Gompers: With respect to the alliances and partnerships you are observing, are we heading in the right direction in the physical security industry? What is on the horizon in this arena?
Binder (Tech Systems): I think security is on the right track, in spite of the predictions about other industries taking over and about consolidation squeezing out the independents. With respect to the integrator world, it will be important for integrators to continue to find ways to offer value, such as in being technically competent and certified, selling ROI, learning to communicate effectively with the decision-makers at the client site, and recognizing that it is difficult to be an expert at everything. That’s where the value of partnerships comes in—organizations that perhaps have been islands unto themselves in the past may be forced to ally themselves with firms they never would have even thought about a few years ago.
The key to a successful partnership is recognizing the value of your own expertise, not feeling threatened that someone else has different competencies, and playing off the strengths of both. On the manufacturer side, I don’t think partnerships and alliances are necessarily the wave of the future. However, we will continue to see manufacturers acquiring other companies and technologies that will allow them to round out their own product lines.
Bodell (IQinVision): We are most definitely heading in the right direction. Virtually every device in the security industry is either IP network ready or will be soon. The old school proprietary attitude and practices that effectively locked customers into a solution have been replaced with a customer-centric approach of solving problems with non-traditional products and companies. This new way of doing business creates tremendous choice and value for the end user.
Venable (All Systems): We are seeing larger organizations like IBM and defense contractors merging security into their services and systems. In order for the independent integrators to grow and prosper I believe we have to have a strategy of keeping the clients we have plus adapting to the market direction for new clients. It is not about us or how we want the world to be, but about our clients, their needs and expectations, and how we respond to meet those expectations and needs.
As you can see, the industry as a whole feels the market is moving quickly and vendors seem to be heading in the right direction. New alliances and partnerships are driving this whole convergence direction in security. At the same time dealer/integrators are gaining the resources and aligning themselves to succeed in this ever changing security world. It is a tremendous opportunity for bringing better security solutions to the end users and real value to their businesses. Anyone not currently looking at the new and innovative solutions that these new alliances and partnership are bringing to the security market will be left behind.
James Gompers is founder and President/CEO of Gompers, Inc., which is made up of Gompers Technologies Design Group (GTD Group), Gompers Technologies Testing and Research Group (GTTR Group) and the Gompers Alliance. The Gompers Alliance pools talent from top consulting firms in the security, communications and data industries to provide total solution plans and services to clients in North America and around the world. Gompers has more than 20 years of experience in the security industry. E-mail questions or comments to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.