Change is in the air. The burglar and fire alarm industry is moving squarely into the realm of turnkey systems solutions and converged services. The Internet and networking is having a major impact, as well as megapixel cameras and wireless connectivity. Stand alone systems are becoming a thing of the past. Most equipment carries more than one function or can be piggybacked on legacy devices to expand functionality. Access control is migrating to management and recordkeeping and yielding more value for the end user. Physical security is linking with information technology (IT) and that means more substance out of every installed automated product. Internet protocol (IP) cameras are here and gradually becoming standardized. Look for IP access control (readers) to be the next up and comer.
These are just some of the trends gleaned from this exclusive interview with SD&I readers. For more check out the exclusive podcast posted at SecurityInfoWatch.com.
How is the scope of projects changing—from products to specs and more? What are you doing today that you weren't doing five years ago?
Cynthia Freschi , president, North American Video, Brick, N.J.: The trend toward integrating security and surveillance systems with related systems on a common control platform has really gained traction in the past few years. The operational benefits between simply interfacing systems and integrating systems are quite significant. This has greatly affected how systems are designed and deployed for converged network applications.
Alan Kruglak , senior vice president, Genesis Security Systems LLC, Germantown , Md. Kruglak is the president of National Security Integrators: There are two big changes in the scope of work. First, almost every new project today requires the use of IP video. The second biggest change is the integration with human resources (HR) and other systems. Clients with larger systems are demanding the integration of the security system with LDAP and Active Directory.
John Krumme CPP, president & chief executive officer, Cam- Dex Security Corp., Kansas City, Kan. and St. Louis. He is also secretary of SecurityNet : Five years ago we weren't working directly with IT managers. Today, every system has the involvement of the end-user's IT department. By using the end-user's network we are able to design a more robust system and enable more associates within the company to view.
Paul Owen, regional vice president, ADS Security L.P., Nashville and 2009 president-elect of the Tennessee Burglar and Fire Alarm Association. ADS operates a UL-listed, Five-Diamond central station: The IT person has really moved to the front of the line in terms of dealing with the end-user. They are protective of their network; and if we do want a network solution, we have to build our own.
Richard A. Penney, Viscom Systems Inc., Watertown , Mass. : We have noticed a process of close coordination in the bid and build process between security consultants, architects, general contractors, end users and the integrator on larger projects in particular. Security has moved from the end of the process to the front since the events of 9/11. As a result, the integrator's role of providing cost effective solutions and value engineering in a team environment has been the most significant change.
How are technological changes effecting who you deal with on a project?
Freschi : Security management is still the primary contact as these professionals have the expertise to establish security objectives. Depending on the nature of a project--new design-build versus upgrading an existing system—architects and engineers, builders, electrical contractors and other operations personnel may be involved in the process.
Kruglak : As the technology shifts more to integration with HR and AD, the role of the IT manager is increasing. For our clients, the security director is still calling the shots.