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INSIGHTS

3 top security integrators reveal what to expect in 2022

3 top security integrators reveal what to expect in 2022
What can we expect from the physical security integration business in 2022? Leading integrators to share their views.
2020 could probably go down in history as the year the world stood still. But to a large extent, 2021 has allowed many businesses to recover from the previous years' slump.
 
McKinsey and Company suggests that 2021 could be the year of transition where businesses can get around to shaping their futures instead of just worrying about the present. A separate report from the agency also points out that consumer spending in the US remains strong in the second quarter of this year.  
 
So, what can we expect from the physical security integration business? Asmag.com recently spoke to three leading US-based integrators to get their take on this.

Also read: What's hot in the US security market

Carey Boethel, President, Allied Universal Technology Services

Generally speaking, we believe that 2022 will bring continued opportunities to capitalize on pent-up demand resulting from COVID-19. Over the course of 2020 and the first half of 2021, capital expenditures in many verticals were delayed, and we see a significant backlog awaiting funding.  Some market segments were harder hit than others, but we generally believe all segments will steadily improve.
 
Assuming the economy holds, we foresee growth opportunities in healthcare, education, electric utilities, and data centers.  We envision some slight headwinds in mixed-use commercial real estate as tenants and property managers redefine their space planning requirements following COVID.  Return-to-work solutions are largely now fully deployed, but we expect a resurgence of conventional systems integration in access control, video surveillance, and alarm monitoring.
 
Potential challenges could include suppressed end-user spending as a result of the Delta variant and protracted supply chain constraints.  We believe that the best mitigant to these potential challenges is for service providers to stay close to their OEM partners and end-user customers in order to accurately forecast supply and demand, respectively.

Christine Lanning, President, Integrated Security Technologies

Integrated Security Technologies (IST) is focused primarily on supporting the United States Department of Defense (DoD) growth in the Indo-Pacific area. In order to support that growth, we have added additional contracting vehicles to our portfolio of service offerings, which makes it easier for DoD contracting officers to find the products and services that they're seeking.
 
The latest from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) directed agencies to spend more wisely and increase the use of GWAC (Government-Wide Acquisition Contracts) contracting vehicles. There are 41 current GWAC vehicles with different on-ramp periods, and we're continuously evaluating which ones to pursue next.
 
We've also entered into a joint-venture partnership that will increase the diversity of our low voltage technology offerings as well as added subcontracting with larger prime DoD contractors in order to expand our market share.  The idea is partnership!
 
Impacts to our technology offerings are being felt through changes to National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which limited procurement from various Chinese manufacturers and their original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners. The Buy America Act and Trade Agreement Act requirements have also changed, and we anticipate that the onshoring of technology manufacturing requirements in the security industry will continue to impact our procurement relationships and offerings. Focusing on manufacturers with a demonstrated history of Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM) will be of paramount importance to our DoD client base in the future, and we anticipate our contracts will be requesting both Hardware Bill of Materials (HBOMs) and Software Bill of Materials (SBOMs) to be supplied with all supplied equipment. Manufacturers that are prepared with this documentation, as well as full supply chain visibility of their deliverables, will rise to the top of preferred procurement activity and thus to the top of four offerings.
 
There is literally so much work to do in the Pacific region in the coming years that our primary challenge will be workforce development and remote location staffing. There are initiatives such as the Hawaii Defense Alliance, which are focusing on the workforce development problem, and we're closely involved with that effort.
 
The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) is another challenging compliance requirement that all Defense Industrial Base (DIB) companies are aligning themselves for. We've prepared ourselves for Level 3 CMMC certification and are ready to move up to Level 4 or 5 should the opportunity require it. We've heard from many DIB companies that they do not intend to move forward with the CMMC effort, so there will be opportunities to absorb the contracts that they leave behind, and of course, the challenges of staffing and performing on those contracts. 

Mike Mathes, Executive Vice President, Convergint

Growth is vital to Convergint, and while many different elements contribute to an organization's overall success, we remain focused on a few key areas: Global Accounts, Vertical Markets, Innovation, and Culture.
 
Convergint's Global Account business has experienced tremendous growth, and I believe our approach to customer service plays a significant role. Everything we do aligns with our delivery resources and the customers' requirements across their entire portfolio.
 
Our organization utilizes several advanced tools to manage the program, projects, and services, allowing us to report progress and measure against key SLAs - all of which enables us to demonstrate tangible value to our customers. It's important to have alignment and measurement, which help an organization understand what is working or what may require some improvement within the process. 
 
When it comes to vertical markets, our approach was to build vertical-specific teams, allowing us to provide specialized knowledge in business development, program management, and operational delivery tailored to the needs of each customer and situation. In addition, Convergint's vertical market team works with our local CTC offices to organizationally align their resources to support specific verticals. In effect, we become experts in the market, allowing us to be more competitive and drive better outcomes for our customers.
 
With technology evolving, so have our customers' needs, and today, the focus is on innovation. Our dedicated Digital Transformation team focuses on a wide range of initiatives, including core solutions like access control and video surveillance, fusion centers, PSIM, identity assurance, and cybersecurity - all of which have become an essential element to manage across the enterprise.
 
We are also experiencing a rise in new disruptive technologies in the AI/computer vision space, changing how we see and use security technology. Moving forward, we need to continue to support our customers' journey through the evolving technology landscape. We can do this by staying connected, educating our colleagues, listening to our customers' needs, and identifying alignment in solutions.  
 
Of course, none of this is without some challenge. At its core, integration is a people business. The key to Convergint sustaining consistent growth is our ability to recruit, onboard, train, and retain the colleagues necessary to meeting our customers' needs. We place our company culture and Values and Beliefs at the core of everything we do, making Convergint an attractive place for our colleagues.
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