he recent ESA Leadership Summit and Electronic Security Integrators Forum in Irving, Texas, was a good example of how to grow your company and its revenues: Examine trends and use them to constantly adjust the plan; develop best practices of operations and business; help your techs with mobile tools, GPS and other updated technologies such as net books and notebooks; develop leadership skills; and hire the right help across the board. (See related news coverage starting on page 10.)

Leadership is also critical to your success. PSA Security Network recently launched a Leadership Institute that brings the latest skills to the industry. Did you know leaders are more successful and they probably make a company that way as well?

But probably the biggest thing I see right now is that the industry is not moving fast enough. I see the IT channel coming in—they can do the networking already and they can easily train in security. I see the communications channels coming in—the telcos are alive and well in their pursuit of a piece of the industry. From what I’ve heard, it looks like they may also gain their way primarily through the acquisition of companies currently entrenched in security. I see the formerly home-control-only integrators getting in on the business, straying from their whole-house audio and theatre for a piece of the security pie.


Get entrenched in technologies and help your staff

Now I know you are trying to embrace new technologies and services and adapting this across the company. And I know that keeping up with new technologies is your biggest challenge, because you’ve said so. But it’s time to move faster. Embrace interactive services, cloud computing, managed and hosted services, wireless, virtualization and everything mobile. Someone told me that now that technology is in place everything grows super-fast; faster than Moore’s Law and the premise that technology doubles every 18 months!

Another suggestion I feel will really differentiate your company: Make customer service count. I know many of your customers will be willing to pay a bit more for products and services if they know they can reach a live person to talk to, or even have problems addressed quickly and responsively. How many times have you yourself said that you’ll never go back to that company that immerses you deeply in dark despair whenever you try to reach a live person? Or that you have to explain to, over and over, what your problem or challenge is?

Next month at ISC West in Las Vegas, SD&I will honor America’s Fastest Growing Systems Integrators as part of the new Fast50 program. At an educational awards presentation scheduled for Thursday, March 29 at the ISC Special Events Stage (booth 14035) on the show floor from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. we will present the accolades and hear from the systems integrators on what they attribute to their quick growth. These best practices from your peers are lessons you can take to your companies and adapt so you too can experience rapid expansion. Watch the March issue of SD&I for the ranking and other information on those who participated and our sponsors, who know they will benefit from getting to know these exceptional companies in the industry.

It isn’t easy changing and the last several years have been challenging. But systems integrators have grown and we know that from the Fast50. Now it’s your turn. Do everything you can to grow fast…and that you will!