System integration is about adding value, and value-engineering is the solution to address the challenges facing the customer and their facility Leading systems integrators continue to embrace new technology and add a range of services focusing on IT, connectivity and integration. The trend will continue for forward-thinking companies seeking to differentiate themselves from the competition and gain a loyal following of end-user customers. Pref-Tech - History and background Preferred Technologies Inc., Houston, is a physical security and data networking company that offers the latest expertise and credentials to fully address the changing world of security system specifications. According to Shaun Castillo, President of Pref-Tech, the company started as a structured cabling and data networking business and has moved fully into the realm of IP-connected devices. His parents, Charlie and Trisha Castillo, owned and operated a cabling business, Integrated Telecommunications Inc., between 1988 and 1999. Trisha established the Preferred Technologies Texas Corporation in May 2005, and Shaun joined the company that fall after serving five years in the U.S. Army. Designing custom-interface for customers Pref-Tech and its team have a keen ability, and deep-seeded expertise, to custom-engineer targeted solutions for customers. At ISC West in Las Vegas earlier this year, Pref-Tech validated its IT and networking capabilities during InteropFest. There, the company demonstrated custom-engineered integration capabilities designed by Pref-Tech software developer Mark Roland. Pref-Tech integrated the intelligent networking capabilities of LifeSafety Power’s FlexPower iSCAN (Supervision Control Access Notification) SmartPower system to Genetec’s unified security platform called Security Center and has since implemented the integration successfully for the end user. Pref-Tech integrated the intelligent networking capabilities of LifeSafety Power’s FlexPower iSCAN (Supervision Control Access Notification) SmartPower system to Genetec’s unified security platform called Security Center and has since implemented the integration successfully for the end user Hosted by the Security Industry Association (SIA), Alexandria, Va., Pref-Tech participated in InteropFest with leading manufacturers showing live demonstrations of access control and power devices incorporating Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP). For its customers in the field, Pref-Tech integrates remote monitoring alerts and communications so that specific information on power solution health is shown on the Graphical User Interface (GUI), indicating deep integration of systems solutions and proactive monitoring capabilities. This capability puts all integrated system information on a single interface, including power solution status, alerts and ongoing connectivity. Hands-on innovation “We created the integration through the development of a custom task inside the GUI,” Castillo says. “Now, you don’t have to go to a separate browser to manage power supplies. You can view and configure everything within Genetec’s Security Center. It’s all in one place, which is important to the service provider and the end user.” Pref-Tech is a Genetec Unified Elite Partner and has deployed the interface in nearly half a dozen customer sites. The company also makes the interface available directly to other value-added resellers. Not only does this kind of capability unify solutions for Pref-Tech’s customers, Castillo says it helps the company differentiate itself by satisfying a need in the marketplace. He adds that one of the most overlooked but most critical features is the ability to monitor power solutions over the network. For example, the customer or integrator can receive a proactive health report or diagnosis indicating that a magnetic lock has failed or is beginning to fail – prior to a security issue or loss. Systems integrators are innovators, and they continue to prove it daily. It’s much more than simply cookie-cutter assembling a solution for an end-user customer. It’s about adding value and value-engineering the solution to fit and address the challenges of the end-user customer and their facility.