How to Break Into the Electronic Security Industry

SIA’s Securing New Ground conference can benefit firms seeking to get their foot in the door, or are already entrenched in, the booming electronic security industry.

Mickey McCarter

Looking for an enticing new offering to add to your commercial installation services portfolio? Like the idea of getting into a market ripe with recurring monthly revenue (RMR) opportunities?

If those things have your interest piqued, perhaps you are ready to do some due diligence and meet face-to-face with peers and potential channel partners and customers in the electronic security industry.

Whether you are already in the security business or are considering entering the industry, Securing New Ground (SNG) is a forum for executive team members to attend and network and share business concerns. It’s a prime opportunity for security-minded integrators, who may not have enough interaction with suppliers (potential customers) and practitioners (potential hires) as much as they would like outside of their day-to-day business transactions.

Presented by the Security Industry Association (SIA), SNG provides attendees with a comprehensive look at the state of the security industry, the latest research, and commercial and industrial market trends impacting business strategies. Over a day-and-a-half of sessions tailored for integrators, suppliers and practitioners, participants interact with each other to exchange information and do business.

“In the past five years, the Security Industry Association has deliberately expanded upon its offerings for integrators,” says SIA CEO Don Erickson. “So we expanded the appeal of Securing New Ground to integrators as well by including more panels addressing the concerns of integrators and affording them more openings to engage directly with suppliers and practitioners.”

As Erickson indicated, the conference — which takes place Oct. 28-29 at the Millennium Broadway Hotel in New York City — squarely tackles integrator concerns in its panels.

For example, one panel, “Examining the Success Metrics in Profitable Relationships Between Practitioners and Their Partners,” explores how security enables business. In the session, panelists will discuss the factors against which good performance is measured as well as how to align solutions, services and expertise with customer requirements and how to deliver exceptional value to your customer.

Some of the top presenters confirmed for the overall conference include influential suppliers, integrators and practitioners in the security industry. Other prominent integrator representatives include Tim Whall, chairman and CEO, Protection 1 (which CI profiled in April 2014); Jason Oakley, president, North America Video; and Pamela Petrow, president and CEO, Vector Security (CI’s April 2013 profile).

Key security supplier presenters include Steven Van Till, president/CEO, Brivo Systems; Thanasis Molokotos, president and CEO, ASSA ABLOY Americas Division; and Ron Virden, president and general manager, Lenel, Supra and Onity. Participating security practitioner panelists include Bonnie Michelman, director of Police, Security and Outside Services, Massachusetts General Hospital; Brian Allen, chief security officer, Time Warner; and Dave Cullinane, founder, TruSTAR Technology.

For the first time, SIA is teaming up with the Global Security Risk Management Alliance (GSRMA) to expand SNG options. “Cybersecurity for Physical Security Pros” is a half-day practitioners’ session on Oct. 29 that intends to provide a plain English translation of IT security concepts and actions so any physical security leader can effectively engage in a discussion of this ever-growing threat.

“As cofounder and president of GSRMA, I have alerted my fellow security practitioners to beware of the blurring distinctions between traditional and logical security. As we work toward an umbrella Enterprise Security Risk Management framework, SNG is an excellent venue for practitioners to identify the challenges of a unified security alignment side-by-side with suppliers and integrators,” says Ray O’Hara, CPP, executive vice president of AS Solution.