SEI goes all IP

Managed services serves Omaha integrator well
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Monday, December 12, 2011

OMAHA, Neb.—Tom Hruby, EVP of Security Equipment Inc. here, says he hasn’t sold an analog camera in about a year—SEI has gone all IP.

“We believe the IP cameras are just higher quality, especially the megapixel cameras,” Hruby told Security Systems News. Plus, he doesn’t want his customers “tied to a DVR or embedded box … in the long term IP cameras are a better investment than analog,” he said.

“At some point the box [the DVR] is going to break down,” Hruby said. And when that happens, it’s expensive for the customer and a hassle for the end user and SEI, he said.

What SEI is pushing these days, and more customers are looking for, is managed services, particularly hosted video.

Hruby credits his growing managed-services business with helping this $20 million, independent and locally owned integrator maintain revenues during the past four years.

“We’re going to try to lead with hosted video [which] removes the constant revisions and updates and is more transparent for the end user,” he said.

Demand for hosted video and hosted/managed access has increased for SEI in recent years because of HIPAA and other government regulations that require companies to protect file rooms where credit card information is stored. “They need security, but [especially in recent years] they have not had the funds to spend a lot, so we give them a lot for a little,” Hruby said.

For a customer who needs video and access to protect a file room, “instead of installing a $9,000 system, we charge them $4,500 and $90 a month to take care of everything for them,” he explained.

“We really concentrate on a variety of RMR-producing [services],” Hruby said.

Access control is a big part of SEI’s business. If you look out over the Omaha skyline, Hruby said, you’ll see many Fortune 500 companies that are headquartered here, and SEI provided access control for the lion’s share. “We’re a big AMAG dealer,” he said. Clients include ConAgra, Gallup and West.

“We take the AMAG enterprise system and connect it with other facilities across the U.S.,” he explained. The biggest system SEI maintains is for West, a telecom. “We have done installations for them in Manila, Jamaica, Canada, Mexico and throughout the U.S., and they all connect back the AMAG enterprise system in little old Omaha, Nebraska.”

SEI has three other offices in Lincoln, Neb., Des Moines, Iowa, and Kansas City, Kan.