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

Cutting Costs 70% Using Milestone With HD Analog on Feb 23, 2017
HD analog and enterprise VMSes are often thought of as being on opposite sides of the spectrum, with HD analog best for small jobs due to its low...
Exacq Favorability Results on Feb 22, 2017
For years, Exacq has been one of the most frequently favored VMSes in IPVM integrator statistics (e.g., see Favorite VMS Manufacturers...
The Hot RMR Company - Electric Guard Dog on Feb 22, 2017
The financiers at the Barnes Buchanan conference praised a company named 'Electric Guard Dog'. While the name sounds fairly low tech, the money and...
Milestone: "Easy Money Days Are Over" on Feb 17, 2017
Contrary to IPVM's criticisms, Milestone has reaffirmed that glory days remain. But they admit that they 'easy money days are over': Are the...
Integrator's Top Selling Cameras 2017 on Feb 13, 2017
8 manufacturers accounted for 80% of the top selling camera lines for ~150 integrator responses. This report demonstrates which brands integrators...
Lenel Favorability Results 2017 on Feb 09, 2017
At this point, it is not surprising that Lenel is one of the most disliked security manufacturers. From stories like Lenel Partners Angry, Lenel...
Hitachi Taking On Security Industry on Feb 09, 2017
Hitachi, bigger than Sony and Panasonic overall, with $89 billion USD 2016 total revenue, is expanding into the security industry. They are...
Sony Favorability Results on Feb 06, 2017
Sony is one of the largest brands in the world and a long term provider of both video surveillance imagers and cameras. But, like all incumbents,...
Boycott Anixter, Says 82% Integrators on Feb 05, 2017
82% of 130 145 integrator respondents say integrators should boycott Anixter, in response to Anixter / Bosch Sells Direct to Amazon. This is the...
Axis Favorability Results on Feb 03, 2017
For many years, Axis sold the most IP cameras but, with the rise of Hikvision and Dahua, that has changed. How would that impact Axis...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Honeywell Sues Alarm.com For Violating Anti-Trust Laws on Feb 24, 2017
Is Alarm.com about to dominate the smart home software market? That is what Honeywell alleges in its new lawsuit, first reported by...
Axis: "Everything is IP" - False on Feb 24, 2017
Axis is congratulating itself, with executive Fredrick Nilsson declaring: "Now the conversion is all done and everything is IP and analog is...
Advertising Like Avigilon at the ISC West Airport on Feb 24, 2017
Avigilon has grabbed a lot of attention over the last few years advertising at the Las Vegas airport when attendees fly in. But how does that...
Artificial Intelligence Robot Assistant (ACTi) on Feb 23, 2017
Has artificial intelligence come to the video surveillance industry? ACTi has released 'SARA' which it bills as an 'AI assistant that brings...
Cutting Costs 70% Using Milestone With HD Analog on Feb 23, 2017
HD analog and enterprise VMSes are often thought of as being on opposite sides of the spectrum, with HD analog best for small jobs due to its low...
Dahua 4K HD Analog Cameras Announced on Feb 23, 2017
HD analog has been gaining popularity (even if Axis hopes otherwise). Last year, HD analog's max resolution doubled from 1080p to 4MP (see our 4MP...
Uniview (UNV) IP Cameras Tested on Feb 22, 2017
"We're #3," in China says Uniview (UNV). While the company significantly trails Hikvision and Dahua in total sales, one notable difference is that...
Glass Doors and Access Control Tutorial on Feb 22, 2017
The biggest challenge for many access control systems are glass doors. Here's what happens when a maglock is improperly installed to an existing...
Exacq Favorability Results on Feb 22, 2017
For years, Exacq has been one of the most frequently favored VMSes in IPVM integrator statistics (e.g., see Favorite VMS Manufacturers...
The Hot RMR Company - Electric Guard Dog on Feb 22, 2017
The financiers at the Barnes Buchanan conference praised a company named 'Electric Guard Dog'. While the name sounds fairly low tech, the money and...

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