The Big Idea with Ron Davis
Connected Devices Reconnect Us With Security Industry's Societal Impact
If you had just one really great idea you could share with the alarm industry, what would it be?
This month's BIg Idea comes from Michael Marks, Co-founder of Perennial Softtware
MARK'S BIG IDEA:
Learn about connectivity. Learn about eh interaction between everything. Differentiate what things in your sphere of influence do, and how they actually work.
REALLY ADMIRE MICHAEL MARKS and I'm becoming pretty fond of his business partner, Don Faybrick, too. Together, they have built an extraordinarily succesful business, Perennial Software, focused on providing security dealers with solutions for all aspects of their business, including the popular SedonaOffice software by which the company is now more commonly known.
It really is a business whose producers are essential to daily operation, and judging from our experiences at the most recent SedonaOffice Users Conference, held in Coronado Bay, California in January, security dealers from all over the United States and Canada recognize that.
UNDERSTAND HOW EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED
Mark's experience has been as the face or "sales end" of the business, while Fabrick's is more the "back end," i.e. developing the software and systems and procedures that enable today's successful alarm dealer to fully understand where they are, where they've been, and where they are going. During the conference I asked Marks, "If you had just one great idea that you could share with alarm dealers all over the world, what would it be?" I expected something about knowing your business, planning for tomorrow, etc., but instead received a graduate school-level overview of something that is greater than the alarm industry in its scope.
Marks' response was, "Learn about connectivity. Learn about the interaction between everything. Differentiate what things in your sphere of influence do, and how they actually work. " He then went on to talk about the "Internet of Things," which we are seeing so frequently mentioned in virtually every media. Think about his answers perhaps not so much solely about the industry in which you work, but in the world that surrounds you.
My takeaway from our conversation us that too often we are focused on the physical components that we work with, rather than what theyare supposed to do. And, of even greater importance, what else they are supposed to interface with in the larger scheme of things. That means integration, and looking at the bigger picture. What role are we now playing, and how does that positively impact society's future? Heavy stuff, I know.
EVERYDAY ANALYSES MAKE FOR METAPHYSICAL FODDER
Mark's goal is to bring together analytics of the customer, the central station, the accounting department, the legal department, etc., through software that provides answers to the everyday problems managers encounter. What does that mean for us? Simply, to look at what is the next evolution of the larger industry we're in, be it security, electronics, computers, software or any variation thereof. And then you can decide if this is a worthy destination for you to be participating in, and whether or not you will remain comfortable in it.
I realize Mark's response and the conversation that ensued and thoughts it inspired are only the tip of what may a philosophical iceberg. You may be seeking more explanation or elaboration. I'd urge you to give Marks a call at SedonaOffice and ask him some questions of your own, business related or otherwise. His answers may surprise you, frighten you, or challenge you. In any case, you are sure to gain new perspective on an old industry through the eyes of someone who definately has an insight into the future.
By the way, the SedonaOffice conference, at which I was honored for a lifetime of what I consider to be nothing more than asking questions, was really one of the best I've attended. After three days, more than 350 people left the Coronado Bay area with their heads bulging with new ideas, fresh approaches to old ideas, and some intriguing food for thought as to what the future may hold. I highly recommend alarm dealers look into attending the conference.
Ron Davis is Security Sales & Integration's "What's the Big Idea?" columnist and contributing market analyst. He is president of Davis Group, a full-service consulting firm serving the security industry, which also includes GraybeardsRus. He has 35 years of industry experience, including founding Security Associates International in the 1980s.