Quite often over the past few months, I’ve heard people say, “I’ll be fine once I finish my 2008 budget!” Planning and budgeting for the next year is never an easy task, but a necessary one. Here atSDM, we’ve been planning for 2008 since last May!

Most of you don’t see our 2008 editorial calendar, but it resides on our Web site and is a key reference for marketers who place advertising in security trade publications. It is the foundation for the articles that are published each month inSDMand its supplements,SDMSmartHome andSDMTechnicians’ Field Guides. For more than half a year we’ve been working on these plans, but today, as you read our first issue of 2008, you are seeing the results of our work for the first time in print.

Let me highlight some of the changes — we’d like to hear from you regarding their usefulness to your business.

Introducing Technology Solutions & Skills.We’ve transformedSDM’s longest-running department, Kinks & Hints, into a new department designed to reflect current technology. In past years, many security systems were customized by using a creative mind and a pair of hands to make an alarm system perform in a way it wasn’t manufactured to perform. Technology today is more complex and more capable, but less understood by the average security professional, because it is based on computer technology rather than relays or microprocessors. Technology Solutions & Skills (page 100) accommodates this evolving need for education by focusing on articles that introduce and explain new technologies; announce industry resources for technical support; list sources of training and education; summarize white papers; and reveal technology partnerships.

Introducing Dan Dunkel to SDM. We invited Dan Dunkel to write a monthly column to appear in Integration Intelligence (page 48), and he accepted! I think you will like Dan’s style and see eye-to-eye with him on many issues. Dan operates the consulting firm New Era Associates and also is a speaker at many conferences on subjects involving security convergence. Dan understands both the opportunities and the challenges that you face in the security systems integration business..

Introducing Network Technology.This new, regularly appearing feature article is intended to help you educate your staff on the basics of network technology and its application to physical security systems. For example, this issue’s “Securing Physical Security Systems on the IP Network” (page 85) was written by the folks at Cisco and provides sound advice for helping you help your clients keep their security systems from getting compromised. Future topics include: Physical Security Information Management; IT/IP Certifications; Power over Ethernet; IT Hardware and more.

Introducing Distributor Pipeline.Distributors play a key role in moving products through the “pipeline” of the industry. Hear from them and about them inSDM’s new department, Distributor Pipeline. In this issue, security distributors share their crystal ball vision about what technologies they think will be hot sellers in 2008 (page 138). Future topics include: Managing Your Inventory; New Faces in Distribution; Working with Rep Firms; Training Programs and more.

We’re going to be a busy staff in 2008 — we plan on publishing twice the number of feature articles as we did in 2007. These are intended to cover a broader range of topics to reflect the many different directions in which the security industry is headed.

All the best to you in 2008!