Commercial AV installation of low-voltage infrastructure is undergoing a drastic shift in how it is perceived by end-users as they come to expect more robust, more diverse and more complete solutions from a systems integrator.
Quite simply, the lines are blurred between what a systems integrator is now expected to do and what the traditional, core competencies have been. No longer can a systems integrator look to provide limited services, but rather they must seek out ways to blend their offerings to provide unique turnkey total solutions.
For manufacturers, that means being ready to provide integrator partners with the new products and tools necessary to expand their service offerings.
Embedding additional products and service skills into the AV installation portfolio will become critical for all commercial integrators, particularly as mobile credentialing, cloud computing and related IoT technologies become more robust and increasingly expected and anticipated by end customers.
The question for a traditional systems integrator, then, is what key elements must be considered to prepare to shift into new spaces?
The reality is that systems integrators must be progressive in providing solutions that fit the specific operational and security needs of buildings and businesses for the long run.
Further, these solutions should enable integrators to go deeper into an organization than they may have in the past by acquiring the necessary skills to separate themselves from the traditional competition, and delivering unique solutions and services that provide cost-effective access control solutions applied to a greater number of openings.
One example of how this can be done is by expanding the concept of what constitutes an access control “opening”.
Integrated cabinet locks, both hard-wired and wireless, can protect everything from server racks to medicine cabinets to security lockers, while leveraging an end user’s investment in their existing security credentials.
Access control technologies can now be applied to everything from shared office spaces to remote padlocks where electronic infrastructure may not necessarily exist.
By further educating themselves – and being aware of potential unique applications – systems integrators can expand their business offerings on literally every single AV installation.
Integrators can also look at ways to enhance recurring revenue streams. Reprogrammable intelligent keys with flexible access control rights, for example, can be leveraged by systems integrators in a way that is affordable to a customer and simplifies their operations, while also providing invaluable transactional information without the expense of building a lot of infrastructure.
In this way, a systems integrator can assume some of the functional burden for the customer and provide foundational security benefits as a recurring-revenue service offering.
These unique offerings must also be affordable. Wireless access control products, for example, lower the cost of deployment for traditional access control, and in turn allow the integrator to capture more openings per budget dollar during a security survey.
Wireless access control manages cost for the end customer, while making buildings more secure and complementing an integrator’s margin objectives on each AV installation.
Interoperability, Quality and Partnerships
It is important that unique technology offerings integrate with other sub-systems within the building.
The best way to achieve that is to align with a manufacturer partner which has flexible solutions, is hyper-focused on quality, and understands your commitment to providing total solutions.
Further to the point, an integrator should keep an eye toward delivering long-term value by implementing solutions which virtually future-proof the end customer’s investment over time.
Integrators therefore must take a consultative approach with their customers. By probing and listening to the specific security management needs of a security practitioner, you can engage with the appropriate manufacturer partner to best address their needs in a collaborative way.
The partnership between integrator and manufacturer is critical.
Leading manufacturers offer extensive certification training to integrators in the complexities of these cutting-edge solutions which should greatly neutralize the fear of entering new markets.
In turn, integrators can provide manufacturers with feedback on the evolving needs and challenges which they are experiencing for their end users.
Unique solutions will continue to mature and evolve, proving more opportunity for integrators to increase their service offerings.
Technologies to Watch
As mentioned earlier, mobile credentialing, cloud computing and IoT are a few examples of transformative technologies within the security space.
If a customer intends to one day utilize these technologies, the onus is on the integrator and its manufacturer partners to be prepared to deliver high-value products services with a clear return-on-investment (ROI) model for the long run.
There are simple – yet very critical – steps to consider in expanding commercial integration offerings as it relates to security and access control solutions.
Find a manufacturer partner that can offer alignment and key competencies, provide training, and work with you in the long term for success. You will improve your ability to grow your business in new, profitable ways, as demands from end users continue to shift.