Once a week I like to take an hour or so to randomly call readers of Business Solutions magazine. I do this for a few reasons. First, it helps me stay in touch with what’s going on in the industry. Frankly, since I’m doing no technology selling or installing myself, if I don’t talk to readers or attend shows and conferences, my articles will miss the mark. Second, having these conversations gives me ideas for articles. It’s exciting to speak with a reader doing something unique and it leads to better articles. Finally, and maybe most importantly, speaking with readers give me conviction. In my position, I have to take sides, form opinions, and give direction to our audience. Unless I talk to a lot of people about certain trends and topics, I’m not going to feel confident in my opinions.
I have a lot of opinions, but none are currently as strong as the one that our IT integrator audience should be seriously considering a move to IP video surveillance. In the security industry, products are moving to the IP network. The use of analog products is diminishing. With this shift to IP, solutions providers with strong networking backgrounds are well-positioned to win security business. Heck, I don't even have a strong networking background and I was able to install an IP camera in a matter of minutes (check out the article, "An Idiot's Experience With IP Video," here). But, don’t take my word for it.
I recently had a conversation with Eric, a networking integrator, who added IP video to his line card a few years ago. He loves IP video sales because, “they are less complicated than networking jobs and have higher margins.” He currently has about 100 customers, with only a handful having been sold IP security. With one customer alone he’s installed hundreds of IP cameras. He says he’s just scratching the surface of what IP video sales can do for his business. In fact, he’s planning on creating a separate division just for video surveillance solutions. Understand, Eric isn’t operating in a market where there isn’t any competition. Who is? But what he’s discovered is that his skill set (i.e. networking) has allowed him to install IP-based security solutions to his existing customers who already trust him.
You can do the same! I make that statement with the utmost conviction. I know it because we have readers like Eric who’ve told me. I know it because of all the recent integrator-focused case studies we’ve featured in our magazine. And I know it because many of the manufacturers in the IP camera world are approaching us to learn how to recruit you. All this is happening NOW. If you wait, you're opening the door to your competition and allowing them the opportunity to steal away this untapped revenue stream.
If you’re the least bit curious, I urge you to contact your distributor or manufacturer to learn more. If my call to action hasn’t yet sunk in, I’ll see you in my next article where I give you more reasons why you’re missing the boat.