Needs Assessment

3 Reasons Why Product Knowledge (Not Price) Is Crucial When Bidding on Security System Projects

Too often security dealers complain that consultants only evaluate price when looking at bids. That’s not the case. In our consulting practice we frequently get questions from bidders about products we have specified. And while I certainly don’t speak for all consultants — or even any consultants other than the ones that work for our […]

Read More

Do You Really Want to Use That Security Product?

We’ve recently started providing product reviews forSecurity Sales & Integration magazine and its website, www.securitysales.com. As we kick this off, and on an ongoing basis, we’re going to be looking for feedback on how these reviews meet your needs, where they come up short, and what you’d like to see covered. The genesis of SSI’s Bench Test […]

Read More

HDcctv: Back to the Future, or Ahead to the Past?

At ISC West 2014 last week, the HDcctv Alliance provided a first look at the new generation of HDcctv 2.0 surveillance technologies and products. As this is a technology that has been mentioned on and off over the years but never really gained traction, I thought I would avail myself of this opportunity to understand a little more about […]

Read More

Overpromising & Underdelivering: How Cutting-Edge Tech Is Often a Waste of Money

We are all familiar with the business mantra imploring you to “underpromise and overdeliver”. The concept is that by managing expectations in such a manner that you are positioned to exceed them, you stand a greater likelihood of leaving behind a happy customer. Or spouse, or child, or co-worker, as the concept really works anywhere […]

Read More

Manage Customer Expectations to Define Success

I think that most of us agree that the success of a project, to a great extent, is defined by the level in which we meet the client’s expectations. Yes, I know that there are financial goals for a project as well, but if a project winds up not being as profitable as projected, it’s […]

Read More

Some Corners a Security Installation Shouldn’t Cut

Security system installations are rarely done in a vacuum, although many integrators would tell you otherwise. Often the emphasis is on getting in and out quickly — after all, time is money, right? Unfortunately, as many learn the hard way, that axiom cuts both ways. Sure, it’s more profitable to complete a job quickly than […]

Read More

Problems in Selecting Surveillance Monitors

The consumer market drives demands for 16:9 monitors, but there are still times when a 4:3 monitor is a better fit. As people get more acclimated to technology change in their personal life, it often spills over into their professional life. While this is generally a good thing, we’re seeing one area where the change […]

Read More

5 Uses of CCTV That Could Help You Get Budget Signoff

Maybe it’s because I still look at the money my clients spend as if it were my own. Or maybe I’m just cheap. Regardless, I have trouble getting past the bang-for-the-buck analysis when looking at the requirements of a particular project, and I’m not sure that’s such a bad thing. Modern electronic security systems come […]

Read More

Keeping Surveillance Networks Secure

The bad guys aren’t supposed to be able to hack a video surveillance system, period. Recent headlines about a casino scam in Melbourne brought the consequences of an insecure security system front and center as scammers allegedly walked off with $32 million after using the casino’s surveillance system to cheat at cards. While we may never know […]

Read More

6 Tips to Selecting the Right Security Camera

As we move toward more advanced video surveillance equipment, it’s often hard to resist finding high-tech solutions to low-tech problems. For example, if you can use image stabilization, why worry about camera vibration? While it’s true that modern cameras can often get you good images under lousy conditions, improving conditions usually improves the image quality dramatically. […]

Read More

A Guide to Fiber-Optic Cable & Coxial Media Converters

One topic that generates a lot of discussion is the transition from analogue to IP cameras. On new construction, it’s rapidly becoming a moot point — there are so many advantages to IP, and the cost advantage of analogue is rapidly disappearing — but there are a lot of analogue systems out there that are aging […]

Read More

How Integrators Can Handle the ‘Punch List Creep’

OK, I admit it; I like the title of this blog because the first thing that comes to mind is the nickname for the person doing a punch list on a project. As in, “You’d better get those things done before the punch list creep gets here.” Although, truth be told, I’m sure “creep” would […]

Read More

Evaluating Security Product Substitutions for Installations

When specifying a project, the term “or approved equal” (OAE) comes up often. We frequently find it easier to describe a specific make and model than force the bidder to decide what we are looking for from a detailed list of specifications. Adding the term OAE lets the bidder know they are free to present […]

Read More

P/T/Z Control in an IP World

Based on some comments I have received from a surprising number of manufacturers, I’m going to write a “CCTV 101” type blog. It will be short and sweet, and if this is too basic for you, check back in a few days for a new entry. But when a question comes up as often as […]

Read More

The UPS and Downs of Camera Power Supplies

In an earlier blog, I mentioned that innovation seemed in short supply at ISC West this year. That’s not to say there wasn’t anything new, just that you had to dig further to find it. So, digging I went … Case in point was a new line of camera power supplies from Altronix that include […]

Read More

Objectionable Consultants

At ISC West, I had the honor of teaching a class on bright and early on April 6. Early in Las Vegas was at 11:15 a.m. The session, “Developing, Influencing and Responding to Request for Proposal’s (RFP’s)“, focused on practical, hands-on tips to make the whole RFP process work better for all involved. The class […]

Read More

Handling Coax, UTP Cables During Installations

“There’s a lot of coaxial cable out there.” “The 100 meter limit for Ethernet over copper presents some installation challenges.” I think there are very few people involved in the installation of IP-based CCTV systems that would disagree with either of the above statements. In an upcoming study featured in SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION’s April […]

Read More

To Bid or Not To Bid: That Is the Question – Security Sales & Integration

Part of the value we bring to the table as a consulting firm is the ability to secure our clients competitive bids on their project(s). Our goal is somewhat different than that of an integrator. We want an embarrassment of riches — so many qualified bidders and competitive bids that the owner has to scratch […]

Read More

Spending Too Much? Part 1 of Many – Security Sales & Integration

The topic of “overbuying” comes up so many times in our practice that I can’t limit this to just one blog entry — this could easily become a recurring theme. I’m not talking about paying too much, where the competitive process breaks down and the end user pays more than they should have (easily another […]

Read More

What Really Is an IP System?

The market is being whipped into a frenzy by buzz about IP, yet studies show that only 10-15 percent of systems sold include IP cameras. What’s the deal? Our firm was recently retained by a new client to provide a strategic review on the electronic security industry. This client was focused on CCTV, and inevitably […]

Read More

Upgrade or Replace? It Depends – Campus Safety Magazine

May/June 2008 by Robert Grossman – Campus officials face a common dilemma: Should they improve their current electronic security technology or adopt a completely new system? Those who do the proper footwork and planning will have the tools they need to choose the best course of action for their organizations.

Read More

‘Trust Me’ – A Guide to Honest Salespeople – Security Sales & Integration

November 2005 By Robert Grossman – A CCTV salesperson is at odds with the end user. As the salesperson’s job is not necessarily to help solve problems as it is to sell a video surveillance system product. This column will help guide you to spot the right salesperson to fit your needs.

Read More

Documenting Your System: Is There Such a Thing As Too Much Information? – Security Sales & Integration

November 2004 by Robert Grossman, When documenting a system installation, how much detail is appropriate? The fact is, documenting a system is handled differently by all parties involved and is driven primarily by what the end user requires, demands and is willing to pay for.

Read More

What the Sales Pitch Won’t Tell You About Digital Needs – Security Sales & Integration

July 2004 by Robert Grossman, Forget about pixels, file sizes and bandwidth for a moment, and concentrate on the things that will matter when you justify your investment. Your application will determine what is important to you and what compromises you’ll make.

Read More

Consultants – Time to End the Confusion, Security Sales & Integration

March 2004 by Robert Grossman, Webster’s Dictionary defines a “consultant” as “a person who gives professional or expert advice.” But, with that definition, isn’t just about everyone a consultant?

Read More