As the scale and complexity of security systems continue to grow, many organizations are looking for help managing their security program.
Sometimes that means hiring a security professional as an embedded project manager – meaning they’re employed by a security provider but work full time as a dedicated resource for the organization.
Having an embedded project manager – either on-site or remote – can alleviate organizations’ burden of hiring, training and certifying their own personnel, and can also save time and money, as it eliminates the need for regular service calls to a security provider.
But what exactly does an embedded project manager do and what types of organizations would benefit from one?
We sat down with William Pearce, who has worked on-site at the University of Kentucky (UK) for three and a half years, to learn more about his role as an embedded project manager and how he helps the university solve security challenges.
Q&A with an Embedded Project Manager
As an embedded project manager, I’m the single point of contact for the staff on campus when it comes to security system repairs and maintenance. Being on-site full time affords me the opportunity to build relationships with staff all around the campus, which helps me coordinate with the proper personnel and resolve security issues in a timely manner. An embedded project manager is more of a team member than a contractor.
UK has implemented a robust security system that integrates video surveillance and access control. Large systems like these – due to the volume of devices and complex software and integrations involved – inherently need more service, which can mean having different technicians come out to service the systems when they’re not working properly.
With so many different people working on the system over the years, there was a lack of consistency in the wiring of devices. Additionally, having different technicians perform service became challenging, as the size of the system required an intimate knowledge of the system topology.
Since I’ve been on-site at UK, I’ve become very familiar with the security system and its complex integrations. The issues that the university was experiencing before have now been resolved with changes in wiring and programming. I’m also able to provide faster and more efficient service, since I serve as the university’s dedicated security resource.
Administration MajorUniversity of Kentucky Police Department (UKPD)
“It’s amazing to have this resource in-house. [Will] might as well be our own employee – he comes in, we eat breakfast together and get to work. This is the kind of person who can get in the field and fix a problem, no questions asked. We’ve saved a significant amount of money on service fees that we had paid other companies for coming out to service our systems. We know we have a very knowledgeable person who can solve problems we’re having. At the end of the day, having that partnership is extremely valuable.”
UK utilizes a work ticketing system, so other departments on campus can easily email our team to open a work ticket for issues they are having with their access control or video surveillance systems. I take care of any work tickets that come in for troubleshooting/repairs on the security systems and, when needed, I reach out to Securitas Technology's Software Solutions Group, which handles any software-related issues with the systems. When I’m not performing service maintenance, I’m typically replacing/upgrading system devices to ensure the equipment is up to date.
Not necessarily. I provide additional support and work together with UK staff and contractors on campus, which creates a great team atmosphere and means that when issues arise, we are able to quickly find a solution and fix the problem.
I work in the same office as UK’s security systems manager and his support staff, the UKPD Tech Division. We have weekly meetings in the office to go over the status of current and upcoming projects, but we are in constant contact beyond those meetings. I’m also involved in project planning meetings with UK facility project managers prior to new installation projects to give suggestions on how to approach what they are trying to accomplish from a security standpoint.
Security Systems ManagerUniversity of Kentucky Police Department (UKPD)
“Having an embedded project manager makes it really easy to troubleshoot security system problems on the spot, instead of having to call somebody out to fix the problem. He knows my system really well and knows the ins and outs of what we do. Not only that, but he’s also able to form relationships with our facilities team. If we come across something that’s not necessarily an access control problem but a door hardware problem, he has those relationships to be able to contact them easily and work with them to solve problems quickly.”
An embedded project manager would be beneficial for any large institution or business with a large enterprise security system, especially those that require expedient service. Universities and hospitals are great examples.
Any organizations interested in hiring an embedded project manager through Securitas Technology will be directly involved in selecting and interviewing candidates. Bringing on someone in an embedded role is the beginning of a true partnership, rather than a purely employer/contractor relationship.
For more information on hiring an embedded project manager at your organization, connect with us today.