Slow Adoption for Converged Security in Europe

The European security market is experiencing the same growing pains as the North American market, apparently. A research briefing this morning from Frost & Sullivan Senior Analyst Archana Rao indicated that many of the same factors limiting IP technology adoption in the U.S. are concurrently causing difficulties in the adoption of so-called "converged" IP security technologies there in Europe.

One of the limiters of the adoption of IP-enabled and converged technologies, says Rao, is price, which she says is holding back acceptance for smaller end users and even for smaller technology developers. She also lists a lack of an open platform or standards, as well as general reluctance to embrace IT as limiting factors.

Despite the hindrances, technology companies aren't slowing their push for integrated technologies. Rao lists leading firms like Tyco, Bosch, Lenel, Honeywell, Siemens and Cisco as being top drivers in the converged security market, but she says that -- even as the vendors push for converged solutions -- a lack of "standards of practice" and sufficient training for integrators and VARs is limiting the push of the distribution channel.

"Educating the installers is crucial," says Rao, "but it needs to be for all of the players in the supply chain, from the distributors to the integrators and the installers." Right now, she says, "resellers are still not accepting use of these (IP-based) systems." Rao's report was based on recent research that Frost & Sullivan had completed in Europe.

But if the adoption of converged/integrated technology is to take off, says Rao, it's going to start with basic integration of technologies like video surveillance and access control. From there, she says, it can expand to the common promises of converged security technology -- such as systems that link fire systems to release of door controls for emergency egress, or linking network and physical access control. Still, Europe apparently has just as far to go before it arrives at the future of convergence as we have here in the U.S.

Key Challenges Limiting Integration/Convergence in Europe

- Price of integrated solutions
- Absence of open platforms
- Reluctance to embrace IT
- More education of end users on benefits required
- Current infrastructure hinder performance levels of integrated systems

Source: Frost & Sullivan: The Road to Convergence, Dec. 4, 2007