Spring Into Action With These Ideas

Last month, I was invited to speak at the 5th annual ASSA ABLOY ISC West Breakfast for systems integrators and security consultants. My material covered the latest technology and business trends with a special focus on the opportunities to be had in access control since that is the primary market targeted by the event’s host. It got me thinking about offering some of that information here, expanded to other markets.

What follows are four checklists (a fifth applies to all categories) addressing the access control, fire/life safety, intrusion detection and video surveillance sectors. I don’t pretend these lists are comprehensive, but I do believe they can provide reasonably thorough assessments of the potential technology, market and service opportunities that exist today. While you may be aware of many of these ideas, having them summarized in one place allows for a quick evaluation of your business.

UNIVERSAL (apply to all categories)

  • Branch into residential, commercial or industrial sectors
  • Expand into vertical markets like government, education, health care, retail, financial, etc.
  • Sell service and maintenance contracts
  • Sell value of system; assess return on investment (ROI) and total cost of ownership (TCO) for prospects
  • Charge for estimates and consultation time — get paid for ALL time
  • Offer special introductory offers and referral incentives


  • Upsell expanded coverage (e.g. perimeter protection, time and attendance); system enhancements (e.g. wireless, biometrics); or upgrades of existing systems (e.g. magstripe to proximity, prox to smart cards)
  • Leverage to sell intrusion, video, fire/life safety, networking, A/V, building automation, etc., systems and services
  • Grow RMR with managed access control and all the services (e.g. IDs and badging) that affords
  • Offer door hardware as well as electronic solutions
  • Exploit integration possibilities with video, intrusion and fire/life safety


  • Upsell expanded coverage above and beyond code, system enhancements (e.g. addressable, CO detection, multi-tech sensors) or upgrades of existing systems (e.g. IP signal transmission, wireless)
  • Leverage to sell intrusion, access control, video, networking, A/V, automation, etc., systems and services
  • Grow RMR with fire system monitoring, PERS and medical monitoring, etc.
  • Exploit integration possibilities with access control, intrusion, video and building automation
  • Expand into mass notification and/or EVAC
  • Offer special code compliance inspections


  • Upsell expanded protection (e.g. multiple keypads, pools), system enhancements (e.g. wireless devices, alternative communications) or upgrades of existing systems (e.g. IP connectivity, fancier keypads)
  • Leverage to sell access, video, fire/life safety, networking, A/V, automation, etc., systems and services
  • Grow RMR with own or contracting with third-party monitoring, then adding fire, environmental, video, interactive two-way audio and/or GPS monitored services, mobile device access, online account management, etc.
  • Offer bundled services combining security, broadband, phone, etc.


  • Upsell expanded coverage (e.g. more cameras, outdoor, covert) system enhancements (e.g. IP, megapixel, analytics, wireless) or upgrades to existing systems (e.g. storage, remote viewing)
  • Promote uses beyond security as general management and efficiency tool
  • Leverage to sell intrusion, access control, fire/life safety, networking, A/V, automation, etc., systems and services
  • Grow RMR with basic video monitoring, interactive video, alarm verification, etc.
  • Exploit integration possibilities with access control, intrusion and fire/life safety

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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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