Suppliers’ Role in Total Solutions Success

Security dealers and systems integrators can work with wholesale distributors to provide end customers the tools, solutions and support that can help close the deal.

By Christie Hamberis

Competition is growing in the networking and security business. Dealers and integrators that are committed to adding value to their end-user relationships are the ones that will survive and thrive. Great value lies deeper than just good customer service. And it’s imperative that a dealer work with a wholesale distributor that can offer more than just great products. One that can take a 360° look at the opportunity the dealer has before them and provide the tools, solutions and support that can help close the deal.

A key area of support that can set one dealer apart from the other is presale solution design. Working with a distribution partner that can provide a complete needs assessment at the outset of the opportunity helps ensure the dealer offers the end user everything needed for a successful installation. It’s not just about the camera, for example; it can be so much more than that. Everything from patch panels to surge protection, PoE switches, routers, storage, cabling, to name but a few pieces to the possible total solution puzzle. It starts with the network and can build out from there.

A formalized needs assessment takes the dealer through a set of thorough questions to help gather information about the project. This not only uncovers opportunities the dealer may not have thought about, it also ensures the solution is built out correctly the first time. Based on the needs assessment, the distributor can run calculations on storage and bandwidth requirements, calculate camera field of view, outline appropriate camera placement, and assist with network and wireless assessments to include heat maps, among other project assistance.

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A thorough assessment ensures important pieces of the solution aren’t forgotten, such as mounting and power requirements. Examining the entire need not only helps to manage the effectiveness of the security solution, but it also helps to control the budget.

Partnering with the right distributor is essential. Serving as a trusted advisor to the dealer – from presolution design on through to postsale technical support – is critical to the continued success of the partnership. And the closer that relationship, the more easily the dealer can quickly and effectively meet the needs of the end user.

Successful dealers will find security distributors able to build the bridge between single, standalone security solutions and full, total solution offerings. If dealers can supply a complete solution that identifies, addresses and minimizes risk and threats, while aligning with the end user’s business strategy, then the relationship can’t help but grow.

Helping end users understand what they need before they even realize it will go far in cementing the relationship, keeping the dealer ahead of the competition, and opening the door to even more opportunity.

Christie Hamberis is Senior Vice President of ScanSource Networking and Security (

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