Consolidation and its affects on the security industry will be one of the major issues at the 50th annual American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) show this month in Dallas.

The effects of consolidation on the business and the equipment of the security industry are the biggest issues at the 50th annual American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) seminar later this month.

Consolidation affects three different groups: manufacturers, systems integrators and end users, according to Bill Bozeman, CPP, president of PSA security.

For manufacturers, consolidation is about being able to offer many different services under one brand name.

“The larger manufacturers are purchasing the competition. They want to be able to provide a large scope of products for fuller services. That can mean less choice but hopefully it means a better integration between the products of one family,” Bozeman said.

For systems integrators, consolidation is about getting bigger to offer services on a national scale.

“Integrators are being acquired by larger integrators and pushing for the ability to do national account work. Most national accounts want to deal with one integrator,” he said.

For end users, consolidation is often about integrating two different companies.

“When giant companies purchase each other, and they have different systems, there is an impact,” when it comes to integrating those two systems.

Security professionals need to learn new ways of bringing the existing security infrastructure together, just as the two businesses need to learn to work together. The challenge is to make the transition quickly and seamlessly.

Another challenge is bringing together security hardware and software. As hardware becomes more sophisticated and systems become more complex, integrating video and access control, it must work more smoothly with software to be useful, Bozeman said.

“This is a challenge on technical as well as on the human resources side. It can be hard for the IT people to work with physical security. They’re coming from two different worlds. One is a contactor who mounts card readers and put cameras on the wall, the other is a tech-y,” he said.

The challenge is to make both the technology and the people work seamlessly together to produce an effective network.

“Who’s going to win are the integrators who understand both sides,” Bozeman said.

A background issue of this year’s seminar is securing the country against the continuing threat of terrorism. Projects like creating border security and water treatment plants are having a “significant impact” on the integrating business now, Bozeman said.

“We’re really seeing the big push [resulting from 9/11] now. The projects are going through. I don’t see that backing off at all,” he said.