Flight Training for Pilots of Converging Technology

While flying by the seat of your pants is not exactly the ideal way to run a business, there are several parallels that can be drawn in comparing piloting aircraft to steering security technology. Learn how aviating, navigating and communicating apply to both pursuits.

In my opinion, convergence migration requires good pilots to be successful. Piloting new technologies with a customer is like flying a military aircraft—kinda tricky. Flying it in bad weather while trying to land on an aircraft carrier at night in the rain is downright knee-knocking scary. Your customers may resemble the USS Saratoga … large, very hard to turn and producing a huge wake.

I caught a ride on that vessel for 40 days to support our squadron’s carrier qualifications for pilots who often demonstrated how poorly aircraft tires and struts stood up to a rookie Marine pilot’s first attempts at carrier landings. Our EA-6A birds were unique and only 27 were ever commissioned. They were the first of their kind and bristling with new electronic countermeasure (ECM) technology that left a huge electronic wake wherever they flew.

That wake of an aircraft carrier or a large customer’s pilot technology migration path can swamp your company’s technical escort ships. This can happen quickly if they make an unexpected change in their course. These changes can happen when you are working through initial technology pilot deployments. So perhaps there are some lessons to be learned from seasoned pilots who must aviate (fly their plane), navigate (stick to their course and flight plan) and communicate (let ground control know their status, intentions and in turn understand given instructions).

Helping Systems Fly Higher

Aviating is keeping a plane in the air — a good idea, especially if you are a customer. Keeping your customer’s current security systems flying is a challenge. Sometimes that requires some gum and bailing wire to keep older DVRs or legacy access control systems “flying.”

Security budgets can often cause a customer to fly a system into the ground. They are then forced to buy a new plane (DVR, access control, alarm system) without really much planning or testing. The unfortunate reality about migrating security technology is that customers may not have given a great deal of thought to planning their security system migration to a network-centric platform. Why does this happen?

Time. They don’t have the time to think through a technology migration strategy. When a security or video system is “flying” why should they devote any time to think about a change to new technology? Business reasons, for one. A DC-3 plane could fly 21 passengers between Los Angeles and New York with one fuel stop in about 11 hours and get the job done. Why did you want to migrate to that new-fangled jet engine technology at the time? Customer demand! While current security solutions can certainly “aviate,” can they do it efficiently based on today’s business expectations? Have the expectations and demands for higher quality video, validated access control and alarms kept pace with the reality of new security threats?

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About the Author


Paul C. Boucherle, Certified Protection Professional (CPP) and Certified Sherpa Coach (CSC), is Security Sales & Integration’s “Business Fitness” columnist. A principal of Matterhorn Consulting, he has more than 30 years of diverse security and safety industry experience including UL central station operations, risk-vulnerability assessments, strategic security program design and management of industry convergence challenges. Boucherle has successfully guided top-tier companies in achieving enhanced ROI resulting from improved sales and operational management techniques. He is a charismatic speaker and educator on a wide range of critical topics relating to the security industry of today and an accomplished corporate strategist and marketer whose vision and expertise in business performance have driven notable enterprise growth in the security industry sector.

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