Q: Many companies offering ASP software applications for security systems have approached our security dealership. What are some of the issues and benefits of ASP applications?
A: Internet based solutions allow flexible access to the management of and stored information on a global network basis. Some customers prefer this flexibility to the optional home based applications. The ASP site, whether this is an independent IT support group or security central station, will offer shared equipment and software costs spread over many customers versus a single application wherein the customer's staff will be responsible for acquisition of hardware, software and ongoing maintenance.
ASP applications allow customers to keep track of their individual accounts, schedules and priority viewing of their sites.
Issues to consider are the financial strength of the ASP offering. Make sure you receive acceptable referrals for the service offered other clients. The client not having the information in a secure environment could open up certain issues. The loss of historical files also need to be considered.
The customer's network environment is yet another consideration. If the client is network savvy with good IT support, the installation and after service will not be an issue. On the other hand, if the client is less knowledgeable of networks with no IT support, you should recommend a good IT support company to first have the client consider the cost of the network and then the security ASP application.
No one should consider IT applications if they have not first invested the monies to be properly trained on networks or have aligned with an IT strategic partner to provide the required skills. In addition, the security dealer needs to make the investment in laptop computers, software, network service tools and training
John W. Colley is president of Integrated Security Systems, Ltd. Colley has been in the security industry for 25 years, beginning his experience in the CCTV segment of security and gaining knowledge through field experience, manufacturer training and designing systems to meet customer needs. Colley started his security integration firm 16 years ago, providing design, engineering, installation and service to commercial accounts using integrated systems. Send your CCTV/Surveillance questions to firstname.lastname@example.org