Integrator enlists high school students in school security initiative

Integrator and school district partner to make security affordable and reliable
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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

WALKERTON, Ind.—Vermillion Systems is working on an initiative to make security upgrades more affordable for school districts by involving students in the installation.

“We’re looking at a program to assist schools in doing some of their own installation,” David Vermillion, president of Vermillion Systems told Security Systems News.

This program would enlist the help of a school’s IT department and building trades program so that some students could do some cabling work. It will provide training for students and lower the cost of a security installation for the school district.

“It certainly can be a pretty significant cost savings when you take much of the [cabling] labor out of the project. It can make the difference between being able to [afford] the project or not,” Vermillion said. 

Founded in 1997, Vermillion does about $2 million in business annually and it has 10 employees. The strategy is to grow the company in a “slow, steady controlled way.”

It does video, access, burg and fire. Its business is 85 percent commercial and includes lots of mid-sized commercial applications as well as multilocation retail, K-12 and higher education facilities.

Vermillion would help with the design of the system, providing guidance for the project. The company has worked with several school districts this summer, where the school and Vermillion have partnered to differing degrees, with the schools assuming some responsibility for the installation.

Vermillion is hoping to standardize a program where the company will “find the right manufacturing [partner] to source the equipment in a ways that we can still provide support [and deal appropriately with warranties.]”

The ideas for the program came from “missed opportunities” Vermillion said. There have been instances where Vermillion bid on a school security system and in an attempt to save money the school tried to do the installation itself or chose inferior or inappropriate systems, and “it didn’t go well.”

“It didn’t go well without the guidance of an expert in the industry,” he said. Vermillion figures that both his company and the school districts will benefit from a cooperative school initiative. “So they can get the right equipment spec’d [and we can aid in the] design and commissioning of the system. [And] it’s done properly.”