Selecting the Right Integrator

Selecting a Security Integrator

Listening to police, along with water district, school and other security directors, there seems to be some common thoughts about how to best choose a security integrator for a new or upgraded project.  Assuming your organization has some discretion and isn’t limited to selecting low-bid proposals, here are some tips for picking the best integrator for the job.

Don’t be pressured to select your spouse’s cousin who owns a security company.  Choose several integrators – ideally from word-of-mouth recommendations – and then ask for references from organizations similar in size and scope to your own.  And don’t just accept the integrator’s list. Call the contacts and make sure their projects were completed smoothly, on time and within budget.

Make sure the integrator has the credentials to do the job. With more and more security installations involving a computer network to transmit data (both access and video information), you should expect your systems integrator to be able to work smoothly with your own IT department.  Look for credentials that would indicate IT competence on the part of the integrator.

If your project has homeland security implications, be sure your integrator has SAFETY Act certification from the Department of Homeland Security.  This provides not only the integrator, but also your organization with liability protection in the event of a terrorist attack.

You need to have confidence in the final price, so make certain you receive a detailed estimate that won’t increase barring any totally unforeseen problems or mid-job changes requested by you.

Next, you should know who your project manager will be.  This is the person you will deal with daily. Take some time to get to know him or her. You should expect to find an intelligent and articulate person who has the personality to work well with you and your team.

Armed with this information, you should be able to make an informed decision. 

Soon we will take a look at what you should reasonably expect from an integrator once the contract is signed.

-- PSW staff