During the last several years, we have seen many companies expanding within their own organization or through mergers and acquisitions. Growth of any kind challenges the expansion of systems utilized within the company or organization, such as network infrastructure, payroll systems, and other technology. One area that is always a challenge is the security systems that protect the organization. Card access and digital video systems manufactured today are designed so that they can grow exponentially as the company grows. The question is how to implement and oversee the installations of these systems at a regional, national, or global level.
There are security integration companies today that through their own expansions and mergers have a national or global footprint that can be utilized to assist an organization with the implementation of their security systems. What happens if the current system or systems being used by an organization are not supported by a large national or global integration company? The task becomes a lot tougher to assure that the same quality equipment and installation practices used in one facility are used throughout an entire organization.
One way to accomplish smooth security integration would be to assign an existing employee as a project manager. This individual should already be familiar with the security program. His or her tasks would be to:
- find qualifying integration companies in each location where a new or upgrade installation might take place,
- prepare design and standardization documents, coordinate with the IT department and other trades that would be involved,
- attend coordination meetings (via conference call or in person),
- perform installation reviews during the installation,
- follow up on the record documentation once the project has been completed,
- become familiar with and address any issues specific to the site including local codes, state regulations, or country requirements, and
- perform their current duties.
Since most companies seem to be running as lean as possible, there probably is not a single person available that would be able to handle this. If this is the case, then what is the next option?
There are security integration companies that can offer some of these services through a network of companies on a regional or a national level, but not necessarily on a global level. This places a lot of responsibilities on the security integrator. What happens if the relationship between the security integration company and the organization takes a turn for the worse? What happens if the account manager leaves the security integrator? What happens if the security integrator is purchased by another company or changes their business model? You’re back to square one.
Another option would be to hire a company that understands security and security programs. What we have seen work well is organizations that can partner with a company that can handle all system integration at multiple sites. This company – which would not provide installation or service of any security equipment – would be product agnostic but knowledgeable on the organization’s systems. In addition, they would have the capability of providing a team of professionals that would divide and conquer all of the associated tasks and provide a Project Manager as a direct line of communication with the Security Director Of course there is a cost associated with this, however if the implementation of a large multi-regional new installation or upgrade does not go well, there is the potential that the costs and internal manpower to coordinate and correct any deficiencies could exceed the dollars spent to bring a company like this on board as part of the team.
If a large-scale security installation or upgrade is in the future for your organization, begin the planning early, assess exactly how the plan will be implemented, and designate who will do the work to assure that all goes smoothly.