You know the drill; hit the trade show aisles, shoot the breeze at your local distributor, visit your favorite vendors to see new products demoed or to participate in focus groups, compare notes on the latest technologies with industry friends and colleagues at security conferences.
Such has long been the routine for security dealers and integrators to keep up with, vet, adopt and implement new products and technologies. However, as we have all learned, 2020 was anything but routine — including the path for new security products and technologies to get to market.
With events for the most part canceled, postponed or pivoted into virtual affairs and all other face-to-face interaction eliminated or in the best cases limited, security pros have had to lean more heavily than ever on alternative sources of product and technology information.
Particularly without the in-person eye test and hands-on experience typically afforded them, dealers and integrators have had to rely on credible, established industry-focused media such as Security Sales & Integration and a litany of Zoom calls and video-based presentations.
These factors add even more weight to SSI’s Top Technology Innovations of 2020. As usual this longstanding program susses out the key trends coursing through the electronic access control, fire/life-safety, intrusion detection and video surveillance sectors as well as security business operations itself.
The enormous new wrinkle, however, is how many of those offerings are being directed toward meeting pandemic-related safety needs and establishing a new subcategory. It is to the industry’s great credit that it has solutions that can help the world weather a crisis such as COVID-19, and of course in the process represents emergent revenue opportunities.
The devices, software and resources cited in this annual list are aimed at helping dealers/integrators realize potential benefits that encompass fulfilling the industry’s mission of providing superior security and safety; more effectively running their company; optimizing installations, systems monitoring and service; heightening profitability; and growing customer bases.
Staying a step ahead of today’s evermore competitively cutthroat security landscape means providers not only have to offer the latest and greatest products and solutions but also implement the slickest tools to facilitate fast, error-free deployments and the most intelligent business software to optimize efficiencies.
Those critical success aids come in myriad forms, sizes and complexities. Launched more than a decade ago, the Top 30 Technology Innovations of the Year is more than a typical product awards program (the industry has more than enough of those).
It does not involve submissions for eligibility, fees, judging biases or vendor favors. It also is not limited to products alone as services or any instrument that can muster better outcomes is fair play. However, the most intriguing element is that the selections are flagged by SSI’s unbiased technical editors and their many decades of in-the-trenches security experience.
Veteran SSI contributors and columnists Paul Boucherle (Business Fitness) and Bob Dolph (Tech Talk) have each selected 15 items spanning the spectrum of smart and savvy installing contractor implements.
Boucherle’s commercial enterprise background manifests in his choices ranging from Cloud platforms to managed services to tracking and social distancing, with an eye on the corporate end user as well as the integrator.
Dolph, a renowned installation and technical expert, gravitates toward system components and infrastructure, with a particularly keen eye on inventive and intuitive tech tools. He is also dialed into the connected home.
Regardless of ongoing pandemic impact complications and the subsequent “new normal,” the security industry — with its designated essential workers and mission to protect and serve — will continue to push forward as guardians of people and organizations.
Congratulations to those comprising 2020’s SSI Top 30 Technology Innovations, from which security pros can check off their holiday lists and use to fuel growth in 2021 and beyond.