Change is in the air. Buzzwords like H.264, open architecture, IP, and interoperability keep growing louder, and emergent trends continue to take hold. With each new change and each permanent shift in the security landscape, there’s more you need to know, and the training offered by distributors across the country rises in value.

“The industry is shifting so quickly right now that if dealers are not investing in their own education or their company’s education, they may not be in business in years to come,” said Michael Masten, training manager at ADI, Melville, N.Y. “The security industry is such a technology-focused industry today that dealers and integrators have to be continually aware that these shifts are occurring and that they are right in the middle of them.”

One trend that is here to stay is IP technology. ScanSource Security of Greenville, S.C., a sales unit of ScanSource Inc., and distributor of electronic security products, is one of many companies that has created IP workshops for dealers looking to learn more about IP-based physical security solutions.

“The security industry is in a transformation stage right now where everything is moving into IP and the only way dealers and integrators are going to be able to deliver these new technologies successfully is to have a good understanding of how things work in the IP world, and that is exactly what our training is preparing them to do – to be comfortable to recommend the latest and greatest in technology,” said Tony Sorrentino, vice president of merchandising for ScanSource Security.

ADI, a wholesale distributor of security and low-voltage products, is also responding to changes in the security industry, rolling out new training initiatives to help dealers remain competitive in the industry.

“We always work to identify the needs of the marketplace and what our dealers are asking for so our training program stays relevant and on the cutting edge,” said Masten. “Right now there are a lot of shifts in the industry like the move into IP or digital technology, so if dealers don’t continuously respond and upgrade their knowledge and skills regarding what’s new in the industry, somebody else is going to steal their customers.”

The training needed to avoid this situation takes time, and time is not always easy to come by, but distributors understand this. They’ve made it easier than ever to get the training you need in the way that best suits you and your business. Most companies offer flexible Internet training and Webinars. There’s no travel, and no challenge to fit a prearranged training time into your schedule. You choose.

“ScanSource recognizes that dealers are busy just like everybody else,” Sorrentino said. “They have a million things going on, so we try to bring training to them, whether that is at IP workshops across the country or through our IP center on our Web site which they can access at any time.”

Busy or not, training is becoming more of a necessity than a choice. Many companies are starting to require IP/network training for dealers and integrators that want to install their products.

“In the rapid-paced security industry most dealers and integrators find it very hard to schedule a couple of hours to have technicians out of the field, but in certain states where CEUs are required, training is mandatory,” said John Hyatt, systems manager, United States, Tri-Ed Distribution, Woodbury, N.Y.

Whether satisfying mandatory training, working to stay ahead of the competition, or learning new skills, distributors are offering flexible training in a variety of ways to help you meet your goals. There are plenty of options for you to get the training you need and keep your customers out of someone else’s hands.

Sidebar: Take a Closer Look

ADI’s training programs can be viewed at www.adilink.com.

To view training offered by Tri-Ed Distribution, go to www.tri-ed.com.

ScanSource training opportunities are available at www.scansourcesecurity.com/ipworkshops, www.scansourcesecurity.com/ipcenter, and www.scansourcesecurity.com/idcenter/.