Exclusive: Bose Professional discusses renewed focus of APAC and global markets
Morten Jorgensen, director of global sales and operations at Bose Professional, talks to Inavate APAC about the manufacturer's renewed focus for the Asia Pacific region which is in line with a crystallised global approach.
Asia Pacific is an important region that Bose Professional is paying specific attention to. Out of the approximately 300 sales people employed globally by Bose Professional, approximately 100 staff members are located in APAC.
In Asia, Bose Professional has dedicated offices in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, Australia, Singapore and Japan, not to mention strong relationships with partners in countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Globally, Bose have wholly owned subsidiaries in 25 countries, and distributors in 50+ countries.
However, special focus is being paid to Greater China. In order to fully grasp the opportunities presented by the region Bose Professional has established offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou.
Morten Jorgensen, director of global sales and operation at Bose Professional, talks about how the network of offices comes together as a whole: “Bose is a truly global organisation. We have a big sales engineering team in Shanghai, so if any of our other offices need extra support they can get it. We also have a big engineering team in India that can help out in terms of science and support. All the offices work together and provide synergy.”
Shanghai serves as home base for Bose Professional’s Greater China operation. In Hong Kong, Bose currently have 3 dedicated sales people: Calvin Cho, regional sales manager for Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau, Jessica Wong, territory manager for Hong Kong and Nyman To technical manager. The office also provides customer service support and warehousing.
Being on the ground is part of Bose Professional’s aim to provide direct support to the full range of its partners. The support changes with the job function of the partner involved.
Jorgensen says: “For integrators, if they are working on a project, they have a lot of considerations. When it comes to audio, they need to figure out what products to use and how to put them into a design. They may have questions about how they are going to sell it, install it and commission it and how they will support the system after the sale is made. At Bose, we have really set up an organization that they can tap into and one that will support the integrator. At any stage of a turnkey solution, we can jump in and help.”
When it comes to consultants, the kind of support Bose Professional provides changes as Jorgensen details: “As consultants don’t do the installation themselves, what really helps them the most is having the right products and the right design support expertise. At Bose Professional we have a number of design tools which can help with everything from simple layout designs to templates that can serve as the starting points for designs for larger more complicated spaces.”
Jorgensen continues: “Design support is something that is crucial, and it is something that we pay attention to. For more complicated systems, say there you want to do up the audio system for a 1,000 seat theater in Hong Kong, there is a greater challenge for which we have a tool called Modeler Design Program. With this you can create a three dimensional model of the space on a computer, add the different materials being used in construction and play with the kinds of and positioning of the loudspeakers. With the computer model you can accurately predict what the performance of a certain system layout would be. You can accurately predict how loud will it be, what the frequency response will be, what the intelligibility will be, and you can even listen to it using our Auditioner system.”
Bose’s commitment to the Greater China region is also allied with a new, laser-sharp approach to the market. Jorgensen says: “At Bose, we have decided to focus on four verticals, and they are installed, workplace audio, live performances and portable. If we look back to how Bose was operating 10 years ago, every country was doing different thing. For example, Japan was pushing its own products for installation projects. In Europe, they were going direct and focusing on stadiums. In the US, the focus was on restaurants and retail.
He continues: “Narrowing the focus down to four verticals is a big thing for us and it is part of us creating a global organization that is very close knit where we all have common aims. This also means that whatever products we develop and release their application can be communicated to all the regions easily.”
The focus on the four verticals fits perfectly with the market in Hong Kong. Jorgensen says: “The corporate sector and conferencing is huge in Hong Kong. There are big companies like banks that have affiliates and headquarters in Hong Kong. So for conferencing, we at Bose want to provide solutions for the entire building. Imagine a conference room in a big bank where you want to have to talk to the affiliate in eg Shanghai.. But you also have offices, huddle rooms and meeting spaces. We want to be able to properly fit out all these different spaces.”
Bose has also dedicated time, effort and resources to make sure its plans for conferencing come to fruition. Jorgensen says: “We’ve spent a lot of time trying to understand the customer problems in conferencing. In most meetings, the fundamental problem is the first 10 minutes where everyone is trying to figure out how to get the system to work, how to get connected, how to share their screen and so on. Think about how much money is wasted in these meetings when highly-paid executives are spending 10 minutes trying to get the technology to work.”
He continues: “By understanding these problems, we have a team working on the solutions for them. Once we get over the hurdle of the first 10 minutes, the rest of the meeting experience is fairly good. Unless another person calls in and the chaos starts again on the remote side and you can’t hear what they are saying. We can provide solutions to these two problems and we are in the unique position to go in and become one the key suppliers for workplace audio.”
To achieve the success that Bose envisions, Jorgensen says that there are hurdles for Bose to surmount: “One of the biggest challenges we have faced is an internal one. In the past we have been caught in fine-tuning minute aspects of business and administration, for example when an order comes in what is the best way to process it and how to we get it out. We forgot that the most important way we add value is by being close to our integrators and consultants and helping them solve the problems that they have. We didn’t really have the people who would go out to the market and work with our partners to help them succeed.”
The challenge has been tackled as Jorgensen states: “The investment in the professional side has been about coming out with more products for verticals that we are going after so that we can become more relevant for integrators and consultants. If we have the right products and the right people to go out to provide support to our integrators, whether they be in Hong Kong or Indonesia or the Philippines, we are working on making our customer happy.”
The steps that Bose Professional is taking are all to place it in good stead for the future Jorgensen foresees: “The thing that is changing the landscape now is globalisation. If you go back 10 years and you had an integrator – it could be business in the US, Europe or Hong Kong – they had a narrow geographic focus. But today, the customers are global so the integrators may have an office in the US, Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia. They have to go where their customers go. Having a global presence is Bose’s key to success right now and that is married to our focus on the four verticals. We want to be in contention for the top position in all these verticals using our own recipe. But we know we have to earn our way in, so we are trying to have the right people in place to go out and build the relationships with our partners. It is an exciting time.”