Navigating the Web of IP Opportunities

Physical Security, IT: Disparate Worlds Come Together Grudgingly







A systems integrator who is able to assimilate network proficiency into their physical security skill sets will have gone a long way in surmounting a key barrier to pursuing IP solutions: winning the trust of a territorial IT department (or at least having the ability to talk their talk).

“You will not get a digital IP system deployed unless you involve IT,” says Mike Scirica, Honeywell Video Systems’ global marketing leader. “If you go with them upfront, and you understand the lingo and what they are concerned about, you can be successful.”

The areas of know-how that need to be developed are in classic IT infrastructure, according to Nick Samanich, director of strategic products planning with Boca Raton, Fla.-based ADT Security Services.

This would include an understanding of how to install and configure local area networks (LANs) and capacity on demand (CoD) storage solutions, and how to tune those environments so that the tremendous amount of bandwidth that IP video uses is adequately managed.

“This is important so you get sufficient quality of service, while also respecting the other traffic in the case where you have a shared backbone,” Samanich says.

There are also significant data privacy issues that integrators should be aware of and fully appreciate from the client’s perspective.

“To some extent IP video is a double-edged sword in that it has tremendous power to push video to a number of different users, but that can also represent trouble in that users who may not be authorized to view certain video footage might get access to it,” Samanich says. “Understanding how to multitask and manage, understanding the whole privacy aspect is a significant one.”

Developing a solid relationship with an IT department that may well harbor concerns about installing a video surveillance system on its network is no small notion. An integrator should expect to be involved in an ambitious attempt to conquer a great deal of caution and unfamiliarity between the two camps. Manufacturers also have a vested interest in facilitating a positive rapport with IT departments.

“Through an active, multipronged approach — educating the sales force, the integrator and distribution channel partners, engaging in industry forums, and forging relationships with IT partners — manufacturers and installers/ integrators alike can forge the relationships with the IT world that will lead to success in IP video sales,” says Dave Smith, vice president of marketing for Pelco of Clovis, Calif.

Increasingly, as the IT department assumes more decision-making responsibility, IT personnel will have the ability to quash any proposed solution, Smith says. “The more security integrators can understand and address the needs of IT stakeholders, the more effective they’ll be in the IP video world,” he says.

About the Author


Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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