Hot Seat: Schneider Electric Strategies and Market Maneuverings

SSI caught up with a pair of Schneider Electric executives at ISC West to discuss the firm’s technology offerings, including the Pelco video brand, as well as its topmost objectives in the electronic security marketplace. Joining the conversation is Sam Belbina, who serves as vice president, Security & Video; and Kevin McCaughey, vice president, Security Solutions.

We’re saying that security delivers qualitative benefits and has delivered qualitative benefits to businesses that are measurable and you can identify those on the P&L and the balance sheet. This is something that we think security leaders are starting to do and need to start doing more of to be able to prove to the business that they’re strategic and that they can deliver value and that security is an investment.

But then Sam alluded to this earlier too; it’s taking the investment and security technology and looking at the rest of the business and saying we have all this technology here. How else can we help the business meet its core mission, whether it be speeding up authorization and authentication of people through a plant onto a particular assembly line, or we’ve got an example where we’ve integrated access control and pneumatic delivery systems in a hospital to ensure that the medicines get delivered from the pharmacy to the patient floor more reliably. It increases the quality of patient care and reduces the occurrence of theft of those medicines. Those are a couple of little examples of how you take security technology and apply it outside the security realm to the rest of the business to make it more efficient and sustainable.

Those are powerful selling tools also. Do you think that security integrators are open to approaching end users with solutions that reach out into those kinds of areas?

Belbina: Absolutely, again we have direct channels today that serve the end users. And we also have partners, our system integrators, we work with. Certainly with the help of the Center of Excellence [COE], with the help of Schneider, we do tend to give them the support mechanisms to go in and try to educate the end user and make sure the end users understand what the total solution is, and how they can capitalize on their investment and increase or improve the ROIs.

McCaughey: These ideas about looking at either quantifying the qualitative benefits that security can deliver to the business or looking beyond security for application of technology, these are new ideas. I believe they follow a market-adoption curve just like any product does. Sam is right, we’ve got partners in the market that are doing this and we’ve got other partners in the market that for one reason or another don’t understand it yet, but I think the market is going to drive the i
ndustry in that direction because of the basic challenge that I outlined before: Securing the needs of the organization, meeting regulatory requirements, IT practices and technology, all of those things being a little out of balance with what executive management sees and what they’re willing to invest in. The market is naturally going to drive all of us in this direction.

We’re on the lead of this learning curve, I think. I see in the educational sessions, us and other people talking about these kinds of concepts and I see a good number of our partners beginning to embrace these ideas.

Belbina: Even if you stay within the security space besides just the building business or the building’s performance, even with this space I believe there’s a lot of opportunity there for all of us to come up with new and innovative ideas to help the end user to achieve better performance.

We are really focusing on credential management systems and how you increase the ROIs in that credential management system. Again we’re working with a lot of end users, educating them especially on the critical security space about how PSIM can play a role there for them, how can PSIM come in and integrate all their systems together and give them this work flow and make at least the performance of the facilities a lot more enhanced.

Those are the areas that we are working on with our system integrators and our end users to make sure we get the message out there.

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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