April 04, 2012 By D. Craig MacCormack
Whether it’s in press releases, at trade shows or during client meetings, it’s fairly standard to hear manufacturers going out of their way to talk about the unique features of their products, using words like “revolutionary” and “one-of-a-kind.”
These days, though, manufacturers—particularly those who spent a few days in Las Vegas for ISC West 2012—seem more focused on making their products easier for integrators to install and easier for end users to control.
“People are expecting lifestyle enhancements out of their security system,” says Scott Harkins, president of Honeywell Security Products Americas. “Our role is to track what’s going on in the world and help our integrators compete and succeed.”
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Mark Espenschied, senior marketing manager at Arecont Vision, says the company has long been focused on shortened installation times, and proves it again with the release of the Megadome 2 camera, which has remote zoom and focus capabilities and comes in 3-, 5- and 10-megapixel varieties.
“Everyone wants to have that 15-minute install,” he says. “If you have everything you need, you ought to be able to do that, especially if you’re an experienced installer.”
With integrators trying to maximize their time and squeeze as many jobs into their schedules as possible, it leaves them less time for training, says Christian Bohn, vice president of marketing and product management at Milestone Systems A/S.
“The industry has been changing in the last few years,” he says. “For a while, we forgot about making it easier for customers to use. They were buying these devices with all of these new features, but either they don’t know the feature exists or they don’t know how to use it. When you add in the fact integrators have less time to train people, it’s more important that we make it simple.”
In addition to the idea of ease of use and versatility, customers are also pushing to prove the return on investment when it comes to new security products, says Kevin McCaughey, vice president of security solutions at Schneider Electric.
“Technologies have inherent value, and they’re usually focused on the cost side of the equation,” he says. “We’re also hearing more about how to monetize those investments. By applying security elsewhere in the business, you can help to make the overall operation more efficient. For a lot of people, that’s a new idea.”