Assa Americas head offers advice for integrators

Monday, August 23, 2010

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—In a recent interview surrounding Assa Abloy’s acquisition of specialized door maker Security Metal Products, Thanasis Molokotos, head of the Americas division of Assa Abloy and EVP, noted the company’s long-term view of the security marketplace. With that in mind, what does Molokotos see coming down the pipeline for which integrators should prepare themselves?

"The logical and physical convergence of access control is almost an overused term, and it's been written about and discussed extensively, but it is a reality," he said, "and so is the fact that the trend towards more holistic, intelligent openings is a reality. The speed by which it will get traction, nobody knows. When will it reach a tipping point where it will be typical for a commercial building? Nobody knows. But there's no doubt in anyone's mind that if you fast forward a few years, you'll see an abundance of intelligent door openings that are plug-and-play and integrated with the rest of the intelligent building infrastructure."

He said that a security systems integrator would be ignoring the larger trend of intelligent buildings at their peril.

"The building is becoming very intelligent in all aspects," Molokotos said, "whether it's HVAC, fire alarm, lighting, or security. All of those subsystems are talking to each other, and intelligent door openings are an essential piece of that smart building. And we see that on the residential side as well, even though that's not a part of our main focus."

He acknowledged, too, that expanding your business horizons can be tough for smaller security integrators, especially those focused on winning the next contract in order to keep the doors open. "The challenge for a small business is how to deal with the short-term issues they have to deal with, but making sure you participate in the latest technological advancements of the industry ... There are a lot of businesses that run their day-to-day operations very well, but are also very active in participating in some of the more cutting-edge technologies."

Setting aside time and money to explore new technologies and revenue opportunities can be painful in the short term, he said, but is vital to long-term success in the market.