The security industry has undergone profound change over the last few years. As technology has advanced in terms of features and capability, the potential for genuinely integrated security systems has become a reality. Made possible through IP technology, previously separate security systems - whether access control, video surveillance or intrusion detection - have become integrated. Installers are getting closer to their customers as a result.
Importantly, integration isn’t being driven by advances in technology alone. Users increasingly want a ‘solution’ to their broader security challenges and see beyond the discrete functions of their access control, intrusion, or video surveillance requirements: they want a system that addresses their wider needs. An integrated security system built around video not only makes that possible but easy. It gives users a single view of their system and control over which events trigger a response and how these are managed.
Smart installers have, of course, already realized that the future of their business lies in providing users with a comprehensive solution and many designs and install systems that do precisely that. In some cases, this has required investing in skills, although the latest video technology, for example, makes the system set up simple through web-based configuration tools.
Taking a solution-based approach also requires installers to work in a true partnership with their customers. Instead of installing a system and only returning on-site for maintenance visits, installers are now working more closely with their customers, helping them scale up their systems as their needs change, or integrate other parts of their systems and add in new functionality or greater resilience.
Working in partnership is good for both the end-user and installer: the former gains the full benefit of the installer’s expertise, while installers find a way to manage typically ‘lumpy’ revenue streams built around one-off installations and gain regular monthly revenue from license-based models that provide remote monitoring, for example, or storage and data management.
Indeed, exciting new opportunities exist for those installers who can help users extract the data from their security systems and interpret it – providing actionable insights into how a user’s buildings and estates are used, where the risk really lies, and where precisely their resources need to be put in place.
This, the cutting edge of security installation, is made possible by deep integration and the extraction of the data that these systems have always generated – but which has remained trapped in silos and hidden until recently.
Armed with these insights, users can precisely monitor their buildings and estates and build patterns of how, why, and when they are used. They can use video to verify events and protect their facilities based on how they are used, removing the guesswork from security policy and providing cost savings, operational efficiencies, and the more sensible deployment of security resources to where the risk is most significant.
This added value benefits the user’s entire organization. It helps loss prevention managers, security managers, and building and estates managers establish the greater value of security systems to upper management and even board-level – binding the installer even tighter to the customer.
It’s safe to say, then, that system integration is the way forward for installers with an eye on better and more profitable relationships with their customers.
*This article originally appeared in Security Matters online publication.