The security industry at its core is about relationships: between a manufacturer and an integrator, an integrator and a customer, a manufacturer and the end users interacting on a daily basis with the system — all of these are important. Then there’s the relationship that manufacturers have with each other, which is just as critical and creates the ability to deliver more value to customers at any point in their security system implementation.

Companies with a synergistic relationship can offer decision makers the best possible result for their investment, even if those parties are different people working toward a common end goal. For example, implementing physical security and access control systems with more effective communications transmission products can go a long way in improving the relationship between the two decision-maker camps: those who select the physical security system and those who ensure its interoperability through transmission products. Driving collaboration between these entities from an early stage in the sales cycle can strengthen product relationships and solution effectiveness.

Two of ACRE's companies help make this possible: ComNet, which specializes in fiber optic, copper and wireless transmission products, and Vanderbilt, a global leader in creating state-of-the-art video, access control and intrusion security systems. At one point, cabling and transmissions were seen as more of an afterthought when security integrators were building surveillance systems; but as time has progressed, the ability to transmit data and connect physical security systems together is at the forefront of most conversations and seen as critical to the process. 

Transmission technology really comes into play when a customer is looking to connect pieces across a certain distance. For example, Vanderbilt and ComNet worked together recently to deliver more flexibility between a toll booth and plaza located on the M1 between Dublin and Belfast. At night time, the toll system is automated, creating the need for a robust intruder alarm system like Vanderbilt SPC, which is offered in the region. The distance between the toll booth and plaza is around 3.9 miles and the security systems — SPC and video cameras — are required to be able to operate over that distance so operators can get an overview of activity at each site.

SPC replaced an existing legacy product that was operating with multimode fiber over the 3.9-mile distance, but this particular product is typically only specified for 1.2 miles. When the SPC product was installed, the communication over fiber stopped working, requiring a quick fix. Precision Security, the installer on the project, had to deploy a pair of fiber cables — two transmitters and two receivers — to successfully transmit the signal back and forth; but as they updated the site, they discovered that a single pair of ComNet fiber units could successfully execute the task, despite only being specified for 2.8 miles. 

The ComNet FDX60 multimode fiber units allowed the SPC X-Bus transmission to be converted from RS485 protocols to optical and back to RS485. This enabled the data between the SPC expanders to travel farther distances. Communication for the Vanderbilt SPC product is enhanced through the ComNet solution, further strengthening the relationship that the technology has. 

While this is one example of how the two companies work together, numerous others exist, as communications transmission comes to the forefront of product flexibility and scalability. Relationships like this occur in every aspect of the security industry, allowing consumers to fully realize the benefits of integration. The relationship between Vanderbilt and ComNet is a good example of how manufacturers can work together to deliver critical elements outside of simply physical security systems in an effort to streamline the implementation of solutions. This takes the idea of relationships to a new level and can be a benefit to everyone involved. — By Kim Loy, Director of Technology and Communications, Vanderbilt