Not long ago, most security systems operated independently of each other and only communicated through their own dedicated cabling and signaling protocol. Today, there is a fast-accelerating shift toward integrated security systems, which not only simplify installation but also provide the customer with significant benefits, such as greater insight into threats and a heightened level of overall security.
But what makes an integrated security system truly successful? If you are a value-added reseller that has traditionally focused on discrete, proprietary technologies, transitioning to modern, integrated systems might seem like a daunting process. However, once you master the key components of a successful integration, you will be well equipped to apply that knowledge to a wide range of installations.
First, familiarize yourself with the four key components of a successful integrated security system:
1. Video surveillance.
Today, surveillance is a priority for any integrated solution. For most of your customers, IP cameras will be one of the core aspects of their overall system, with other devices, such as access control and intruder alarms, acting as a complement to the power of video surveillance.
As you embark on learning about integrating technologies, ensure that you focus your attention on surveillance, as this is where most of your work will probably come from in the next several years.
2. Access control.
Access control is also vital in most facilities. In a fully integrated system, each subsystem helps the others work even more effectively, increasing the overall level of security. For example, access control and video surveillance can be used together in order to record video of every failed or suspicious access attempt, providing greater insight than either system could on its own.
Depending upon the project, you might opt for wireless or wired door readers and controller technology. For many customers, access control will also include devices such as intruder alarms and visitor management platforms.
3. Vendor-neutral standards and protocols.
True integration can only be achieved using technology that follows established standards and protocols. The industry-wide push for greater integration and the influx of IP technology have heralded a growing acceptance of standards such as ONVIF.
In order to streamline design and installation, and in order to ensure that your customers benefit from tightly integrated and highly compatible systems, be sure to look for devices that embrace industry standards, rather than trapping your end users into proprietary relationships with specific vendors.
4. Centralized control.
In order to tie each component of a security system together, centralized control software is a must-have. These platforms enable your customers to manage and view all aspects of their security system through one user interface.
For customers with both video surveillance and access control, centralized command-and-control software provides a higher level of control and visibility. For example, end users can view live and recorded video and entry/exit logs, all through one user interface. In addition, they can take advantage of advanced features such as video analytics to achieve even tighter security and respond more effectively to incidents.
What role do integrated security systems play in your business today? Are your customers demanding greater integration with each passing year?