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System Surveyor Makes Designing and Maintaining Electronic Security Systems Easier and More Efficient

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System Surveyor is simplifying the way electronic security systems and IT assets are designed, installed and maintained by capturing everything all in one place. The result is improved quality of system design, better system reliability, faster implementations, reduced project risk and lower total cost of ownership. Below is our interview with Maureen Carlson from System Surveyor:


Q: What is your core competence? Tell us something more about System Surveyor?

A: Our founding team has 40 years of combined experience in the electronic security systems (ESS) and IT industries. We’ve worked in technical, sales and executive roles as system integrators, hardware, and software providers that serve the industry. It became apparent that as an industry our current manual approach to working in the field to plan, design and administer physical security systems is complicated and inefficient. It also requires a high level of specialized knowledge. We also observed that businesses, government entities, and schools were struggling to keep track of administrative details for systems with hundreds and sometimes thousands of components distributed across multi-site locations.

In these instances, pain points escalate because important security system requirements and records are captured manually with information on notepads, cell phone pictures, and outdated paper CAD drawings. This information is typically input into spreadsheets or basic documents that are shared and duplicated, all leading to inaccuracies and misinformation. It became clear that we could make it much simpler and in turn save time, money by improving the accuracy of information, while also making the information more secure.

Our core competency is simplifying the way electronic security systems and IT assets are designed, installed and maintained by capturing everything all in one place. We have created a powerful, easy to use iPad based design tool that provides value in the design stage and well beyond that into maintaining systems. Because security systems can be highly technical and complex, constant change in the environment must be tracked. Improving this process reduces the cost of ownership because records can be accessed and used to keep systems up to date and securely shared with service providers or other departments.

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Q: How does System Surveyor differ from competition?

A: There is not direct competition for System Surveyor per se. Manual approaches to capturing information, using CAD or Visio would be the closest comparisons. While these tools can provide high level of technical details, and are great for architects, they are difficult to use and update from the field, and usually require extensive training. With System Surveyor, security and facility managers, IT staff and systems integrators can now use the iPad app to import floor plans; drag and drop system elements such as video surveillance cameras; capture functional requirements; take photos and notes which will be automatically associated with a specific component – all in one place.

Currently, System Surveyor provides support for video surveillance systems, electronic access control systems, intrusion alarm systems and information technology systems all differentiated by colors and intuitive icons. These all work together to develop a comprehensive electronic security systems plan that results in smooth system installation and provides security personnel with the technical information that they need to administer the system on an ongoing basis.

Screen shots of System Surveyor:



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Q: What are main benefits of using System Surveyor for the iPad?

A: System Surveyor improves the quality and accuracy of system design, reduces design mistakes, and enables faster system implementations. Additionally, it eliminates the cost and difficulties of CAD, and allows updates to system information and maintenance records for multiple sites. With the iPad’s voice to text features, users can easily and quickly add notes and also collaborate with technicians, vendors and colleagues to increase the efficiency of system design and ongoing management.

Each element icon available on System Surveyor is pre-configured with a set of attributes that pertain to that type of component. For instance, for a security camera, the user is prompted to select a preferred resolution or camera style. An electrified lock will prompt for the type of lockset. This helps prevent users from missing important information that they may not otherwise remember.

We estimate that design time can reduce by 5X and total cost of ownership can reduce by up to 50% using System Surveyor.

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Q: Could you tell us more about your pricing plans?

A: The System Surveyor app is available for download on the iPad at the App Store. The Basic subscription is free. Professional and Team subscriptions are available for enhanced functionality that include support for more sites, elements per survey, and more photos. With the Team subscription, up to 10 users can securely share surveys with each other. Find more information about the pricing plans here.

Q: What can we expect from System Surveyor in the future? What are your plans?

A: We’re excited to support our growing customer base and to expand our product offering – and we’re getting some great feedback from our users. Some of the plans on the horizon include GPS and asset tagging on components, enhancing the ability for users to import information about existing sites, and also enhancements to the report and project modules. Of course, in the meantime, we will continue to make new element types available as users make requests.

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