David Wilhite, president and chief operating officer of Quintron, believes that security vendors need to sell product upgrades and enhancements, rather than fork lift conversions. Read more about his thoughts on other industry trends.

Where do you see the security industry going in the next 5-10 years?

Security is an unusual industry in that it demonstrates the ability to grow when economic times are good and at times grow more when economic times are not so good. It can be viewed as an industry of many niche products and solutions, from guard services to high-tech products. All in all, worldwide, physical and logical security has become a core function of almost every significant and successful enterprise regardless of size or type. I believe a key trend already taking shape is integration across multiple security types and levels, where security is seen from a more holistic viewpoint covering all enterprise interactions rather than just facility or personnel security. I also think we will see more drive toward less restrictive hardware/software combinations to support continuous upgrades while not having to completely replace existing infrastructure. Of course, we are already a good ways along this particular path, and I think that is a strong advantage for us or any vendor that is selling upgrades and enhancements rather than fork-lift conversions.

What do you see as the next industry product or technology trend?

Along with more system integration and platform independence, I see mobile access to security related data, transaction, events, alarms and surveillance video as an important development area. The enterprise is evolving from a historical view of business in semi-isolated environments to a real time, instantaneous view of all aspects of the business and when it comes to elevating the safety and security of your people, places, products, networks and customers – nothing beats real time command and control.

Who is your best and brightest customer? What are they doing well?

We cannot identify the customer for security reasons but you can assume they are a high-tech company that is a household name around the world. They are forging ahead to build a global security system managed from a network of security operations centers that will equal or exceed the high availability of any mission critical enterprise class information management system, while also providing a global view of the security status of all sites in real time along with the ability to seamlessly communicate to any and all security and safety responders regardless of location or type of voice system in use. The commitment by this customer in terms of investment, technology and value is second to none in our experience. We expect this system to set a standard for global enterprises around the world that will be second to none.  

What are the blind spots in the industry?

The increase in M&A activity can trigger significant landscape changes in vendors, resellers and also to end users interest in products and solutions. We must stay on top of our own game and remain vigilant to changes in our competitor’s status to reduce the chance of being surprised from unanticipated developments. Along these same lines, we have forged some very significant partnerships with other premier industry companies that augment capabilities on both sides to mutual benefit. This approach has been successful for us in extending what we can offer customers in the way of package solutions and also to extend our ability to compete against some much larger organizations with success.

What tips do you have for the security executive to help propel his/her company via security?

Do whatever is needed to ensure your customers that doing business with your firm will be a safe and secure experience from your bricks and mortar locations to your online and social networking sites. Be sure they understand that loss of privacy and compromise of customer’s safety and security are situations that will not be tolerated by your enterprise.

Many security executives have to tighten the budget and do more with less: Do you have any tips on defending ROI (return on investment) and/or the business case for security during tough economic times?

In today’s socially connected, customer-driven world, any enterprise that slips on the security banana peel from tossing out otherwise justified improvements or additions to physical and logical security solutions will take a major hit in industry profile and probably a corresponding hit in revenue. This should be driven home as key secondary consideration to the more traditional payback/ROI issues of liability, facility and IP losses, for instance.

What is one thing you learned that you apply to your career? Or, what is your catchphrase or mantra?

I believe the most important driver to success as an individual or corporation is to simply take care of the customer, first and foremost. We all sell different things to different entities, but the end result is always dependent on how well we keep those customers satisfied. Also, I think is it important to always keep an ear to your customers on what they are thinking or are concerned about. This should be major driver for product plans, along with your own knowledge and experience. It’s always easier to make repeat sales than to find new customers.