Education Market Focus: Building a Playbook for Campus Wide Security

SMS has all the right moves for education customers

Providing the ability to centrally manage a crisis or event from a command center as well as through remote capability

Providing capability of locking down a campus quickly through pre-programmed response

Providing emergency information to all students by phone, email, text and digital signage

Keep in mind that each of these factors can be the basis for an entire security proposal. Just as the basketball coach has certain goals in mind before each game, the typical campus security team has specific goals it wants to accomplish with its security setup. It pays to match the project proposals with what campus security has in mind. Sometimes in a basketball game one shooter is hotter than others. It pays to feed him the ball. The same is true in the education market sector: some areas are hotter at different times. Play to the hot markets and handle the others later.

“We see that emergency notification systems have become increasingly important,” Albrecht said.

“With most students carrying smartphones such as iPhones, Android and other devices, the campus or university essentially has a wireless communication system, which can be leveraged for this purpose,” he suggested.

“You need to understand the overall approach colleges have to crisis management. Know about policies and procedures,” he advised.

Know that different situations will trigger different security reactions. A level one alarm might call for perimeter security. Level two might shut entrance doors at all buildings in a sector. Level three closes every lock in the zone.

Colleges tend to have good infrastructures in place that allows an integrator to tie alarms to video. “Leverage what is there,” he stated.


Working the sale successfully

Most often, SMS finds itself dealing with the university’s security director. “However, there may be individual stakeholders such as facility managers,” he added.

In addition to the college market, SMS works in the K-12 space. Schools may have a SQL (structured query language) database in place. Perhaps they want to track teacher time and pupil attendance.

“With those tools (IP, SQL and a good alarm system) in place, you have an infinite number of possibilities,” Albrecht said. “You can use that card to understand where students are, to do payroll or attendance. Use that infrastructure.”

Like a good basketball coach, a good security dealer will play to the team’s strengths. “It is a growing market. There is a real need for security in that market,” Albrecht summed up. “Colleges need someone to address their concerns on access control and emergency notification,” he concluded.





Curt Harler is a Cleveland-based freelance writer and regular contributor. He can be reached at