It's round two of our "Future" issue and we're not holding back. Sure, talking about what's to come is never easy-and there are those that don't like to plan and live A la carpe diem. But when you're in the security industry-heck, if you have your own business-you've always got to have a strategy, whether it's a one-, three- or five-year plan. But don't take it from me-take it from the thought leaders in our industry, who devoted their time this month to give us their inside thoughts. If you missed it, turn back to page 16 and read how S2 Security continues to address and support installer's needs; or scan the other story on page 16 to find out what systems integrator RFI Communications & Security Systems is up to. And that's just the beginning.
The Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA) and ONVIF-the industry's well-respected standards organizations-make it clear on pages 20 to 25: it's up to the customers that use our technology and services who will continue to drive standards. Telular's Shawn Welsh talks about the inevitable of 2012...the end of 2G as 3G and 4G paves the way; while KORE Telematics' Stefan Spurrell shares some integrator tips as wireless evolution continues. Check out these industry sound bytes from leading systems integrators ADT and Protection 1; and the organization that has got your-yes you, the central stations-back, the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA). This issue has lots to offer you so take your time, get educated and enjoy the read.
- Natalia Kosk, assistant editor, SD&I
"One of the things I do as chief technology officer on the commercial side is visit our customers and discuss technology with them: we try to understand, what keeps the security director up at night? What are his challenges and how can we set up a cloud service that is going to help solve those problems? And while we are doing a lot of that through simple voice of the customer meetings, it's also about confirming some of the directions that we are going in for them. We're looking at how we can better leverage the equipment that we are putting in to drive a better ROI for our customers. We are looking at ways to provide cloud-type managed service offerings to those customers who, perhaps two years ago wanted to take advantage of some of the high-end type features that enterprise systems have but couldn't buy those types of systems. Moving these applications into the cloud means that these smaller- or medium-sized users will start to get those high-end system advantages without having to put all the capital out. It's a win-win for the customer and for us also because we start to generate RMR around services and offerings that, in the past, were not recurring-revenue generators, such as card access or video. As you move over into cloud-type services, the IT knowledge that integrators will need has to go well beyond knowing how to hook up cameras. If integrators thought they were crossing some threshold in learning about IP just through cameras, when you start to offer cloud-type services and managed services, it's another step that is just as big as learning IT in the first place.
On the video side, everybody right now is trying to figure out how to be the next Brivo but nobody has figured out yet what the killer application is. Many think that it is going to be allowing customers to get rid of their DVR and move all that capability into the cloud or into managed services. That remains to be seen because video is such a bandwidth hog. And one other trend that has already started but that people are going to start noticing more in 2012 is these physical security appliance(s): an IP-connected device that performs many different functions in one box-such as managed access; it can store like a DVR; it can do video and IP audio. And that is going to be the enabler for a lot of these managed services to be done conveniently without connecting a lot of disparate parts together."