Signs Indicate Challenging Road Ahead for Electronic Security Industry

SSI‘s 2012 Industry Forecast queries more than two dozen security authorities from all corners of the industry to tell you what to expect and how to target success. While customers expect more and competition is intensifying, security integrators and dealers are uniquely qualified and positioned to come out on top.

<p>Many trends from 2011 will carry right on into 2012. One example, according to Dakota Security Systems President/CEO Eric Yunag, is an acceleration of the commoditization of security products. He recommends integrators reinvent themselves as service-oriented providers with a larger variety of higher margin offerings. ©iStockphoto.com/Alex Slobodkin</p>Ongoing Challenges

Robert Solomon, PE, Division Manager for Building and Life Safety Codes, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) — Since 9/11, NFPA has worked to address the more than 40 recommendations that NIST issued in 2005 and 2007 on the collapses of WTC 1, 2 and 7. Some issues still need more work and better solutions like the first-responder communications in high-rise buildings. Other ideas like elevators for occupant-controlled evacuation prior to Phase I Emergency Recall Operation are now recognized in the NFPA codes.

An important component of that technology, however, is the messaging strategy for the building occupants. For about 100 years, we have been instructed or have seen the signs that say, “In case of fire, use stairs, not the elevator.” Now we must develop a communication strategy that says it’s OK to use the elevator in some newly designed buildings. What I say, how I say it, how often I say it in terms of the elevator status and when it might arrive at my floor are all important concepts that need more work. The Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF), an affiliate of NFPA, is working on this and we expect to have some solutions on the table in early 2012.

John Lombardi, First V.P., Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA); President, CIA Security — The market is inundated with service providers offering a changing means of alarm signal communication and the mechanisms that process signals. Our challenge is to embrace these new technologies while remaining the dominant force in the market. Additionally, our industry image is sorely lacking in the marketplace. We are not recognized as security professionals nor does the public at large equate our services with value. Due to the fact that much of the security alarm market has become commoditized, we have lost our perceived worth in the eyes of the consumer. The industry needs to permanently and positively change this perception.


About the Author


Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is 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), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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