Security Systems News

MAR 2017

Security Systems News is a monthly business newspaper that reaches 25,100 security installers, product distributors, central stations, engineers & architects, and security consultants. Our editorial coverage focuses on breaking news in all major se

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Mysteries of cloud fading as benefits become clear By Kenneth Z. Chutchian T alking points are in abun- dance when integrators try persuading customers to consider cloud-based storage and management solutions. Two themes, however, seem to reso- nate, and for different reasons. One appealing aspect of cloud storage is the notion of shedding responsibility for data issues that have little to do with why you started your business in the first place. Another conversation hook emerges when integra- tors explain that just a few s h o r t y e a r s ago, they were experimenting and stumbling w i t h c l o u d t r a n s i t i o n before it made their own lives a lot easier. "First of all, customers don't have to invest in PCs," said Chris- ten Austad, president and founder of Enterprise Fire and Security, based in Wisconsin. "They don't have to learn new software. They c a n [ m a n - a g e ] f r o m t h e i r p h o n e or tablet. They don't have to learn how to upgrade the software." " I t g i v e s them remote access to their systems," said Austad. "They don't have to run to their site [to address issues] … We can handle it." "People like things easier," he said. "It takes the stress out of managing the server. If you can put it on someone else's shoul- ders, all the better." "There's no installation of a main server on site," said Jay Slaughter- beck, manag- i n g p a r t n e r and cofound- er of Strategic Security Solu- tions, headquartered in Raleigh, N.C. "Rest easy. Maintenance is handled by someone else … Cur- rently, our biggest growth area is our cloud-based access control." Integrators find that they can draw upon their own learning experiences to take some mystery out of the cloud. Virtually all of their war stories occurred within the past five to 10 years. For Tyco Integrated Security, headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla., the education process for figuring out what the cloud can and cannot do, when and where and for whom, was an internal process that began around 2005. "We did the heavy lifting our- selves a few years back," said John Hudson, Regional-West (Hous- ton) director of TycoIS. "11 years ago we had to learn the hard way. We scraped our heads a few times … We became stronger and bet- ter with those internal conversa- tions." In 2017, Hudson said, educa- tion for the customer is a pretty straightforward process that he calls "fork lifting" of educa- tion—including nomenclature, conversations about bandwidth and cybersecurity. Cloud education has become easier as more end users find conceptual parallels to their lives, Hudson said. "They tell us, 'I bank online. I use my iPhone for everything.'" Adaptability and shifting gears are facets of the security industry that even the most experienced and successful integrators strug- gle with at times. Leveraging the cloud falls under this dynamic. While Slaughterbeck sees greater adoption of cloud services in 2017 and beyond, he suggests that it could have happened a lot sooner. "The security industry is cloud see page 30 Christen Austad J. Slaughterbeck SECURITY SYSTEMS NEWS Ma RC h 2017 Market trends 29 John Hudson

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