|What factors should an end user consider when looking for a professional systems solution provider?
Andrew Schonzeit, President of IDESCO Corp., New York, knows what it takes to have an award-winning, top-in-its class systems integration company. For more than seven decades, the company has grown, morphed and continued to move into the world of value-add integrated solutions contracting. They’ve received numerous industry and business accolades and increased their stature in the security industry and end-user community. Here, Schonzeit provides six tips listing what end users should look for in a professional systems solution provider:
1. See the end results
Always ask for project references and make an on-site visit to a couple of jobs if possible. This way you can see if the integrator has the insights into a specific vertical market and its nuances. Integrators need to be problem-solvers, and that means knowing what might be applicable in the healthcare market, versus education for example, or how to approach legacy equipment without a total overhaul if the budget won’t allow. There are many potential scenarios – a good systems integrator can come up with viable solutions for most of them.
2. Assess applicable certifications and credentials
Depending on the type of work, many technicians are required to have certifications from manufacturers, basically attesting that they are up to speed on the latest versions of the products and have been factory-trained on operations. A number of associations also have training and credentialing; for example, the Electronic Security Association, Irving, Texas, and the ASIS International, Alexandria, Virginia. Obtaining and maintaining credentialing is a good gauge of how serious a company is about keeping its employees up to speed on ever-changing technologies.
With well-established firms, you’ll have greater assurance that you can stay with these companies and grow your security as needed in the future
3. Scrutinise service and support
Can you call the company directly and have the phone answered by a friendly and knowledgeable source? Or are you able to leave a voice or email message and get a quick response? Having a support team that works closely with the customer is one of the most important factors in having a successful installation. There should be responsible support team members who are on top of the project and can answer questions if challenges arise so as not to delay the scheduled timeline.
4. Look for experienced designers
What’s the philosophy when it comes to designing a system? Look for firms that do everything from start to finish – consulting, design-build, final testing and commissioning, and after-installation 24/7 support. Remember that it’s the consultative approach that’s important, so select a security company who can provide you input prior to any technology or hardware discussion, first considering the specific challenges or issues at the facility.
5. Vet product manufacturers
There are many manufacturers in the security industry, so it’s critical for a contractor to offer proven products that have a long history of stability, reliability and scalability. With well-established firms, you’ll have greater assurance that you can stay with these companies and grow your security as needed in the future without starting from scratch.
6. Consider due diligence on market expertise
It’s impossible for everyone to know the nuances of every business, so select contractors who have experience in your target market, whether it’s healthcare, education, government, institutional or corporate and enterprise facilities. They should understand the rules, regulations and other mandates required of security for the particular facility.