The Chain That Binds an Integrated Package

As a lad I repaired bikes, and most of the repairs involved the chain. Without the chain being in good shape, the rest of the bike was worthless, no matter how expensive it was. In the security industry, end users are telling us they are constantly trying to find the suppliers that offer the right chains (products and services) for their security systems, since digital networks and integrated systems are now the driving force in the marketplace.

Users’ Top Priority: Quality Design Skill; Installation Follows

We recently asked hundreds of users what some of their key questions are when selecting a manufacturer’s product(s) for an integration project. They say there is really only one key question: How good is the company’s system design skill?

Users are referring to manufacturers when they say this, but they are also referring to the installation and service companies that buy a manufacturer’s design and system. Dealers and integrators are always increasing their integration knowledge. They can play a key role in the products that manufacturers design and build, since they often participate on advisory panels to provide this type of user insight.

The rest of what users look for is what makes a bike a bike (e.g., pedals, seat, handlebars, etc.). It’s the basic integration package. Users want all the components they usually ask for (ease of installation, open architecture, etc.), but the chain that holds it together is the design of the system.

Installing Products Best Suited for the Integrated Application

It’s not unusual that end users will receive a proposal for a product line that a dealer or integrator regularly carries after they ask about the most appropriate products to use for their planned systems integration project. That’s only natural. But the user wants to know if those product lines are the right ones for the job.

Users constantly struggle with this question partly because they hear horror stories from other users about their trials and tribulations with the installation and operation of a new system – and partly because most manufacturers generally claim to have the best answers. As a result, users doubt the information they receive and are often unsure about their personal knowledge.

Will everything work properly to provide the desired functionality originally conceived to suit the particular application? If it does, the manufacturer and its dealers and integrators will claim to have good previous experience with systems design, another priority for users. The rest is an integration package.

No one question or part is any more important than the other. Both the chain and the parts have to be in place for a growing systems integration business, or the bike may coast downward, certainly not upward.

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