What is integrated ?
Why do we use the word and what does it mean when applied to the security industry?
Well the official definition from our on line friends at wikipedia says INTEGRATED:” combining or coordinating separate elements so as to provide a harmonious, interrelated whole”.
When you read it like this it is obvious it means joining together the three main security sectors, Intruder alarms, CCTV, and Access control.
Up until recently all these 3 disciplines were kept very separate even to the point where there were CCTV companies that would not touch intruders or access control, and access companies who had never thought to install a camera above the door they were securing and so on. This has all changed now of course and now as an industry we are kind of at the half way stage.
What do we mean by this ?
Well we have billions of pounds worth of old technology out there that could best be described as analogue equipment. Separate control panels and recorders doing separate jobs. Some of this equipment has been integrated in sometimes crude ways to get systems to talk to each other but cost generally dictates that legacy equipment must be used wherever possible during an upgrade. This means as systems get partially upgraded they are never truly integrated by original design. That’s what we mean by half way there.
The time however, is fast approaching were IP security equipment is now becoming cheap enough to consider the removal of legacy equipment and installing a fully integrated IP solution that can be designed and future proofed, giving the end user a perfect security solution, that although has been possible for years, has now become affordable.
Who would want a fully integrated system ?
Well any facility manager will tell you the nightmares that are involved when you have multiple installers of different security disciplines across many different sites. Sometimes just knowing who to call out when a bleeping sound is coming from somewhere in the building can create no end of problems and most major blue chips and many larger companies crave to bring all their security under the control of one supplier.
Single supplier solutions
One point of contact and one point of invoice to deal with. This creates enormous savings, however you still have the issue with multiple sites and who administers them all.
By integrating all UK or even Worldwide sites together under one IP security solution, you get one installer with one administrator and one servicing cost and this really is utopia for any hard pressed facility manager. Further more it is infinitely cheaper, AS LONG AS YOU CHOOSE THE RIGHT COMPANY AND THE RIGHT PRODUCT FIRST TIME of course.
This is where larger companies need proper advice and tried and tested security solutions that have already established themselves as rock solid in the market place.
Is IP for everyone ?
But is an integrated security system just for the blue chips? Fortunately not. There are lots of IP solutions for the one man band and small to medium sizes organizations. Quite simply put, once your old system has reached the end of its natural life, IP is the only way forward. Eventually analogue security solutions will become a thing of the past and probably in the not to distant future.