After a rather bleak and relatively flat year of sales activity for most professional video suppliers and their systems integration partners in 2020, things seem to be looking up as we all carefully navigate our way into the impending post-pandemic world. Perhaps it’s still a bit too early in the year to put on our Nostradamus hat and start making industry predictions, but 2021 appears to be looking up for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, the recovery has little to do with real stimulus from the professional security industry, but rather the root of the problem itself – the COVID-19 pandemic. As global vaccination programs continue to expand and we collectively work towards achieving the long-awaited state of herd immunity, businesses and organizations across all verticals, as well as schools and universities will continue to gradually reopen. This is especially relevant to SMBs who may have suffered the most financially, and who make up a rather large percentage of pro security customers and sales.
Word on the street from systems integrators across the country seems to indicate that they are starting to gain more access to customers’ facilities, which was largely limited to emergency maintenance and service at many facilities over recent months due to self-imposed or government-mandated occupancy restrictions. We are also hearing that many project proposals that have been dormant since the pandemic took hold here in the U.S. last March or were initiated during shutdowns in anticipation that budget freezes would be lifted, are resurrecting for discussion. These are all good signs that a recovery is on the horizon.
Another stimulus driving customer re-engagement is the need to audit and update access and surveillance systems to help better protect employees and facilities from infection, and to comply with new health safety mandates. Simple measures like implementing automatic N-man occupancy features that may already be built-into advanced access control solutions like Sielox Pinnacle, but never activated, provide a fast and effective remedial solution without incurring additional costs. More aggressive but not necessarily difficult measures to implement can entail replacing standard access card or proximity readers with mobile phone readers or integrating readers capable of automatically detecting if an individual is wearing a mask or has an elevated body temperature beyond acceptable thresholds. These solutions can integrate with access control to automatically prevent individuals who may be sick from entering a healthy facility, so they can be redirected to an alternate location for further screening. Another relatively simple and inexpensive measure is to implement simple cost-effective touchless solutions like wave switches and auto door openers to limit individuals’ contact with potentially harmful pathogens on push plates and door handles, and to prevent potentially spreading their own illnesses to others.
For those of you have been following our blogs, we have advocated continuous engagement with customers and partners over the past year to help stay aware of new and emerging challenges, and to be in a better position to move forward when opportunity presents itself. We may not be out of the proverbial pandemic woods just yet, but we can see there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Just be ready, set, and ready to go when the light turns green!