Developments in video surveillance and security technologies have changed the way integrated security projects are designed, sold and implemented. In this new environment, systems integrators are increasingly required to act as technology partners with an expanded scope of services. In order to meet these challenges, it is increasingly common for an integrator to deploy a team approach, with representatives from sales, engineering and operations all contributing to build an end user solution.
For example, in addition to designing and implementing systems, they can also offer expert guidance for decisions regarding repair, upgrade or replacement; assist security and IT staff with budgeting; provide predictable costs for support and maintenance through a single contract; work toward the lowest cost of ownership and highest return on investment (ROI) and working closely with the client to understand their long-term goals which will help the integrator deliver a future-proof investment to the client with scalable systems that can grow as budgets allow.
For the security executive, the advent of new integrated technology has blurred the lines between disciplines, enabling more centralized control and enhanced functionality and use of data across the enterprise.
For example, access control data can be integrated with maintenance and facilities information to improve building environmental operations. Ownership of and responsibility for the systems is also changing as security and facility management professionals are experiencing more collaboration and alignment with the IT department.
Amid this evolution, a long-term end user-integrator relationship is the key to deriving the most benefit from an investment in networked digital technologies – an investment which is driven by three primary benefits:
Predictable Costs of Ownership
New technologies have enabled organizations to leverage the benefits of managed services provided by system integrators. Unlike traditional maintenance or service agreements, managed services for physical security systems can be more flexible to address security executives’ changing needs, shorter in duration and specifically tailored to an end user’s requirements. This allows operating budgets to remain stable and predictable and potentially create sustainable operational savings.
24/7 support and additional or new services on demand are available at a fraction of in-house costs. Managed services from system integrators can smooth out the expenses of maintaining a video surveillance system, reduce risk, eliminate the expense of carrying spare inventory or parts, align with budgets and allow you to focus on your core business.
Integrator partners have the skills and knowledge to deliver technology solutions that address the organization’s needs both now and in the future. End users that partner with system integrators gain access to the latest technology and newest standards for video surveillance and security implementations without having to expend the time and resources of their own personnel. Staff can stay focused on core competencies rather than trying to stay current with emerging technologies.
Good system designs are built on the technical expertise, experience, reliability and efficiency of the system integrator. Several new suppliers have entered the market and brought with them products that may have been modified for use in the security industry. The experienced system integrator can better determine if the products under consideration were actually developed for the market by industry experts. When required, technical innovations and solutions can be quickly implemented by the system integrator.
Networked digital technologies enable organizations to tie together their disparate systems into a unified business asset. Professionally designed systems by the system integrator can customize the integration of these applications to address specific end user operational requirements with greater efficiencies and improved ROI.
Upgrade cycles can be better managed and potential catastrophes averted when systems are under the umbrella of managed services by a system integrator. This approach can maximize the system’s capabilities and efficiency whereas a typical maintenance agreement would allow only a response to a system failure.
Generally speaking, security departments are under tremendous pressure to deliver high performance and cost-effective services; in order to respond to these escalating pressures they must focus their attention on operational activities that generate value. Professional system integrators can help security management transform their business functions and add value to their operations.
Want to learn more about hiring integrators for a long-term, effective partnership? Keep an eye out for “Hire Me! Picking the Right Integrator,” coming soon in the October edition of Security magazine.