Nowadays it has become popular for security dealers to label themselves as systems integrators. Whether they focus on the home builder/residential market or the commercial/industrial market, dealers have solid ground to make that assertion. While 10 or 15 years ago it was common for security companies to specialize in certain technologies and services, today the trend is to diversify.

Driving that trend is the buying public: End users must have one point of accountability for their purchases. Today’s technology is making it possible for dealers and integrators to be that one point.

In September, SDM profiled Interface Systems’ president and chief operating officer, Michael McLeod, who asserted that “a new breed of security provider – one that combines the core competencies of the alarm dealer and the systems integrator – must occur in order to provide the high level of technology and services demanded by today’s sophisticated clients.

“Security companies must position themselves to deliver services beyond the design and installation of systems,” McLeod said. “The next-generation security provider will need to function as an Application Service Provider in order to administer and monitor a customer’s access control, video surveillance and critical alarm systems via a centralized platform running across the internet.”

Still, positioning your company as a one-source supplier puts it in a vulnerable position. You are the consummate expert…the knowledge, advice and services you provide to your clients must be complete, accurate, and honest. To accept the authority of being a single-source supplier also means accepting a grave level of responsibility.

Georgia-based Tech Systems Inc. is a systems integrator that exists to accept that responsibility. After being “fired” by a client because of their dissatisfaction with the level of service it received, Tech Systems created a program called FOCUS, which allows it to accept absolute responsibility for the satisfactory operation of the security systems it sells and installs. The program evolved into a culture that permeates Tech Systems’ relationships with its employees and its clients on all levels.

Tech Systems embodies the message that all integrators must convey to their markets: Securing America’s businesses is more critical now than it ever has been, and our industry accepts the responsibility – through appropriate training of its people, through flawless operations that don’t let clients slip through the cracks, through proper application of systems and services, and through accountable servicing – for ensuring that we have provided the best possible security for our clients.

We are proud to feature Tech Systems and its president, Darryl Keeler, as SDM's first annual Systems Integrator of the Year. Their story begins on p. 38 of this issue. We’d like to hear your thoughts on the subject of exemplary customer service. Send a message to the editor at, or fax a letter to me at (630)227-0214.