Commercial Integrator + Security Sales Nov/Dec 2023 - 46

CI + SSI
BUSINESS RESOURCES
as well as speed to cost recovery. "
Peters chimes in to highlight the many
benefits for AV and security integrators
that utilize a turnkey solution. As she
emphasizes, " Seeing the entire picture
of your organization in one place allows
you to have all objective facts for your
business decisions. " Peters notes that,
when trying to manage a business, it's
very time-consuming and challenging
to turn to multiple pieces of software to
gather all your data. " Instead, " she says,
" using one system can make employee
onboarding and training easier, as there
is only one software required for training.
This allows employees to hit the ground
running faster. "
All our integration experts seem to
agree that having everything in one
system really empowers business owners,
allowing them to see all open projects and
customer service calls. It just takes a few
clicks of a button, with no need to mine
for data in multiple areas.
What are the reasons that your
company abandons businessresource
software? (1 is the
biggest reason; 9 is the least reason)
1. It was not compatible with other
pieces of software.
2. Too complicated/difficult for my
team to run/operate.
3. Too expensive.
4. It had too many bugs/didn't
work well.
5. My company outgrew it.
6. Poor support/training from
provider.
7. Lack of time to dedicate for
appropriate onboarding.
8. Lack of company buy-in.
9. Required dedicated hardware
that we could not
accommodate.
Our focus group indicated that
business-resource software must
be compatible with, and flexible for,
other pieces of software.
In addition, end-to-end businessresource
software enables integration
business owners to zero in on the areas
that are experiencing technical issues or
that need attention, get real-time data
and develop a corrective-action plan. The
bottom line: Turnkey business-resource
software creates clear accountability for
metrics and outputs objective data that
commercial AV and security integrators
can use not only to make major business
decisions but also to guide different teams
to improve their workflow.
Should Integrators
Build Their Own Software?
One question that commercial AV and
security integrators might have is whether
they should invest in creating their
own, proprietary software to address
their business needs. According to our
interviewees, the answer to that question
depends ultimately on the integrators'
needs, budget and bandwidth for creating
and implementing proprietary software
solutions. According to Schmidtendorff,
designing and building custom businessresource
software takes " ...endless hours
and, eventually, becomes extremely
expensive to maintain in the long run. "
Tungl notes that, although companies
might have created software in past decades
to streamline their business, many
have since outgrown that model. " At CTI,
we have actually built a robust strategy,
as opposed to a proprietary software that
supports the organization, " he reveals.
From Tungl's perspective, in-house
creations require a significant investment
from a development team that must constantly
work to add features. " Fast forward
to today, we are far more equipped in the
technology industry to leverage larger
software applications to help customize
needs for business operations, " he says.
According to Tungl, software applications
created by large organizations are being
implemented daily across the operation.
Thus, he asks rhetorically, " When partner
organizations provide the software and
optimize it for the business, how can we
ask for anything more? "
Likewise, in DeStefano's experience,
plenty of software programs are already
46 Commercial Integrator+Security Sales & Integration | Nov/Dec 2023
out there that would fit just about any
integrator of any size. Success simply
depends on the actual implementation
process. He adds, " We were initially using
a few different software applications, and,
now, [we] believe that we have found the
right solution with the [aforementioned]
combined ERP system application. "
Partner Organization Pain Points
For Fortin, even partner organizations
have their own pain points, which means
they might not be able to meet all the
requirements of a commercial AV and
security integrator. " I've yet to see an AV
software company that nails the entire
customer journey right from marketing to
support, " he opines. " There's a couple that
come close, but not one that completely
knocks it out of the park...yet. "
Business-resource
software is '...not an
option anymore; it is
a necessity for any
forward-thinking
organization.'
- Tobi Tungl, RCDD, CTS-D,
chief marketing officer, CTI
Fortin touches on the idea of using
APIs as a counterargument to building
custom software. He remarks, " There is
so much that can be done with APIs that
I don't foresee why anyone would want to
create their own software! " Nevertheless,
Fortin acknowledges that integrators may
have little bandwidth to actually customize
APIs to address their business needs.
" Being an AV integrator is hard enough,
without trying to be a software engineer,
as well! " he quips.
The 'AI' Buzzword
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as
the main buzzword in many industries,
and the commercial AV and security integration
worlds are certainly not immune

Commercial Integrator + Security Sales Nov/Dec 2023

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