Commercial Integrator + Security Sales Sept/Oct 2023 - 86

SSI MANAGEMENT: END USERS SPEAK OUT
motive Group of Charleston, S.C.; Carey
Waltz, CSP, head of corporate security,
North America at Linde; and Michelle P.
Westbrook, manager, physical security at
Black Knight of Jacksonville, Fla. Together,
they represent a varied cross section of
security integrator clientele.
Their viewpoints provide installing
systems integrators with important
insights on how to better assist their
commercial customers in meeting their
security challenges and specifying the
systems and solutions they need. What
they share also conveys the skills and
attributes they look for when selecting a
trusted integration partner.
Top Security Challenges
While there are many shared or similar
security challenges among commercial
end users, every organization is unique.
For Westbrook, planning for a return
to the office after three years has posed
some unexpected and interesting challenges
to solve related to the facilities,
safety and physical security.
" From the physical security side, we
are ensuring that new employees who
have never come to a physical workspace
as our employee understands our access
requirements or to remind tenured employees
how to operate in our workspaces
- how to use their badges and how
to request access to meet their specific
business need, etc., " she says.
In terms of safety, Linde is working to
rebuild her organization's safety officer
teams and ensure they are properly
trained and ready to facilitate evacuations.
" Additionally, with the increase in
active shooter events since the pandemic,
preparation for employee training on early
warning behaviors of concern, empowering
them to report, and active shooter
response is gearing back up, " she says.
" It reminds me of the hum of preparing
to return to school after a long summer
holiday - feeling the nerves of learning a
new routine and getting comfortable with
the changes from then to now. "
As an IT director, Brown, not surprisingly,
finds that network users themselves,
as well as network security and
adequate training rank among his most
pressing challenges.
Coming from the corporate security
side, Waltz cites three challenges as her
most significant: implementing cost-effective
and sustainable security system
technology; safeguarding company assets
while ensuring the convergence of cyber
and physical security; and proactively
identifying the evolving threat environment
and implementing safeguards prior
to incidents.
Security Technology Interests
The extent of familiarity with the latest
security technologies varies by end-user
interest, exposure and organizational
characteristics.
For Brown, it's the centralized management
of access control that they now
have using Alarm.com. From Waltz' perspective,
continuous improvement and
implementation of AI technology in security
systems ranks as the most relevant
advancement and one that she'd consider
deploying. Westbrook echoes Waltz's
enthusiasm over new AI innovations.
" I am thoroughly enamored with the
AI solutions on the market that work with
our access control system to help speed
up mundane, but critical manual tasks
like vetting badge photos for appropriateness
or updating access profiles with
the correct object type or updating a
partition, " she says. " These small field
changes have a big impact on neatness
of reporting and are fields that a person
sometimes forgets to update - making
86 Commercial Integrator+Security Sales & Integration | Sept/Oct 2023
" I am thoroughly
enamored with the
AI solutions on the
market that work
with our access
control system
to help speed up
mundane, but critical
manual tasks. "
- Michelle P. Westbrook,
Manager, Physical Security,
Black Knight
system clean-up later tedious. "
Waltz says, " Additionally, I am excited
about AI learning access control and
camera systems to make recommendations
around reducing nuisance alarms.
Bringing down nuisance alarm noise in
our operations center is so important in
allowing operators to focus on real events.
" Lastly, the ability for AI to proactively
identify early warning signs that a piece
of equipment is failing so it can be addressed
before deteriorating into a major
system issue or equipment failure is very
appealing. I am not without concerns for
the use of AI in certain applications, of
course, but this technology in the physical
security system space appears to only
provide benefits. "
Embracing The Cloud?
Cloud technologies and platforms have
had a profound impact on businesses and
increasingly on security solutions as well.
" Yes [we have migrated to Cloud
solutions], in some respects, but I am also
hesitant about Cloud-based, and moving
back to having things more 'in-house,'
particularly when it comes to data, " Brown
says. " It's disturbing that some of the Big
Tech companies are willing to cancel or
suspend customer/client accounts, and so
therefore do not trust their agendas. "
Waltz reports that some of Linde's
systems have been migrated to Cloudbased
solutions, but cost is sometimes
a determining factor. And Westbrook
says that Black Knight is exploring
http://www.Alarm.com

Commercial Integrator + Security Sales Sept/Oct 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Commercial Integrator + Security Sales Sept/Oct 2023

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Commercial Integrator + Security Sales Sept/Oct 2023 - Cover3
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