Ride The Burgeoning IP Video Market
By Matt Pillar, editor-in-chief, Integrated Solutions For Retailers
Just six years in business, AISG projects $27 million in revenue this year — and IP-based security solutions are all it sells.
Levy Acs has a few words for would-be security solution integrators: don’t do it. Not unless you’re thoroughly prepared, that is. And according to Acs, president and CTO of 127-employee integrator AISG (American Integrated Security Group), few integration generalists have the chops to compete — and more importantly perform — in the newly high-tech security solutions environment.
Choose Your Prospects Wisely
Lest you take his words of caution the wrong way, Acs isn’t afraid of competition. “We lose business to Internet pricing and integration generalists every day,” he says. His most formidable competition are businesses that source inexpensive megapixel cameras online and attempt to do it themselves, and IT generalists who start selling cameras simply because they’re in IT. In both cases, Acs says he can’t compete on price. “However, generalists can’t compete on performance — they don’t have the expertise, services, and infrastructure we have.” To that earlier point, there aren’t many integrators with the manpower and resources to lay 14 miles of fiber optic cable and install thermal cameras in and around one of the world’s largest solar farms, as AISG recently did for a breakthrough client in the renewable energy market. And when integration is prerequisite, as it often is in the retail market where AISG planted its roots, the competitive set shrinks considerably. “Security solution sales are very tough, very competitive in smaller, more niche markets, and that makes it difficult to generate revenue,” he warns. When an installation requires a large number of cameras or integration with other systems, like POS and people counting, he says competition quickly fades away. “Integrators that are comfortable with a POS register, a DVR and a few cameras tend to quietly ease out of the way when the project requires NVRs (network video recorders), IP-based cameras, customized integration, and 24/7 support and monitoring.”