Happy Birthday to Us!

Guess the year. A scare at Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island nuclear facility leads to the evacuation of 144,000 nearby residents; the Pittsburgh Steelers win the Super Bowl, 35-31, over the Dallas Cowboys; the Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” introduces the world to rap music; the median household income is about $16.5K; a postage stamp costs 15 cents; and “The Deer Hunter” wins the Oscar for Best Picture.

If you said 1979, you’d be right (of course, anything else would be wrong). For those of us who were around back then it’s a little hard to believe that stuff happened as long as 30 years ago. Why should you care? Because a magazine also first appeared as the 1970s came to a close — Alarm Installer & Dealer (AID) — that was later to become Security Sales (1989) before adopting its current moniker by tacking on & Integration (2002). Wait; don’t tell me you forgot our anniversary again!

“It seems that now is the time to give the industry what it wants,” were the words this publication’s founder, Bob Bargert, wrote to open the premiere issue in November 1979. The late industry maverick would go on to also launch THE Security Show, which was held from 1982-1990, and the National Alarm Association of America (NAAA) in 1984.

SSI is also celebrating another anniversary in 2009. This year marks the magazine’s 20th with Bobit Business Media, meaning it has been underneath one roof longer than any other publication serving this industry.

I am proud and humbled to say that yours truly has been along for more than half of that ride. In fact, I have now established the longest tenure of anyone ever associated with this esteemed magazine. Yes, that probably does explain why you’re grown so tired of me spouting off in this column every month! Believe me, I appreciate your indulgence.

In honor of this momentous year, SSI will be serving up special commemorative features and content. So keep an eye out for that special anniversary icon. You’ll have to forgive us if at times we get a bit nostalgic and misty-eyed, but I believe security veterans will fondly reminisce along with us while fresher faces will be enriched by learning about this great industry’s illustrious history.

At the same time, we can’t lose sight of the present or cease looking at the future to help keep our readers well informed and best equipped to seize whatever opportunities and tackle any challenges that may come their way. After all, that’s what has been at the heart of this magazine for 30 years (did I mention that?).

With that in mind, I give you my annual presentation of installing security contractors’ top 10 business concerns (see graph).

The results, which were part of our 2008 Installation Business Report (for more, see SSI’s Gold Book in print or online), show “training” remains the top concern but “direct competition from manufacturers” is edging closer. Among the other trends (previous survey’s rankings are in parenthesis), “competition from network/IT companies” enters the list for the first time and “verified/no police response” tumbles to the last spot.

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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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