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How would you do on this five minute IP test?

Image Fast Forward is a new column about trends and technologies in the electronic security industry. In this space I will look at how these changes impact the way you do business. The convergence of the physical security and IT worlds is no longer a futuristic concept — it is the reality.


February 20, 2008
By JF Champagne

A quick look at many of the new products being introduced definitely
shows that the market is now “going IP.” Whether you are dealing with
IP cameras, web-based access control, or IP communicators for security
systems, security professionals are interacting with IT staff, network
specialists, and Internet service providers more than ever. Because of
this, many traditional security professionals are embracing and
learning about IT technologies while IT professionals are becoming more
educated about physical security.

Residential, commercial and industrial customers are all looking for
ways to leverage their technology investments. Remote administration of
systems, centralized network management, web access, and use of mobile
devices are just a few of the applications that can provide added value
to systems.

In light of these changes it is imperative to continue our education,
particularly in the area of IP connectivity and networking. Are you
embracing the changes and getting educated? Here is a simple
five-minute quiz to check your introductory IP knowledge:

• Explain in simple terms, What is an IP address?
• What is the difference between a public and private IP address?
• What is the use and function of DHCP?

Salespeople and technicians should be able to explain that 192.168.1.1
is an example of an IP address and it is used to identify a computer or
any other networked device on a network.

Public IP addresses can be accessed from anywhere on the Internet but
you must pay to have a fixed one. A private IP is only accessible on
the private network, and it is usually generated by a local router.

Finally, a DHCP server enables all computers and network devices to obtain IP addresses automatically.

So how did you do? 

Increasingly we face customers that have a better understanding of
networking and technology. More and more, purchase decisions involve IT
people, so we must adapt our approach to this new group of
decision-makers. Fortunately, the fundamentals of selling remain the
same. Trust is probably still the No.1 factor. I sometimes wonder if
this could be the reason why we do not always embrace new technologies.
Why offer the latest and greatest when we have the confidence of our
customers and we can rationalize that the “old technology” is fine
because we know how to sell it with confidence.

JF Champagne is Canadian Sales Manager for Brivo Systems LLC. JF can be reached at jf.champagne@brivo.com or (416) 238-5606