Nick1Wow, what a year so far! With our growth trajectory steepening we’ve been out recruiting again. Our latest recruit joins us on April 1st, but he’s no fool, especially when it comes to the IT security market. His name is Nick Smith and his position is sales manager.

Joining us from a similar position at Bosch Security Systems, having done previous in both sales and IT support roles at SISYS, Dorset Police and Dorset County Council, we’d have struggled to find a better fit and hope you’ll join us in welcoming Nick to the business.

Enough from us though: we thought we’d throw a Q&A at Nick so he can answer for himself the sort of questions we think you’d be interested in asking yourself.

So, over to Nick

Q. What is your new role at icomply Nick?

A. I am the UK Sales Manager. My responsibilities include developing and delivering a sales strategy and supporting the sales team to ensure we provide the best service available across the UK.

Q. How is your previous experience going to help you in this role?

A. My previous experience is eerily relevant to the role. After gaining my HND in IT and computing, I spent 2 years in an IT support role for Dorset Police and Dorset County Council, sat in control rooms supporting the implementation and use of security infrastructures. I then joined the IT security industry proper in 1996 as Support Engineer for SISYS Ltd (a software house developing IP software based security solutions for defence & government). I worked there for 13 years, progressing through the roles of Sales Engineer, Analyst and Business Development Manager before moving to Bosch Security Systems in 2009 as Regional Sales Manager for the SE England, latterly taking responsibility for South of England and South West England too.

So, basically, I’ve spent 18 years in the security industry specifically around IP based solutions. I have extensive knowledge in software, access control, credential/clearance & document management, CCTV, integrated systems, biometrics & analytics. I have worked in IT support and engineering as well as sales so I bring an understanding of the end user experience too.

Q. So you really know this marketplace; what are the trends you are seeing that may affect us in the near future?

A. The key trend is the migration to IP, specifically due to HD CCTV and open platform integrated software becoming more prevalent with the number of manufacturers increasing and customers requiring single front end for management of multiple systems.

Associated to this is the evolution of security management systems that provide more management reporting functions, adding value to what was traditionally seen as a grudge purchase. An example of this would be a traditional security software encompassing other disciplines outside of security use, e.g., utilising analytics (including shopper analysis and behaviour management) with reporting to provide information that is valuable for day-to-day operation in retail/town centre environments. Such systems assist organisations in maximising retail area efficiency and effectiveness, as well as in keeping their centres secure.

Another big trend is how security’s growing role in capturing big data is massively increasing ROI: with security cameras offering higher and higher resolutions capturing more and more information that is being used to provide knowledge to other departments, what has traditionally been viewed as an investment with little return is becoming know for its rapid ROI.

‘Big Data’ is a massive buzzword in IT. With the amount of data being captured on a day-to-day basis in the security industry, it was only a matter of time until security data got to a point where it could be mined to provide valuable reporting and information to the wider business. That time has arrived and the end result is that that budgets are starting to move away from security and into the IT department’s. The benefits that go with that are immense (e.g., regular technical refresh of hardware, higher budgets, acceptance of software maintenance contracts, better managed systems, systems more likely to sit on company LAN rather than be completely separate).

Looking forward, I believe IP based security will become more of an IT Industry solution with decisions made by IT departments, rather than being something exclusively provided by security companies. If skill sets don’t improve within the security industry, IT companies will soon replace them. Just one reason why I am pleased to be working with icomply now!

Indeed, I am very excited to be joining icomply at what I think is an evolving period in the security industry. Convergence of IT and Security means security software (and its flexibility) is more prevalent. We will see more consolidation of companies over the next couple of years in what is a saturated market. This will provide the opportunity for small businesses to grow in a market previously dominated by global organisations. Software will take more and more of a front seat when it comes to driving the industry forward and I believe that icomply has the foundations to become a market leader in Security & Facilities Management software solutions.