What Are The Requirements To Be A Security Integrator?
What are the requirements you have to meet to be called an Integrator vs a Security Company?
Essentially, none, and that is a fundamental problem of the industry.
As it is, typically 'proof' is a hodgepodge of past projects, manufacturer certifications, networking certifications, possibly low voltage electrical licenses, etc.
2) Ability to memorize "righty tighty, left loose-y".
Integrator, installer, they're all subjective terms with no oversight or control. Integrators is what installers refer to themselves as. Trunk slammers is what integrators call other integrators that they're mad at.
"Trunk slammers is what integrators call other integrators that they're mad at."
LOL! Darn this for being true.
The term 'integrator' is fairly generic, and can mean a company that works with equipment vastly different than just security equipment.
For example, "Commercial Integrator" magazine spends most of it's time covering Audio/Visual, Teleconferencing, and Digital Signage markets. (Or maybe those vendors just buy the most magazine advertisements.) Security is a small piece of what they define as the commercial integration space.
Calling yourself "Integrator" is like identifying yourself as "mechanic" or "lawyer". Its a broad market of specialized outfits. A 'security integrator' generally designs/services/installs several different unrelated systems. So in my mind, a company only selling video surveillance is a 'video surveillance installer', while a company selling video, access, alarms, fire, or other systems (more than one) and can knit them together as needed is a 'security integrator'.
I agree with the mechanic analogy but not the lawyer, since lawyers are licensed by the government.
Many states, cities, etc. have licensing or permit requirements in order to install various types of security equipment. Onice you have those in the appropriate areas you (anyone) can refer to your company however you want. You (anyone) are actual security installers and integrators in many geographical regions now without permits and licensing. Just print up some cards - then you'll be ahead of the game.
My point is that there are so many specializations within law that simply calling yourself 'lawyer' does not say much.
Criminal defense lawyers are lousy choices to refute real estate tax determinations, etc...
Same with 'mechanic'. Are we talking autos, lawnmowers, or elevators?
I'm sure everyone can manage a chuckle over the utter meaningless of 'engineer' as a specific label.
Integrator = generic. Security Integrator = less generic.
I SO wish I could vote this up...
I disagree with the above trunk slammer claim above.
There are truly a lot of legitimate trunk slammers in the market place. A Trunk slammer is actually a slang term for an integrator that does such shoddy work that the company seems to support the product until they leave the site from the "completion" of the install. i.e. when they close the trunk and drive away. Let me give you one example of them many that are available.
As a consultant to a national manufacturing company I have recently came across a quote that a security company put together that was for a IP video system for 40 cameras of which the scope noted that they would provide two new NVRs and 40 cameras. On new NVR would have 15 cameras and the other would have 13.
For those of you out there not very good at math there are another 12 cameras that still need a recorder that are not accounted for.
Not only were those cameras not accounted for but when reviewing the spec sheet of the cameras and NVR proposed the "32" channel NVR that were quoted only supported 32 channels at SD resolution it dropped to 16 at 720P, 8 channels at 1080P.
This is not a big deal except for the fact the 26 of the proposed camera were 1080 resolution and the remaining 14 were 720. So the "integrator" was short about three NVR's on the quote to accommodate recoding of all the proposed cameras. This kind of lack of knowledge about the products you are proposing to install earns you the unequivocal title of a trunk slammer.
Not only that but the product prosed were some off brand that no one has ever heard of and IPVM has not even reviewed. (So that tells you that they are pretty obscure.) Which is another indicator, if you are quoting equipment that is equivalent that that anyone can get from a mail order catalog...Then you are a trunk slammer.
And lest you think this was some obscure small town company without a decent technological exposure, it was not, this was in the Los Angeles area.
So to prevent getting into a long cycle of "you might be a trunk slammer if..." jokes, I will stop now.
I do however agree with John on this one, the lack of an ability to identify truley qualified integrators is a major problem in the industry.
As John mentions, that is part of the problem. As a heavy industrial end user (project engineer/manager), I get involved from the very beginning from design, scope development, drawings, procurement and construction. I look for specific key words when interviewing potential service providers to take on these projects. I look for BCSI certifications such as RCDD and ITS cable installer certifications.
Also, IBEW unionized, trained electricians.
Does it solve all the problems, no of course not, but going into projects I know that I have at minimum, personnel that have gone through training to provide a level of skill that I expect. When starting jobs, requesting a crew leader or supervision with solid years of experience to guide the younger less experienced (same certifications) is exceptable.
Am I pro BICSI or Union? Well I am for my industry as that is what governs our existing best work practices. But if you have other well known, well established organizations that provide the same consistency, training then by all means use them.
Anything to get away from 'shoot from the hip' installers that just because they are 'electricians' think they can design and deploy security related projects.
my nickles worth....
Hi Tracey, Thanks for the feedback!
I agree with you about trunk slammers. I also suspect Ari was also being half facetious / funny about it. While there is a certainly a tendency to dismiss competitors are trunk slammers, there are no doubt many many trunk slammers around the world.
And this is a great sign: "if you are quoting equipment that is equivalent that anyone can get from a mail order catalog...Then you are a trunk slammer."
I started a new discussion on this: You Might Be A Trunkslammer If...
Started by John Honovich
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Started by Lee Jones
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