At Benchmark we have always been quick to champion true innovation. Working closely with products, systems and solutions with a team drawn from the installation and integration sectors, we understand the demands of the industry. We experience the same frustrations as our readers, and equally we enjoy the developments which enhance solutions too. Now we are teaming up with the organisers of IFSEC to deliver an in-depth real-world innovative experience for those seeking to create flexible and value-added solutions!
Sometimes the security industry can be a frustrating place. Technology is constantly advancing, and in a bid to deliver a better solution, many manufacturers invest significant amounts of money and resources in R&D. It is the lifeblood of our industry.
Some of the developments don’t come off. This can be for a variety of reasons: they are not cost-effective, they are too complex, market demand is negligible, the technology is not secure, etc..
Some developments make it off the drawing board and into production. Many people tend to think of ‘innovation’ as being a sea-change in technology, and these do come along every now and again. However, often innovations are small changes; small but not insignificant. It could be a single feature of function, a software hook that brings two previously disparate elements together.
Too often, innovation is only recognised when it becomes commercially successful. In many cases this is when a major player acquires the technology from the originating company, or even the company itself. Once the sale figures increase the accolades arrive. In fact, many so-called innovation awards reward those who market and sell the ideas that other people have had!
The Benchmark Innovation Awards were created to counter this. There is no consideration given to sales figures, marketing or manufacturer’s claims. Instead we look at how the product or service can help create a more flexible and beneficial solution. If it makes a difference to the installer and integrator, or to the final customer’s use of the solution, then it can be considered.
The finalists for the 2015 awards are included in this issue on page 8. This year we will also be doing something different to ensure that those companies involved in innovation get the message out to installers and integrators.
One issue with innovation is how to ensure that those who will benefit understand what it can do for them.
Reading manufacturer’s materials and spec sheets can help, but sometimes these are too focused on technical details. In order to fully grasp how an innovation will enhance solutions, you need to see a demo or have the benefits outlined in a clear and precise way. We don’t need to know what processor is used; tell us why we want it, how we can use it, and how it will drive our solutions to the next level!
Benchmark has teamed up with the organisers of IFSEC to create the IFSEC Innovation Arena at the 2015 show in London. During this all Awards finalists will be invited to present short pitch on their products. These pitches will be chaired by Benchmark to ensure that they are concise, to the point and relevant. Any deviations will be dealt with!
There will be no hyperbole, no sales spiels, no potted company histories and no claims that cannot be backed up. Instead you can enjoy an understanding of how the innovations will work for you!
This isn’t about allowing the manufacturers to showboat. It’s an opportunity for them to explain their technologies to those who are looking to create enhanced innovative solutions.
The aim is to present an exciting and vibrant snapshot of the industry’s technological landscape to the installers and integrators who are leading the way!