Systems Integrator Study – Integrators Bagging Bigger Bucks

What’s the profile of a typical electronic security systems integration business? If you’re in that line of work, the odds are your company is 20 years old or less (73 percent); has 25 or fewer full-time employees (64 percent); has in excess of $1 million in annual gross revenue (62 percent); derives most of its business from the commercial and industrial markets (81 percent); and specializes in CCTV and access control (59 percent).

These were among the figures tabulated from Security Sales & Integration’s second annual Systems Integration Study. The findings are the result of pulling out responses from systems integrators who participated in SSI’s 2005 Installation Business Report. As usual, the overall statistics from that study can be found in the 2006 Top 500 Resource Guide (formerly known as the Buyers Guide & Fact Book).

About a fourth of the Installation Business Report’s 400 respondents were classified as systems integrators, as opposed to traditional security dealers. This was differentiated by categorizing integrators as those using a business model based on installation and service sales as opposed to recurring monthly monitoring revenue.

When this study was first published last year, it created a particularly high level of interest because there had been precious little data compiled on the security systems integration business. Now, with the accumulation of multiple years’ worth of results, it is even more meaningful because comparisons can be made and trends can begin to be discerned.

For example, the data shows that although still predominant, the growth of commercial business is lagging behind that of industrial and residential. In addition, CCTV is continuing to increase its margin of dominance as the No. 1 revenue source. Furthermore, and very encouraging for systems integrators, the scale and typical price of installation projects, as well as the gross and net profit margins, rose across the board in 2005.

Please refer to the print version of Security Sales & Integration magazine for graphs, charts and captions that crystallize where the systems integration business is today. Also included in the print version is a pair of leading integrators further analyzing those findings and speculating where the industry will be tomorrow.

Other systems integrator studies available for download include:

2008: Integrators Design Profitable Plan

2007: Integrators Contend With the Effects Of Consolidation

2005: Identifying the Integrator

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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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