Exclusive SD&I Roundtable: What Integrators Think About VARs and Vice Versa

Some folks in the security industry may agree that there is a fine line between the goals of an integrator and those of a Value-Added Reseller (VAR). Others who define themselves as both obviously see the big picture of looking at the needs of their...


Kostelac: We actively search for the best solutions and one key ingredient to two of the best solutions we have found is an open architecture. We used to sell proprietary systems with our focus on new technologies; this has driven us to re-educate our entire technical staff by getting them the certifications needed so that we are on the same level as our networking counterparts.

Vojta: We came into security very recently (in the past two years). We’ve been able to put in place processes and installation characteristics while hand-picking our technology as we entered the market. This ability to take a calculated approach, without relying on past relationships, allowed us to choose best-of-breed equipment.

 

Beckers: From our perspective we were more challenged by not having been physical security-minded professionals. We were always the IT guys talking acronyms while our friends and relatives looked at us with that “deer-in-the-headlights” look. Not so when it came to security topics. So we joined groups like ASIS and started training our people as physical security professionals so that they could speak to our clients with confidence when it pertained to discussions of this type.

Church: For years we walked the aisles of trade shows, studied the catalogs of new products and spent resources on research and development hoping to find the new technology that would change our business and increase our revenue. We learned that no matter how innovative or exciting a product was, technology alone is not the answer to success. Saying no to clients is saying no to ourselves.

What will the security industry landscape look like (major players) five to 10 years from now?

Miclette: Over the next decade the security industry will be flourishing as theft increases due to the harsh global economy. Environmental monitoring will be especially important due to energy related products and the concentration of low-powered solutions everywhere. There will be the same or less companies due to the consolidation of the industry just like the cellular market which has evolved. Any future technology will depend greatly on the innovative use of wireless and Internet-based products.

Blumenson:  We expect to see more of the small- to medium-sized IP-based security companies continue to get swallowed up by the bigger more traditional players. There will be room for smaller players to start up and operate as the pace of innovation in IP-based security continues at a rapid rate as it’s just too difficult for the large players to adapt quickly to change.

Kostelac: From the integrator standpoint you will see a few major players like we see now such as ADT and SimplexGrinnell, and a lot less regional players. The reasons the regional players will decline are they won’t be able to adapt to the changing environment and/or they will try to adapt too late.

Vojta: The pioneers and innovators in the IP security industry will grow in market share and those of us who support their products will benefit. Clients will reap the fruits of our labor as their systems become more converged and intelligent and the business system becomes a business system, not a cost center.

Beckers: The industry is going to be all about convergence, consolidation, and centralization. The data, voice and video solutions will be converged onto a robust IP-based network that will allow for the consolidation of server and storage on the back-end. If you are talking about the integrator landscape I think you can look back to the telecom industry.

Church: We see the industry consolidating larger companies through mergers and takeovers. Independent dealerships are going to have a more difficult time holding onto their share of the security and surveillance market. The franchise model allows independent entrepreneurs to operate their own small business within a network of franchises and create top-of-mind recognition.