YOU MAY NOTICE that this issue of SDM looks a little different. Beginning with this February 2021 issue, we will be employing a new digital platform that is much more reader- and technology-friendly. Gone are magazine pages you need to flip or click to be able to see. In its place is a format that looks much more like other web articles you read in your business and personal lives. Need a tutorial on how to get the most out of the new platform? Just click the "?" at the top right next to the menu button. Once you know how it works, read through the issue and enjoy!

While we may look different, the content hasn’t changed — think of it more like a makeover rather than plastic surgery. There are no more page numbers to keep track of, but you can find the first 2021 installment of our annual State of the Market: Video Surveillance here. In it, Managing Editor Courtney Wolfe writes, “While 2020 affected the confidence of some in the video market, professionals remain optimistic going into 2021, with the increased adoption of new, more advanced technologies, and a potential end to the coronavirus pandemic in sight.”

Contributing writer Joan Engebretson updates readers on the latest in network health monitoring with an in-depth look at network health monitoring options and what dealers should think about as they consider implementing the technology.

Want some key tips on planning for, selling and installing unified systems? Check out my article, 3 Tips for Unified Success. “You can look at an RFP, but that isn’t how you understand. Ask the customer, ‘If you had one thing you could change about the way you respond to events today, what would it be?’” advises Genetec’s Jean-Pierre Picard in the article.

Finally, learn about some of the latest trends in fire alarm control panels. “Here we discuss the technologies as well as some of the fail-safes built into them in order to get a clearer picture of the various options available as well as reasons why these new trends are becoming even more popular among life-safety professionals,” writes contributing writer Allan Colombo.

Going forward, SDM may now have a new look, but all the same great content you count on will be even easier to read. That includes the upcoming SDM 100 and Top Systems Integrator’s Reports in May and July. The application is now open and is due March 1, so if you think your company might qualify, apply here.

We hope you enjoy this issue! Please let us know what you think of the new look on SDM social media