The Art of Upselling Integrated Security Solutions

Learn how to identify and execute long-term project opportunities to achieve greater revenue through multisystem integration.

Systems integration is not a new concept in the security landscape. From the moment the shift to IP security technology caught on, so too did the realization that systems no longer had to be standalone.

Communication over IP networks and the adoption of more open-architecture systems ushered in far-reaching possibilities to correlate data from multiple security systems such as video surveillance, access control, intrusion detection and others. At the same time, forward-thinking businesses advocated the need for greater interoperability between major systems, hoping to capitalize on existing investments to improve operational efficiencies and reduce costs where possible.

This inevitable push toward systems integration even led to the formation of independent groups such as the Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA) and Open Network Video Interface Forum (ONVIF) whose missions are to develop and promote standards for interoperability of IP-enabled security devices and systems across the physical security landscape. And what did this all mean to the systems integrator? Connectivity between security systems became a new source for potential revenues – an added-value service to offer their customers in the realm of their expertise.

While security systems integration and its benefits have long been discussed, the fact remains that a massive opportunity continues to exist for integrators to help their customers capitalize on the trend of multisystem unification. Apart from being able to identify the need for security enhancements, generate more recurring revenues from linking together existing systems, and relay the timesaving and cost-cutting benefits to its customers, integrators can also position themselves in the market as trusted partners.

Specializing in certain types of systems integrations, learning the ins and outs of specific security technologies, and understanding how these blended technologies can work in tandem to enhance live monitoring or improve investigations become differentiating assets in a competitive bid scenario.

RELATED: 6 Tactics to Identify Upsell Opportunities for Security Systems

How Systems Integration Benefits the End User

Typically, two upselling scenarios result from systems integration in a new project: 1) the integrator is called in to install a specific system and sees tremendous advantages for the customer to add and fully integrate another system; and 2) the integrator is called in to install a specific system and sees the opportunity to eventually merge it with another existing system.

The latter case also sometimes leads to greater security improvements by upgrading and phasing out the existing system, depending on its shelf life and performance. While adding and integrating new security components and systems presents the most substantial opportunity, the act of integrating existing systems is still a means to upsell.

Part of the sales strategy in upselling an integrated solution is properly communicating its added value. The clearest advantage for an end user to integrate multiple security systems is improving the effectiveness of their operators in handling everyday tasks. For example, the operator who works from a disparate video surveillance and access control system needs to jump from application to application in search of answers either during an investigation or, worse, during an emergency. The operator will need to take time to look through individual system information, find the event in both systems separately, and make decisions by piecing together their own story. Not only might this lead to frustration, but the process is time-consuming.

On the other hand, when systems are deeply integrated, alarms from the access control system are automatically synched with the instance of video and logged as an event. The operator is then only a click away from the cardholder information and a quick playback of the video. Alarms are preprogrammed and automated, and there is no need to jump from one interface to the next since all the information is correlated and centralized within a single user application, allowing for quick decisions to be made. In saving time, the organization enhances response, improves efficiency and system management, and ultimately lowers operational costs.

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