Corporate End Users Air Their Grievances

One of the most unique and hotly anticipated of SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION‘s many research projects has become the Corporate End-User Study, the vast results of which will appear in our September ASIS Show Issue. For this, the fifth annual version of this study, for the first time SSI partnered with ISC West/East organizer Reed Exhibitions to give installing systems integrators a better perspective of how these customers think and what they really need the most.

This information is useful not only in showing security providers a profile of the typical high-level end user (security directors and managers) and the organization they represent, but also for the end users themselves to see where they stand among their peers. This original research helps fill the great lack of industry data in this area. Some of the important messages conveyed by security directors/managers include: a lower systems and services cost threshold; assuming an active role in buying decisions; deferring more to IT managers; and great interest in video surveillance, especially IP. Among the good news: feeling better about their company’s security and safety, and higher satisfaction with their providers.

Some of the open-ended responses survey participants provided do not appear in the magazine’s print coverage and I wanted to share them with you here. But to make the most sense of what follows, it is highly recommended you reference the full-length feature article.

When corporate security directors/managers were asked, “What would be your biggest COMPLAINTS about electronic security and fire/life-safety systems?,” some of their direct comments included:

– Customer service

– Diminishing returns on investment
– Most products are monopoly Items, giving no flexibility in case the vendor does not meet expectations
– Proprietary equipment that requires special adaptors or conversion units
– Lack of training
– Poor service and attitude

When end users were asked, “What would be your biggest COMPLAINTS about installing security consultants/systems integrators?,” some of their direct comments included:

– Do not finish work period!
– We have more in-house experience than most consultants
– High mark-ups on equipment
– Installers do not have information on the scope of work, therefore you are forced to go over the parameters again
– I’m really tired of integrators who promise the world but fail to deliver on that promise. Too many leave jobs incomplete or fail to provide support within reasonable times, or even know how to solve problems with their installs.
– Lack of familiarity with the area of concern
– Lack of salesmen with technical experience
– Not familiar with current systems
– Not up-to-date with new technologies
– Use proprietary systems
– Pushing preferred product lines
– Unaware of government FISMA requirements

When asked, “How would you rate your overall job satisfaction?,” some security director/manager comments included:

– Held back by training budgets and people who don’t understand security as an overall concept
– I can’t get the security systems that we need installed or completed
– Need more guys to perform better!

Finally, when asked if they had any additional comments, respondents offered:

– One thing that I would recommend: Stop referring to security officers as guards. It is considered to be demeaning to people that have chosen this profession as their career.
– The problem with the government is some things work with contracts. At one point, we had three different vendors/contractors and they would accuse each other of sabotage, which would make us the victim of our own hires.
– Why does the techie world always refer to the human element as guards? Let’s try to elevate the conversation. These are the people who will be monitoring your oversold systems and responding to them.

I hope you enjoyed this additional insight into the minds of your high-level, end-user clients and that these research projects help bridge the communications gap. I welcome your comments.

As Always, Thanks for Reading …

Scott Goldfine

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Tagged with: Under Surveillance

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