Unlimited Technology article in Security Directions Online Magazine

ELECTRONIC SECURITY TRAINING 101 The cameras are in, the installation is complete and it's sign-off time on a complex access control system. Only thing missing: training for everyone to the comfort point -so clients can actually benefit from all the sophisticated hardware and software they've just purchased.

ELECTRONIC SECURITY TRAINING 101

By Eric Miceli

The cameras are in, the installation is complete and it's sign-off time on a complex access control system. Only thing missing: training for everyone to the comfort point -so clients can actually benefit from all the sophisticated hardware and software they've just purchased.

Even when there's little money left in the budget for training, we've included it with our contracts. For clients, it saves countless hours of aggravation. Their operations personnel can easily handle requests such as: "run a report on who accessed my door" as well as more complex issues. With training, instead of feeling overwhelmed by the intricacies, our customers 'get it' and use their systems to full advantage.

Today, we don't expect everyone to travel to a classroom and sit for weeks of instruction. There's neither time nor funds. We use internet-based webinars, video conferencing with managers and supervisors and we provide essential lessons on interactive DVDs that can be viewed by new employees or promoted individuals so they get up to speed quickly. And the material is on-hand to refresh their knowledge as required. To my mind, when end users don't receive high-quality training, the system will cost the installing integrator much more in maintenance and headaches.

Start talking about training early rather than at the end. Prepare and schedule training - even suggest manufacture-based training for their specific systems when it's available.

Some believe that: "the less they know, the better it is for us," as if knowledgeable customers would never need the integrator or consultant again. But that seems to backfire. All savvy integrators are looking for the next sale; from this customer or someone this customer recommends. When security professionals 'own' systems they can describe benefits to corporate management in their own words and demonstrate features in real time showing systems do their required jobs -providing what's promised. Once security directors understand and 'talk' the electronic security lingo, they better communicates with IT people and financial decision makers who control funds for new projects/expanding infrastructure. We've found that this fundamental message works: "Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

(Eric Miceli is Senior IT Engineer at Unlimited Technology Inc. (UTI) and can be contacted at: emiceli@utiglobal.com.)