Dynamic change is afoot

Tuesday, July 1, 2003

Editor, Security Systems News

The dynamics of the security industry are changing, and the new, large players admit they’re a significant part of it.

Recently, I had the rare and welcomed opportunity to hear some of these companies, such as GE Interlogix and Siemens, present some of their plans for the future first hand. In May there was the GE Interlogix users conference, an event attended by its systems integrators and some of its largest end-users. Siemens Building Technologies put on a different event of sorts, hosting an International Trade Press Forum in Dallas in June that was attended by about 70 journalists from around the world. We heard company executives provide unprecedented details about the company financially, its plans for growth and how North America is of strategic importance.

And as I write this editorial, GE Interlogix’s Security Pro Conference, an event for its security dealers and prospective new dealers, was ready to get underway.

To hear what these company officials had to say first hand at these events provides the industry with a unique glimpse and inside look of what’s in store for the future. With so many new players entering the market, such as United Technologies Corp., which intends to buy Chubb Plc., the future of the industry is on everyone’s mind.

How will this market look five years from now? Will the manufacturing segment be controlled mostly by big companies like GE Interlogix, Bosch, Honeywell and Tyco, and perhaps a few other unknown companies?

And on the systems integration front, will we see more conglomerates like United Technologies, proficient in the defense market, move into this space? Gage Babcock and Lockheed Martin are providing security to the government, so why not expand?

In the five years since I’ve covered the security market, the dynamics have changed significantly. When I came onboard, the mass marketing and free system approach was still alive and thriving. Today, we know that model no longer works and companies like ADT Security have realized it.

We’re often asked here what the market will be like in a few years. While we don’t have a crystal ball, its clear to see that change is afoot and perhaps for the better. In the long run, the market will be stronger, with the muscle of GE Interlogix, Bosch and Honeywell - names widely recognized by consumers - behind it.

Dealers and system integrators alike are more sophisticated than ever before. Home systems is the buzz word today in the residential market, while convergence is paramount for integrators.

It’s not just the large players that are changing the industry’s dynamics - it’s people like you.