The panelists, Lynn Mattice, Security Executive Council; Richard Chace, Security Industry Association (SIA); Bill Bozeman, PSA Security Network; and Ed Bonifas, Alarm Detection Systems Inc., all offered their perspective on the industry, answering questions posed by moderator Sandy Jones, Sandra Jones and Company.
Mattice, chairman of the executive board of advisors for the Security Executive Council, spoke from the end-user perspective, stating that while budgets were still affecting end users the most, end users were also focused on finding partners who understood their needs "better than they did themselves." He cited regulations and compliance as some of the most problematic issues faced by end users, and he asked the security industry work to better understand them and help end users meet them.
The “monetary flame” is being kept alive by stimulus projects and a continued presence of Department of Homeland projects, noted Chace, CEO and executive director of the SIA. He added that while it was impossible to underestimate the impact of the recession, the industry also had to be vigilant with a Democratic government in place because regulations have a tendency to kick up with Democratic governments. He cautioned the entire industry to pay attention and be ready to fight regulatory battles.
Bozeman, president and CEO of PSA Security Network, representing integrators, said that the current margin squeeze was having a huge effect on integrators and that there is no end in sight. He talked about the sweeping change the industry was undergoing, moving from a hardware-based industry to a software-based industry, and he discussed how PSA is helping integrators find RMR-based services.
Bonifas, vice president of Alarm Detection Systems Inc. and president of the CSAA, noted that the only constant is change and that success relied on staying flexible to change — using it to your advantage and not letting it become a disadvantage. When discussing the changes forced by the recession, Bonifas said that the economy may never bounce back to pre-recession levels, and companies should be prepared to continue operating leaner and meaner with better go-to-market strategies.
Responding to a comment that central stations would become extinct, Bonifas said that central stations had the stable RMR base to pursue the development of new technologies and the “feet on the street” to go out and see the customers and engage them, ensuring central station’s continued relevance in the industry.