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INSIGHTS

What do manufacturers want systems integrators to do more?

What do manufacturers want systems integrators to do more?
The systems integration business is getting increasingly complex with new technologies arriving almost every other day and customer requirements changing as end users look for more value for their investments. Systems integrators (SI), today, have to remain flexible enough to accommodate a variety of demands while staying on top of technological advancements and ensuring their bottom lines are strong enough.
The systems integration business is getting increasingly complex with new technologies arriving almost every other day and customer requirements changing as end users look for more value for their investments. Systems integrators (SI), today, have to remain flexible enough to accommodate a variety of demands while staying on top of technological advancements and ensuring their bottom lines are strong enough.

Manufacturers have several advices for SIs in this regard. The former are in a strong position to provide a number of services to the latter, especially considering their experiences and customer base. We asked several manufacturers what they would like SIs to do more and have come up with the following answers.

Understand security is a business challenge
Today, security risks are not just about protection, but they are intricately linked to the business prospects of a company. For instance, a security breach at a bank has serious implications on their customers’ confidence in them. There can be regulatory issues as well, as many a times a security risk is seen by authorities as a serious issue.

“Integrators need to understand the specific business and security challenges that their customers face,” said Kevin Wine, Vice President of Marketing at Verint Systems. “In today’s market, security and risk are significant business issues. Executive leaders recognize the potential of costly and damaging disruptions if risk is not appropriately controlled. As a result, IT, physical, and cyber security teams must collaborate to best manage and address risk.”

It is obvious the lines are blurring between various once-siloed departments and there is a significant opportunity for advanced systems integration firms to drive this conversation, Wine added. As a trusted partner, integrators can help propel the dialogue between IT and physical security leaders to help these teams learn how to collaborate to ensure physical security, network, and data protection.

“But to accomplish this, integrators must take a more consultative role, rather than focusing on the sale and deployment of technologies,” Wine continued. “Also, integrators must invest in increasing their knowledge base to understand how security devices can affect the integrity of the network. Being able to communicate these issues with IT and security leaders will help customers more proactively identify vulnerabilities. This approach positions integrators as a trusted partner and ensures a long-term relationship with customers.”

As a trusted partner, integrators can help propel the dialogue between IT and physical security leaders to help these teams learn how to collaborate to ensure physical security, network, and data protection.

Constant training programs
Manufacturers continue to be one of the best sources for training for SIs and most of them encourage the latter to attend more of the same. These training programs are not just a source to gain knowledge on the field, but also helps in maintaining robust relationships between them.

According to Marwan Khoury, Regional Marketing Manager at Axis Communications, “We recommend system integrators invest in fully developing their teams by constantly engaging with vendors via training programs and independent certification programs and to focus on full solution sales that provide a higher level of value and support to the wide variety of customers we work with.” 

Others stress on the partnership aspect and how much manufacturers value a strong connection with SIs.

“HID Global sees SI as as our key partners to drive communication with our end-users and assure that they bring the best and right solutions to our end-users,” said Alex Tan who leads and oversees the strategic development and organizational growth of Physical Access Control business within the ASEAN region at HID Global.

“We hope that our SI will align with the market trend and business model of HID Global in providing our product portfolio and our latest technology to them, i.e. HID Global mobile access empowered by our SEOS solution. This is to help them be prepared for their go to market strategy,” Tan continued. “We also encourage them to participate trainings from HID Global partner program so that they are familiar with our latest products and solutions.”

Of course, SIs are not limited to manufacturers in this regard. There are other independent agencies that provide training as well, but these may not necessarily be cost efficient from the SI’s perspective and hence manufacturer’s training would come in as essential.

Keep the communication channels open
One of the key advantages that SIs have is that they are in direct touch with the end users. This means that they can help manufacturers have a better understanding of consumer requirements and provide solutions accordingly.

“Security systems integrators are in a unique position to drive the conversation between what the end user’s needs are and how manufacturers can deliver products that meet these needs,” said Mitchell Kane, President of Vanderbilt Industries. “As such, security systems integrators must keep the lines of communication open as they witness key trends in the industry - from video surveillance to video data storage to emergency management systems, alarms, access control and beyond.”

Open systems as much as possible
Kane further advises SIs to provide solutions with an open platform that would help end users achieve maximum returns on their investments.

“Whenever practical, security systems integrators should make it a point to use and sell products that provide seamless integration and open-platform functionality in an effort to provide clients with the maximum return on investment for their business,” Kane said. “Listening to the client needs and delivering solutions that allow existing investments to be used with new innovations demonstrates a security systems integrator's focus on providing the best possible client service. When end users realize a security systems integrator has their best interests in mind, they become a trusted partner.”

Integrators know that there are significant opportunities to provide clients with exceptional service while also engaging in recurring monthly revenue for their business. For example, maintenance agreements, or hosted access control solutions, allow security systems integrators the ability to provide fully managed security to clients.

In short, it can be seen that manufacturers are encouraging SIs to have a better understanding of the end users’ businesses, for which their training programs will help. It is also important to act as a link between the end user and the manufacturer, which will help the latter improve their service and help the industry as a whole.


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