Do you know how to connect an IP camera to a network in minutes? If not, others do.

With the emergence of IT networking-enabled products, the playing field for security systems integrators has dramatically shifted. Integrators are faced with new ways of installing security systems and end-users are experiencing new ways those systems can be used.

For instance, integrators will reduce labor costs and bid more competitively simply by using the existing networks rather than installing cable. The real trick is learning how to take advantage of those existing networks.

When it comes to products, the IT industry is light years ahead of the security industry because the latter work across vendor platforms and product lines – a huge advantage for integrators. Unfortunately, in the security industry, a keypad from one manufacturer won’t connect to another manufacturer’s alarm panel.

That’s why every course I teach is product-independent. I bring in networked devices from 14 different manufacturers to the class and demonstrate how they all seamlessly work together. I teach students about IP addresses and how to handle firewalls and switches. When we’re finished, my students are ready to install network-enabled products, regardless of manufacturer.

Two areas that seem to present the greatest potential are video and intercom systems. Traditionally, security video has meant a CCTV camera hooked up to a DVR, which is viewed and recorded on a 24/7 basis. While this type of installation will always have a place, one of the strongest markets existing today is “occasional video.” This is a perfect application for end-users who may not necessarily need to view and record everything, but would rather connect occasionally. Some examples are water levels on a dam or gauges in a factory.

Intercom systems present another potentially large market for security integrators. As networked technologies, these products connect a standard intercom box to the Internet, which allows end-users to answer the intercom from their laptop anywhere in the world. If they have an electric strike on their door, they can even let someone in and disarm their alarm system. The networking of intercoms, cameras and alarm transmitters opens a vast array of possibilities.

Not a Member?

The times they are a changin’.

It used to be that only PSA members could attend the annual conference and take advantage of the vast resources the largest electronic security cooperative in the industry offers. That no longer holds true. The times have changed. Even if you’re not a member, there’s no reason now that you can’t benefit from the extensive training, networking, experience and so much more.

In addition to PSA-TEC, where non-member security integrators have the opportunity to attend the same in-depth training classes as members, PSA is launching a series of new Limited Liability Companies (LLC) that will provide a diversity of services. The creation of the independent LLCs is part of PSA’s strategic business plan and is intended to provide greater flexibility to meet the changing marketplace, as well as offer new opportunities to members and non-members.

More information of PSA Security Network at www.psasecurity.com.