Cities & Municipalities--Clicking on the Civic Level

Advising and consulting brings business to integrators

“Riverside Public Utilities’ new security system is extremely valuable to our organization,” said Deputy General Manager Steve Badgett. “The highest level of security for our employees and our facilities have become a necessity for our industry; and Riverside wants to be sure it is protecting its assets with the best resources available today.” Baker Electric Inc., a full service electrical contracting firm based in San Diego, was the prime contractor on the project.

“Being a trusted advisor to municipalities and cities and helping them reduce their total cost of ownership is what’s needed,” said Retzbach. “They need to be able to work their solutions to meet increasing demand and I don’t believe the sequester effects have been fully realized yet.” Gaisor added: “cities are shifting from a physical security mindset to IT.”

Budget cuts or not, Wilt Corban, regional vice president, Security for GC&E Systems Group, based in Norcross, Ga., said the company is seeing additional activity for city projects. “It used to be sporadic, but even with the budget cuts we are seeing a constant flow of activity regarding specifications for local city government. Every news channel leads with crime reports and the more we see these the more security is pushed to the forefront,” said Corban.

Corban said that some municipalities seem to be pulling money from other areas, especially to add surveillance cameras to critical areas. “Most of the solutions they are seeking are primarily video,” he said. GC&E Systems Group is headquartered in the greater Atlanta area with affiliated companies located throughout the U.S. The company offers security, communications and electrical services.


Going all out with all IP

The majority of the installations, especially in the municipal area, are IP video—in fact, GC&E will only install IP. “Very few are going to use analog, but with some we have to educate them on the benefits of IP. Because there are so many brands of IP cameras we have to go over the whole process with them—and let them know what’s the best course of action to get the results they need.”

Being a solutions consultant and expert is the philosophy and goal of GC&E. They continually educate their team and their customers on the best way to meet or exceed their security goals. GC&E works with the facilities supervisor, IT manager or maintenance technician when devising their specifications and more and more with these people as solutions continue to move to the network infrastucture and all IP.

The final, important piece to the puzzle is the fact that surveillance is so much more than security. “It’s not a security camera, it’s a camera. You can use it for human resources, time and attendance and more. It’s definitely exciting times for systems integrators,” Corban added.

Being a trusted advisor is just where GC&E wants to be, and this helps them build business. “Once you do a good job, they want you and they don’t want anyone else. So every system is helping you build those credentials,” Corban said.