SP&T News is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. We’ve invited guest columnists to share their memories of the past 25 years of the Canadian security and alarm industry — how far we’ve come since 1996 and where the industry might be headed next.
I see there being two major trends leading the way for the security industry in the coming years.
One is for the end user having more real-time access to their security-related information. Customers are already used to being able to connect with other systems via apps and web-based portals to view their content. They have this same expectation from their security systems. The other is continued development of integrated, multiple platforms from a single vendor. The idea of an integrated security provider makes more sense in order to avoid separate contracts and provide a holistic approach to managing the customer’s security needs.
These two concepts will continue to evolve and make inroads into our security selling space in the future.
Access to data
As customers demand more access to content, we are opening new ways for them to see and analyze their data.
This is not only tied to traditional video systems, where customers want to view live events, but has extended to include the integration of access control and intrusion platforms so they can be viewed on personal devices. To take this a step further, the customer wants to be empowered so they can view their information and then take the necessary actions based on that information. This is essentially making them an operator, which in some cases could take on the role of a transactional operator in a monitoring station. With complete administrative control, the customer has the ability to grant people access remotely — they have the same capabilities, whether they are in that facility or working from home.
Security systems also have the ability to create events based on parameters that the customer has determined are important or of significance. The customer is more in control, eliminating the need for a third party to have to intervene to make these decisions.
Full service integrator
Companies that specialize in catering to just one line of business (LOB) like video or access control will be left behind; the end user wants a full-service integrator to manage their needs. This also eliminates the need for pointing fingers when one part of the solution fails.
Customers rely on uptime being as close to 100 per cent as possible. When a company can manage an entire security system for them, it eliminates the need for multiple service calls to remedy a problem on site.
The integrator that can create and manage a relationship to install and service the entire solution is at a complete advantage over companies that cannot. The platforms being utilized and introduced to the market are becoming more and more unified in that they can support both a video management system and an access control platform.
For one company to be able to service this makes life a whole lot easier for the client. They have fewer relationships to manage, less head-end hardware to maintain and when it comes to tendering these packages, they ultimately have one relationship to manage. A trusted adviser presents economic benefits that solidify this relationship.
The greatness of the security industry is that it is constantly evolving and adapting to the economic environment. It has been said that security is recession proof but I like to think of it more as being market adaptable.
We can meet the demands of clients with new and emerging technologies. Integrators are constantly striving for increased wallet share from their clients. There are many trends that affect this relationship, and this captures just two of them.
Tim Grose is the vice-president of sales, G4S Secure Solutions – Canada (www.g4s.ca).
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