Should IT and Security Integrators Partner?

Author: John Honovich, Published on Jan 23, 2009

I think partnering is a horrible idea made worse by the numerous analysts who continuously promote it. The only viable solution is for integrators to build in-house expertise in both skill sets.

As an integrator, here are the 3 main problems I found in partnering:

  • Conflict about who is in charge of the project
  • Coordination problems between the two partners
  • Uncompetitive costs arising from multiple parties

This is inevitable because of 2 fundamental reasons:
  • Companies should never outsource or partner in strategic areas
  • Both security and IT skills are strategic to security integrators

This demands integrators invest and focus on developing end to end expertise. If you do not and try to partner, these are the issues you face:

Conflict

Customers almost always want to award contracts to a single integrator. If a security and IT integrator partner, one will inevitably have to be the prime and the other the subcontractor. The problem is both of these companies usually want to be the prime. Even if they do not demand to be the prime today, you are opening up yourself to future competition from the subcontractor.

Coordination

You are likely to have finger pointing and problems when partnering because IT tasks are deeply intertwined with security projects. This creates problems with time inefficiency as one integrator needs to wait for the other. This also creates issues with troubleshooting as the 'partners' try to figure out who created the problem and who is responsible for fixing it.

Cost

Multiple companies means multiple overheads (multiple project managers, multiple account managers, etc.). Coordination issues means increased time and cost. The net sum is that your costs will be far higher than an integrator who has developed and maintains end to end expertise in house.

To me, this is the same issue with partnering with high voltage electrical contractors. Experience tells me not to do this. Hire your own master electrician and handle all of the complex electrical tasks in-house.

Conclusion

I recommend not partnering because I believe IT and security skills are both too essential to integrators. Make the investment and reap the benefits of being able to do everything internally.

Similarly, I would recommend end users to avoid integrators who need significant partnerships and subcontractors. You will likely absorb the headaches of poor coordination, finger poiting while paying more money to fund the expenses of multiple companies. Find a single qualified integrator who can manage the whole project end to end.

1 report cite this report:

IT / Security Integrator Partnerships are a Failure on Feb 04, 2010
The PSA, a major proponent of IT / Security integrator partnerships has acknowledged the failure of having IT and Security integrators partner. In...

Related Reports on Integrators

The 'Last Chance to Save' On Hikvision Is Here on Sep 29, 2016
It is over. After at least 8 across the board price cuts in the past 10 months, including an unprecedented back to back 20% off, Hikvision has...
Get End User Leads for Just $997 A Month on Aug 31, 2016
Scam or opportunity? As trade mags continue to suffer from the decline of print media, they are scrounging for new ways to make money. Rather than...
Integrators Vs Manufacturers Direct To End Users on Aug 31, 2016
Many manufacturers have increasingly large and hungry sales forces that call on more and more end users. One recent example is Axis ~$20 Billion...
Integrators, Replace Electricians With PoE Lighting on Aug 19, 2016
Electricians often steal security business, causing problems for themselves, users and security integrators. Now, an emerging technology...
Service / Maintenance Contracts Guide And Downloadable Sample Agreement on Aug 18, 2016
This guide provides in-depth recommendations for service / maintenance and a sample service agreement that integrators can edit and customize for...
D-Link ONVIF-Enabled Security Switch Examined on Aug 05, 2016
D-Link has embedded ONVIF discovery software into a network switch, and are targeting security integrators with what they claim is a unique...
Integrated IR Camera Use Dominates - 2016 Statistics on Aug 03, 2016
In 2014, IPVM statistics showed integrated IR camera use was surging. Now, new IPVM statistics show that the surge continues, with integrated IR...
Favorite Video Surveillance Hard Drive Statistics 2016: Seagate vs WD on Aug 01, 2016
What is the favorite hard drive for video surveillance integrators? Two manufacturers stood out, Seagate and WD but one of them trounced the...
Surveillance Recording Mode Statistics 2016 on Jul 28, 2016
Continuous? Motion? Boost? What recording should be used? What is used? This report compiles data from 90 integrators on storage modes most...
Anixter Touts Selling to End Users on Jul 27, 2016
Anixter's track record of selling to end users inspires much negativity in the industry. But Anixter's CEO has a different take on it. In this...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Arecont To Release Industries' Best H.265 Support on Sep 30, 2016
Go big, or go home. That seems to be Arecont's philosophy for H.265, they say they are working on the "best" H.265 implementation in the...
Wall Street Journal Runs Report on Dahua Hack on Sep 30, 2016
The Wall Street Journal is bringing attention to the massive Dahua attack we reported on Tuesday. In an Thursday article entitled, "Hackers Infect...
Dahua USA CEO Tim Wang, Where Is Your Integrity? on Sep 29, 2016
Dahua USA CEO Tim Wang and Dahua Director of Marketing Tim Shen shared their IPVM passwords extensively, resulting in Dahua USA CEO's account...
Allegion NDE Wireless Lock Examined on Sep 29, 2016
While wireless locks are one of the hottest areas of access control, two of its biggest challenges are high cost and limited integration with...
The 'Last Chance to Save' On Hikvision Is Here on Sep 29, 2016
It is over. After at least 8 across the board price cuts in the past 10 months, including an unprecedented back to back 20% off, Hikvision has...
Camera Calculator Class and IPVM Member Orientation October 2016 on Sep 28, 2016
Members, learn how to better design video surveillance systems and get the most out of your IPVM memberships with 2 upcoming live classes. Both...
Axis 4MP Camera Tested (M3046-V) on Sep 28, 2016
Axis has brought 4MP to its camera line in the new M3046-V, the highest resolution model in their revamped M30 series. We bought and tested this...
Hiring Spree At Aimetis 6 Months After Being Acquired on Sep 28, 2016
Aimetis was acquired in April 2016, and is now expanding almost all of their departments, hiring employees from Axis and other industry...
Hikvision Chairman Tours With Chinese Government Boss on Sep 28, 2016
Two China Communist senior officials toured Europe this summer, one was Hikvision's Chairman and the other was his boss, SASAC Director. In this...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact