Technical Training—Who’s on the Bandwagon?

Training is an integral factor for many companies in the security industry and most recently, more and more leading professionals are getting onboard in taking their IP roadshows and training seminars across the country.

In just the last decade, the security industry has been revolutionized by the advancements in computing technology, approaches to project management and ideas like convergence. That is why the largest organizations in the industry put a primary emphasis on educating their people, partners and clients.

To Pay or Not to Pay?

There are two schools of thought on asking dealers to cover the cost of training. One philosophy is to offer training to customers (dealers, distributors, clients, end-users, etc.) at no cost. By doing this companies can train large masses of people. Who won’t take free training? And they also have huge training expenses but are providing a solid service to their customers. The other philosophy is that people value what they pay for. For instance, if a dealer rep sits in a free training class, they may not take it seriously. But if the dealer is paying for the class it is highly likely they will want to get as much out of that class as they can. Most of the time the manufacturer charges are not for profit, only to cover expenses. This also keeps everyone very committed to the education concept.

Now, most large (and many small) manufacturers will cover the cost of training. Some will even cover travel expenses (although much fewer go to this level). There are even other companies that will set up tiered programs so that their top dealers get perks and incentives, such as free training or marketing program support. But asking people to cover some or part of the expense of training is not completely uncommon and is gaining some ground in the industry. I would not be surprised if you see this trend picking up – but it will never take hold completely. Most manufacturers will always provide some sort of programs to their customer base without asking for costs to be reimbursed.

Manufacturer-provided product training

Manufacturing is the engine of the security industry. It provides the research, innovation and marketability for the products that are used in every security and fire system design. And as the product source, manufacturing has found itself barraged with the need for training on its products as well as the integration, support and service throughout the industry.

Just look at Pelco. Its Pelco Global Training Institute is used by thousands of people at all levels of the industry. Some organizations use the training on video system design as part of their own internal training paths for sales and technician alike. Pelco realized that by providing a quality education resource, they could reach out to the entire industry. They provide quality programs and receive the product recognition to drive their own sales. A presence in the training arena yields marketing opportunities that are literally priceless in value. Visit the Global Training Institute online at http://www.pelco.com/support/pgti/.

Panasonic, another top manufacturer of video systems, is blazing a parallel path with its Panasonic Security Training University (P-Tech). This blend of classroom training and online delivery is centered on its recently launched online training portal. The site creates a one-stop shop for people looking for online training on Panasonic video systems or classroom training delivered across the country. Panasonic also sees the marketing value of dealer and technician training that extends the brand as much as it educates the masses. Visit http://panasonic.com/business/security/training/index.asp for details.

A final example is HID Corp., Irvine, Calif. A leading global manufacturer of readers and credentials, as the company changed from 125kHz Proximity technology to its new and advanced iCLASS line they have found the need to educate all levels of the industry from dealers to the end-user. The HID online training portal was designed to meet just such a goal. This site has been training thousands of people for over three years from every corner of the globe. Users from the United States to China have learned the basics of mutual authentication, credential power and the new Smart Card capabilities from the convenience of their laptops and home computers. Since the course’s launch in August of 2005, more than 8,500 people from across the globe have taken the training. Go to http://www.hidtraining.com.

These examples are but a few of the initiatives being undertaken across the industry. Manufacturers will continue to be a driving force behind new training options, initiatives and certifications and will be a prime resource at all personnel levels in security.

Connie Moorhead is the President of The CMOOR Group and founder of SecurityCEU.com.

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