How Partnering Solidifies Security Solutions

Moving from basic transactional to more consultative interactions exponentially enhance relationships between an end-user organization and its security provider.


By Scott Blakeman


In the realm of physical security, the distinction between being perceived as a security vendor and a security partner holds great importance. While both may seem interchangeable at first glance, the way an organization is viewed by its clients can have a huge impact on the success of their security programs success. At the heart of this differentiation is the concept of relationships and how they shape the dynamics between providers and their clients.


For security vendors such as systems integrators or security dealers — or monitored services providers or manufacturers that sell direct to the end user — elevating from supplier to partner requires a greater investment of time, care, and diligence. But the eventual payoff can be incalculably advantageous to the organization. Not only does this approach better serve the client but it also cultivates longer-term business — and is more likely to generate referrals. Clients will change vendors often but stick with partners for the long haul.


Security end users such as retailers should look to their security products and services providers to partner with them, be vested in their success, and be part of the solution. They should seek out and expect more than a simple installation and/or service in the absence of any real, tangible, and value-added relationship with stakeholders. That means looking deeper than the similar cameras or equipment provided by most vendors. Doing so brings benefits from the partnership in solving problems and creating strategies for mitigation.


Vendors Have Short Shelf Lives

A security vendor is typically seen as a transactional company that offers products or services to address specific security needs or challenges. When an organization engages with a vendor, the focus is primarily on the exchange of goods and/or services for a fee. The relationship tends to be more transactional, with limited interaction beyond the scope of the security solution being provided.


Security vendors often play a crucial role in the security industry by offering specialized tools, technologies or services that can help organizations improve their defenses against threats. Examples would be video surveillance, access control, intrusion detection or fire/life-safety systems, as well as the monitoring of any of them from a central monitoring station or security operations command center. 


The thing about it is, however, that the relationship between a security vendor and a client is often short with a one-time purchase and limited ongoing engagement or consultation.


Partners Prove Their Value

On the other hand, a security partner is viewed as a member of the team that works closely with an organization to address its security challenges. Unlike a vendor, a security partner is invested in the long-term success of their clients and is committed to building a strong relationship based on expertise, trust, and transparency.


Security partners go beyond offering products or services by engaging with companies and organizations to understand their unique security needs, goals, and challenges. They work concurrently with organizations to develop customized security solutions, provide support and guidance, and adapt to ever-changing threats and risks.


When this kind of scenario is developed, the potentially distracting and detracting focus on monetary cost moves to the back burner because the value and return on investment (ROI) is so thoroughly compelling. 


Relationships Bring Real Benefits

The core of the difference between being perceived as a security vendor and a security partner hinges on the crucial role of relationships. While vendors focus on transactions and sales, partners prioritize collaboration and a sense of being in it together. Building strong relationships based on trust, communication, and shared goals is essential for forging a successful security partnership.


Security partners are not just providers of security solutions; they are trusted advisors who are invested in the success and well-being of their clients. They can be reached easily when needed and emphasize a personalized approach with custom-tailored solutions. By building strong relationships based on respect and understanding, security partners navigate complex security challenges, drive innovation, and deliver incredible value over the long term.


Businesses and facilities often encounter or face very specific security needs that can only truly be solved in concert with a vendor that essentially acts like an extension of the end-user organization. Furthermore, when communicating and collaborating on that level, often additional security/safety — and sometimes even operational — opportunities for improvement come to light. This amplifies the value for both the end customer and their security vendor. Talk about a win-win!


Prosper With Partner Power

At the end of the day, the difference between being a security vendor and a security partner is not merely a matter of semantics. It is about the fundamental difference in approach and mindset toward physical (electronic and networked) security. While vendors offer products or services, partners offer teamwork, expertise, and a shared commitment to reducing losses and crime. 


Ultimately, it is the quality of relationships that separates providers in the security space and determines the success of security initiatives in today’s rapidly changing security landscape. This unification of intent, practice and purpose enables practitioners and the public alike to harness the full power of leading-edge technologies that support the security industry’s core mission of protecting people and property.


Security partners are not just providers of security solutions; they are trusted advisors who are invested in the success and well-being of their clients.


About the Author: Scott Blakeman is Vice President, Security Solutions for Los Angeles-based Elite Interactive Solutions, a leader in remote video guarding and real-time crime prevention. He can be reached at

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