Upselling is a sales manager’s favorite buzzword whether they work for a security company or an appliance store. With security and systems integrators it oftentimes represents a huge profit maker. Consider the added complexity and equipment required for many integrated projects, not to mention the additional recurring revenue.
A good example is lighting control. When a client agrees to add lighting to the list of things to control, it results in a tremendous amount of additional equipment and a whole lot of extra work, all of which equates to more upfront income. Not only is it necessary to add these elements to the integrated system itself, which means considerable programming time, but it will inevitably result in additional installation effort.
The following is a short list of possible points of integration that can be used to upsell a client that already has a variety of security subsystems in its facility. Use it to create talking points in an attempt to expand an existing integrated security system or to add to a new one.
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Lighting control offers an opportunity to add light modules, graphical user interfaces (GUIs), lighting controllers, light intensity sensors, wiring, wireless technology, repeaters and an increase in the maintenance contract. Security motion detectors can be repurposed or resources shared for presence control.
Security cameras can be utilized to oversee manufacturing processes. Some surveillance cameras will have to be moved while others can be simply re-aimed. The installation of new cameras may also be necessary.
HVAC systems can be brought under the integration umbrella so to better control temperature in a building. Common points of control include occupancy, daily scheduling and multiple temperature sensors in a zoned environment.
Water level and leak detection, which actually are two different mechanisms, can be incorporated into an integrated security system, too. The advantage to the customer is the ability to monitor either condition. Integrated systems also can provide an immediate solution when either condition is detected.
Water level detection can result in the system opening a solenoid valve, allowing more water in a tank. In the case of leak detection, the same system can take immediate action by electronically shutting water off to the building. In all cases, events can and will be reported to the central station.
Telephone, intercoms and paging systems also can be included in the initial mix. These items can be added at a later time, often using the same network cabling the integrator uses to link individual silos. This is especially helpful when the end user already intended to update their telephone system from analog to digital.
Fire alarm systems can be included in an integrated system, although the degree of control rendered by non-UL-Listed devices in the system is somewhat limited. However, there are ways to utilize fire-related information in an integrated environment.
One way is to link video cameras and fire detection devices and zones so when detection occurs the video surveillance system goes into action, capturing and sending the appropriate images to those who need to see them. Integration also can facilitate fire control in all kinds of ways, such as unlocking stair tower doors, releasing fire doors and more.
Elevator control is a big upsell simply because it links all security disciplines to an elevator control system in a manner that improves safety and security throughout the facility. In addition, data from the access control system can be used to provide access to specific private floors by those who need it.
Al Colombo is a long-time trade journalist and copywriter in the electronic security market. His experience includes 15 years as a field technician and 28 years in technical writing.