Having a support team that works closely with the customer is one of the most important factors in having a successful installation
What factors should an end user consider when looking for a professional systems solution provider?

Andrew Schonzeit, President of IDESCO Corp., New York, knows what it takes to have an award-winning, top-in-its class systems integration company. For more than seven decades, the company has grown, morphed and continued to move into the world of value-add integrated solutions contracting. They’ve received numerous industry and business accolades and increased their stature in the security industry and end-user community. Here, Schonzeit provides six tips listing what end users should look for in a professional systems solution provider:  

1. See The End Results

Always ask for project references and make an on-site visit to a couple of jobs if possible. This way you can see if the integrator has the insights into a specific vertical market and its nuances. Integrators need to be problem-solvers, and that means knowing what might be applicable in the healthcare market, versus education for example, or how to approach legacy equipment without a total overhaul if the budget won’t allow. There are many potential scenarios – a good systems integrator can come up with viable solutions for most of them.

2. Assess Applicable Certifications And Credentials

Depending on the type of work, many technicians are required to have certifications from manufacturers, basically attesting that they are up to speed on the latest versions of the products and have been factory-trained on operations. A number of associations also have training and credentialing; for example, the Electronic Security Association, Irving, Texas, and the ASIS International, Alexandria, Virginia. Obtaining and maintaining credentialing is a good gauge of how serious a company is about keeping its employees up to speed on ever-changing technologies.

With well-established firms, you’ll have greater assurance that you can stay with these companies and grow your security as needed in the future

3. Scrutinize Service And Support

Can you call the company directly and have the phone answered by a friendly and knowledgeable source? Or are you able to leave a voice or email message and get a quick response? Having a support team that works closely with the customer is one of the most important factors in having a successful installation. There should be responsible support team members who are on top of the project and can answer questions if challenges arise so as not to delay the scheduled timeline.

4. Look For Experienced Designers

What’s the philosophy when it comes to designing a system? Look for firms that do everything from start to finish – consulting, design-build, final testing and commissioning, and after-installation 24/7 support. Remember that it’s the consultative approach that’s important, so select a security company who can provide you input prior to any technology or hardware discussion, first considering the specific challenges or issues at the facility.

5. Vet Product Manufacturers

There are many manufacturers in the security industry, so it’s critical for a contractor to offer proven products that have a long history of stability, reliability and scalability. With well-established firms, you’ll have greater assurance that you can stay with these companies and grow your security as needed in the future without starting from scratch.

6. Consider Due Diligence On Market Expertise

It’s impossible for everyone to know the nuances of every business, so select contractors who have experience in your target market, whether it’s healthcare, education, government, institutional or corporate and enterprise facilities. They should understand the rules, regulations and other mandates required of security for the particular facility.  

Download PDF version

Author Profile

Deborah O'Mara Owner, DLO Communications

Deborah L. O’Mara, SourceSecurity.com's dealer/integrator correspondent, is a veteran of the security marketplace, having extensive experience in security, fire alarm technology and integrated systems.

In case you missed it

Has The Gap Closed Between Security Fiction And Security Reality?
Has The Gap Closed Between Security Fiction And Security Reality?

Among its many uses and benefits, technology is a handy tool in the fantasy world of movie and television thrillers. We all know the scene: a vital plot point depends on having just the right super-duper gadget to locate a suspect or to get past a locked door. In movies and TV, face recognition is more a super power than a technical function. Video footage can be magically enhanced to provide a perfect image of a license plate number. We have all shaken our heads in disbelief, and yet, our industry’s technical capabilities are improving every day. Are we approaching a day when the “enhanced” view of technology in movies and TV is closer to the truth? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How much has the gap closed between the reality of security system capabilities and what you see on TV (or at the movies)?

BCDVideo Signs OEM Deal With Dell EMC: Positive Impact For Surveillance Storage
BCDVideo Signs OEM Deal With Dell EMC: Positive Impact For Surveillance Storage

In a significant move for the video security market, BCDVideo has announced that it is set to become Dell EMC’s OEM partner in the video surveillance space. For nearly a decade, the Chicago-based company has been known as a key OEM partner of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), providing storage and networking technology to security integrators on a global scale. This latest partnership will allow BCDVideo to take their offerings to the next level. BCDVideo Vice President Tom Larson spoke to SecurityInformed.com to discuss the reasoning behind the deal, and how the program will benefit partners, integrators, and end-users alike. Expanding BCDVideo's Product Offering For BCDVideo, the HPE OEM program has been widely acknowledged as a success, allowing the company to leverage a globally recognized brand and provide high-quality, reliable solutions across video networking and access control. Nevertheless, explains Larson, HPE server solutions are primarily suited to large-scale enterprise projects, and are therefore unable to accommodate for the growth in small- and medium-sized surveillance applications. The global collaboration with Dell EMC will allow BCDVideo to open up a broader product offering, building on success in the larger enterprise market to offer tailored solutions to SMEs. Our aim is to look at all best of breed technology to serve the video surveillance marketplace, and that means multiple partnerships” Support For Integrators By leveraging Dell EMC’s sophisticated digital storage platforms, BCDVideo will now be able to offer a more cost-effective solution to integrators, without sacrificing the resilience and IT-level service that BCDVideo is known for. With access to Dell EMC’s expansive global sales and technical teams, the company hopes to expand its reach, all-the-while providing partners with around-the-clock technical support and a five-year on-site warranty. Customers should be reassured that BCDVideo will continue to offer HPE platforms, service, and support. “Our aim is to look at all best-of-breed technology to serve the video surveillance marketplace, and that means multiple partnerships,” says Larson.  “The addition of Dell EMC to our portfolio is a major win for BCDVideo, for Dell EMC, and for our integrators.” The global collaboration with Dell EMC will allow BCDVideo to open up a broader product offering Meeting Surveillance Market Demands At the technology level, assures Larson, Dell EMC’s server offering is well suited to handle the increasing video resolution and growing camera count demanded by the surveillance industry. At the larger end of the spectrum, the company’s Isilon Scale-Out NAS solution can handle tens of petabytes of data, making it ideal for large-scale security applications such as city-wide surveillance and airport security. Dell EMC storage solutions are already proving successful at major international airports including Dubai and Abu Dhabi, each with a camera count in the 1000s.Dell EMC and BCDVideo together are ensuring our customers get the right solutions designed for the surveillance market” For Dell EMC, the new partnership means the ability to expand on this success in the enterprise market, leveraging BCDVideo’s surveillance expertise and high-level customer service to offer tailored solutions for lower-volume applications. Since its inception, BCDVideo has differentiated itself in the security space by providing a high level of IT service to integrators making the transition to IP systems. By combining resources, the partners will be able to service VMS and analytics companies, software vendors, and access control providers, as well as traditional business integrators. Ken Mills, General Manager Dell EMC Surveillance, explains: “Surveillance storage is not just about capacity, it is also about performance and reliability. Dell EMC and BCDVideo together are ensuring our customers get the right solutions designed for the surveillance market.” Accomodating For Growth BCDVideo is well placed to accommodate this anticipated growth. Last year, the company opened a new 51,000-square-foot global headquarters in Illinois, home to 90 separate stations within their Innovation Center where each system is customised according to integrator needs. The new facility allows for expanding business with new and existing partners in the security market.

How To Prepare For Active Shooter Incidents | Infographic
How To Prepare For Active Shooter Incidents | Infographic

This Active Shooter infographic summarises information about trends among active shooter incidents, and outlines how an organization can develop a plan before tragedy occurs, including:   Statistics on the numbers and types of recent active shooter incidents. A profile of common traits among active shooters. How to prepare beforehand, and what to do when the police arrive. How organizational planning ensures maximum preparedness. Pre-attack indicators to look for. Be sure to share this information with coworkers and managers. Awareness is key to preventing active shooter incidents, and to minimising their tragic consequences. When sharing this infographic on your website, please include attribution to  SecurityInformed.com More resources for active shooter preparedness: How hospitals can prepare for active shooter attacks Six steps to survive a mass shooting Technologies to manage emergency lockdowns  How robots can check for active shooters  Background checks to minimise insider threats Gunfire detection technologies for hospitals, retail and office buildings 21 ways to prevent workplace violence in your organisation Non-invasive security strategies for public spaces