We ran a survey about a month ago to IT integrators like you to learn more about their adoption of IP video surveillance technologies. The results put a spotlight on three interesting trends. I followed up with about a dozen of these readers to better understand what's happening in this space.
#1 - Integrators Want A Small, Helpful IP Security Line Card
The survey indicated that those who are looking to add IP video surveillance technologies to their line cards only want to partner with one to two vendors. This may resonate with you or it may surprise you. Based on my follow-up calls, the need for education and support are the factors driving carrying fewer partners. As solutions providers, you want to be experts at the products you carry. It takes time and training to accomplish this. The overwhelming feedback we received is that these IP security adopters are requiring vendors work hand-and-hand with them as they take on this new product category. Many of you don’t have technicians and salespeople sitting around with tons of free time to be educated on new technologies and you need the help of a vendor partner like you've never needed it before. While the vendors in this space certainly have training and sales programs in place, many are not accustomed to the amount of hand-holding you'll require on the camera side of things. Of course, you'll need no help with the networking aspects.
#2 - Integrators Prefer Relationships Direct With Vendors
Interestingly, readers also explained that the relationship with their distributors is taking a back seat for this endeavor, at least in the short term. More specifically, IP security adopters indicated that while they will still purchase items through their distributors, the selection of vendors and products will be an internal decision. That said, there are many vendors who rely heavily on their channel sales to be driven by their distributors. What these IP security adopters are demanding is a mind shift and more dedication on the part of the vendor, as opposed to the vendor relying on a distributor partner, to help navigate the new technology and help make sales.
#3 - IP Security Vendors Aren't Being Loud Enough In Their Recruitment Efforts
The final interesting point that came out of the reader calls is that IP security adopters have noticed how slowly IP security vendors are engaging them. Many of these integrators have already begun adding vendors to their line cards. At the same time, many of the leading manufacturers (despite what they told me at ISC West, the security industry's largest trade show) have been slow to make overt recruitment gestures. I'm not aware of any other tech industry where resellers have to research who the vendors are in the space. More often, they have vendors calling them and knocking on their door non-stop.
So, what all this mean? The transition from analog to IP technologies has reached the point that you as an IT integrator can no longer ignore its potential. Thus far, many of your peers have learned that things in the IP security space are a little different than what you might expect. That said, none regretted their decisions to add security to their line cards.