DEALERS Survey: Video surveillance tech to have the biggest impact on security businesses in 2017

November 30, 2016


According to a recent survey conducted by Capital One, more than half (52 percent) of security industry professionals see video surveillance as the technology trend that will have the biggest impact on their businesses in the coming years. That’s a significant increase from 2015 when only 23 percent of respondents answered similarly.

The growth of interconnected devices (the Internet of Things) was cited as the next most significant trend at 28 percent. The survey was conducted at the Honeywell Connect conference held in Florida earlier this month and included 123 responses from a combination of dealers, integrators and other industry professionals.

“This year has been particularly transformative for the security industry,” said John Robuck, Capital One’s Managing Director of Security Finance. “The key drivers were significant advances in technology and business model changes resulting from those advances. Video surveillance technology, along with interconnected devices, are revolutionizing the industry and delivering more sophisticated data and analytics to security companies, allowing them to update their security processes and refine their business strategies.”

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Integrator Partnership Opportunities with ControlByNet

May 26, 2015

What if you could instantly offer an option for cloud, or hosted, video to all your current customers and new prospects?

ControlByNet offers a solution for those wishing to start a video surveillance hosting business. Manage your own servers, bandwidth and software….or we’ll do it for you and you just collect the revenue. Brand the products as your own so you’ll receive the goodwill and benefits. Most importantly you’ll develop a recurring revenue stream by offering a unique and appreciated service to those important customers.

Why our Hosted Solution?

ControlByNet has the most advanced solution for security surveillance solutions.

  • Central User Authentication across multiple servers
  • No Contracts!
  • ‘Quick-View’ technology provides status of all accounts, cameras, disk storage and bandwidth per account or camera
  • Central licensing per server allows camera limits as well as GB limits per account
  • Integrates authentication with onsite servers…..still single hosted login regardless of server location
  • Not tied into a single camera manufacturer; as other manufactures provide viable solutions, we’ll support them
  • Runs on Windows Architecture…….all in one package; no database or web server software required

CEPro: Fixing the Production Gap – Hire More Installers or Improve Daily Production?

March 20, 2015

Spring is here and it’s time to evaluate our annual goals and what we need to adjust to meet them.  As business picks up is it time to hire more installers or do we need more productivity from our existing installers. Is more training needed, better logistics or is there something unique to your business that is slowing down productivity? This article by Steve Firszt on CEPro discusses the issue of more installers or improve daily productivity.

Sometimes increasing the number of techs and installers isn’t the best solution for growing your business. Here are solutions for maximizing productivity with your existing employees.

Make the most of your billable hours each day.

One of the biggest challenges to growth is finding additional people. But adding employees is not always the best way to get more work done. This is especially true when you start to believe you need more techs/installers.

Labor services are the unique value-add of custom integration companies, and typically account for over 30 percent of total revenues. They should also be a significant profit-add, with potential margins of 60 percent or higher. Before adding workers to the mix, it behooves production managers to first optimize daily production.

The goal is to have the labor team – we call them Billable Employees and Equivalents, or BEEs – maximize their billable hours per day.

Because billable hours result in actual revenues, they can be easily calculated from your P&L. Dividing labor revenues by your average hourly labor rate gives you an instant read of billable hours, no time sheets required.

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Residential Systems: How I Try to Minimize the Cost of a Lost Bid

November 6, 2014

I recently read this article by John Sciacca on Residential Systems blog and thought our integrators would benefit from the excellent tips in this article. 

Someone called me the other day to discuss accounting—essentially how we figure our company’s profit-and-loss for jobs and how we used that to forecast future work. They ran a landscaping company and were preparing for a large bid, and it became clear early on that our forecasting styles were pretty different and carried different loads of “risk.”

As a custom integration business owner, we work up bids around the gear that we think will be needed—a generally known and non-dynamic cost on most projects—and then estimate the amount of labor and wire based on years of doing previous (likely similar) jobs. If we miss a job estimate by a few hours or feet of wire, it’s not the end of the world, and we can take that knowledge and use it to hopefully produce a more accurate quote on the next job.

For the landscaper submitting a bid for a year’s worth of work to a property owner’s association (mowing acres of lawns, applying fertilizer and chemical treatments, maintaining a large amount of shrubbery and flowers, etc.) bidding high could cause them to miss out on a year’s worth of work, and bidding low could literally put them out of business.

One thing that both of us had in common was sending people out to the job to take a look before being able to make an accurate bid. And often times, this required multiple trips to the jobsite to investigate things or to meet with different people to get the complete scope of the job and then possibly another trip to present and go over the proposal. All of this started me thinking about the actual cost that “losing,” or not getting, a bid costs a company.

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Integrators: How to Survive and Thrive in the Video Surveillance Market

April 14, 2014

Insider Intelligence: Adapt or Perish

How to survive and thrive in a commodity-based video surveillance market



The commodity section of the video surveillance business is certainly a crowded one, with IP cameras that cost $30; 10-megapixel cameras that run $199; eight-camera kits from Costco and Sam’s Club that include a TB of storage and remote access for the price of a Honey Baked Ham; free storage in the cloud; free remote video monitoring via your smartphone — the list goes on and on. Low-cost video offerings from the big box houses are here to stay, and as is the case with most security technology issues, it is adapt or perish for your integration company.

If you find yourself competing in this commodity section of the video security surveillance market, you have choices to make — and the sooner you make these tough decisions, the better off your company and your customers will be.

The choice most PSA integrators have chosen is not to participate in the low-end, DIY, commodity-based segment of the video surveillance space. They have chosen to kick it up a notch or two and forego offering the same or similar products offered at major discount retailers as noted above.

Another option is to adjust your business model and make microscopic profit on the equipment while making reasonable profits on the design, installation, monitoring and maintenance services provided by your company.

It is really not that complicated, yet many of the security surveillance integrators I speak with seem to be very frustrated with the marketplace and they continue to complain that their equipment profits are eroding and the sky is falling.

For the integrator community, the solution is not as scary as it seems.

Step one is to accept change in your existing model — you will not survive unless you are willing to adapt.

The second step is to decide where you feel most likely to survive and thrive in the video surveillance marketplace. Very few integrators have been successful serving all aspects of the video surveillance marketplace. Where is your company best suited to serve a particular market? Is it government projects, healthcare installations, or smaller retail ones? Is it commercial real estate or high-end residential? The list obviously goes on, but you are best off to choose two or three verticals and become the “go-to expert” in them. If you operate in a small market or area, you may have to choose as many as four verticals.

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