion. Against this background a fate of Eurolan SCS is quite unusual, which not only strengthened its positions in the market, but also obtained an international status: in 2006 this brand was bought by the group of Swedish investors. According to BSRIA data for 2010, the part of Eurolan makes 8.4% of the Russian market of SCS, and also until now more than a half of Eurolan turnover are supplies to Russia, and a significant part of this production is still produced in the territory of our country. Russian representative office of the company was opened last year for strengthening of sales support. In addition to the cable production, including 6A Category and optics, Eurolan supplies also installation constructs. Igor Suncheley, the Executive Director of Eurolan OOO, tells about Eurolan brand in the context of the Russian market of SCS.

Magazine of network solutions/LAN: Eurolan trademark celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. It has a rather interesting history which our readers would certainly like to find out in details…

Igor Suncheley: Eurolan history begins from the year of 2002 when “Tochnaya avtomatika” company registered its trademark with intention to supply SCS to the Russian market. But its development and promotion required additional investments. And soon “Tochnaya avtomatika” company was included to the composition of Lindex Technologies group of companies, and Eurolan SCS got a new impulse in its development. Herewith, production of “twisted pair” cables, 19-inches boxes and plug wires under Eurolan brand was organized in Russia. Eurolan project happened to be rather successful. It is enough to say that during the following five years sales doubled each year, and the trademark became interested to foreign investors.

In 2006 the Swedish partners in Stockholm established SolutionEurolan Europe AB company, to which Lindex transferred all rights to Eurolan trademark. Lindex group became Eurolan SCS distributor in the Russian market. And Eurolan trademark acquired an international status and popularity in markets of Scandinavia and the Baltic States, where it successfully competes with famous large brands: TE Connectivity, CommScope, Panduit, R&M and others – due to the experience and professionalism of its employees.

Eurolan business development in Russia required further activities, and in 2011 Eurolan opened a representative office in Moscow. This subsidiary was established for an operative support of Eurolan partners in Russia and for solving of other management and commercial purposes. The main objective of Eurolan OOO is a popularization of Eurolan trademark among future owners of networks and SCS. In 2012 we are intended to begin work directly with design organizations and end users on promotion of our products.

LAN: How do you evaluate current state of the Russian market of SCS?

Igor Suncheley: Positively in whole. In my opinion, pre-crisis level was already exceeded.

LAN: The main part of sales in the Russian market still falls on the systems of 5e Category. Is Eurolan intended to confine itself with these solutions or do you see perspectives for solutions of higher categories?

Igor Suncheley: Solutions of 5e Category are deservedly popular due to attractive ratio – price/functionality. For the most users of transmission capacity of networks in 100Mbit/sec is quite enough. Cat.6 has significantly better characteristics in comparison with Cat.5e but it is more expensive. Furthermore, not all need speed of 1Gbit/sec at the working place. Cat. 5e also provides support of 1Gbit/sec speed but Cat.6e provides in addition a large reserve in characteristics. However, those who look forward and seek to secure themselves, build SCS even of Cat.6A. And we also have such examples: Moscow planetarium built Eurolan SCS of Cat.6A for 2,000 ports.

In addition to networks at working places SCS is applied in such segments as data processing centers. Eurolan considers this market to be very perspective. Now the company suggests a copper system of 6A Category for DPC. But we move ahead and search for new engineering solutions which may be interesting for our customers.

LAN: Which are the main differences between Russian and Scandinavian markets?

Igor Suncheley: It should be noted that markets of Scandinavia and Russia consume different products. For example, in Scandinavia we sell a lot of SCS of 6A category – projects also for 3-5 thousand ports of such category are not seldom. In Russia we mainly supply 6A category to DPC.

In perspective optics at the working place will get a serious impulse in development. Costs of passive tracks of 6A Category and of optic ones are comparable already now. Eurolan offers products for sales of optics at the working place. But here there are differences between markets. For example, in Scandinavia a popularity of Eurolan Blown Fiber technology, fiber pneumatic installation, is high. And in Russia such products may be counted on fingers.

Our company also offers Eurolan Home subsystem – this is a set of products, oriented to SCS building for an apartment or a cottage. In Sweden Eurolan Home became a standard de-facto for organization of housing infrastructure. In Russian this system cannot possibly find its buyer.

LAN: Except for a local network traffic also video transmission and transmission of other multimedia are needed in an apartment. Is your system suitable for this?

Igor Suncheley: Certainly. Eurolan Home subsystem included the whole set of passive equipment, making it possible to distribute voice, network and television traffics among all users in an apartment, a cottage or a residential house.

LAN: Many SCS supplier tried to build bridges with building companies. However, they, as a rule, are not interested in such cooperation and prefer to install nameless systems if they need SCS. How do you evaluate perspectives of entering to this market?

Igor Suncheley: According to my previous work experience in the company, dealing with the system integration, I can say that you are absolutely right. Builders are interested in the soonest delivery of construction objects. Herewith all engineering networks are built except for IT-infrastructure. And if SCS is installed then a famous brand is seldom applied. Probably, it’s due to some inertness of thinking as it is considered that IT objectives will be solved by the building owner independently.

LAN: Some time ago an issue on necessity of SCS Russian standard was discussed long. Few years ago it was adopted. Does its availability affect projects implementation?

Igor Suncheley: Unfortunately (or fortunately?) it doesn’t affect anyhow. I don’t remember a case when a customer would refer to this standard at determining of the requirements specification – mainly at requirements determining the international standard ISO is mentioned. If to interpret a national standard then on the basis of the international one. Furthermore, we already have such experience. For example, IEC standards.

LAN: As it was mentioned before, Eurolan considers DPC market as a perspective one. However, competition in it is not less tough than in the market of office SCS as for many leading vendors of SCS this direction is becoming a key direction. To what extent is Eurolan production competitive in this segment?

Igor Suncheley: Eurolan establishes its goal to satisfy needs of the customer in a wide spectrum of IT-solutions. For DPC today we offer a solution of 6A Category. Uniqueness of Eurolan solution is that we solve the problem of DPC infrastructure building with help of just four shielded products: cable, plug wires, keystone modules and composite switchboards. Due to such set we may offer a flexible quality solution to a customer. And we have few DPC projects implemented in Russia exactly on the basis of 6A Category

LAN: How do you evaluate the Russian market of optic solutions?

Igor Suncheley: We observe a popularity growth of opticsolutions in the SCS market. For the last year our sales of optic components doubled – now in the total volume of sales they make 20%. I think that with growth of sales of active optic equipment supplies of passive components will also grow.

And this is quite natural process. Already now the solution of 6A Category is comparable in price with the similar solution on the optic base if to speak only on the passive part. The growth is restrained by high prices of optic active equipment and absence of a single standard physical interface. For copper it is RJ45 and for optics – there are ten or more of them.

Optic solutions have a number of advantages in comparison with copper ones, and such advantages are surely in demand by the market. Today Eurolan offers a solution for optics supply to the working place. Herewith the implementation is possible in the cable box and by hidden installation.

LAN: In addition to cable production Eurolan offers installation constructs. Competition is also high in this market. What is an advantage of your production?

Igor Suncheley: Eurolan is an integrated system. It’s not a set of separate components, gathered in a pile, but a harmonious system of integrated products with help of which it is possible build any SCS. In this relation our 19-inch boxes are a part of the whole.

We consider SCS as a set of subsystems. And for each subsystem in our offer there is a respective construct. For example, our pride is an unique design of boxes of Eurolan Home subsystem. The box for power protection automation is made in exactly the same design.

Our boxes and posts are simple and understandable. Simplicity and clarity is one of the main principles of Eurolan offer forming. We offer boxes for switching equipment and boxes for servers and boxes for DPC. A wide range of wall cabinets allows solving a problem of zonal SCS building.

LAN: Supply terms are extremely important for the customers. Where do you manufacture your products?

Igor Suncheley: I would say that for the customer it is important to receive everything immediately and from the storehouse. This problem is solved by our distributors, providing necessary volume of production in the storehouse.

If to say on production then Eurolan works with leading producers of components under OEM agreements.

A part of production is produced in Russia – these are unshielded cables of 5e and 6 categories, fiber-optic wires and cross-connect equipment of 5e and 6 categories, and also power systems for boxes. A part of equipment is produced in China, in Taiwan, in Turkey, Denmark and England.

Some developments are unique e.g. boxes design for Home. Significant efforts were used for building of the power distribution box for Home. This year we add an exclusive product to the Russian market: cable of 6 category with reduced diameter – Slimline (external diameter makes just 5.3mm instead of ordinary 6-7mm).

LAN: What is a part of production manufactured in Russia? And where is it sold after – only in the territory of Russia or also in other countries? How do you provide the quality control?

Igor Suncheley: Now all our Russian production is oriented to the markets of Russia and Kazakhstan. We work out a possibility of supplies of this production also to the Scandinavian market. Thus, power distribution boxes, produced in Russia, aroused interest in Sweden.

Quality control of the production is a one more problem which is solved by the Russian office. Eurolan approach is hardly a unique one: these are tough technical requirements to the production, manufactured under Eurolan brand, and tough quality control. Each case of defects – and there are no defects only if you do nothing – is thoroughly studied for causes clarification of its occurrence and prevention of such causes in future.

Eurolan provides 25-years warranty for its SCS. This puts on certain requirements to the product quality. With purpose of quality control regular inspections of all productions are carried out. All employees of Eurolan to any extent take part in researches and developments.

The market as such makes just three demands to products: price, quality, simplicity. Eurolan is a quality product at affordable price. And in relation to simplicity, we strive for reduction of supply terms for products. Particularly, we localize productions for this in those places where it is possible and economically reasonable. For example, cable production in Russia for us is economically reasonably. Earlier, cable was mainly supplied from the Southeast Asia but the supply term made three months. Such term aroused misunderstanding from the side of our distributors. Due to localization of the production we reduced a supply term and could offer a competitive price to cables of 5e and 6 categories to the Russian market.

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