Recession Slows Wheels of Technological Progress

The December issue of SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION includes a feature called “Transformative Technology” in which all areas of the electronic security supply chain are analyzed by six of the industry’s leading technology experts. The panel was comprised of Bill Bozeman, president and CEO, PSA Security Network; Peter Boriskin, senior product manger, GE Security; Steve Collen, director of business development, Cisco, Physical Security Business Unit; Paul Constantine, vice president of merchandising, ScanSource Security; Robert Grossman, president and founder, R. Grossman & Associates; and Doug Marman, CTO and vice president of products, VideoIQ.

There was not nearly enough space in print to include the full breadth of the captivating and in-depth interviews we conducted with these gentlemen. Most of the extra material can be found in the online version of that article; however, some of it has been carried over to this blog. Specifically, we asked about if and how the recession has impeded the pace of security technology. Also, to have a bit of fun, we asked them the role technology plays in their personal lives to see if their professional personas mirror their private ones. As it turns out, the two do not necessarily go hand in hand. Here’s what they had to say …

Has the recession affected the introduction of new technologies into the security market? If so, in what ways? What are the long-term impacts?

Bill Bozeman: The recession has impacted the smaller start-ups, which historically has been where a tremendous amount of security technology would be introduced. I believe the impact will be short term as the applications are still relevant. I see young entrepreneurs creating more innovative products as time goes on.

Peter Boriskin: I think it is a mixed bag. Because people are being pressed to do more with less or do more with the same, that pressure has turned into opportunities to connect up and to reevaluate the technology and what can be gleaned from it. Some of that has positively impacted what we see in terms of the push for convergence. Definitely if there isn’t as much call for delivery of those solutions it does cause the integrator to focus internally on a lot more services. We see there is a shift from product services as a mix right now and that’s in keeping with the economic times. Services give you the ability of both decreasing the barrier to entry and increasing the size of the pie. Those are two key things, especially in a market the size of ours, that if you can broaden the applicability of what we do beyond the traditional market segment it is obviously a huge benefit. If you can then also reduce that barrier to entry, that helps create a more scalable solution.

Steve Collen: I would say the budgets for security have actually held up fairly well the past two years against the recession, but there are certain verticals that definitely felt the pain. For example, the gaming market is so much at the mercy of disposable income, so that one has really suffered across the board in certain security deployments. Perhaps at Cisco we’re fortunate in the sense that we are providing more new generation technologies and platforms, so maybe we don’t see the pain as maybe a traditional analog legacy company because we have experienced pretty healthy growth. In general, we’ve held up quite well in the recession — the physical security spending has not suffered too badly. One kind of behavioral change, though, is more focus being placed on pilots and gradual deployments to make sure that the product really does work as promised. We’re definitely seeing that as a flavor of our deployments, as opposed to mass rollouts from a very early point. And I think that’s actually a pretty good thing from our perspective and that of the customer. Let’s say the customer does see an issue. That means we get a heads-up on the issue before it’s a large-scale deployment. It gives us a chance to correct any issues that might occur with that. From the customer’s point of view, it helps them refine their deployment, so I think that progressive deployments are a good thing all around.

Paul Constantine: I think it’s pushed out some new product introductions. We get disclosed on our partners’ product roadmap every year, and there are some things that probably would have come out a little quicke

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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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