Choose Your Integrator Wisely

The right integrator can make or break an electronic security project. Appropriate experience, specialization, financial stability, location and reputation are just some of the attributes that make a contractor a good fit.

With the technical complexity of CCTV, access control, fire alarm, mass notification, communications and intrusion detection systems increasing every year, embarking on an installation is not an easy undertaking. Most, if not all of these solutions are now tying in with campus IT networks, and the sheer size and cost of the installations are unprecedented.

Because so much is at stake, campuses can’t afford to leave these projects in the hands of unqualified contractors. But there are some best practices that healthcare and educational institutions can follow to guarantee their installations are in good hands.

Big Projects Usually Require Competitive Bids
There are generally two ways a campus can approach its relationship with electronic security contractors: sole source or through the bid process.

A campus that chooses the sole source route picks one integrator to do all of its electronic security installations. This approach involves a long-term relationship with an integrator, which allows it to become familiar with a campus, its layout, its personnel and its culture.

Still, there are times when a project is large enough that institution rules mandate it go out for bid. Some campuses always use the bidding process.

About the Author

Robin Hattersley Gray
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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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