European market is outstanding, says ADI
Dr. Carsten Suckrow, vice president for European sales at Analog Devices tells Electronics Weekly why Europe is still seen as one of the largest target markets for semiconductor suppliers and how relationships with customers are changing
Do you see changes in the way that semiconductor companies market and sell their products?
Dr. Carsten Suckrow: The most successful semiconductor manufacturers are rapidly moving from a product to a solution sell, which is being reflected in how they market themselves. There are many reasons why this is happening but they are all rooted in the changing market conditions our customers face.
There is continuous pressure to launch products that feature new applications and higher performance based on the signal processing technology we provide.
At the same time, the pool of analogue development talent available to work on customer product design projects is, at best, static and possibly decreasing.
The only way for customers to stay ahead of increasingly fast paced and complex product development cycles is to open up to their suppliers and collaborate more effectively.
Customers need earlier and deeper engagements from semiconductor suppliers and the industry is responding to that demand.
What potential do you see to grow sales in Europe in 2012?
Dr. Carsten Suckrow: We’ve been receiving very encouraging signals from the European market so, yes, we absolutely see potential for growth.
No one should forget that Europe is one the world’s largest economies and retains a leading position in the design and manufacture of many consumer and industrial electronic products. Due to growing demand for the functionality that our products enable, the total addressable market in Europe is significant and increasing.
In Europe, which end markets do you expect to provide the biggest opportunities for the coming year?
Dr. Carsten Suckrow: The automotive industry in Europe and elsewhere is currently going through a technological revolution, with active and passive sensor equipment, as well as next generation communication and computing equipment increasingly recognised as a key competitive differentiator. When the growing number of electric-powered cars being designed is factored in, the opportunity for us is enormous.
The roll out of 3G and 4G communications infrastructure, which include tens of thousands of new basestations, is another significant area of growth opportunity.
Healthcare is also an area of growth, given Europe’s ageing population and the move to home care and remote patient monitoring.
There are also a number of exciting new industrial applications poised to grow rapidly over the next couple of years in Europe, for example the deployment of smart grids and smart metering within the utilities sector, as well as opportunities in areas such as process control, instrumentation and renewable energies.
How do you see the role played by the distribution channel changing as the company looks to expand its business in to new markets?
Dr. Carsten Suckrow: Distributors are our most important channel partners and in certain areas, such as industrial applications, are likely to become even more so.
How is the internet changing the way semiconductor suppliers interact with their customers?
Dr. Carsten Suckrow: Our total web presence is absolutely fundamental to how we do business. It’s the single most efficient way to maximise the effectiveness of our resources in the pursuit of satisfying customer needs.
For example, over the last two years, we have put significant effort into search optimisation so that our products can more easily be found.
This has resulted in a 250% annual increase in search driven web traffic, with search traffic now constituting nearly 66% of the total.
Similarly, we have invested in the quality of our technical forums, such as the ADI Engineer Zone, which have seen up to 150% annual growth over the last few years.