The Importance of a Partnership
About a week ago, I was fortunate enough to spend seven days in San Antonio where I got to meet and mingle with several security companies from around the globe. I went into the week knowing that there was one question in particular that I wanted to gain some understanding on, and that question was, “Why are partnerships so important in the security industry.” I was not let down.
Just like every other industry, ours is evolving. End users don’t want one product that does one thing anymore. They want one complete, comprehensive solution that caters to their unique security challenges. Just one company on their own cannot hand down a solution and feel like they’ve given their all to create the best option for their customer, can they?
“As soon as you think somebody can’t build it better than you, you’re done,” said Kurt Takahashi, President of AMAG. “There’s always going to be better technology out there and I think that is the beauty of it. We don’t have all the answers and the day that we think we have all the answers, is the day that we fail.”
The reality of it is that there are just too many moving parts when it comes to an all-in-one solution these days.
“In the physical security industry, partnerships are really important because it is a really broad solution set when you take into account all of the different manufactures there are,” said Richard Stafford, Channel Account Manager at NEC. “The door locks, the cameras, the facial recognition and the access control software itself – there are a lot of pieces that need to be brought together to provide a turnkey solution for the end user.”
Not only are there more parts in the solution, but those parts are becoming more and more complex. These multifaceted parts need individualized attention on their own; something a company could not do if they were trying to be the jack-of-all-trades.
“Access control openings are increasing and they are also becoming more complicated in terms of budget, code, need and options,” said Donna Chapman, Director, Security Consultant Relations at ASSA ABLOY. “Now, you need to have deeper conversations and you need to mix and match your solutions so that you can provide your customer with the best option at the budget that they have.”
Part of the reason for the technology becoming more complex is the end user and their risk level. We aren’t just looking at physical security anymore; the industry is now aware of more intricate threats such as cybersecurity and data security. In order to protect against these threats and risks you must assemble the best team possible.
“We have an authorized channel partner and certified integrator strategy, that tells our end users that we are doing our due diligence to make sure that integrators are pre-vetted, trained and certified,” Chapman said. “This way, the customer gets the best user experience possible because we are doing our due diligence to manage the process and manufacture a great quality product.”
In addition to the complex technologies, moving parts and ability to add knowledge to your solution, another benefit of partnering with another security company is the ability to double, sometimes triple, your sales force.
“I think the big thing we found with a partnership is, it’s great to have a two people partnership, but when you have three partners, manufacturer, OEM and integrator, potentially what you’ve done is tripled your sales force,” said Kevin Hendershot, Director, Strategic Integrator Partnerships at ASSA ABLOY. “So now we are all talking about it, we all have invested interest in it, and we all potentially end up reaping the benefits of it.”
Whatever your reason for finding a partnership, it has been made loud and clear to me that there isn’t really a downside to collaboration within the industry especially when those companies balance each other out.
“You need to find partnerships that complement each other and bring greater value to your customers,” said Michael Slevin, Risk360 Sr. Director Business Development at Risk360, a G4S company. “That’s a win for both sides when you can achieve that.”
Posted on Feb 28, 2017