Is there room for ONVIF and PSIA to coordinate a harmonized approach to standards in the electronic security market? Can they coexist?
There is definitely room for a coordinated industry standards approach. ONVIF has made excellent progress in the areas of IP video interoperability. PSIA has exciting efforts underway in the field of identity. SIA members are finding value in these efforts, and SIA is supportive of both organizations. Confusion in the industry arises when we have different groups working on standards for the same things. If electronic security standards organizations focus on whitespaces, the industry will be able to allocate their resources effectively and develop better standards faster.
You have stated that one of your primary goals as SIA chairman is to grow membership. That includes considering new categories of members, including students. Where do students fit into SIA membership and why would their participation be considered advantageous?
Students are the future engineers, product specifiers, marketing professionals and CEOs of our industry. They are the next generation of security leaders who are going to propel this industry forward into an even higher level of technology innovation not contemplated today and spur growth for the entire industry. As a leading security association, SIA should not hesitate to bring these future security business employees into our community.
SIA is already working to create new opportunities poised to enter our industry through our work with Mercer County Community College [West Windsor, N.J.] in developing a new two-year degree in physical security that will prepare these individuals for careers in security sales and project management.
“One of the biggest threats to small- to medium-sized integrators is actually the do-it-yourself nature that some new security technologies enable. Small- and medium-size integrators must leverage their experience, their ability to understand and anticipate their customers’ business needs, and their track records using best-of-breed, standards-conformant solutions to continue to show customers how much value the integrator-end user relationship adds to a project long term.”John Stroia
In this fast-evolving marketplace, what do you view as the biggest threat to small- to medium-sized security integrators?
One of the biggest threats to small- to medium-sized integrators is actually the do-it-yourself [DIY] nature that some new security technologies enable. End users may bypass the relationship with the security integrator for smaller jobs, choosing instead to “hang a few network cameras” or set up an intrusion system by themselves. Small- and medium-size integrators must leverage their experience, their ability to understand and anticipate their customers’ business needs, and their track records using best-of-breed, standards-conformant solutions to continue to show customers how much value the integrator-end user relationship adds to a project long term.
Maximizing profit margins remains a fundamental challenge for all integrators. SIA’s current CSPM project management initiative is all about helping integrators master the principles of security project management to create “wins” all the way around — better managed projects that are delivered on time and on budget, more satisfied customers and increased profitability.
Is there a particular organizational initiative you would advise small- or medium-sized integrators pursue to help remain competitive as well as relevant to end customers?
Smaller integrators should pay closer attention to SIA initiatives that will save them time and money while providing them with quality market and technology intelligence. SIA provides two publications that provide insight into government regulatory policies [State Policy Digest] and the federal budget climate [Fiscal Year Informer] and the policies that drive business opportunities for integrators. SIA also offers a series of Webcasts about emerging technology issues. These are just some of the products and services that SIA members can leverage for competitive advantage.
You are a board member of the Security Industry Alarm Coalition, so you know firsthand how difficult it can be to entice more alarm dealers and industry-related vendors to donate money to fund the SIAC’s liaison efforts. What message do you have for those companies that might compel them to loosen their purse strings and commit financially to SIAC?
SIAC provides extraordinary services to our industry. It serves as the idea forum for all stakeholders from industry and law enforcement and industry to come together and discuss alarm management and false alarm issues. Without the involvement of SIAC in dozens of municipalities over the years, ill-advised local false alarm ordinances could have been adopted that would have threatened community confidence and reliance upon alarm services.
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