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SSI’s Systems Integration Study: All Systems Go!

Results from SSI’s 10th annual Systems Integration Study reveals that business is teetering on booming for electronic security contractors.

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Even the biggest naysayer, buzzkill or Debbie Downer herself (if unfamiliar, Google for Rachel Dratch’s hilariously negative “Saturday Night Live” character) would be hard-pressed to see the typical security systems integrator’s glass as being half-empty in 2014. In fact, even the more optimistic half-full scarcely begins to describe an industry zipping out of the recessionary bummer to sip from a glass literally brimming with opportunities and growth. By their very nature, skeptics and nitpickers can always find something to groan about, but as Security Sales & Integration’s 10th annual 2014 Systems Integration Study abundantly indicates, by and large business is bullish, teetering on booming.

Integrators report that not only are revenues up but, for the first time in more than a half-decade, sales and installation gross margins for both access control and video surveillance systems have risen. Overall, just 14% of respondents indicated revenues are down and 20% that margins are off. And hardships that had escalated during the economic downturn, particularly difficulties closing deals with budget-strapped clients and coping with customers defaulting, are waning. It’s little wonder that 80% feel optimistic and outstanding about their present business prospects.

Conducted in cooperation with PSA Security Network, the International Security Conference (ISC), Security-Net and the National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA), SSI’s 2014 Systems Integration Study was distributed to thousands of security integrators nationwide. To be included, completed surveys had to meet the systems integrator criteria of installing primarily integrated video surveillance and/or access control systems, and the majority of accounts not being monitored burglary/fire alarm systems.

Digging deeper, the study results show that video — the one area that refused to cool below a simmer even at the height of the recession — is once again sparking into a red-hot blaze of opportunity. Every video-related area addressed in the survey indicates an acceleration of growth. These include hardware such as IP and megapixel cameras and encoders, as well as software such as video analytics, video management systems (VMS) and physical security information management (PSIM) platforms. Less incendiary but still toasty is access control, with outdoor applications being an area demonstrating especially higher activity. One head-scratcher is the faltering momentum seen for managed/hosted services.

Read on for the full report, rose-colored glassed not required.

Article Topics
Business Management · Systems Integration · Research · Industry Research · Systems Integration Study · All Topics

About the Author
Scott Goldfine
Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration, directing all editorial aspects of the magazine brand in print, electronically, online and in person. The voluminous, innovative and award-winning body of work he has distinguished himself with since joining the publication in 1998 includes groundbreaking research, landmark features, leadership roundtables, high profile case studies, and many industry exclusives. Well versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is a nationally known figure in demand as an industry presenter and subject matter expert to mainstream media. He is responsible for developing many unique products and programs, including the SSI Industry Hall of Fame, Control Panel (industry’s first E-mail newsletter), Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ), Marketing Marvel, Installers of the Year, Integrated Installation of the Year, Security Industry Census, Systems Integration Study, Installation Business Report, Operations & Opportunities Report, Commercial End-User Study and Security’s Fantastic Fleets. Recognized for his relationship building, integrity and lead-by-example ethic, Goldfine is a solutions-oriented team player who advises and collaborates with industry dealer/integrator, consultant, distributor, central station and manufacturer icons, luminaries and executive business leaders on a daily basis. He is also actively involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), PSA-Tec, SAMMY Awards, International Security Conference and Exhibition (ISC), Electronic Security Technology Summit (ESTS), Mission 500, Electronic Security Expo (ESX), ASIS Int’l, Honeywell CONNECT and other supplier conventions. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee and PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council. A certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast, Goldfine graduated with honors from Cal State, Northridge with a management degree in Radio-Television-Film. His professional media endeavors have encompassed magazines, Internet, radio, TV, film, records, teletext and books. Goldfine resides in the Charlotte, N.C., area with his wife, son and three cats.
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