At one time not so long ago the alarm/security industry was a relatively simple business. An installed detector detected something and a critical condition was reacted to. Some of those conditions were life safety (fire and smoke and CO), others environmental (low temperature and the presence of water) others personal (panic and request for assistance buttons and of course the burglary signal).
There existed various means of transmitting signals, some a bit more complex than others and involving additional levels of security and costing more money the higher the security level got.
Suddenly within the past few years the playing field changed. Fueled by the enormous thirst for information based on smartphone technology and the ability to stream large amounts of video and data, the information industry and the security industry have met on a perfect storm of market demands meeting technology availability.
This convergence point involves pushing both data and video via IP to a portable enabled device. The information that the client wants to receive has become very different from what the industry has been used to, and the level of expertise regarding system design and installation and service has changed dramatically.
Forget security systems as we have known them. Today’s new systems firstly are totally wireless, using reliable, long life batteries and peel and stick technology. No telephone lines on site? No problem. These panels have GSM technology built-in. And today’s technology savvy clients can use a touch screen Graphical User Interface or their smartphone to interact with their panels.
But the techno orgy does not stop there. Video can be streamed from the home or business to a smartphone. So as part of the security system installation you are now installing cameras as well. Energy consumption can be monitored and adjusted remotely. When arming the system in AWAY mode, the temperature can elevate in an empty home in the summer and drop in the winter. Why bother heating and cooling an empty space? And that gives more value and relevance to your low temperature thermostat that you installed – further driving up your price, creating more value for the security system that you have installed and giving you the ability to provide value added monitoring services.
There is a business saying that I just read the other day that goes like this: the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.
True, not everyone wants to live in a world with instant communication and instant gratification along with instant everything else. And it is possible that while looking and specifying all of these new whiz bang options you can easily get mired into the latest and greatest. But part of being a professional is keeping yourself informed and up to date and having your quiver full of arrows just in case.