Convergence has been an industry buzzword for several years. The term describes the merging of different disciplines into a single solution or source. In particular it’s the combination of telephones, computers and connectivity. Here’s an example: In many parts of the country, the cable company serves to bring your TV signal, telephone service and Internet connection. As we move toward tomorrow’s solutions, convergence will set the foundation for other possibilities.
Even now, most of the more popular management software providers serving self-storage owners offer a "Web-based" application. Transporting information accurately and conveniently to multiple locations simultaneously streamlines corporate communications. Various decision-makers have the facts at their fingertips to move quickly. The possibilities will only grow as we go forward.
Our earlier forecast included an acceptance of a management-assist device that would help the dream of "space vending" become a reality. The combination of more versatile electronics, better information transport methods, and more intelligent user devices has proved itself in the installations of kiosks in facilities across the country.
Some see the capabilities of the machinery and electronics as a substitute for employees, especially in smaller facilities. Others see it as assistance to the management staff on duty and an automated attendant after hours. We mention it as part of the overall security package because the customer point of contact provides the opportunity to solidify the identification procedures for your firm. Even though it’s automated, the kiosk operations continue, or even enhance, the effectiveness of identifying prospects positively and thoroughly.
Levels of Security
Convergence leads to more integration, helping to fulfill the two roles that a well-planned security and risk management plan should cover. For the sake of discussion, asset protection and preservation comes at three different levels.
The basic systems should provide general property protection, controlling who has access to what portion of the facility and when. The access-control system provides excellent evidence through its record of user activity. Improvements will continue by making the management of the systems easier and the report information increasingly portable.
Moving up one level, displaying more concern for protecting the tenant’s property makes any facility more appealing to prospective tenants. They like feeling their goods are protected. Many owners have already adopted wireless individual unit alarms. Though wireless signals can be a bit unpredictable, the systems have proved effective in both small and large facilities, and improved signal communication will make the devices even more effective.