The way I see it used typically is:
- Integrator - resells and installs
- Dealer - resells but does not install
Pro Focus LLC | 07/13/15 11:14pm
I would consider myself an integrator. I have no interest in selling products without installation services. I would rather install customer supplied products than sell hardware without install to an end user.
IPVMU Certified | 07/14/15 03:45am
Definitely want to be an integrator.
Both, though the only time I think myself as a dealer is when I sell a pass-through sale, which sometimes lead to new installs. Then we morph back into an integrator.
My two cents from what I have seen. Integrator came from the AV/Automation side of things where you would integrate and automate many different hardware and software pieces (pool, lighting, shades, AV equipment etc). Dealer came from the security/burg side of things. Surveillance and ACS companies were known as service installation companies. With the growth of video surveillance and the many integration opportunities, it became a natural fit for these companies to take on the name "Systems Integrator". From the manufacturer side dealer and integrator are terms that are loosely related.
Maybe the terms being tossed around are not mutually exclusive. One company can be Dealer, Integrator and even Installer in some cases.
Here is why (as I see it):
Dealer--One who has a formal connection to one or more specific manufacturers or manufacturers programs. You may buy direct or you may buy through distribution, but a Dealer typically has committed to (or achieved) a certain specific sales volume, training initiative, or semi-exclusive arrangement (geographic and/or type of end-user leads given) with one or more manufacturers. For example, a company who is "Gold" certified with Axis, or who is authorized with Lenel.
Integrator and Installer--To me, 8-10 years ago there used to be quite a wide gap between most Integrators and Installers. An Integrator often was taking disparate systems and taking action to make them perform in some cohesive way. The opening of an access controlled door after 8PM trips a relay that pans the nearby PTZ to view that door and sounds an alert via another relay.
Back then, the Installer, conversely, put the access control system in, as well as the cameras/DVR, and often even programmed all of it, but never made the two systems interact with one another.
Today, except on the very high end, that gap is much smaller between Integrator and Installer. This is because today's security/IT technology is making basic integration simpler than ever before--which has changed some of those early day Installers into today's Integrators--and a near interchangeable use of the terms in many cases.
Fair enough. We can revisit in a couple years when Amazon realizes labor is a bit more challenging to manage than pushing boxes around.
IPVMU Certified | 07/15/15 02:07pm
Speaking as an end user the terms integrator, dealer and installer are synonymous to me. So don’t lose any sleep over it!
This might be the longest semantics thread ever. I think that the definitions are so loose as the industry changes every year, no matter how slowly. Older card access systems that I have seen have so many boards, relays, and other equipment I would say it is infinitely more complicated than some custom code. On the other hand the manufacturers have done quite a bit to simplify "integrations" over the past decade which makes integration much less difficult. Is it still integration if you are buying two products from different manufacturers and getting them to talk without custom code or bundles of relay boards? I think yes, but that is clearly a matter of much debate.
Nelly Security | 07/15/15 04:58pm
Im from Oklahoma and we use the term redneck term "installer" instead of "integrator". Kind of like some states say "soda' while others say "pop". They are the same thing though.
Installer/Integrator: one who phyiscall installs/integrates surveillance stuff. Doesnt matter if they make a profit off the products or not.
Dealer: One who sales products only
Boom, simple as that.
- Systems Integrator
- Value Added Reseller
Titles listed in order of protection they offer from being labeled a trunkslammer, (most to least).
In our market, the term "Dealer" is typically used for simple alarm companies focused on intrusion systems and monitoring for RMR. The term "Integrator" is used to identify those companies that are in the business of selling AND installing integrated systems.
minicomputer-era terminology (IMO)
"dealer" - someone who sells to the end customer and who buys from a channel.
"installer" - team member at dealer who hangs the camera on the wall
"integrator" - business who sells to the end customer (possibly reselling gear, as a dealer) and provides added value by making multiple components work together in the deployment. Integrators typically have figured out how to live on revenue sources other than the margin on selling the iron.