Look at the Industry With Fresh Eyes

I think what Stang really means is that not only do we have to step outside our business and look at it through the eyes of newcomers, but we have to look at other businesses and industries to see what they can offer us in our business. Integration and convergence have become such hot buzz words in our industry that we forget their meaning. In this case, integration means “the joining together of similar products and services into other businesses and industries.”

For example, the hookup between telephone companies and security has always been there. In fact, many alarm dealers believe telephone companies are still the 800-pound gorilla in the room. So by looking at the telephone companies, the cable companies, the cellular companies, the Internet-based operating platforms and VoIP, what we can start to see is how the integration of products and services take place.

It’s been long assumed that central station operations are not that far removed from local 911 and 311 stations. They both provide emergency response service, they both deal with consumers who are in an emergency situation, and they both require highly skilled, well-trained people to handle those customers. Who’s to say there aren’t integration possibilities that exist between the consolidation of all of those different entities into one service/telemarketing center serving a wider base of customers? Is that on anyone’s radar screen? I don’t know, but if it is, we need to think about ways to meet it, head on. 

Knowing the Impacts on Business

The concept of convergence is a little bit more abstract for the independent alarm dealer than the concept of integration. Simply put, convergence means the coming together of similar and/or dissimilar products and services uniting to provide the consumer with A) Better pricing; B) Ease of usage; and C) A singular platform with which to work.

Once again, whether it’s convergence or integration that is going to impact our business, we need to look outside of our business and start to understand what’s going on in those worlds.

What can you do to become more knowledgeable and educated in some of these other industries? Well, if you take a look at our own industry, you know there are several trade shows a year, not the least of which are ASIS and ISC. Both shows attract tens of thousands of visitors and always have seminars that provide education, orientation and an overview of what’s happening in those industries.

One of the things that might prove interesting is for us to start attending some of those other meetings. I’m sure most of us can do an Internet search for industries that have national conventions, and what those conventions can show in the way of information through seminars and educational forums. By learning more about the various industries that might impact us, we are then better prepared to not just deal with the future, but we will be ready to embrace it.

Disciplines such as the telephone industry, cellular telephone industry, cable industry, computer industry, software industries, etc. all provide these types of shows and information. At the very least, get on mailing lists and start reviewing what people in those industries are talking about. You’ll be better informed, you’ll have an overview of what can impact your business and you’ll have your eyes squarely on how you can fit into the future.

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About the Author


Ron Davis is Security Sales & Integration's "What's the Big Idea?" columnist and contributing market analyst. He is president of Davis Marketing Group (DMG), a full-service consulting firm serving the security industry, which also includes GraybeardsRus. He has 35 years of industry experience, including founding Security Associates Int’l in the 1980s.

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