Knowledge Arcobel important piece of the puzzle for ARAS Security | Introduction

Arcobel has been supplying hardware systems for security and access systems to ARAS Security for many years. Our rackmount versions and desktop systems are used at various locations for security and access control. The flexibility we offer is an important added value for ARAS Security. They can count on short and reliable delivery times and the possibility to purchase small quantities. In addition, we build standard configurations for ARAS Security that exist of components that will be available for a long time. The combination of these standard configurations and the long-term security of supply, offers ARAS Security the comfort of long term technical support and the flexibility to deploy the systems as desired. Lastly, the advantages of using industrial hardware instead of ‘standard hardware’ are that flexible wishes are easy to fulfill and the robust design is suitable for a variety of environments.

Please scroll down to read the interview with ARAS Security's Product manager about their long term relationship with Arcobel.

Knowledge Arcobel important piece of the puzzle for ARAS Security | Interview with Jasper Voorneveld, Product manager at ARAS Security
ARAS Security is a distributor of safety solutions. But its market approach is shifting to being a knowledge center for all safety related inquiries. The company focusses on best-in-class suppliers. In some cases however, other solutions are required. ARAS relies heavily on the services of Arcobel when offering hardware alternatives. “They take everything off our hands.”

ARAS Security Benelux is a distributor with added value. This means that the company supplies electronic security products and systems, but provides extensive support as well. Installation is done by expert installation partners and system integrators. They can always rely on specialist teams per product group within ARAS for complex challenges. Also, ARAS can offer complete project management, so that the client is offered the most optimal solution for every situation. At the start in 1989, ARAS was a traditional distributor, providing security products to their customers. “We were just the link between manufacturers and the companies installing the systems at the end customer”, says Jasper Voorneveld, security specialist and product manager at ARAS Security. “The last couple of years, we are transforming more and more to a project organization, acting as knowledge center and invaluable source of information for our customers.” That switch is dictated by the trend that the availability of skilled technical personnel is becoming more challenging by the year. “We notice that the knowledge level of the people installing our systems is dropping”, tells Voorneveld. And that could cause some issues. “Because the systems we deliver, are complex and require a high degree of know-how to be installed and used properly.”

Early involvement

In practice, Voorneveld sees that systems are not always used optimally. “To be on the safe side, the most advanced solutions are ordered. But end customers only use maybe 25 percent of the capabilities. They might use a camera just to capture images, but we at ARAS know the artificial intelligence and deep learning technologies within that system. When you are not deeply embedded in the technology, you can miss out on a lot of possibilities, or you will simply buy a camera that is too expensive for your needs.” Apart from its regular distribution business, ARAS is offering project assistance, project management and project engineering. “We know all the ins and outs of the systems we deliver. Therefore, we like to get involved in the earliest possible phase, so we can ensure that the most optimal solution is selected.” Voorneveld admits sometimes ARAS doesn’t have the best matching products at hand. “But we are always happy to direct a customer in the right direction. That might not provide us with direct business, but the integrator has a satisfied client. In the end, that is what counts.”

Custom alternatives

ARAS isn’t the biggest distributor in safety in the Benelux. “But we are certainly not the smallest either”, states Voorneveld. “We have our own vision on how to best approach the market. For every product group in our offering – access control, video, intrusion detection and safety – we have a limited number of brands in our product range. That allows us to stick to the top brands out there, and to keep all our engineers fully up-to-date on the technology.” The additional advantage is that ARAS has created the space to offer its own alternatives. Voorneveld gives an example: “Take the video management solution from Bosch, for instance. That software has to run on a server so Bosch can also provide customers with a complete solution, including hardware. Works like a charm and is perfect for most customers, but for others the price tag might be too big.”

Technical expertise

Therefore, ARAS offers a different option as well: alternative hardware platforms that are based on the extensive technical knowledge of its engineers. Big hardware manufacturers deem the volumes at ARAS too small. “Try at Mediamarkt”, Voorneveld has heard. This is where long-term partner Arcobel Embedded Solutions comes into play. “They can deliver customized workstations, servers and other hardware that fit our specifications”, says Voorneveld. “Hardware that contains our images and our settings, that we can deploy rapidly.” The advantage for ARAS is that it isn’t obliged to obtain a minimal amount. “Anything is possible; some configurations will be in high demand, others less so. But since Arcobel is Supermicro dealer anyway, and many components are coming from that supplier, they can purchase in higher volumes, also for other clients.” For ARAS the collaboration is not only beneficial on a logistic level. Also technically, the company relies on Arcobel’s expertise. “I don’t know much about processors, motherboards, graphics cards and other hardware, and, to be honest, I don’t really care”, Voorneveld admits. “As long as the hardware meets the requirements that we have set and I can focus on my specialty; video solutions in safety.”


As ARAS and Arcobel have been working together for more than 10 years, the hardware supplier has gotten a good grasp of what is required in the land of safety. And that is of paramount importance. Voorneveld explains: “Consistency is crucial for our clients; they don’t want to update the operating system on all their systems in the field every time Windows releases a new version. We prefer to work with IoT versions that are tailored to our market domain.” But also in hardware ARAS is looking for stability. “For us, it is a challenge that hardware manufacturers keep changing and updating their products. Of course, that could bring interesting improvements, but it also means that we need to test that new configuration. It’s not that we don’t know how, but it takes up a lot of valuable time and resources.” It’s much easier to achieve that consistency by partnering with Arcobel, Voorneveld states. “They have an in-depth knowledge of the market and know precisely what updates are coming and for what changes we need to be prepared. They advise us what components to choose when long-term stability is the name of the game.” Also, when selected components approach end-of-life - or are otherwise (temporarily) unavailable - Arcobel will notify ARAS in advance. “Together, we discuss a suitable replacement. Yes, that could mean we have to test whether the new configuration works properly, and the lead time will probably increase, but that is completely manageable.”

Pivotal contribution

Of course the pricing and functionality of the supplied hardware are crucial, but Voorneveld emphasizes an even more essential factor that partnership with Arcobel brings. “They take everything off our hands. We don’t just order components; we give them our specifications and they make it happen. And because Arcobel knows the hardware market much better than we do, and are fully up-to-date on all new releases and revisions, they can assist us in providing the best safety solution to our customers.” He concludes: “In the end, selling cameras and safety systems is our main business. The service Arcobel delivers, is a small portion of it. But it is a pivotal one as the alternatives we bring to the market together, are key in our business strategy.”

Ronnie Bijl, Arcobel’s Account Manager for ARAS Security: ‘The flexibility we offer as a partner is an important point of added value for ARAS Security. They can count on short and reliable delivery times in combination with the possibility to purchase custom configurations, even in small quantities. In addition, we have configured and built more than a dozen configurations that exist of embedded components which are available for many years.

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