Getting Schooled by Vendors
SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION queried its readers recently about their approach to training. When asked which sources they preferred for instruction, such as trade associations, dedicated training organizations and trade shows, suppliers came out on top by a wide margin. Many suppliers are on the leading edge of industry schooling and offer well-oiled sessions and educational core curriculum in dedicated training centers that are popping up across North America.
Network camera-maker Axis Communications unveiled a new training center at its U.S. headquarters in Chelmsford, Mass., earlier this year to extend its robust training offerings. The facility hosts installments of the Axis Communications’ Academy, which was established in 2004 to increase competence about Axis products and network video technology. Monthly training sessions at the Mikael Karlsson Training Center (named posthumously in honor of one of Axis’ founders) provide varying levels of instruction, from entry level to advanced subject matter.
Panasonic System Solutions Co. provides educational support to its channel resellers in the IP/IT security space through the i-Pro Certified Reseller (IPCR) program. Administered through the company’s P-Tech Security Training University, participants can receive free or subsidized in-person sales and technical product training and other services.
Bosch Security Systems now staffs six regional facilities nationwide that provide technical classroom settings for the company’s various security products, including its IP video cameras and encoders. Located primarily near population centers in the West, East, South and Southeast regions, the centers offer courses that provide product demonstrations and networking skills.
Here’s a little taste of some of the essential technical aspects of an IP-based session at Bosch: “Course participants need to walk away from our training classes on IP technology with an understanding of communications protocols,” says Jim Musshafen, director of customer solutions support, Bosch Security Systems. Bosch’s training often begins with the fundamentals of IP communications components, emphasizing packet flow technology. IP-based video, security and access control technologies each communicate using different types and sizes of packets, he explains, and each type of packet behaves differently on the network.
“It’s essential that installers understand how these packets are sent from the source, how they’re received by the destination, and what happens in between,” Musshafen says. “An understanding of this is essential for proper installation and configuration of IP systems.” Video and access control products provider Pelco, based in Clovis, Calif., has trained thousands the world over on its analog camera and DVR solutions. As the company continues to grow its presence in IP-based video solutions, the Pelco Global Training Institute (PGTI), located at the sprawling Clovis campus and other international sites, is attracting dealers and integrators seeking instruction on the firm’s Endura system.
“We include a short networking course that relates to our Endura product. It gives the Endura technician an acquaintance with the IT/IP concepts they will need to work with an IT professional when installing and maintaining an Endura system,” says Barbara Morgan, global training director, Pelco. “Part of the challenge we have is that the video security professional, who is very familiar with cameras and p/t/z positioning, doesn’t always speak the IT guy’s language with respect to networking considerations, bandwidth issues and those kinds of things. Our network course helps bridge communication between the two technical areas. “
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Bosch Security Systems