Let service set you apart

It was quite honestly with coincidence that Publisher Carol Enman and I penned similar topics-on service. Read her insights on page eight, and then, read about our first service survey on page 22. The results are phenomenal. And let me give you a hint: we as an industry are not doing all we can to really become the service providers we should be.

I started thinking about service and service companies after attending the AMAG Engineering Symposium. I met many great consultants and others from the A&E community and at the breakfast table one of them talked about how fire systems are becoming commoditized. I had previously been enlightened about video systems and other alarm components becoming commodities, but I didn't think it applied to fire systems. I asked a colleague and he said that in all honesty, any system/box could become a commodity. It's true-you can find H.264 cameras in Costco and Sam's Club, so what's next-Walmart?

All the more reason for me to get on my high horse and talk to you about the importance of not just being an installer, but a service-technologist. That means you have to know your technology and how to assist the customer, become their ally and one to turn to for all types of systems solutions. I know the security resellers get this concept, and that's why they are learning all they can about IP and IT. The IT industry has mastered this concept and now it's time for the security reseller to run with it as well.

You are the reason this industry will succeed and there's proof inside this issue. We have a striking cover story on Hypower Inc., a service and technology company that specializes in IP installations. Read about the rush camera job they accomplished with finesse, page 30. Check out the opportunities in the government market, page 26. We've delved deep into topics you need to know more about, such as mesh networks, 34, or standards, page 38, where you will read how the industry is finally making headway in open platforms and protocols and standards that help both reseller and buyer. There's an in-depth story by Assistant Editor Natalia Kosk on Software: Applications, see it on page 44. Storage is moving to the edge, embedded in cameras, and we tell you more about this on page 50. Just what do end-users expect out of their networked video installations? Read all about it on page 42.

Selling boxes and hardware is not going to get you anywhere. You have to think total solutions and that means consultative selling to the customer, an application centered on the end use, and finally-service after the sale. It's not a stretch of the imagination at all to realize that the industry will grow in this way and if you do, you and your company will definitely prosper. Let SD&I magazine get you there.