How to Increase Your Value by Leveraging IoT
A successful integrator is able to effectively consult, engineer, install and maintain the myriad sub-systems (access control, intrusion, video surveillance, fire protection, emergency notification, professional monitoring and network protection) throughout each customer’s lifecycle needs.
Augmenting our effectiveness are three main drivers: 1) the security industry’s customer base, which accepts the recurring monthly revenue (RMR) payment model; 2) the speed by which our industry understands and embraces the integration of “smart” or “connected” devices into customers’ overall security architecture; and 3) understanding and delivering the security solution to not only the security office, but also to the IT department as our customer base’s internal decision-making and technology reach continues to expand.
Imperative to Incorporate Cloud & Mobile Benefits
It is instructive to understand that in the security industry, the leading indicators or “early adopters” of technology are nearly always residential-based consumers. In residential and now commercial markets, customers are increasingly looking for features to enhance their foundational security system.
The successful integrator who delivers these features will, in turn, enable growth by capturing higher RMR. Two examples of this are the proliferation of Cloud-based technology, as well as the usage of mobile platforms to manage and enhance the security systems in place.
How quickly the security integrator incorporates these two technologies in their offerings is how successful each integrator will continue to be. The case can be made that the security industry is the original Internet of Things (IoT) pioneer.
Each installed device, whether it be a card reader, video camera, fire alarm pull station, door contact or motion sensor is “connected” to a head-end system and/or panel. This panel is connected back to a central monitoring station which dispatches the required security response when there is a defined alarm event.
Commercial security systems have traditionally been isolated on the internal corporate network. The security system provides greater functionality and reporting when connected through a web browser or mobile app. We are responsible for installing and maintaining these systems daily.
Nearly every device we install has the capability to connect to the Internet either direct or through a secure, Cloud-based architecture. Achieving the highest level of security, while also delivering the most reliable and seamless customer experience, is how we extend value.
IoT Infrastructure Enhancing Savvy Integrators’ Value
The security space continues to change in its available offerings, as well. Connected sensor networks are a compelling value proposition to both residential applications and small-to-medium business owners. Technology advances in sensor communication, as well as longer battery life per device, are making these solutions more practical.
Access point applications are being addressed with IP network devices (e.g, wireless locks), which are then connected to a hosted infrastructure. Video surveillance equipment is also adopting an IoT framework.
Leveraging the IoT is currently serving and will continue to benefit our customers in a variety of ways. In a hosted access control solution, access rights can easily be changed in a matter of seconds from essentially anywhere that has an Internet connection.
In a connected fire, video and intrusion application a security integrator can monitor the entire ecosystem. It is now common to be able to bid a project where an end user knows when and where the smoke alarm was activated, get real-time video notification and have the central monitoring station more accurately address the situation based on usable data.
Even more helpful to our customers will be the video analytics integration we install. Having the ability to place specific filters on a video feed as well as easily compress the time frame — our customers will be delighted with the solutions we can apply.
The barriers of the past are rapidly falling due to more edge computing, smarter video analytics, the increase of inexpensive data connectivity and storage. As commercial security systems move to a Cloud architecture, data analytics (also known as Big Data) will present a powerful, information-driven security solution for business owners and local police jurisdictions.
As technology is evolving, so too is our customer base, and therefore it is imperative to understand the dynamics within place of business to deal with appropriate personnel and integrate the most useful connected security systems.
After 25 years in the industry, I’ve seen many things change. The one constant for our customers is the need to proactively combat crime while protecting their people, assets and operations. Embracing technology that allows our customers to address their needs in real-time only enhances our value.
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