This month SDM is pleased to feature the second in our special “State of the Market” reports. In the cover story, “Access Control: State of the Market,” security dealers and systems integrators report that access control projects they have undertaken recently are expanding beyond the traditional sale and installation. Last year’s large jobs have become even larger projects today, encompassing greater areas of a building with more complex operational characteristics; the market for small systems has opened up, too.

SDM’s cover subject, Joe Hassan, president of Certified Security Systems in Jacksonville, Fla., a First Alert Professional Security Systems dealer, notes that lately he has seen even residential customers show interest in access control technology. “A few years ago, that was unheard of,” Hassan claims.

Some integrators report they have not only twice as many access control jobs on the books as at this time last year, but they’re also experiencing higher average revenue per job and often a higher margin per job than in past years.

SDM also checks in with access control manufacturers and distributors to present a balanced market outlook that you can use to help plan for your future business. What do the access control system specialists think will be the hot technology this year? Find out in “Access Control: State of the Market,” beginning on page 56.

Also in this issue: How close is the security industry to tailoring intrusion alarm and other systems for seamless integration? Find out in the feature article, “Trends in Integrating Intrusion Devices.” Author Russ Gager, SDM’s managing editor, discusses the urgent need for integration in retrofit applications.

How often have you encountered a scenario like the following? Your customer has an access control system that has not been updated in five years, a burglar alarm panel that is even older, no video surveillance system at all, and no elevator interface. The customer typically does not have the budget to replace all of these security systems, so you need to install a new video surveillance system and other equipment that will work in an integrated fashion with what is already installed. “Now the need for systems integration becomes apparent,” Gager writes.

End-users believe “one button is going to control everything for you,” says one source. “Integration works well, but it does not work that way.”

Learn what’s possible now to help you tie existing systems together in the article “Trends in Integrating Intrusion Devices,” beginning on page 62.

We look forward to the industry’s largest electronic security trade expo and conference coming in early April – ISC West Las Vegas. We hope to see you there at SDM’s booth. Something new I’ll be writing is an ISC West blog – so whether you’re planning to attend ISC West or not, you can be in the know by tuning in to for semi-daily show coverage.


Ever had trouble choosing the right lens for your customer’s video surveillance camera? SDM’s contributing editor, Joan Engebretson, offers guidelines and tips for getting optimal performance from a lens. Check out page 73.


Help SDM choose the best marketing materials manufacturers and service providers offer, to help you sell more security. Cast your vote this month for SDM’s Securing America Awards. Vote at