With increased importance of systems integrators with an international reach, deep technology knowledge and a focus on end-user solutions, no matter the vendor source, the PSA Security Network stands out. As certification in security, computer and communications technologies has become more essential, PSA’s annual, unique educational effort, PSA-TEC, also has an impressive footprint.

The PSA Security Network is the world’s largest electronic security cooperative representing systems integrators. Its members specialize in the design, installation, integration and maintenance of access control, video surveillance, intrusion detection and fire/life safety systems.

Responsible for more than $1.4 billion in annual security and life safety installations, members combine the purchasing power and resources of the largest vendors with the strengths and personal attention to detail of locally owned companies.

One of PSA’s main goals is to facilitate its security system integration members to work with each other and pursue new business.

This goal has become increasingly important as of late. The consolidation of large integrators and manufacturers, coupled with new competitors – such as IT integrators and building automation systems integrators – entering the security system integration industry, end-users have more choices than ever for their integration services.

Top systems integrators are closer to end-user clients, according to Bill Bozeman, president and CEO of PSA Security Network.

Integrators Go Beyond Typical Model

Define a security systems integrator and the last thing you might think of is a contractor.

Before anyone gets upset, it’s important to understand that while integrators have high level skills, they are, in fact, contractors -- not very different than mechanical, electrical or even painting contractors.

The distinction is important because by definition, “contractors” live from job to job. Their company is only as good as its last big job. This has been a continuous and consistent problem for security systems integrators.

But it can be resolved if integrators adopt a service provider business model – a model that also assists the end-user. Service providers offer maintenance contracts, open-ended leases, safety inspections, video monitoring, various types of alarm monitoring, life safety inspections and access control database management.

Already a small percentage of integrators have figured this out and are providing these services. There are also a significant number of alarm companies who are going beyond simply offering burglar alarms to customers. As time goes on it will be more difficult for integrators to compete if they insist on using a pure contractor model. They will be squeezed out. It’s time for security systems integrators to look at their business model and determine not only if they have the best exit strategy, but also if they can simply survive. Frankly, I don’t know how they will without a change.

PSA Security Network's PSA-TEC brings together a diversity of manufacturers and service providers. The 2007 event will be held May 7-11 at the Pheasant Run Resort and Spa in St. Charles, III. More details at www.psasecurity.com.

PSA-TEC: Bigger and Better in 2007

Building on the success of last year’s event, the PSA Security Network’s PSA-TEC is even bigger and better in 2007.

To be held May 7-11 at the Pheasant Run Resort & Spa in St. Charles, Ill., just outside of Chicago, PSA-TEC, an acronym for Training, Exhibits and Conference, provides security systems integrators and their staff, including members of their management team, sales force and technicians, an opportunity to receive first-hand training and hands-on experience with the newest products hitting today’s security marketplace.

“In 2006, security systems integrators attended our conference in record numbers and discovered that PSA-TEC was the place to get the most in-depth training at the most economical price in a security-focused setting,” said Bill Bozeman, CPP, president and CEO of PSA Security Network.

PSA-TEC, including its exhibit hall and training sessions, is open to both PSA members and to others.

Some of the conference sessions at 2007 PSA-TEC, include: SPM Security Project Management, Security Networking 101 for Sales and Project Managers, Convergence Selling: “I Get IT”, CompTIA Network+ and a number of vendor-specific training and certification courses.

Access Grows into Government Projects

It’s taken almost half a decade, but security executives in the public sector are getting more quality face time with high-level security systems integrators.

A case in point: Condortech Services is both a new member and also a strategic partner of PSA Security Network to guide the group of integrators into the world of U.S. government security projects.

Condortech Services, Inc. (CTS) has agreed to offer fellow PSA members a suite of services that provide access to federal government projects, including those funded through the Department of Homeland Security. These projects include all levels of local, state and federal government.

“The partnership between PSA and CTS will benefit both the federal government and taxpayers because contracts will also go to America’s small business security experts,” said Jorge Lozano of Condortech Services.

CTS recently completed certification of HSPD-12, the presidential directive that ordered federal agencies to implement a mandatory common identity management system for their employees and contractors.

Training is at the heart of the educational offerings of PSA Security Network's PSA-TEC.

Among PSA Member Solutions

Homeland Security—A PSA Security Network partner, Barry Security Systems installed security equipment at a homeland security related facility in the Boston area. In specifying equipment for this project, “the key to addressing a customer’s security concerns is understanding the security challenge, then designing a cost-effective solution, finding the right components to bring it to life, and installing it swiftly and professionally.”

The project required a highly reliable emergency communication system with integrated security video to be installed throughout the parking facility at the site, at access points and certain indoor locations. The entire state-of-the-art system was to run on IP, providing not only a great deal of system flexibility, but also saving the customer money as compared to a traditional cable installation. The project required integrating hardwired equipment and wireless equipment to a single head-end without tunneling. To meet this requirement, Barry Security integrated products of several manufacturers into one smoothly functioning system.

Transportation Security—The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company, employing approximately 38,000 people, operates one of the largest railroad networks in North America with 33,000 route miles covering 28 states and two Canadian provinces. When it began plans for a security overhaul, PSA partner SCI, Inc., provided a comprehensive scope of work and project detail outlining all of the system performance criteria. Project approval decisions were made based on this detailed overview of the system functionality in addition to the client’s previous experience with SCI and the represented manufacturers. SCI is a systems integrator in Albuquerque and a member of the PSA Security Network.

About PSA Security Network

PSA Security Network is the world’s largest electronic security cooperative. The organization encompasses more than 200 electronic security systems integrators, aligning them with over 200 manufacturing vendor partners. Together, members are responsible for over $1.4 billion in annual security systems design, installation, integration and maintenance of access control, video surveillance, intrusion detection, fire and life safety systems.

Members combine the purchasing power and resources of the largest vendors with the strengths and personal attention to detail of locally-owned companies. These leading security systems integrators have access to the latest security products, best practices and other resources necessary to develop cost-effective security solutions. The membership consists of some of the most influential systems integrators in the nation.

For more on PSA Security Network and its PSA-TEC, go topsasecurity.com.