Will IP solutions mean security equipment distributors have to move online?

Moving to on-line sales.

The introduction of IP equipment into the Integrated CCTV and access control arena is being hailed as the next step forward in the security industry. This does however pose some serious questions about how this new equipment is brought to the market. So far there is a set pattern. A manufacturer approaches a distributor and gives him the exclusive right to sell his product. The distributor in turn will fix a price and only allow this product to be sold to security installers. The public have no access via the distributor. If they wish to have the product installed they must go to an installing company. So far quite simple.

Who are the main players?

The main players in the distribution market (UK) are Norbain , ADI and  Gardners Security however there are probably over 100 in the UK and they control who they will deal with, what price the equipment will be sold at and so on. Over the last 20 years or so all these companies have expanded enormously and each year gather at IFSEC to demonstrate what is new on the market.

So what will change?

The main thing that the big distributors need to consider is ,who will actually be installing the new products?  As we have said, up to now it has been installing companies. Most of the big installers are giants who will struggle to adapt to the new market place quickly. So if they are not installing large volumes of IP security products who will?

IP integrators.

Well the school of thought says that at the moment the balance could tip towards IP integrators. Most companies of any reasonable size have their own IT department or outsource to a local IT company. These people in reality will be very well placed to start installing IP security solutions for their employers and very much cheaper than a security installer.

So where does the smart manufacturer sell his products?

Well it does not take much to imagine where an IT integrator is going to look for his security solution. On line of course and at the moment he can buy some fairly good stuff that will satisfy a need. But that is about it! some of the products have questionable quality and origins. IT integrators will however demand quality and back up . So could it happen that the smart manufacturer actually begins to bypass the big CCTV distribution companies and sell through an on line company?

Cut out the middle man?

Not inconceivable when you think about it. By putting a search on google for “IP cameras”  Norbain is nowhere to be seen nor are any of the big distributors or manufacturers. They should all be worried about this

The future.

So how will this be addressed?  Well they are going to have to think who will be doing the installation of the security systems, be it CCTV or even access control. There are still things that need to be fixed to walls and doors but the technical aspect of the way it is going may mean that your friendly CCTV installation engineer is going to struggle with the technology . If this proves to be true and installers fail to move fast enough with training and recruitment, the security industry could be a very different place in just a few short years.

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