Physical security is one of your greatest responsibilities as a property owner or manager. But what can you do if your security systems need an upgrade? A security integrator will upgrade your systems and make them easier to use. If you’re wondering how, then read on to find out.
In this post, we explain what a security integrator is and what they can do for you. Then, we go over why you should hire an integrator and the qualities you should look for before you hire a security integrator.
This post covers:
- What is a security integrator?
- Why should you hire a security integrator?
- Things to look for in a security integrator
What is a security integrator?
A security integrator is a person you hire to help you combine all of the security, property access, and utility systems on your property. While security integrators might choose to install new hardware on your property, their main focus is creating one cohesive system to manage existing security devices.
Managing a building involves dealing with a lot of hardware and security devices, from access control hardware to utilities like heating and lighting. And these days, smart locks, lights, and even thermostats can be hooked up to the Internet of Things, where they can exchange data with each other to improve building operations and the resident experience.
But getting systems to talk to each other isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Many buildings today have systems that weren’t designed with connectivity in mind. Your property might have different features that were installed at different times and have different capabilities.
For example, if your property has a smart lock that you haven’t integrated with an analog lighting system, you might benefit from hiring a security integrator to unlock their combined potential.
Integrators can help you improve safety and convenience on your property, whether the building has just been constructed or whether they’re dealing with a buildup of various security systems that you’ve installed over the years.
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Security integrators can simplify and combine management for the following systems:
- Gate entry systems
- Smart locks
- Lighting systems
- Temperature control
- Security cameras
Example of what a security integrator can do
Security integrators are hardware and software experts that can help you unlock your building’s full potential.
Let’s consider an example that focuses on access control integration.
If you own a residential gated property, a resident has to pass through three separate security checkpoints before they get to their apartment: the gate’s entrance, the building’s front door, and their apartment door.
Before you hire a building security integrator, these are three separate systems that require three separate credentials. Now, in contrast, imagine a world in which your resident only needs one credential to bypass one unified system that includes the gate, the front door, and their own door.
An integrator can deploy a series of upgrades to turn this scenario into reality.
That is, integrators can create communication links between every access point on a property, enabling a gate to alert other entrances about an incoming set of verified credentials. The end result? Your resident only needs to display a credential once.
All in all, that’s only one example of what an integrator can do for you. From rooms that regulate their own temperatures to AC units that activate if somebody’s in the room, security integrators can help make your property a more convenient and enjoyable place to live.
Why should you hire a security integrator?
You should hire a security system integrator if you’re interested in increasing the level of security on your property and streamlining security procedures for your staff. Altogether, these upgrades will make your property more desirable for residents.
Where physical security is concerned, an integrator can improve security at minimal cost. Security integrators work with your existing equipment so that you don’t have to spend money on new equipment.
For example, if you’ve already got an existing security camera network, that’s great news for a security integrator. An integrator might choose to add more cameras to this existing network. The CCTV integration process may also extend to the console that security guards use to view the closed-circuit feed; an integrator might add motion detection software or cloud-based functionality.
Also, a security integrator can also work with your staff members and train them on how to use the new systems they create. Then, one cohesive management practice will save time, effort, and help your staff prevent tasks from falling through the cracks.
Things to look for in a security integrator
If you’re interested in consulting a security integrator, here are three things you should look for to ensure you’ve hired the best person for the job.
Look for these three things when you’re hiring a security integrator:
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1. Cybersecurity experience
Make sure your integrator is dealing with the latest technology and has embraced new developments like IoT access control or smartphone-based app control.
You might ask about any certifications your integrator has received. Certifications prove that your integrator is up-to-date and ready to use modern solutions to make your property more efficient.
You might look for certifications from these organizations:
- Security Industry Association (SIA)
- Center for Development of Security Excellence (CDSE)
- Electronics Technicians Association (ETA)
2. Relationships with other vendors
It’s important for your security integrator to know where they can get the products that will best fit your needs. A residential building will have different needs than a commercial office complex — and the best security integrators are aware of that.
And, as an added bonus, your integrator might be able to leverage their relationships and get the equipment you need at a discounted price!
3. Proven track record with past clients
See if you can speak to past clients who can testify to your integrator’s success. Correspondingly, the best integrators will have reviews and case studies easily accessible on their website.
Security integrators will create value for you, whether your property is residential or commercial. In today’s internet-powered world, every aspect of your property has the potential to exchange data and communicate with other parts of your property. This is where security integrators step in.
To sum up, an integrator doesn’t just focus on outwardly security-focused portions of your property, like access control or alarms. They also focus on structural or utility-based services like lighting or HVAC.
So, you should look into hiring a security integrator if you’re interested in creating efficiencies for your staff and improving your overall security system. And, when you’re looking for a security integrator, make sure they’re the right fit for you by asking about their cybersecurity experience, their relationships with other vendors, and their record of success with other clients.