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The door is open for IT integrators to enter the physical security market

The door is open for IT integrators to enter the physical security market A look at how and why IT integrators should get into security

BOULDER, Colo.—Disruption is creating rapid growth in the security market, as new technologies are introduced, new players are entering the arena and bringing solutions that are merging and blending technologies and industries. With Access Control as a Service (ACaaS), network connected devices and wireless locks are driving a significant amount of growth in the market, which allows new integrators with network expertise the opportunity for a simple expansion of their business into physical security, specifically video surveillance and access control.

Access control and video surveillance devices have become part of the network infrastructure creating a change in the traditional decision makers. In the past, facility directors were responsible for security; however we have seen a clear shift and the IT staff in addition to the facility staff are collaborating to make decisions about physical security solutions.

With this crossover of decision makers, an increasing number of IT solutions providers are being recruited by their current customers to provide security services. Customers want to rely on a single vendor they trust to handle both their IT and security concerns. Many integrators are welcoming these requests with open arms and the migration of physical security to the network is driving product innovation; therefore creating simple and easy-to-use solutions.

Due to this shift in the market, IT integrators are looking for network-based systems that are hosted in the cloud. Urban Digital Solutions, based in Uniondale, N.Y., is the perfect example of an IT solutions provider that has expanded its product-service offering to include access control.

“Our clients asked us to get into the physical security space as they were happy with the way we handled their IT services,” states Anthony Pisano, president of Urban Digital Solutions. “We never get tired of hearing the phrase, 'Oh, by the way, can you guys also do our?' … which always leads to the client asking for bundled options like Managed IT plus physical security or any other combinations of our 'as a service' offerings. ISONAS continues to make it easy for IT Integrators to engage in physical security and we look forward to working with them on future projects.”

The transition from IT to physical security requires an integrator to be educated on security technology and understand the structure of a building. The main role of an IT integrator is to set up an IT infrastructure purely from a digital perspective; security involves interacting with this system in a physical setting.

Why would an IT integrator want to make the shift to the physical security market? Here are three key reasons:

1.    Deepen Their Relationship with Customers 
Customers like the convenience of relying on a single, trusted vendor to handle multiple services in their building. By offering multiple services from IT to access control, IT providers can expand their managed services offering, therefore increasing their recurring revenue models and deepening their relationship with customers. This also allows IT providers to recommend complete solutions that give the customer the best of breed in security products, creating more efficiencies for the customer. Having one vendor working on IT and security issues creates a more efficient approach to providing an integrated networking solution.

2.    Simple Transition for IT Integrators
With networking as their core competency, transitioning to a cloud-based access control system and a network-based hardware device is an obvious next step. IT integrators can leverage their knowledge of the network and can educate themselves on the physical aspects of doors and the latest security technology in order to offer intelligent planning to customers, or find a trusted partner with expertise in physical door hardware. Their experience with a managed services business model is also an advantage and reason this transition makes sense.

3.    Approach an Untapped Market
As more and more services and technologies move to network-based devices as well as cloud applications, there are solutions now available to meet a smaller customer's needs. Previously the cost of access control and video surveillance was prohibitive to smaller customers. However, now with no need for IT infrastructure to host enterprise level software and a simpler and a more cost-effective installation process, more customers can afford access control and video.  This is a market that is growing exponentially and IT integrators can provide the right solutions easily for this market.

Melissa Stenger is VP of Product Management & Marketing for ISONAS Inc., an Allegion company that has become instrumental in providing IT integrators with a simple path to Access Control as a Service (ACaaS) with its cloud-based access control software, Pure Access and network connected reader-controller device. Not only are the products simple and easy to use, the onboarding and training process to be a certified ISONAS partner is quick and easy. As a certified partner, integrators are provided with the most-up-to-date tools and resources to effectively support the access control IP Revolution.


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