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Signs Indicate Challenging Road Ahead for Electronic Security Industry

SSI’s 2012 Industry Forecast queries more than two dozen security authorities from all corners of the industry to tell you what to expect and how to target success. While customers expect more and competition is intensifying, security integrators and dealers are uniquely qualified and positioned to come out on top.

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<p>Many trends from 2011 will carry right on into 2012. One example, according to Dakota Security Systems President/CEO Eric Yunag, is an acceleration of the commoditization of security products. He recommends integrators reinvent themselves as service-oriented providers with a larger variety of higher margin offerings. © Slobodkin</p>Ongoing Challenges

Robert Solomon, PE, Division Manager for Building and Life Safety Codes, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) — Since 9/11, NFPA has worked to address the more than 40 recommendations that NIST issued in 2005 and 2007 on the collapses of WTC 1, 2 and 7. Some issues still need more work and better solutions like the first-responder communications in high-rise buildings. Other ideas like elevators for occupant-controlled evacuation prior to Phase I Emergency Recall Operation are now recognized in the NFPA codes.

An important component of that technology, however, is the messaging strategy for the building occupants. For about 100 years, we have been instructed or have seen the signs that say, “In case of fire, use stairs, not the elevator.” Now we must develop a communication strategy that says it’s OK to use the elevator in some newly designed buildings. What I say, how I say it, how often I say it in terms of the elevator status and when it might arrive at my floor are all important concepts that need more work. The Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF), an affiliate of NFPA, is working on this and we expect to have some solutions on the table in early 2012.

John Lombardi, First V.P., Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA); President, CIA Security — The market is inundated with service providers offering a changing means of alarm signal communication and the mechanisms that process signals. Our challenge is to embrace these new technologies while remaining the dominant force in the market. Additionally, our industry image is sorely lacking in the marketplace. We are not recognized as security professionals nor does the public at large equate our services with value. Due to the fact that much of the security alarm market has become commoditized, we have lost our perceived worth in the eyes of the consumer. The industry needs to permanently and positively change this perception.


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About the Author
Scott Goldfine
Scott joined SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in October 1998 and has distinguished himself by producing award-winning, exemplary work. His editorial achievements have included blockbuster articles featuring major industry executives, such as Tyco Electronic Products Group Managing Director Gerry Head; Protection One President/CEO Richard Ginsburg; former Brink’s Home Security President/CEO Peter Michel; GE Interlogix President/CEO Ken Boyda; Bosch Security Systems President/CEO Peter Ribinski; and former SecurityLink President/CEO Jim Covert. Scott, who is an NTS Certified alarm technician, has become a respected and in-demand speaker at security industry events, including presentations at the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) Annual Meeting; California Alarm Association (CAA) Summer and Winter Conferences; PSA Security Network Conference; International Security Conference and Exhibition (ISC); and Security Industry Association (SIA) Forum. Scott often acts as an ambassador to mainstream media and is a participant in several industry associations. His previous experience as a cable-TV technician/installer and running his own audio company -- along with a lifelong fascination with electronics and computers -- prepared Scott well for his current position. Since graduating in 1986 with honors from California State University, Northridge with a degree in Radio-Television- Film, his professional endeavors have encompassed magazines, radio, TV, film, records, teletext, books, the Internet and more. In 2005, Scott captured the prestigious Western Publisher Maggie Award for Best Interview/Profile Trade for "9/11 Hero Tells Tale of Loses, Lessons," his October 2004 interview with former FDNY Commander Richard Picciotto, the last man to escape the Ground Zero destruction alive.
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