Security Watch

IP physical security solutions provider S2 Security Corp., Framingham, Mass., now provides 24/7 emergency support, which can be accessed-with its standard support program or on a case-by-case basis-once its system integrator partners and enterprise-level customers opt into the program. Its technical support engineers can then manage, diagnose and service systems remotely through a Web browser.

"The nature of the service is to be the best support there is for the technicians who are installing systems in the industry," explained Michael H. Welles, chief operating officer, S2 Security. "The 24/7 emergency support is an extension of time and availability of the service, specifically when they run into issues related to adding a product to the network. We want to make sure that their job is easier."

Another possible scenario is an installer doing a system upgrade off hours, when there is low onsite activity, but faced with updating a system that operates worldwide.

"While we've had a range of services from customer control through basic support, the 24/7 support is a logical extension based on the demands of our customers for worldwide expansion and supporting mission-critical systems," said Welles.

The real-time viewing and direct access into a client's system also allows for time- and cost-efficient support. "That's why the support model works-because we can get on the system whether it's through the integrator or the end-user's PC," he added.

Giving integrators more services to sell

And while S2 Security does offer additional services designed more for the end users, "we typically don't like to work directly with the end user without the integrator involved," said Welles. "We see an opportunity to help integrators by giving them more services they can sell. There is information and analysis that we can do under the covers that, over time, will be made available in a way that we can feed back to our integrators regarding services that they can sell or potential issues that they need to go out and look at," he said.

Other solutions S2 Security provides include consulting for programming and system conversions; and custom integration operations. Its certified integrator channel also covers training, technical support and software upgrades.

Integrator Talking Points
By Natalia Kosk

For many businesses, the period going into a New Year is the time to sit down, review developments of the past 12 months, plan their future budgets and create a roadmap of goals for the year ahead. The process can be downright daunting with many questioning: 'Who can foresee what will happen a year from now?' Yet for San Jose, Calif.-based RFI Communications & Security Systems, a multi-systems integrator in the commercial, residential and enterprise markets, the strategic planning goes even further.

"I don't think there is a one year plan in business anymore," said Brad Wilson CPP and president of RFI. "The economy doesn't allow us to plan that way anymore. We are now deeper into the three-to-five-year planning stages. The commoditization that is occurring-the brokering of products and single-digit margins-they're here to stay. And the strategic initiatives really have to be focused around programs and service management. There is no secret sauce to ensuring that."

And with the addition of Dan Kilgore, appointed to the newly created position of managing director of Enterprise Sales, the system integrator's focus is to continue to develop its business and provide solutions across many industry segments.

"It's not so much that I'm going to be driving any new behaviors from a standpoint of what we are selling," Kilgore explained. "We are looking to grow the business in the areas that we have been already and continue to develop those relationships as well as find new opportunities within the territories and verticals."

A member of Security-Net, Exton, Pa., a network of independent systems integrators, the company expanded its portfolio of products and services in intrusion, video surveillance, access control, network infrastructure and more over the last several years. "The industry provides opportunities now where smaller alarm companies want to capture more market share and some of the larger systems integrators want to drive more service revenue," said Wilson. "We have developed a suite of products and services that support that scalability. The critical element is to get that type of communication out to the industry and to our clients and Dan's experience and proven leadership in managing that type of activity is in the best interest of RFI," he added.