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What end users want …

What end users want …

Systems integrators, security consultants, manufacturers all want the same thing — to truly understand not only what their customers “want,” but also what solutions, technology and services they truly “need” to help solve their specific problems, and meet their specific requirements.

Now more than ever that need to be what many in the industry are calling a “trusted partner” is more critically important than ever, which is why new research on end user expectations provides valuable insight — especially for systems integrators — into what their customers are really looking for from them, and in some cases, not getting.

System integrators seem to be “behind the technology curve,” according to a recent Physical Security Industry Benchmark study based on a survey of more than 340 corporate and campus security managers, system integrators, dealers and manufacturers conducted by H2 Strategic Communications and commissioned by System Surveyor.

The survey focused on physical security system design, procurement and client-vendor relationships, asking respondents about their current challenges, priorities and plans for technology investments into 2021.

Enterprise security professionals, the study found, want “more knowledgeable, transparent and digitally advanced security vendors,” noting that enterprise professionals want their system integrators to be “more up to date on the latest products and technologies and better understand their needs.”

The following is a breakdown of some of the findings:

  • Enterprise professionals want their system integrators to be more up to date on the latest products and technologies (49 percent).
  • Enterprise professionals want their system integrators to better understand their needs (44 percent).
  • Enterprise security leaders are fast tracking security projects (44 percent) but 71 percent said their budgets are not increasing.
  • System integrators are bullish on business (76 percent) with a top priority to maintain or increase sales (58 percent).

The study also looked at the top three system integrator challenges, which are:

  • Gathering accurate site details (48 percent).
  • Inability to visit customer sites (39 percent).
  • Customers requesting multiple proposal revisions (35 percent).

Interestingly, the study found that 82 percent of systems integrators continue to use paper and pen to gather requirements at customer sites, “contributing to these obstacles and creating negative impacts to business,” researchers noted.

“Driven by the pandemic and other factors, in-house security professionals are striving to remedy any vulnerabilities and add new safety measures,” said Chandra Hosek, co-founder and principal at H2 Strategic Communications. “These leaders have raised their expectations of system integrators and other security vendors to provide expert guidance, a higher level of service, and seamless digital interactions.”

All agree that remote collaboration technologies will be a big focus moving forward, with opportunities for systems integrators to increase business if they are prepared.

For example, the study found that system integrators can enhance customer service by providing a portal with access to the latest service and system records (35 percent) and being more transparent with project and proposal information (35 percent).

“The survey results show that system integrators and other physical security firms have an excellent opportunity to engage and improve collaboration with customers to build better long-term relationships,” said Chris Hugman, CEO of System Surveyor. “Digital transformation is a key enabler to improve both in-house business operations and the customer experience. Digital will enable remote selling and consultations in the short term. In the long run, digital will determine the market leaders.”

System integrators cited the need for customer-facing software/tools for visualizing and co-designing systems (a top response to which technologies would most improve business). One-third of the enterprise security leaders said a top priority this year is to implement technology to virtually collaborate with their team, partners and vendors.

A free webinar is planned for Thursday, Sept. 3 at 2:00 p.m. ET to reveal more survey findings and present three recommendations for how system integrators can win more business.

We here at Security Systems News are also hosting a webcast to help integrators make sense of the current landscape and are hosting a free webcast, The Future of Security Now, on Sept. 9 at 2 p.m. ET. Click here to register.


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