Back in 1974, when gas was 55 cents a gallon and a worker’s average annual income was about $10,900, his father, Charles, founded the company with a focus on the then solid service business in office intercoms and master antennas. Over those growing pain years and with myriad changes and advances in communications technologies, the business — then consisting of about two handfuls of employees — was critically challenged.
First off, what will happen in 2012 will not happen to every dealer or electronic home system contractor. It all depends on your business model, customer base, region of the country, mix of technology and services, and — oh my — the economy.
Massive flooding in Thailand is impacting availability and pricing of hard disk drive (HDD) components inside security video storage and retrieval systems. Depending on the country of origin of the devices, the fallout is lack of availability of some product from security manufacturers and price increases.
Based on interviews by Today’s System Integrator, the crunch may at least last through April 2012 and the price increases, well, could be more lasting, maybe even ever-lasting.
Thanks in part to technology called near field communication (NFC), the smartphone is now on steroids, with the potential to open a homeowner’s door, load a CD into the whole house audio/video system, or even “talk” with a NFC-enabled light bulb.
From the guy who many say invented the term, security consultant Steve Hunt’s advice on physical security information management (PSIM) is not to get hung up on the highfalutin name. Instead, get into the business benefits of the evolving concept; and, for integrators, focus on the approach as a way to have a longer, deeper, and more profitable relationship with clients.
Being in the spotlight has its advantages, in addition to obvious challenges. There are certain security integration assignments that, because of location, public accessibility, or homeland security profile, carry more weight in design, installation, and stature.
There are numerous certification programs today. And, according to integrators and industry executives, it is growingly important that companies, their installers, and technicians attain some type of certification. More projects now involve computer and communications technologies, work through an enterprise infrastructure, and integrate myriad security and business systems, says Tom Clancy, president of Acree Daily Systems, Columbus, Ohio.
A while back, Nate Rice faced the big decision: how and how fast to move to IP-based security video while maintaining and not diminishing his investment in analog cameras and legacy digital video recorders (DVRs). It was not, however, ever a question of continuing to grow and scale up the analog infrastructure.
Who would have thunk it? Confusion and too many choices can create business opportunities for home electronic system contractors (ESCs), this time as the Internet and Web-enabled televisions come together for e-mails, social networking, sophisticated gaming, family picture shows and, especially, video on demand.