Continuing with our three-part series, let’s look at how organizations move from the evaluation of vulnerability and expectations to the evaluation of proposed solutions.
Request that security integrators and/or security system manufacturer representatives perform their own site survey at your facility. Their site survey will allow them to determine which system to demonstrate and propose a system that can act as all or part of the comprehensive solution for your project.
Performing a site survey in advance will also save time when it comes to demonstrations and proposals. Sitting through an hour or two of a misdirected demonstration wastes everyone’s time. Demonstrations and proposals should be provided by integrators and manufacturers based on a clear understanding of end user expectations of system performance, budget, and other considerations.
Demonstrations can be simple or complex, and depend on the scope of the project and complexity of the system. Consider bringing a representative from each stakeholder department to ensure the system meets expectations and to ensure that new concerns are addressed by each department as they arise. Some demonstrations can be performed in a table-top office environment. In many cases, a proof of concept demonstration should be performed, particularly in the case of video surveillance. Camera imaging specifications and performance can vary widely between device models and brands. Also, consider performing the proof of concept in the most extreme conditions expected at your facility. Consider darkness, low light, fog, snow, and other environmental conditions when setting a date and time for the demonstration.
The ultimate demonstration is a pilot program. In a pilot, the customer can use the system over an extended period. This allows all stakeholders to interact with the system under all expected operational conditions.
Larger, more complex systems should consider professional engineering support. Specifications and documentation will serve as a formal package of documents from which manufacturers and integrators can develop a proposed solution. These specifications and other documents will also be required if the project must be placed for public or invited bid.
In some cases, a “design & build” proposal may be desired. This allows highly capable integrators to professionally engineer the solution, provide the required documentation, and install the system.