Last month we began our discussion of taking another look at how well the security ecosystem cohabits more effectively with suppliers, inside and outside sales teams, installation and service technicians, consultants, and the top of the food chain — our customers. With such a complex, dynamic and rapidly changing environment, you need a process that will allow you and your team to adapt, innovate and prevail. You don’t want to end up like the T. rex, do you? Fear not; a solution has been provided for you to consider known as PEPCOM, the sales process acronym I began detailing last month. So let’s review
that part and move forward through the rest.
PEPCOM is a distilled version of a process I use in my end-user security consulting practice to break big projects into digestible, small bites. For those who missed last month’s column, the first P stands for Physical facility frailties. Installing security contractors must consider all of a facility’s characteristics and physical limitations when evaluating your design solution approach. Can you leverage the physical property characteristics to your advantage, or will they work against you? Must anything be overcome with innovative design or specific product application?
One coaching point: too often I see systems integrators applying the “round hole/square peg” miscue with a large hammer; i.e., a single model product solution applied for the whole design. While this did make some sense in the old analog world, it doesn’t in the new converged world. More often than not this is a sales education issue but sometimes can apply to companies that simply don’t want to learn new technologies. Think of a facility with “micro applications” for product selection. Let’s get started with the next step in our ecosystem.
Analyzing All the Variables
Environment variables are vexing when not carefully considered during the design evaluation stage. These are variables we can’t control, but must deal with to deliver a practical and sustainable security solution. The location of the customer’s facility must be considered from three perspectives.
- Topology — where the facility is sitting, as well as the surrounding area. Is the facility near a river, bottom of a mountain, top of a hill or in a valley? What about the natural lighting characteristics? Each of these considerations becomes relevant when you consider the impact of severe weather events for the facility. Hope for the best but always design for the worst-case scenario within budgetary realities.
- Weather patterns and historical events should be factored in to your design considerations to ensure your solutions are survivable. If you have local knowledge, this usually isn’t a problem. If you are new to the area, be especially careful to not assume anything. This can be very relevant for national security deployments. When I go fishing, I hire a local guide who knows the waters.
- Compass orientation of the facility. Where does the sun rise and set? How much does that change during the winter months? Will the area be vulnerable to extreme swings in available light due to weather? Will that have an impact on your product selection process? Figure out the specific areas of the facility where you might find challenges with orientation.
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