This issue presents the annual SDM 100 Report (beginning on page 38), a ranking based on revenue of the largest security installation and monitoring providers. These security dealers are on the front lines with tens, sometimes hundreds, of thousands of customers — seeing and hearing what is trending in the marketplace in terms of perils, protection, and marketing. SDM asked these dealers: “What issues and trends do you think will have the greatest impact on your business in 2019?”

Collectively, the majority of SDM 100 security dealers centered on a few major areas:

  • The growing adoption of do-it-yourself (DIY) and monitor-it-yourself (MIY) security;
  • The increasing magnitude of cyber security;
  • The threat of active shooters;
  • The widespread adoption of video surveillance; and
  • The potential influence of the Internet of Things (IoT). 

These are a few of their responses, strictly about the first three topics. It’s interesting to learn the diverse perspectives that different companies have on the same issues.


Merrill Named Group Publisher of SDM & Security

Gary Merrill has been named group publisher of SDM and Security, part of the Security Media Group at BNP Media. Merrill will fulfill the publisher role in addition to maintaining his current relationships and sales territory on the East Coast. Previously he served as East Coast sales manager for SDM and Security.

“As part of the publishing community for over 21 years, I’ve taken great pleasure in selling integrated solutions to customers looking to grow their businesses,” Merrill said. “Supporting the Security and SDM Magazine teams as group publisher is an honor and a natural progression. It is a thrill to be able to serve this talented group of professionals. Our brands will continue to arm our industry with key trends, innovations and insights on a daily basis, while providing a productive environment for our advertisers to grow their own businesses.”

Merrill is a native of Monmouth County, N.J., and graduated from the University of Rhode Island. He now calls the Atlanta suburb of Roswell home. You can reach him any time at



“New industry players are resetting customer expectations for pricing, available technology and the value of traditional monitoring services. Existing customers will quickly leave if companies are unwilling to invest in them with new technology and services.” — EMC Security

“I believe the impact of DIY, IoT, and self-monitoring will cause some additional attrition, hurt sales, and cause the traditional companies to refocus on small commercial growth opportunities. [It will cause them to] sharpen their tools on customer service, focusing on the real value of professional monitoring … offered by the traditional companies.” — Sonitrol SW Ohio

“Online retail and DIY systems result in customers seeing less value in professional security services and equipment. Customers compare equipment sold at Home Depot or Amazon to what security dealers are offering. Also ‘self-monitoring’ as a concept is troubling. Some consumers believe they are safe with just a Ring doorbell or a security system running only on their internet.” — Pacific Alarm Systems


Cyber Security

“Companies face contradicting security challenges: a desire to leverage the openness of IoT for making physical access control an easier user experience across technology platforms versus guarding against the potential risks associated with ‘gaps’ that may arise between the inter-connections of so many open-source devices within a security system that is integrated across the physical and cyber domains. Facing this challenge, CIOs are tasking physical security providers to meet the most robust cyber security compliance standards to combat these threats, which requires solid technological expertise to keep pace in this age of IoT expansion.” — Kastle Systems Int’l

“The Internet of Things and cyber security best practices will have a large impact with standards, best practices and regulations.” — Star Asset Security


Active Shooters

“Active shooter, terrorism, as well the use of more analytic rich systems will continue to grow. Cyber security will be continue to be at the forefront in the decision of new products.” — American Alarm & Communications

“Active shooter threats have impacted our business for years; we have done many schools over the past few years. This will continue to be a good area for us moving forward as many state governments are providing funding for security and matching grants. Cyber security is another product offering we are in the process of deploying.” — Sonitrol of Evansville Inc.