Commercial Integrator + Security Sales April 2024 - 68

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Deciding to Invest in Security
The panelists have varying degrees of
involvement when it comes to making the
final call on investing in security technology.
West notes each of MGM's properties
has its own operating team, " so that
creates opportunities and challenges for
us as an organization to be able to make
sure we have some consistency in how
we provide our services and how we
provide our security responses across
our properties. "
" Part of my role is to work with those
teams as they identify things of interest
- new weapons detection systems,
turnstile systems, RFID, card readers,
things like that - so that we don't end
up with a patchwork of different solutions, "
he continues.
When integrators contact different
people at MGM's different properties, " the
property only thinks about itself, " says
West, which can create more problems for
the organization as a whole than it solves.
Garcia has " a patchwork of different
institutions, " adding that " each university
we serve has its own culture, its own
unique identity and its own needs. "
UNLV " is in a very urban setting with all
of the issues you would think of for a large
urban campus, " he says, while Nevada
State University " is on the outskirts of the
city. Each has its own needs. We have to
balance those needs with two things: is it
required and what is the cost? "
Two years ago, says Garcia, the
Nevada State Legislature passed a law
that said every police officer had to wear
a body camera during every interaction
with the public.
" That balancing act changed and
it was no longer an option for us, " he
says. " It was something we had to do.
Everything we look at we ask, 'Do we
need it, and do we have the funding? If
we don't have the funding, where does
that funding come from?' "
Westall goes to GSX and other conferences
within the security industry
as well as In-Home Supportive Services
and other health care-focused events to
" check out the new technologies, " adding
he's responsible for the security funding
across the health care network that
" We don't necessarily get to make
the decision because it's done not only
at the local level but there's a lot of
input that comes from the state level as
well. We play a very big role in how it's
implemented since it's on our site but not
necessarily in what we buy, " he continues.
Patrol cars, for example, have to come
from a state-approved list, although
" once we get the cars, that's when we can
determine what we put in it: what kind
of cages, what kind of radios, what kind
of lights, " says Garcia. The same is true
for video equipment, he says, noting the
team is looking to figure out how to bring
68 Commercial Integrator+Security Sales & Integration | April 2024
includes one main campus and several
satellite clinics in south central Los
Angeles and Compton, Calif.
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Just as most people do, our panelists
bristled at the idea of being hard sold on
the latest security technology. If integrators
focus more on product features than
on problem-solving, chances are they're
going to leave without closing on a sale,
based on what our experts say.
" We have taxpayer funds that we
utilize, so it's not really our money, so
we have to be very careful on how those
funds are utilized, " says Garcia. " When
folks approach us, we have to go through
a very distinct and sometimes very
thorough process to deal with purchases
through the state of Nevada. It can be
very, very cumbersome. "
its thousands of cameras across four
campuses into one place.
Westall fondly recalled a longtime
security technician with whom he worked
at a previous hospital, saying, " I could
call that guy and tell him the fourth-floor
camera feed was out and he'd tell me to go
in closet 2B and it's on panel 6. I know it's
easier said than done. But having somebody
like that [is extremely valuable]. "
" [Integrators have to] remember who the
end user is, " says Westall. " It's not the guy
with a master's degree who totally understands
technology. For the most part, it's a
$17-an-hour security guard. "
" I've had integrators and sales folks come
in and the product is awesome, but there
are 17 different bells and whistles and we're
going to use two. This is for someone who's
going to be sitting in front of 400 camera
feeds on 32 TVs at 2 a.m., " he continues.
'People who come
in and take the time
to understand our
environment, our
challenges and the
need we actually
have are the most
successful.'
- Mark West,
MGM Resorts
International
West prefers collaboration over
salesmanship.
" People who come in and take the
time to understand our environment, our
challenges and the need we actually have
are the most successful, " he says. " If you
come in talking about a fantastic product
that can do all these cool things, that may
or may not be what we can do with it. "
" In many ways, security is a cost
center. It's important but it's not revenuegenerating
for much of what we do.
Because of that, we get a very high level
of scrutiny on every dollar we spend. It
needs to be well understood, it needs to
THE PHOTO GROUP

Commercial Integrator + Security Sales April 2024

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