Commercial Integrator + Security Sales March 2024 - 64

SSI ROUNDTABLE: RESIDEO CONNECT
for some industries altogether. However,
I'm struggling to see how it can be fully
regulated. So, that is yet to be seen.
Yarger: Jesse, you have your own central
station. One of the trends that we're
seeing with the central stations is they
want to use automated voices to respond.
They want to reduce the amount of human
operator interaction. And so, that's a
version of AI that's creeping in.
And I think it does threaten the traditional
business model because, if you go
down that road, at some point, you become
automated. And it really changes who the
provider is. Do you see that as a threat?
Foglio: You mean to have AI replace
live operators?
Yarger: Right. Because it's a different
product, right? If you go down that road,
then don't you end up comparing yourself
to a DIY? So, you're getting an automated
voice that says, " You have a break-in. "
Foglio: You are correct. The large central
stations have already embraced it. If
you are paying the monitoring center to
manage users, the zone list, the EC list,
and also be able to dispatch and communicate
with the client using AI, I don't
know that I see that as a threat. It's more
efficient, and it should come with some
cost savings from the central stations that
are passed on to the dealer.
If a dealer wants live operators, maybe
they choose to pay a higher price for this
service, and the central station could offer
both options. Live operators play a key role
because they know the alarm industry, they
understand customer service and they use
'I just feel like the
opportunity and
the growth are
tremendous. There's
always opportunity.'
- Michael Alfano,
greensite Security
critical thinking in their role every day.
Someday, AI might be able to match or
even exceed everything a live operator
can do. And, when that time comes, it
will be a decision each dealer has to
make. I'm seeing " live chat " options on
websites using AI to answer simple questions.
And if you want to speak to somebody,
you request it and get transferred
to a live person. So, a balance of both is
probably going to become the norm.
Alfano: You can look at the automotive
manufacturing business, right? Initially,
there were people on an assembly line,
which, at the time, was the innovation.
Now, these manufacturers use machines
and AI to do the same job. People adapt
and find other positions to work in.
Gibson: I don't have any reservations
about AI. I am just concerned about how
fast it is coming at us and how it can or
will integrate into so many areas of our
business. You mentioned central stations.
We have two and, yes, at some point in
time, it will have some kind of an impact.
How would you assess 2023, overall,
for the physical security industry?
Was it a year of growth? A year of
retrenchment? A year of transition? A
year of new, different opportunities?
Yarger: I think it was a year of growth. I
think it was a really positive year. Coming
out of the COVID-19 years, people have
a newfound respect and appreciation
for what the industry can provide. And I
think we're seeing the adoption rates go
much higher than what they've been -
the traditional 20% of the past.
Alfano: I agree - growth and more
opportunities. You know, we all had to be
creative during COVID-19. And I feel like
that has lasted. I've changed my business
to kind of go along with that.
And now that we're not in that pandemic
model anymore, I just feel like
the opportunity and the growth are
tremendous. There's always opportunity;
you just have to be laser focused on it.
Foglio: I would agree with what has
been said so far. My perspective comes
from the Pacific Northwest and the unrest
we have, but we've had a good year, and I
think we will continue to trend upward.
Ten years ago, you could go talk to 20
prospects, and maybe 10 of them had
thought about taking proper security measures.
Today, you go talk to 20 prospects,
and 19 of them tell you they have thought
about security...and one is just lying to you.
There is a budget set for it. It is top of
mind now in a way that it just wasn't 10
years ago, partially due to all the big players
spending huge amounts in advertising.
Alfano: And social media, I feel, plays
a huge role: social media and Google and
reviews and things like that. I'm from New
York. Go down any block and everybody
has a video doorbell. Everybody! Whereas,
10 years ago, that was not even heard of.
That part, to me, has been incredible.
People know now - they're familiar.
They're aware of what's out there and what
they may want to use to protect their home.
That part of it is really incredible to me.
Gibson: It has been an interesting
Although our integrator roundtable participants did not gloss over challenges, all
of them drew the same conclusion: that 2023 was a year of business growth.
64 Commercial Integrator+Security Sales & Integration | March 2024
year! I said earlier that getting people
has been an issue that has held some of
our growth back. The other thing that
we keep an eye on is not only looking at
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Commercial Integrator + Security Sales March 2024

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Commercial Integrator + Security Sales March 2024 - Cover3
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