Analysis of the different companies that directly or indirectly compete in the security industry.
by Luis González Nogales*
When a company carries out its planning, as well as in the different reviews that are made throughout the year, we always analyze in detail who our direct and indirect competence is, an issue that for security service companies every year becomes more complex, mainly in what is called indirect competition.
Direct competition is companies that are engaged in the same line of business as ours, whether they are physical surveillance services, alarm monitoring, video surveillance services, systems integration, administration and transport of values, etc.
These companies can be concentrated in our same market niches or in others and can be formal companies that maintain a healthy competition in terms of the fact that in addition to being legal with the authorities that regulate private security services in different countries, they comply with their tax obligations of social security and others; or they can be from the group that remain in the gray area of compliance with some rules and others do not, or directly those that are kept out of all legality and in the dark, but that affect the sector and competition.
This type of competing companies, whether through our department, group or committee that performs market intelligence, we generally know them and develop our own market strategies to position ourselves, fight when price wars are generated or other situations that may affect our client portfolio.
The intention of this article is more in line with seeing who makes up this group and which is more complicated to identify, and is currently focused on capturing a market share, mainly in the home sector and small and medium business.
• The communication service companies: First of all we have the communication service companies (fixed telephony, mobile, internet) that within the packages of services for the home and small and medium enterprises offer video surveillance with differential monthly installments based on the number of cameras, this being a practice that had already been carried out for some years, but that at present has been increasing and massifying through mass advertising campaigns of these services.
• Large commercial areas: Large commercial areas are another important indirect competitor, since it is difficult not to find in these a space for the distribution of video surveillance packages with very affordable prices and, of course, all systems with remote video access from mobile devices, which is already almost a mandatory industry standard.
• Computer companies: Companies that market computer systems and equipment, and in recent years, those that install wired and wireless networks already offer not only the video surveillance part but the integration of various equipment for access control, presence control and remote monitoring of all this, this without yet entering the analysis of the Internet of Things, where we have to include the different equipment for domestic or industrial use with which we can interact from our mobile devices.
• Social networks: It may seem strange to consider the different social networks as our competitors, but this is perhaps the highest growing competitor if we consider that the demographic composition is changing rapidly and that the new groups of young consumers do not carry out in practice any activity or decision making of consumption without first consulting social networks, and in them they find from the references and comments of our customers, products, brands that we distribute, to the videos and tutorials of how to install a video surveillance system with old Smartphones, install an alarm system or access control for remote warning, etc.
What indirect competitors don't offer
There are two things that not all these indirect competitors offer that we have pointed out and others that in the future will be positioned, such as cloud stores that generate digital marketing companies with products of different types (including some private security) for purchase and immediate acquisition at very low prices:
- The first thing they cannot offer is the analysis of the risks that the person or company that is going to acquire these equipment has in the aforementioned sales channels and if they adapt to their risks and expectations and security needs; this can only be offered by professionals in the sector.
- The second thing is that it is difficult for the average user to acquire a video surveillance system in any of these channels, for example, will not have the time or possibly the patience and curiosity to study all the facilities and possibilities offered by the equipment and their priority is to visualize the cameras quickly on their mobile device.
Possibly many of the sales doors of these systems are closing to open doors for new services such as:
• Post-purchase support, whether by necessity or impulse, the person or company has already bought the equipment and it is at this time that it requires the competence of a professional to properly install the cameras based on the expectations of security, control or productivity that were had when acquiring, in addition to the habilitation of the different options that can range from the counting of people in one direction or another to the identification of forgotten people and objects, masking of areas where access codes are entered to protected areas, sending notifications for different circumstances that the video identifies, etc.
• Preventive and corrective maintenance of installed systems. Regardless of who installs the system, it can be from the same person who bought it, a friend or acquaintance or another security company; the system will require mandatory maintenance either because the cameras begin to lose display quality, the IPs are deprogrammed and lost and you have to reprogram, the access codes are forgotten and you have to completely reset the equipment, re-enroll it in the manufacturer's company and reprogram it, the incompatibility with new deposits connected to the network, and so we could continue to list another endless number of new problems that new technologies give us.
It is at this time that a correct detailed analysis of each of the different skills we have for each of our products or services offered and their direct and indirect competence, which will lead us to the main conclusion that we consider occurs in most cases, which is the constant need to update our own competencies in the realization of risk analysis for the different known threats and the new ones that permanently appear, as well as the constant preparation and updating of our staff and all security professionals in the application of each new possibility that new technologies give us to meet the security expectations of the client with new and proactive services.
Greetings to all.
* Luis González Nogales is the Executive President of INCASPRI. You can contact him via email: [email protected]