Education is the biggest vertical for ScanSource's networking and security unit.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

November 10, 2017

3 Min Read
ScanSource Day 2

Increasing IT budgets in the coming years spells big opportunities for partners of ScanSource Networking and Security.

That’s according to Christie Hamberis, senior vice president of networking and security. She addressed partners during the final day of ScanSource’s Global Partner Conference in Greenville, South Carolina.

ScanSource surveyed and received responses from 2,800 end-user customers about their IT spending budgets moving forward, she said.

“And for physical security and networking, we group them together because we service both communities, it was about 40 percent of those respondents said that over the next three years they anticipate their IT budgets to grow between 5 percent and 25 percent,” Hamberis said. “There was another 25 percent that said they thought their budgets would grow 25 percent plus in the spaces that include physical security and networking.”

Much of the session focused on education, which is the biggest vertical for ScanSource’s networking and security unit. However, physical security and networking don’t always intersect, she said.

“Those resellers don’t always cross over the chasm and do networking and security both,” Hamberis said. “A lot of them specialize either on the networking wired and wireless, or on the physical security side. So when you look at both of those sets of customers, our business unit’s single-largest vertical is education because both of those segments cover education in some form … usually in a WiFi campus environment or on a security, physical security, access-control, video surveillance environment.”

However, there is an increasing opportunity for partners to converge networking and physical security, she said. The prevalence of the Internet of Things (IoT) is starting to force the issue because “you have all of these video surveillance cameras that hang off of a network and they can be a source of entry from a network security perspective,” she said.

“So that’s kind of forcing our physical security audience to start learning and considering more about the network,” Hamberis said. “And then we have all these networking experts and they have access points that hang off controllers that hang off of the network, and it’s huge for them to make sure that they’re covered as well. So we will start to see a convergence because you have to both have the same security factors in place with an endpoint device. It doesn’t matter what the device is, it’s a point of entry.”

Tony Sorrentino, co-president of worldwide ScanSource barcode networking and security, said lots of money is going to be spent and end-users are looking for “whole solutions.” Also, to survive and thrive, “you have to do more than deliver boxes,” he said.

Greg Dixon, ScanSource’s chief technology officer, said there’s lots of opportunities…

…for physical security resellers to look into selling local area networking.

The last thing you want to do is plug your device into someone else’s network,” he said. “All the more reason to get involved in local area networking.”

Also during the session, Alissa Parker, co-founder and director, of Safe and Sound Schools, talked about what partners need to keep in mind when working with schools on security. Her 6-year-old daughter Emilie died in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. It’s important to make sure that numerous people are thoroughly trained to use any security measures implemented, she said.

Systems to allow or deny access are particularly effective because “we’ve never seen a shooter waste time with a locked door,” she said.

“Your role is to protect people like me from having to feel this pain,” Parker said.

Robert Boyd, executive director of Secure Schools Alliance, said security professionals are the ones who can keep intruders out of schools. Soft targets like schools are “name of the game” for terrorists, he said. Also, rural schools are particularly vulnerable, he said.

Boyd said security professionals can work with his organization to try to gain funding and educate others on the need for increased security measures in schools.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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