Publisher's viewpoint

Nov. 8, 2010
Industry consensus at last: Integrated systems for everyone
In a recent survey of randomly selected readers, 74 percent of you told us that you design and install integrated systems, making many manufacturers' products work together to provide your customers with their best security solution. Some 100 percent of the integrators answering this survey told us that they integrate products. No surprise right? And, 100 percent of those who only sell fire systems integrate products. Here are some other cool statistics we found: 100 percent of the VARs/IT Networking Specialists who read SD&I integrate systems; 80 percent of the traditional Alarm Dealers/Security Dealers integrate technologies together; 56 percent of you who say you are "Others" integrate products; 54 percent of the Consultants, 50 percent of the Electrical Contractors and 50 percent of the Central Stations (I am assuming these to be dealers who own centrals stations, not third party central stations) also integrate products into systems. Total solutions reign

Integrated systems are our future no matter who you're designing solutions for. And what we integrate today is relatively simple compared to what we will integrate tomorrow. At ASIS last month the integrated solutions offerings were everywhere from simple to complex, for commercial, residential, to market-specific customers. ASIS was definitely the "Solutions Show" this year.

A year ago 86 percent of our survey respondents told us that integrating products together was very difficult. The vendor community gets this and they're hard at work to make it easier for you in order to gain your business.

I saw two companies at the show who are making middleware boxes so that you can simply plug products into their box and it will integrate them, making them seamlessly work without any effort on your part. How nice is that? Companies are developing microprocessors that will enable static, dumb products to reach out and say 'help I need fixing now' - today they are doing it with power supplies, tomorrow they say they can make nearly anything communicate. There are more and more self-addressable camera offerings; some that are hosted in the clouds or on internal servers if you're looking to develop an RMR stream from the cameras you sell; and some just go out, authenticate themselves saying: 'here I am all ready for you to watch whatever you'd like on your customer network.' I even saw an intelligent sensor that can authenticate a product, as it can identify the materials that said product is made of. It can indicate whether the product is fraudulent or real! Is that a Rolex or a knock off? Is this anthrax or talcum powder? It even can read someone's skin and identify that this is the person they say they are! A leading camera company has developed a system where two broadcast quality cameras scan a 10-mile radius with one camera simply looking at the landscape while the other is scanning for changes in this landscape. If the camera that scans sees changes, the other camera zooms in on it and captures images and details. If they can make it in broadcast cameras today, they will make it in more affordable cameras tomorrow. I saw a DVR that has a firewall built into it, allowing remote cameras to feed images back to this recorder but never allowing an intruder to access a company's network from the remote camera's location.

Technology drives our world; it drives new manufacturing, gives us new things to bring to market, helps us develop our competitive offerings and keeps millions of people around the world gainfully employed. Technology drives every industry and every market, the same sensors, open architecture and communications systems that make up our robust offerings make up other industries' robust offerings. And all of these products will allow us to integrate more and more systems together to offer better safety, more comfort, convenience, solutions to problems and options for life. This will all go beyond the boundaries that my little mind can fathom. And we are all an important part of this.